Neighbourhood Watch Alert May 2014

Summary of reported rural crime
Thefts from non-dwelling premises and cars, usually of equipment and tools remain the major cause for concern. Heating oil thefts still continue and more recently there has been an upturn in fish poaching! Any suspicious activity should be reported to the police by calling 101.
Doorstep, telephone and computer scams continue to be a problem and the Police and Trading Standards frequently warn us to be on our guard.
Cold Calling
If you receive any cold call by phone, on computer or at the door, advice as always is never to give out personal information and if you choose to make an appointment please make sure it is with a reputable company which offers full cooling off periods etc. as advised by Trading Standards. If you feel that you have been misled or are not sure about a company’s credentials then Trading Standards are able to advise and their number is: 0845 603 5638.
Officers currently investigating a series of rogue trader incidents are urging members of the public to look out for their elderly and vulnerable neighbours. These incidents involved elderly members of the public being charged excessive amounts of money for work that was often not needed and then being driven to the bank to withdraw cash. Police advice includes:
• Ask friends or relatives to recommend tradesmen
• Ask for a written quote
• Shop around before making a decision
• Don’t pay upfront and pay by cheque or credit card
• Keep an eye out for any elderly relatives or neighbours
Telephone
Telephone scams are still the most common; they are usually attempts to defraud by obtaining personal information. These include calls purporting to be from the police and banks claiming that fraudulent activity has been spotted on your account. In other cases the caller claims to be a police officer and discusses home security before trying to book an appointment for a home visit.
The police and banks do not make calls of this sort. The advice is never give out personal details over the phone.
Another original scam is a sales call from someone claiming they can stop nuisance sales and marketing calls. Remember you can obtain this service free; the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is the official central registry with whom you can register your preference not to receive unsolicited calls and register your telephone number by calling 0845 070 0707 or visiting http://www.tpsonline.org.uk.
Computer
Those who have computers and use email regularly will be aware of the amount of junk mail that comes in on a daily basis. Some of this is, however, fraudulent with a view, again, to obtaining personal information or in some cases to cause malicious damage to the computer software. The emails purport to be from banks, credit card companies and utility suppliers such as BT. The message usually claims a problem with your account which needs to be addressed urgently by correcting your account details. Never open any email or more particularly any attachment or link contained in it unless you are certain of the sender. Again, genuine companies do not ask for this sort of information, if you are unsure, a call to your bank will establish if the message is genuine.
Summer Burglary Advice from the Crime Prevention Officer
Spring will be turning into summer and this means that you should be thinking of a seasonal check of your home security now. This can be a time when we see burglaries rise as windows are left open, and doors are left unlocked. If you are in the back garden, with your front door left unlocked, all you are doing is presenting a fantastic opportunity for a burglar… please do get into the mind set of always locking your front door when at home, and always closing your windows when you go out.

One comment on “Neighbourhood Watch Alert May 2014

  1. Adrian Drage says:

    Beware the Computer scammers are out and about. Yesterday (05 Nov 14) we were targeted by a rather obvious IT scam. You get a telephone call, of poor quality and obviously from the Indian sub-continent, claiming to be the authorised support company for Apple and Microsoft. I ‘clocked’ this scam from the start, however they are very persistent and can become quite aggressive. In all we received four calls yesterday and one so far today – both male and female. Despite being asked questions I refused to give these people any information whatsoever – not even if I had a computer, let alone the type of computer or software. The number is a withheld number.
    I have spoken to BT who are aware of this scam and their advice was as follows:
    1. This is a scam – beware. Don’t fall for it.
    2. Either put the phone down straight away – but in our experience they will try again – or don’t talk, ignore them and leave them on hold/connected thus burning their bill.
    3. Don’t argue with them, it will only encourage them. But be aware, they will keep trying in the hope that they can wear you down.
    4. Since this is an international call, the TPS does not apply. You either need to do 2 or 3 above or buy a telephone that permits call blocking. BT will sell you one, with a discount for BT customers – but there are other retailers out there.

    Please don’t fall for or be ‘bullied’ into this scam. You have been warned!

    Like

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