The true extent of social media hacking across Yorkshire revealed as police forces deal with thousands of reports

Police across Yorkshire have received more than 1,000 reports of social media and email hacking in just one year with people losing hundreds of thousands of pounds, latest figures reveal.

Police across Yorkshire have received more than 1,000 reports of social media and email hacking in one year.

The county’s largest police force - West Yorkshire Police - had 539 reported cases during 2020 - the fourth highest in the country.

The worst month for cases was April, with the force receiving 60 reports of this type of fraud. August was the quietest month, with 29 reports.

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South Yorkshire Police reported 240 cases - 31 of which were in April and the highest month, and just seven in September, the lowest month.

From those who were targeted, the financial loss equated to £50,600; that is comparable to a personal loss of £211 for each individual case.

North Yorkshire Police received 205 reported cases of social media and email hacking during 2020.

During this period, April was the worst month with 40 cases reported, while March saw the least number of cases at 9.

From those who were targeted, the financial loss equated to £82,800 - comparable to a personal loss of £404.00 for each individual case.

North Yorkshire Police Detective Inspector, Gavin Mayes, said: "Although the pandemic has placed some limitations on the ways in which we would normally support our communities to protect themselves from online scams and cyber crime, such as through events and in-person talks we have adapted in order to ensure important advice is still being shared.

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"We also make use of our Community Messenger platform to send out alerts about new scams and ways to keep safe, plus our social media channels to share these as soon as we are made aware of them.”

"In addition, we work with a number of individuals from local communities who help our safety messages reach those who are not online through community newsletters and noticeboards.

"North Yorkshire Police continue to work tirelessly to ensure that 100% of all cyber-dependant Action Fraud referrals are investigated. In addition to this, all victims who report cyber-dependant crime to Action Fraud are receiving advice either in person or over the phone by one of our specialist Cybercrime PROTECT officers in an attempt to prevent them becoming repeat victims.”

Humberside Police received 195 reported cases of social media and email hacking from January to December 2020. During this period, January alongside April (28 cases) were the worst months. Whilst October saw the least number of cases at just five.

There were a total of 13,343 cases of social media and email hacking reported to the 43 police forces across England and Wales during 2020, a study by AddictiveTips.com found.

During this period, April (1,449 cases) was the worst month, followed by May (1,358 cases). Whilst September saw the least number of cases at 870.

Additionally, from the 13,343 cases, the accumulative financial loss that victims suffered was £3,573,079.

The Metropolitan Police had the highest amount of social media and email hacking cases between January and December 2020, with 2,357 reports, the equivalent of six incidents per day in the capital. From the 2,357 cases, the collective financial loss victims suffered was £1.8 million - equivalent to £764 per case.

Police are now urging people to make sure they take the necessary precautions to avoid becoming a victim of this type of fraud.

AddictiveTips.com has also urged people to make sure they don’t make life easy for hackers by ensuring people have strong passwords which they should change every three months.

People are also urged to ensure they opt in to multi- factor authentication - where you must provide at least two pieces of personal information to verify your identity.

Other safety tips include carefully assessing third-party applications to open new accounts with existing credentials.