Cyber Crime

Cybercrime is broken down by the Home Office into two forms:

Pure cybercrime: These are crimes where a digital system is targeted by means of a criminal attack. These attacks are designed to disrupt IT infrastructure, remove data and/or compromise the integrity of data. An example of this could be having your Facebook or online banking account hacked for malicious means.

Cyber enabled: Existing crimes are perpetrated through the use of the internet. An example of this could be someone being emailed a cyber scam asking for money.

Cyber Crime - Old Crimes, New Tools

The internet is an exciting and interesting tool, but the increase in on-line banking and shopping is being met by a rise in its use for criminal purposes. Criminals carry out cybercrime from the comfort of their own home, office or internet café. They can work alone and commit crimes anywhere in the world.


A growing problem where offenders try to steal identity (usually bank details). First you receive an unsolicited e-mail, apparently from your bank.

  • A genuine looking e-mail apparently from your bank, or more recently from PayPal or Apple, says they are reviewing accounts or have some problem that requires you to confirm your account details.
  • The e-mail contains a link to an on-screen form for you to complete which will be bogus and gives crooks your account details.

Remember: Banks, building societies or other finance bodies won't ever contact you for these details and e-mails like this should be treated with great suspicion. Do not reply – DELETE.

Bogus Lottery Wins

  • An e-mail stating you have won first prize in a lottery you haven't entered, in a foreign country you've never been to, certainly not recently, but you have won thousands of euros.
  • If you reply the scammers know they have hit a correct address and will reply sending a Trojan or Spyware virus which, if opened, infects your computer giving access to personal details. Do not reply – DELETE

Safe Surfing Tips

  • Keep virus/firewall software up to date
  • Install anti-spyware
  • Keep your operating system up to date
  • Think before replying to unsolicited e-mail
  • Never send your account details to anyone
  • Never pay for goods using Western Union


  • Founded in the UK in October 1999, has 10m users and over 3m items for sale daily.
  • The UK's largest on-line marketplace has a global customer base of 135m selling goods and services by individuals and small businesses.
  • The site has a global presence in 32 international markets.
  • At any time over 44m items are for sale world wide, with 4m new items added each day.
  • The vast majority of buyers and sellers on eBay are honest and reliable. Millions of transactions take place every day without a problem, making it one of the safest places to trade on the web.

Stay safe on eBay?

  • Always follow trading guidelines and use common sense (nearly all problems reported to police are where eBay members went outside the guidelines and ended up as victims of fraud or deception).
  • There are bargains but – if it looks too good to be true it probably is.
  • If you sell, don't fall victim to phishing e-mails claiming to be from eBay or PayPal.
  • Criminals want account details so they can steal your trading history and good name.

The safety centre on eBay provides a wealth of information on how to trade safely on eBay, also what to do in the rare event that something goes wrong.

Some Useful Web Sites

Further information can be found at: (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) (Internet Watch Foundation) (Home Office site) (list of fake sites and advice) (voluntary-funded research group)

There are no borders in cyberspace, posing challenges for police in investigating cyber-crime incidents which may involve suspects, victims and crimes spanning multiple countries and on a global scale. INTERPOL assists member countries in sharing and consolidating information on known cyber incidents, and analyses this information with the aim to produce actionable intelligence for use by police on the ground.


The British Crime Survey published in July 2015 indicated that there was an increase in the volume of fraud offences recorded by Action Fraud (up 9%) which were largely driven by increases in non-investment fraud (up 15%) – a category which includes frauds related to online shopping and computer software services.

This is the first time a year-on-year comparison can be made on a like for like basis so it's difficult to know whether this means actual levels of fraud rose or simply that a greater proportion of victims reported to Action Fraud.

However, other sources also show year on year increases, including data supplied to the National Fraud Investigation Bureau from industry sources (up 17%).


Scammers use email, online ads, pop ups, and search results to trick you into sending them money and personal information. One way to outsmart them? Use your email's spam filter to screen the email you get. Then forward any email that seems suspicious to

A scam is a scheme to con someone out of their cash. Many scams take the form of bogus and fraudulent offers sent by post, telephone or e-mail. According to research by the Office of Fair Trading around three million UK consumers lose a total of £3.5 billion every year to scams that arrive through their door. Fake lottery and prize draw wins, bogus psychic predications, get rich quick investment cons and miracle health cures are just some of the tricks scammers try.

It often starts with the person replying to just one scam mailing. Their details then go on a 'financially targeted' list and they may get many more scam mailings and phone calls - sometimes more than 100 a week - hounding them for money. Victims often end up losing their life savings, health and peace of mind.

Top10 Scams

Rank Type Description
1 Cheque, Plastic Card and Online Bank Accounts (not PSP) Involves, for example, cards and card details being used for gambling and shopping online, as well as debit cards being cloned
2 Other Advance Fee Frauds Includes scams for PPI claims, scams involving compensation for bank charges, and motor scams where the buyer requests an upfront fee to secure the sale of the vehicle at a cost to the seller
3 Other Consumer Non Investment Fraud Involves the purchase of items which are often subsequently found to either not exist, be inferior to those originally stated or are stolen
4 Online Shopping and Auctions Online Shopping and Auctions Fraud involves a wide variety of methods, including bogus websites, or the exploitation of legitimate sale platforms and spoofed payment services, that whilst looking legitimate, are in fact controlled by the fraudster. Another recent scam involves fraudsters exploiting online shopping applications
5 Dating Scam Involves the befriending of a victim over social networking or chat rooms and, after a relationship is struck, they use emotive reasons to persuade the victim to send money
6 Computer Virus \ Malware \ Spyware Involves sending computer virus' or programmes which are designed to harm the computers of the people who receive them
7 Hacking - Social Media and Email Involves gaining unauthorised access to a person's email/social media account/s
8 Rental Fraud Involves advance fees/rent being paid in respect of rental of premises that don't exist, are not for rent, are already rented or are rented to multiple victims at the same time
9 Ticket Fraud Involves the purchase of tickets for an event such as a concert or holiday where it transpires that the tickets don't exist, don't materialise or are related to a company that doesn't exist
10 Unclassified Includes all other fraud by false representation or obtaining services dishonestly, that are not covered elsewhere


Get in touch


South Staffs Council

Wolverhampton Road, Codsall

South Staffordshire


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