New hubs to tackle cyber-crime

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POLICE are stepping up the fight against online criminals with three new e-crime hubs.

The national crime-cracking centres will focus on tackling cyber-crooks and will work with the Metropolitan Police’s existing e-crime unit.

Assistant Chief Con Andy Ward, chairman of the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: “Cyber-crime is not restricted by boundaries and its effects are far reaching.

“By working together, joining expertise and resources, we are dedicated to gathering and sharing intelligence to ultimately find those responsible for these crimes and bring them to justice.”

Last year Wigan watchdogs warned residents to be on their guard after online fraudsters launched a spate of computer scams in a bid to access personal financial information.

Bogus internet companies were contacting web-users and “phishing” for confidential details, either by posing as genuine banks or by claiming to be from Microsoft technical support.

As part of the scam, crooks cold-called folk at home offering “free security checks” before tricking victims into allowing remote access to their machines or into downloading dodgy software programmes.

Julie Middlehurst, Wigan Council’s chief trading standards officer, urged all computer users to be on their guard against the hackers and cold-calling tricksters.

She said: “Criminals are clever people, and cyber criminals in particular are finding increasingly sophisticated ways of getting hold of your money.

“Our advice is simple - do not take at face value any unsolicited approaches, regardless of whether they come in the form of phone calls, e-mails or visitors to your front door.”