FRAUSTERS have cost Warwickshire £4.4million over the past year, figures have revealed.
People are being urged to stay safe online after figures – released by Warwickshire Police – also showed costs for cyber crime reached nearly £200,000 between April 2013 to March this year.
Businesses are the hardest hit by fraud, with one in four being targeted – costing the UK £52billion annually.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Ball said: “I am convinced that traditional crime is reducing in Warwickshire but I am equally convinced that cyber crime and fraud are increasing sharply. This is a national trend that we need to get to grips with.
“Fraudsters are doing serious harm to unsuspecting members of the public and I am determined that we do everything we can to disrupt their activities.”
Scammers are using not only computers but also phones, laptops and tablets to part people from their money.
To combat the growing trend, online crime specialists have joined forces to offer free sessions teaching people how to protect themselves and their businesses.
Detective chief inspector Sean Paley said: “It is crucial to learn the signs and look out for them so people can realise they are being lured into a scam and avoid falling into traps that have been laid out for them by frausters.”
The key threats and preventative advice event will be held at Queen Elizabeth Hall in Stratford.
On Thursday, September 4 – between 6pm to 8pm – there will be a session for businesses and on Friday, September 5 – from 9am to 2pm – there will be one for the public.
Email Jan.Horton@warwickshire.pnn.police.uk to book a place.