A TEAM of "cybercrime ambassadors" has been set up to boost the fight against online fraud and scams across North Yorkshire.

Fifty volunteers have begun training to deliver vital crime prevention messages about fraud, cold calling, dating scams, mass-marketing fraud, phishing and bank account and pension frauds.

The county's police force has teamed up with Aviva, the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Cybercrime Unit and the organisation “AntiSocial Engineer” to train its new team.

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Cybercrime has become a major threat and demand on the police service to investigate such crimes has increased.

And the cybercrime ambassadors have been introduced to help raise awareness and provide advice on how to prevent it.

They will also help tackle the issue of door-step callers and telephone fraudsters who deliberately target older and vulnerable people.

Once trained they will go out into the community to deliver talks, organise events and give presentations to help educate people on how to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime or fraud.

The force's Citizens in Policing co-ordinator Natasha Almond said: “Cyber-enabled fraud is on the rise and is one of North Yorkshire Police’s key priorities.

“Anyone can be a potential victim. Those committing the offence do not discriminate by social status or geographical location, particularly when utilising technology-enabled scams.

"People of all ages are affected, including those who are financially or technologically sophisticated and confident, but within this diversity of victims, older people may be particularly vulnerable.

“Fraud is also a major threat to older people’s financial security and overall health and wellbeing. In some cases they are stripped of their life-savings within very short periods of time, impacting severely on their physical and mental health.

“We’ll be targeting a range of different demographic groups, from young people who are at risk of online shopping fraud, to dating website users, to older people who are vulnerable to high value frauds.

The initial group of cybercrime ambassadors has been recruited from North Yorkshire Police’s existing pool of volunteers. Later this year, a group of new volunteers, specifically recruited for the role will begin their training.

There is still time to apply to become a volunteer cybercrime ambassador, recruitment closes on February 11 particularly for Northallerton, York, Harrogate and Scarborough.

For information and to apply visit northyorkshire.police.uk/jobs