Give online fraudsters the cold shoulder this festive season

care leavers

Every year thousands of people become victims of online fraud and the festive season can see a rise in the number of people caught out.

West Sussex County Council’s Community Safety and Wellbeing service is leading the way in protecting residents from becoming victims via their ‘Get Safe Online’ programme.

The programme offers fraud-prevention support and advice in a number of ways including:

  • running online safety awareness sessions for West Sussex residents in venues across the county
  • sending fraud prevention experts to targeted community events to speak to residents
  • promoting monthly themed campaigns on key subjects such as safe online shopping.

This month the campaign focuses on expert, easy-to-follow safety tips to help protect anyone using the internet from falling victim to seasonal scams.

Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said: “It is really important that West Sussex residents are aware of what to do to remain safe online, especially in the run up to Christmas when lots of people choose to do their shopping online.

“We hope that these tips will become engrained into people’s daily lives and prevent fraud, not just for a few months of the year, but all year round.”

With their ground-breaking work, the Community Safety and Wellbeing service has recently supported Sussex Police in the development of their Volunteer Fraud Prevention Programme.

Involved in the project from its infancy, the service has helped with:

  • developing information packs that will be sent to victims, including details of how to stay safe online, identify fraud and making safe payments
  • providing local sessions and events that residents can attend to speak to experts about online safety
  • promoting information that can be accessed on the go such as the staying safe online monthly e-newsletter and the @WSxSafeOnline social media accounts.

Francesca Blow, Lead for Safe Digital Life at the county council, said: ”This programme offers victims of fraud tailored advice and support relating to the type of fraud they have been victim of. We are delighted to be able to offer a range of local resources as part of the packages sent to victims that they can attend or sign up to. These resources will help to guide and inform them about how to stay safe online and how to avoid falling victim to other scams in the future.”

The Community Safety and Wellbeing service have produced some expert guidance on staying safe over the festive season and residents can also sign up to receive the ‘Staying Safe Online’ monthly e-newsletter which sends subscribers regular advice about their digital safety and online fraud prevention.



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