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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire Police received more than 3,000 fraud reports in past year

New research has revealed that Gloucestershire Police have received 3,144 individual fraud reports over the past 13 months.

The analysis, carried out by QR Code Generator QRFY, looked at data from Action Fraud and the Office for National Statistics to uncover how many reports each police force had in England and Wales, over the past 13 months - and the most common type of fraud.

Over the past 13 months, Action Fraud recorded 395,105 reports of individual fraud across England and Wales - with a reported loss of £2.3 billion. 89% (351,451) of these reports were found to be filed by individuals.

Gloucestershire Police recorded 3,144 individual fraud reports over the past 13 months. The most common category of fraud recorded by this police force was 'Online shopping and auction' fraud, which refers to the non-delivery of products bought by a consumer, or the misrepresentation of a product.

The second most common category of fraud reported by the police force was 'Other advance fee fraud'.

Following in third was 'Hacking - social media and email' which refers to instances where an individual's social media and email accounts are accessed illegally.

Speaking on the findings, Marc Porcar, CEO of QRFY, said: "The internet and widespread online connectivity has certainly created more opportunities for fraudsters to exploit people's vulnerabilities. As more transactions and interactions occur online, there is a greater potential for individuals to fall victim to these kinds of scams.

"Fraudsters are constantly developing new techniques that trick people into handing over access to their personal accounts, or finances. Large-scale data breaches which expose people's personal information, also make it easier for criminals to impersonate individuals or commit identity theft."

Marc has shared his top tips for avoiding being scammed online:

  • Be cautious about sharing personal information online: Only share information with trusted websites and be wary of unsolicited emails or phone calls requesting personal details. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication: This adds an extra layer of security to your accounts, making it harder for unauthorised individuals to gain access. Strong passwords should be complex and unique, and two-factor authentication requires a second verification step, such as a code sent to your phone, in addition to your password.
  • Monitor your accounts regularly: Check your bank statements and credit card reports for any suspicious activity and report any discrepancies immediately. This way you can catch fraudulent activity early and minimise the damage.

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