POLICE have issued a warning amid a rise in fraudulent text and email scams.
Each month, officers receive numerous reports of incidents involving fraudsters targeting residents in an attempt to defraud them.
The scams include phishing, social media hacking, anti-virus scams and messages from friends and family.
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Walker, of Sussex Police economic crime unit, said: “Each month, we see many incidents of fraudsters targeting our residents in an attempt to defraud them.
“We’re working hard to prevent this and support vulnerable victims of fraud or scams.
“By following our tips and encouraging family, friends and colleagues to do so too, you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
“Read and share with your family and loved ones to help keep them safe from scam and frauds.”
Sussex Police said they have received several reports of fake security emails and computer pop-ups targeting victims to persuade them to part with personal and banking details.
In one case, a 65-year-old woman from Sussex received a message on her laptop about anti-virus software, saying that her computer has been comprised.
Police said the fraudster called the victim and convinced her to download remote access software onto her laptop.
They tried to persuade the victim to pay £69.99 using her online banking while they had access to her laptop, claiming it was for the software.
“Thankfully the victim did not do so and recognised this as a scam,” a police spokesman said.
Meanwhile, phishing texts are used by fraudsters in an attempt to convince victims to part with their personal details or money.
“One trick to be aware of is ‘smishing’,” a police spokesman said.
“The fraudster will have their own phone number and will register for a ’Sender ID’, usually using a business, organisation or building societies name. This allows the fraudster to have this name appear as the Caller ID instead of their own phone number when texting or calling victims.
“This is a trick used to make their contact to a victim appear to be coming from a genuine business or organisation.
“If the victim already has a text thread from the genuine business, organisation or building society the fraudster’s fake text message will now appear on that same thread which was once completely genuine as the device cannot tell the difference.”
If you are subject to a suspected fraudulent scam, report it to police online.
And if you spot a suspicious email, forward it to the suspicious email reporting service at firstname.lastname@example.org.