Fraud across North Yorkshire has risen by 245 per cent, police have revealed as officers urge people to talk about their experiences.
Latest statistics released by the force show there have been 1,791 recorded fraud offences since the start of 2019 compared to a total of 518 in 2018.
The force say the rise is down to a much greater awareness around fraud and people being more willing to report it, as well as changes in the way the crime is reported.
North Yorkshire PCSO Jake Morris, wants to reduce the stigma associated with being a victim of fraud.
He said: “Many people are affected by fraud every single day and the types of fraud we are seeing change and develop all of the time.
“It’s so important that people talk about fraud, particularly their own experiences of it, so that they can help others be vigilant but also to show that being a victim of fraud is nothing to be ashamed of."
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The force is raising awareness of the crime as part of the new campaign, Say Something September, an initiative aimed at both raising awareness of the most prevalent types of fraud and also encouraging anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of fraud to ensure it is reported to the police.
PCSO Morris said: “Say Something September is an opportunity to raise awareness of the various ways that fraudsters target their victims and to encourage conversations about fraud. We’re particularly asking younger generations to speak to their more vulnerable family members about fraud and cybercrime, supporting them in being able to spot the signs and ensuring they don’t become victims.
“Whilst we have seen a sizeable increase in reports of fraud in North Yorkshire, this doesn’t necessarily mean a rise in incidents but does show more people are reporting it and being aware of the risks.
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“Fraud is never the fault of the victim and we all have a role to play in looking out for each other, protecting both ourselves and the people around us.”
As part of the month-long initiative, North Yorkshire Police officers will be visiting community groups and organisations to help raise awareness of fraud and what to do if you think you have been a victim.
If you believe that you are the victim of fraud, you should contact Action Fraud.
You can report the incident using Action Fraud’s online fraud reporting tool anytime of the day or night, or call 0300 123 2040.