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Cybercrime

Advice and Guidance

If you have been a victim of crime, don’t suffer in silence. Even if you do not want to report the crime to the police, think about telling a trusted friend or family member so they can help and support you. Nottinghamshire Victim CARE can also provide you with help and support even if you do not want to report the crime to the Police.

Victim CARE can provide:

  • Emotional support to help you cope and recover from the crime
  • Advocacy with other agencies and organisations
  • Advice on crime prevention and provision of target hardening equipment (if required)
  • Practical support and advice
  • Restorative Justice 
  • Support applying to Criminal Injuries Compensation (CICA)

Call Nottinghamshire Victim CARE on 0800 304 7575 or click here to request a call back.

Action Fraud is the national centre for reporting fraud and cybercrime. You can make a report online here - https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime or call them on 0300 123 2040 (from Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm).

Cybercrime is any criminal activity undertaken online – this could include:

  • Hacking online accounts through social media and email
  • ‘Phishing’ where fake emails are sent to obtain personal security information
  • Malicious software – such as ransomware where criminals hijack files and hold them ransom
  • Distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks against websites, often including extortion

All of these techniques can be used to extort, steal or scam money from people.

Looking After Yourself

Everyone reacts differently to experiencing a crime. It is important however to recognise that whatever has happened to you, it can still feel like a violation.

If you have any physical injuries, it is important that you get these checked out as soon as possible at either a walk in centre or Accident and Emergency – you can find your local urgent care centre here https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/Urgent-Care/LocationSearch/0

You might also find that you feel suddenly quite emotional, you might struggle to sleep properly or feel anxious being in your home or out and about. It is important that you recognise that all of these are not unusual to experience following any crime.

Some ways you can help yourself during this time:

  • Let your friends and family know what has happened, and if you feel comfortable, tell them how you feel
  • If possible, speak to your workplace or school – see whether they can offer flexibility or time off to sort things out
  • If you are struggling with your emotional wellbeing, speak to your GP – they may be able to refer you for counselling

The NHS Moodzone pages have a lot of tips on how to boost your emotional wellbeing which you can find here.

Here are a few tips to help you stay safe online and avoid online scams. Further information is also available via the links detailed below:

  • Make sure your computer anti-virus is up to date, and that your operating system is also up to date as this can prevent people hacking your computer – see further advice here https://www.getsafeonline.org/protecting-your-computer/software-updates/.
  • If you receive strange or unexpected emails – do not click on any links or open any attachments – just delete the email straight away
  • If it looks too good to be true, it probably is – event tickets that you see on another site for much cheaper should raise concerns, as they might be stolen or counterfeit. In both these cases, if they’ve been reported they become invalid. Always check the vendor – you can look up a website online and find reviews or feedback that can indicate whether they are credible.
  • When using card details to buy online, look for the https:// - the ‘s’ added means it is a secure site and safer to use
  • Your bank will never ask you to confirm sensitive information such as your card pin over email or the phone - if anything seems odd, go to your branch to discuss in person or contact them via your own contact details
  • Never send money to strangers – some scammers send emails appealing for money, do not comply.

Social Media

Social media helps us connect with our friends and families, but we are sometimes unaware of just how much of our personal information is being shared through this.

Here are some tips to help keep you safer:

  • Consider making your profile private – if a profile is public, it can be fairly easy for anyone to gain your personal information such as date of birth, name and address – all of which can be used fraudulently.
  • Be wary of who you connect with on social media – people aren’t always as honest as they appear in an online profile.
  • Think before you post or send! What might seem like a good idea to post one day you might come to regret later if done impulsively – pause before posting
  • Be wary if someone asks you for provocative pictures. Strangers making these requests could have dishonest motives, ranging from extortion to so-called ‘revenge porn’ – both of which are crimes. Especially if you are under 18 and being asked for pictures like these, always speak to a trusted adult or friend.

For more information and support see the Trading Standards Friends Against Scams scheme - https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/