The Jersey Fraud Prevention Forum (JFPF) is warning Islanders to be extra vigilant after local reports of online fraud have more than doubled.
The figures, collated by the States of Jersey Police, indicate that in the first nine months of this year 172 people reported being targeted by fraudsters and scammers online, compared to 81 for the same period in 2017. Not all people reported financial losses; 20 have lost a combined total of £736,000 so far this year whereas 15 people lost £86,347 for the same period in 2017.
Social engineering is being cited as the main driver for the increase in reports with criminals tricking Islanders into parting with their personal and/or financial details by pretending to be from a trusted organisation such as a bank, the police or a utility company.
Chairman of the JFPF, Detective Chief Inspector Chris Beechey commented:
“In an increasingly digital age, we are all exposed to the possibility of being defrauded online. But living in Jersey we can often be too trusting. We need to remember that people aren’t always who they say they are. Impersonation and deception scams are becoming common place. If you get a call, text, email or social media message asking you to disclose your personal or financial information, you should always double-check that the request is genuine.”
The warning is being circulated island-wide in the JFPF’s latest newsletter, which is being distributed by Jersey Post to all island homes from 12 November and contains other news and guidance about frauds and scams.
The JFPF has also produced a short film for social media to remind Islanders about staying safe when buying online ahead of this year’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas period.