Scamnesty

Monxton Neighbourhood Watch
David James
01264 710049 djamescdr@gmail.com

19 September 2018

As nobody else seems to want to take on the job of Neighbourhood Watch coordinator, and as I now have some time, I thought I would try and take up where I left off.

This has also been prompted by the increase in fraudulent activity being visited on our community, a number of instances of which have been reported to me. For this reason I hope that the latest Police initiative will interest you.

From now until Christmas, the Office of the Police Crime Commissioner is running a Fraud Scamnesty campaign. Targeting the older and vulnerable members of our communities in particular, it encourages people to report scams, provides advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud, and aims to raise awareness of the financial and emotional impact that fraud can have on victims.

In partnership with Hampshire Constabulary colleagues and Neighbourhood Watch, members of the team will be at a number of Fraud Roadshow events across the Hampshire policing area and will support those working with older and vulnerable people in spotting the signs and providing the right help and advice. Scamnesty boxes have also been placed in libraries and Citizens Advice Bureaus to allow people to post details of scams that they have received, anonymously if they so wish, which will then be used for further analysis.

A full list of participating libraries and CABs as well as a list of roadshow events can be found on the PCC website: http://www.hampshire-pcc.gov.uk/scamnesty
For those unable to access the link to the website the Friday Fraud Roadshow will be at Tesco in Andover on 26th October from 09.30 to 15.30.

I am available if anyone needs advice, please note change of email address.

David James

Has Anyone Seen Reggie

Reggie is a grey tabby cat belonging to Maggie Nicholls at Well Cottage.
He prowls Monxton sporting a distinctive orange high-vis vest. He covers quite a bit of territory so most of you will probably have seen him.
He did not come home last night, which is not like him, and Maggie thinks he may have been shut in someone’s shed or outhouse.

If you have any information please call Maggie on 07957618144

Ransomware Cyber Attack

Following the ransomware cyber attack on Friday 12 May which affected the NHS and is believed to have affected other organisations globally, the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has issued an alert urging both individuals and businesses to follow protection advice immediately and in the coming days.

Ransomware is a form of malicious software (Malware) that enables cyber criminals to remotely lock down files on your computer or mobile device. Criminals will use ransomware to extort money from you (a ransom), before they restore access to your files. There are many ways that ransomware can infect your device, whether it be a link to a malicious website in an unsolicited email, or through a security vulnerability in a piece of software you use.

Key Protect messages for businesses to protect themselves from ransomware:
*Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.
*Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.
*Create regular backups of your important files to a device that isn’t left connected to your network as any malware infection could spread to that too

The National Cyber Security Centre’s technical guidance includes specific software patches to use that will prevent uninfected computers on your network from becoming infected with the “WannaCry” Ransomware: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/ransomware-latest-ncsc-guidance

For additional in-depth technical guidance on how to protect your organisation from ransomware, details can be found here: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-your-organisation-ransomware

Key Protect advice for individuals:
*Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.
*Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.
*Create regular backups of your important files to a device (such as an external hard drive or memory stick) that isn’t left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that too.
*Only install apps from official app stores, such as Google’s Play Store, or Apple’s App Store as they offer better levels of protection than some 3rd party stores. Jailbreaking, rooting, or disabling any of the default security features of your device will make it more susceptible to malware infections.

Phishing/smishing
Fraudsters may exploit this high profile incident and use it as part of phishing/smishing campaigns. We urge people to be cautious if they receive any unsolicited communications from the NHS. The protect advice for that is the following:
*An email address can be spoofed. Don’t open attachments or click on the links within any unsolicited emails you receive, and never respond to emails that ask for your personal or financial details.
*The sender’s name and number in a text message can be spoofed, so even if the message appears to be from an organisation you know of, you should still exercise caution, particularly if the texts are asking you to click on a link or call a number.
*Don’t disclose your personal or financial details during a cold call, and remember that the police and banks will never ring you and ask you to verify your PIN, withdraw your cash, or transfer your money to another “safe” account.

If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Christmas Alert

Christmas Shopping
As we go out for that last minute shopping the Police have issued their seasonal advice, advice that is of course applicable all year round:
• Make sure your handbag is closed and you carry it close to your side, so a pick-pocket would find it difficult to slide their hand in without you knowing;
• Never leave a bag unattended in a trolley, even if for a couple of seconds;
• Try and keep wallets in an inside pocket and out of sight from a potential pick-pocket;
• Keep your PIN number confidential never disclose your PIN number to anyone including the bank and police;
• When entering your PIN number at a terminal ensure no one can see you enter it.
• Try to pay for items on a debit card rather than carrying large amounts of cash. If this is not possible keep cash to a minimum.
• Before you leave your car, ensure all windows and doors are closed and locked;
• Avoid leaving your purchases and presents in your vehicle. If you must make sure they are not on display, store in the boot and make sure the car is locked;
• If possible park your car in a well-lit car park, preferably one that’s attended;
• Think about the items you are buying someone, are there any security products you could purchase to help them keep it safe. i.e. if buying a bike think about also giving a decent ‘D’ lock.
‘Nottingham Knockers’
The door to door salesmen or ‘Nottingham Knockers’ are back and even made it into the ’Advertiser’! Please remember that this kind of activity requires a valid pedlar’s certificate which is issued by police in the seller’s home area. If you receive a visit please remember the following safety tips:
• Always use the door chain when answering the door, if you are not sure do not open the door;
• Always check the credentials of unknown callers. Do not phone the number on the ID card, use a phone book or a bill.;
• Never employ cold-calling doorstep traders or engage with cold callers on the phone;
• Do not keep substantial sums of money in the home;
• Always keep front and back doors locked;
• LOCK STOP CHAIN and CHECK – if unsure do not open the door;
• Report any suspicious callers or activity to the police immediately;
• Keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, friends and family;
• Call 101 to advise of any unexpected callers – this gives Police a better chance at building a picture of where potential criminals are operating.

Have a Very Happy and Safe Christmas!

David James

Older Drivers Forum

Older motorists in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are being invited to follow in the footsteps of TV broadcasters Jennie Bond and John Sergeant by attending any of the ‘one-stop shop’ awareness events organised by the Older Drivers Forum next week.
From Monday September 26 until Friday September 30, the Older Drivers Forum will be hosting events focusing on giving advice and information to mature motorists and their interested friends and family. It is free to attend, no appointment is necessary and visitors can call in anytime between 9.30am and 3pm.
The date for Andover is Monday 26th September in The Chantry Centre.
The Older Drivers Forum is about keeping drivers aged 55 + on the road safely for longer, will a stronger focus on those 70 and over. We give advice not only for older drivers, but also for friends, families and GP’s. At the event you will find advice on brushing up your skills, booking a driving assessment, getting advice on health and wellbeing issues, renewing your licence and much more.
As of January 2016 there are just over 4.5 million people holding a driving licence who are aged 70 and above and this will double in the next 20 years.
Drivers aged 70 are no more likely to be the cause of a crash than any other drivers. But once over 70, we may be more likely to be at fault, particularly where right-of-way violations are involved. We may also start to suffer from aged related frailty and our mental and physical abilities may reduce.

Nottingham Knockers

The following message was sent by David Trowbridge (Police, PCSO, Test Valley District). One such character was reported in Monxton on Monday.

Yesterday saw a group of door to door sellers (also known as Nottingham Knockers!) moving around Test Valley Villages.
Please be vigilant and call us should you become anxious about such callers or you see them in your neighbourhood. We recommend that you read the following advice so that you are prepared to deal with a caller should they call on you! These callers tend to be selling cleaning materials and are usually male, from the north of England and carry large black holdalls.
• Always use the door chain when answering the door, if you are not sure do not open the door;
• Always check the credentials of unknown callers. Do not phone the number on the ID card, use a phone book or a bill;
• Never buy from cold-calling doorstep traders or engage with cold callers on the phone;
• Do not keep substantial sums of money in the home;
• Always keep front and back doors locked;
• LOCK STOP CHAIN and CHECK – if unsure do not open the door;
• Report any suspicious callers or activity to the police immediately;
• Keep an eye on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, friends and family;
• Call 101 to advise of any unexpected callers – this gives Police a better chance at building a picture of where potential criminals are operating.

Neighbourhood Watch Alert July 2016

Rural Crime
Although non dwelling burglaries continue to be our main problem we should not be complacent about home security. Jo Stewart, who is my opposite number in Amport, has written about her recent burglary and its aftermath in July’s Parish News. If you have not yet read her very sound advice please do so.
Thefts from vehicles, both commercial and private are still occurring. Earlier this month a car window was smashed and a rucksack stolen in the car park at Danebury Ring. There have also been incidents where cars have been broken into even when valuables have not been on display. To avoid loss the safest course is not to leave valuables in vehicles in remote car parks, for example when dog walking, where thieves may know that the owner will be away for some time.
HMRC Scam
The Police have issued warnings that residents in Hampshire have been contacted by scam callers claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs, and demanding money.
On each occasion the victim received a telephone call from a person claiming to be from HMRC. They were told that they will be arrested if they did not settle their unpaid tax bill. On some occasions the fraudsters asked the victim to purchase iTunes vouchers and then pass the card details onto them.
Fortunately the fifteen people involved knew it was a scam so refused to hand over any money and reported the matter to the police.
However, too often people do fall victim of these types of scams and end up handing over thousands of pounds. These types of incidents are understandably very upsetting for the victims. If you receive a suspicious call do not hand over any money or bank details and report the matter to the police or Action Fraud immediately.
If you have elderly relatives, friends or neighbours please make them aware of this scam and remind them not to give any personal details or money to unexpected callers.”
For information about Action Fraud and how you can report these types of crimes, visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Rio 2016
The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro begin on 6th August 2016 and as of late June, should you so wish, you will be able to purchase tickets from the Rio 2016 ticket offices. Purchasing from an unauthorised seller or a ticket tout could leave you out of pocket; not only are the tickets advertised at inflated prices, but there is also a risk that the tickets purchased are counterfeit or do not exist. Any individual with a counterfeit ticket will be refused entry
To help protect yourself, the list of authorised sellers has been published on the official website and provides a list of trusted resellers; this can be found at http://www.rio2016.com. Equally, tickets purchased that are no longer needed can be sold through the Rio 2016 website for a 100% reimbursement of the amount paid if the tickets are resold.

David James

Lost Dog

Has anyone seen Jarvis?
He is an elderly, brown Cocker Spaniel who went missing in Monxton on Saturday 9th April. He is very friendly and his owners are extremely worried.

Any sightings phone: 01264773794 or 07734295925

“Your Package Has Been Seized”

This is the latest Scam from Action Fraud:

Fraudsters are sending out virus infected emails that claim a package has been seized by HM Revenue & Customs upon arrival into the United Kingdom. The official looking scam emails claiming to be from Royal Mail contain a link to a document which will install malicious software on your computer designed to steal credentials like account names, email addresses and passwords.

An example email reads:

Title: Your parcel has been seized
Royal Mail is sorry to inform you that a package addressed to you was seized by HM Revenue & Customs upon arrival into the United Kingdom.
A close inspection deemed your items as counterfeit and the manufacturers have been notified. If your items are declared genuine then they will be returned back to you with the appropriate custom charges.
You may have been a victim of counterfeit merchandise and the RM Group UK will notify you on how to get your money back. Please review the attached PDF document for more information.
Document (RM7002137GB).Zip
Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

To help the spread of the virus, the email also says: “you will need to have access to a computer to download and open the Zip file”. If you receive one of these emails, do not click on any links or download any attachments and report it to Action Fraud.

Protect Yourself
• Royal Mail will never send an email asking for credit card numbers or other personal or confidential information.
• Royal Mail will never ask customers to enter information on a page that isn’t part of the Royal Mail website.
• Royal Mail will never include attachments unless the email was solicited by a customer e.g. customer has contacted Royal Mail with an enquiry or has signed up for updates from Royal Mail.
• Royal Mail have also stressed that they do not receive a person’s email address as part of any home shopping experience.
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone: 0300 123 2040

Neighbourhood Watch Alert November 2015

Cyber Crime and Scams
I am sure you have all been following the attack on ‘Talk Talk’ by hackers as yet unidentified or prosecuted. The company have admitted that customer personal and bank details have been compromised but insist that the bank and credit card details that they hold are insufficient to permit a direct bank fraud without additional information.
However, possession of even partial bank details (including of course the name of the bank), allows the scammer to make a much more plausible pitch to the victim. The scammer’s objective is to obtain the missing information together with security codes and passwords. Alternatively they attempt to get access to the victim’s computer to take money from their account.
Paul Lewis of BBC’s Money Box was describing one such attempt this morning on television. The target became suspicious and actually recorded the call, not before he had gone part way to giving computer access. Part of the pitch, which got the victim interested, was that he might be eligible for £200 compensation from Talk Talk (not true). Most telephone scams include a financial incentive, long before the advent of computers it was the con man’s oldest trick. Now they fall into carrot or stick categories, either ‘you can get; compensation, tax rebate, lottery win’ or ‘you may have been defrauded and could lose money’.
Remember, legitimate companies never call you and ask for financial details over the phone. Keep bank and credit card security numbers handy (they are usually on the back of your cards) and if in doubt hang up on the caller and check directly.
Pension Scams
I wondered how long it would take fraudsters to try to capitalise on the changes to pension legislation which took effect in April this year. The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has been alerted to a pension scam whereby cold callers continue to target members of the public aged 50 to 60 years old to release and transfer their pension early. Suspected firms who advertise and arrange pensions are offering investments in alternative commodities such as hotel developments or property in Cape Verde, and operate as unregulated collective investment schemes.
Often, the cold calling ‘pension companies’ involved are neither regulated nor qualified to give financial advice and classify themselves as a ‘trustee’, ‘consultant’ or an ‘independent advisor’ and offer exceptionally high return rates for investors.
Protect yourself:
Further advice can be found at:
http://www.fca.org.uk/your-fca/documents/protect-your-pension-pot
http://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/financial-services-products/pensions/protect
http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/individuals/dangers-of-pension-scams.aspx

Ensure that you request that the risks and growth rates are explained and that you fully understand them before transferring your pension
Remember if the offer seems too good to be true, then it generally is!
David James