A convicted hacker has revealed how fraudsters are gaining information on bank accounts via people’s emails.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau is urging people across the North East not to share sensitive information over the internet.
They are also calling on people to ensure their online security is up to date.
The warning comes after officers spoke to a convicted cyber criminal.
He said: “You’ll be surprised what information people send on email. I’ve got hold of people’s bank account numbers because they have sent them on Hotmail. When I’m in someone’s email account I search for things such as invoices, PayPal receipts, online shopping and anything financial. Once I’ve got these, I’ll try and log in.”
Advice issued includes being careful when using public Wi-Fi and shared computers: watch out for suspicious emails and don’t click on any links where the sender is not recognised; use anti-virus and have a secure password.
A spokesman said: “If you receive a email from a sender you don’t recognise, don’t click on any links or download any attachments. Hackers will often try to trick you into revealing your password or downloading a virus onto your device to gain access to your account.”
If emails do get hacked the bureau is advising people to change the password, run an anti-virus scan and report it.
The National Fraud and Cybercrime Reporting Centre can be contacted on 0300 123 2040.
For advice on protecting yourself from becoming a victim of a cyber criminal go online at www.actionfraud.police.uk