People in Havering were scammed out of hundreds of thousands of pounds online in January, the Met Police has said.

A summary shared by Havering’s Cyber Crime unit revealed that 116 such offences were reported in the borough last month.

These amounted to a total loss of £611,061, with an average loss of £5,268 per victim during the period.

Online shopping and auction fraud was listed as the most frequent scam, with 18 offences resulting in residents losing £16,479.

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Other advance fee frauds and the hacking of social media and email accounts were named as second and third in terms of the number of cases, with 14 and ten respectively.

Fraud involving plastic cards and online bank accounts had ten instances with the loss of £13,041.

The Met Police shared ten rules to help spread awareness on the subject and prevent more people from falling prey to such scams.

These include being suspicious of all ‘too good to be true’ offers and deals and never sending money to anyone unknown whether in the UK or abroad.

Never giving out banking or personal details to anyone and reporting a scam as soon as possible are among other tips mentioned.

A full list of these and other instructions on reporting an online fraud can be found at this link: Personal fraud and how to prevent it | Metropolitan Police .