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in the heart of Cheshire
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Action Fraud (NFIB)
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Over 5M Suspicious Emails Reported

Phishing remains the most successful attack vector for cyber criminals targeting individuals and businesses. 

Cyber criminals love phishing. Unfortunately, this is not a harmless riverbank pursuit. When criminals go phishing, you are the fish and the bait is usually contained in a scam email or text message. The criminal’s goal is to convince you to click on the links within their scam email or text message, or to give away sensitive information (such as bank details). These messages may look like the real thing but are malicious. Once clicked, you may be sent to a dodgy website which could download viruses onto your computer, or steal your passwords.

As of 30 April 2021, over 5.8 million emails were reported to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS). The tool, which was launched by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the City of London Police last April, allows the public to forward suspicious emails to an automated system that scans it for malicious links. Since its launch, over 43,000 scams and 84,000 malicious websites have been removed.

What are the most common phishing scams?

The most commonly spoofed organisation reported in phishing emails was TV Licensing, with victims of these emails reporting losses totalling £5.3m. The majority of losses occurred as a result of victims following malicious links in the emails and inputting their personal information into what they thought was the legitimate TV Licensing website. Shortly after, they would receive a call from criminals impersonating bank staff who was able to convince them that their bank accounts were compromised and persuaded them to transfer all of their money to a new ‘safe’ account. Some of the other most commonly impersonated organisations included HMRC and DVLA. We also received more than 40,000 suspicious email reports relating to COVID-19.

How you can protect yourself from phishing messages.

Fake emails and text messages can sometimes be difficult to spot and criminals are constantly getting better at finding ways to make them seem more authentic. Email address spoofing, for example, is just one of the tactics criminals will use to try and make their fake emails look real. Here are some tips you should follow to protect yourself, and others, from scam emails and text messages:

1: Be cautious of messages asking for your personal information. Official organisations, such as your bank, should never ask you for personal or financial information via email or text message. If you receive a message and you want to check that it’s legitimate, you can call the organisation directly using a known number, such as the one on a bank statement or utility bill.

2: Report suspicious emails. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, you should report it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) by forwarding the email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your reports will help government and law enforcement agencies to remove malicious emails and websites.

3: Report suspicious text messages. If you receive a suspicious text message, you can report it by forwarding the message to 7726. It’s free of charge and enables your mobile network provider to investigate the origin of the text and take action, if found to be malicious.

4: Report fraud. If you’ve lost money or provided personal information as a result of a phishing scam, notify your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud.

For more information on how to protect yourself from fraud and cyber crime, please visit:
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Get Safe Online
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Advice Regarding Online Holiday and Travel Fraud

Dear resident, 

Following a year of travel bans, quarantine, uncertainty and missed holidays, many of us are desperate to get away for a break, whether it’s a holiday in the sun or a weekend by the sea in the UK. 

But cybercriminals are busy thinking about holidays and travel too ... not taking them but exploiting your desperation for a break, with fake websites, advertisements, emails, social media posts, texts and phone calls for holidays, flights, accommodation or pilgrimages that don’t exist. 

Avoid disappointment and financial losses when booking a trip: start by reading our expert tips on searching and booking holidays and travel safely and securely. Our latest leaflet is attached but if you'd like to read more then visit

Many thanks
the Get Safe Online team 

Although it is INCORRECT that WhatsApp have suddenly made security worse for your WhatsApp account (they actually introduced the change in 2019 to make things *more* secure - see for an explanation) it is STILL WORTH FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW for those of you who didn't make these changes when they were first rolled out, and for newer users who will be unaware of said settings.

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Cheshire Constabulary
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Social Media Alert

Worth checking

Crimewatch have advised your WhatsApp settings have changed.

WhatsApp has changed its group settings to include “everyone” by default so people you don’t know can add you to a group without your knowing. These people may include scam messages, loan Sharks, etc. You can change its default settings as follows:

1. Go to WhatsApp:
2. Go into Settings
3. Go to Account
4. Go to Privacy
5. Go to Groups
6. Change from (Everyone) to (My Contacts)


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Stephen Parr (Police, Police Community Support Officer (Coach), Chester)

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Cheshire Constabulary
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Cheshire Constabulary are looking to recruit external members, to its Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DEI) Board.

As a Board member, your role will be to hold us to account on the development and implementation of our DEI plan, to give us your views on what needs to change , if necessary, and use your voice to make a real impact on how we work and what we do here at Cheshire police.

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Message Sent By
Stephen Parr (Police, Police Community Support Officer (Coach), Chester)

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Cheshire Constabulary
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Rural Watch Update

Dear Rural watch members

Due to the 2 reports of theft of quad from the Macclesfield area please ensure you are taking all the security measures you can around this vehicle:-
• Keys always removed when not in use
• Block quad in with another vehicle
• Use locks and floor mounts
• Consider tackers, data tagging etc
• Review the security around your buildings – Lights are working, buildings are left secure, gates closed

The team did a joint night time operation with Merseyside Police and Lancashire Rural team to target organised criminals involved in the theft of Landover defenders. Stop checks were carried out to check the right person was behind the wheel and the STOPMe stickers were given out.
Layers of security are good, something hidden, something visual and then hidden security measures

This operation is continuing to support our countryside locations so that everyone is able to enjoy the areas. The countryside code link is a great and simple way for people to ensure they are being responsible

A Swift Expression caravan has been reported stolen from the Congleton area. This occurred between 17.00-0800 27/4. If you have any dash cam footage that could help us please contact and quote ref IML974979.
Please review your security at yards or storage facilities

We are receiving a number of incidents in relation to hedge/ tree cutting and nesting birds.
It is not illegal to cut trees or hedges however there are certain considerations you should take in to account before doing so.
Check for tree preservation orders which can be found on your local council website.
Check for nesting birds as all wild birds are protected. This includes their nests (whilst in use or being built) as well as any eggs the nest may contain.
The main bird-breeding season is recognised as being between 1 March and 31 August therefore the risk of committing any offences is increased between these dates. It is recommended that if you undertake any work within these dates you should check the hedge for any signs of breeding activity first.

Kind regards
PCSO Wilson
Rural Crime Team
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Message Sent By
Sarah Wilson (Police, PCSO, Rural Crime Team)


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