Older generation urged to get safe online

Older generation urged to get safe online

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 5:34am 29th June 2020.

3 minute read

Wiltshire Police has seen a 40% increase in cyber crime since lockdown, and one local charity wants to give people help to protect themselves.

There have been warnings throughout the Covid-19 pandemic about watching out for potential scams and bogus schemes.

Most of them come in the form of 'phishing' emails, that can appear like genuine contact from a well known brand, encouraging you to spend money, or can attempt of form of blackmail, with claims that the person emailing has comprimising details about you.

Warnings have also been issued by Wiltshire Police in recent months about a rise in 'sextortion' incidents and about the risks of taking part in Zoom quizzes online

Online Grooming Cyber Crime Hacking Computer Fraud
Cyber crime is a growing problem in Wiltshire, with scammer taking advantage of us spending more time online


Wiltshire's Bobby Van Trust has been running its Stay Safe Online scheme since 2017.

That sees trained staff, who are all former police officers, going out to people's homes to teach older people how to use their computers and tablets safely, and how to spot potential fraud cases.

Jennie Shaw is the Director of the charity and says it's an important part of their work: 

"We recognise that the computer is an enormously important tool for the over 60s - it reduces loneliness, it enables shopping, it enables communication with family, and just keeps you engaged. So it's very important to (the Bobby Van Trust) that you are safe."

During the Covid-19 pandemic, there are restrictions on the team being able to visit people in person, so telephone consultations are being offered.

As soon as it's possible though, the Bobby Van will be back out on the roads of Wiltshire to offer their advice and expertise.

Jennie Shaw says learning while using your own device makes all the difference: 

"Quite often when you go to a computer training session, you're looking at someone else's screen and then you go back to your home and think 'it doesn't look like this', so by actually helping on your computer, it gives you a real understanding of how to recognise a scam."

Wiltshire Bobby Van June 2020
The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust is a charity with the simple aim of keeping people safe within their own homes

You can find out more about the Stay Safe Online service on the Bobby Van website.

They're also contactable by calling 01380 861191 or emailing BV.OnlineSafety@wiltshire.pnn.police.uk

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