Fighting cyber crime
Cyber criminals appear to have Nelsonians in their sights, with increasing tales of scams and online attacks from residents.
Internet safety and risk consultant John Parsons has launched a bi-monthly Nelson Crime Watch newsletter, partnered with SeniorNet and the Nelson Police.
It alerts subscribers to the latest scams as well as real-world crime in the region.
About 2000 subscribers had signed up and more were getting in touch every day, he said.
Mr Parsons was also constantly getting calls from people who believed they had been emailed or called by a potential scammer and to date he had about 140 stories from people, he said.
These included copies of scam emails, and reports from people who had been phoned by scammers.
''The criminals really do understand that one of the weakest links in this technology is people.
'What surprised me was the almost tangible relief from people that (others) were starting to share and discuss their experiences with each other.
''A lot of them thought it was an odd or not a very frequent occurrence.
''But once they started to realise that it was happening to others they became more empowered and not so afraid.''
The goal of the newsletter was to connect the cyber world with the real world, he said.
''When a burglary occurs in the street, what that does is it triggers awareness and people that live either side of that house lock their doors.
''They don't need to have a conversation, they see what's occurring.
''But with cyber crime it isolates both the victim and the criminal.''
If you believe you have been scammed or have any questions for Mr Parsons, email firstname.lastname@example.org