Courier Fraud

The following was posted by Hampshire Police on 19th February:
We want to alert residents to a scam where someone pretending to be a police officer calls your home and tells you your account is subject to fraud. They say that you must withdraw money immediately and move it to protect it from being stolen from your account. They then send someone to your house to collect the cash in person.
 
Alternatively, they may ask you to transfer your money to another account that they will give you the details for.
 
Sadly, this happens all over the country. But yesterday, 17 February, two elderly people living in Monxton, Andover, were targeted.
 
An 83-year-old woman and an 86-year-old man were both phoned and told their accounts were subject to fraud. The fraudsters said they had been working with their bank and asked them to transfer money.
 
Luckily, neither victim parted with any money and reported the calls to the police.
 
The scammers often say they are from a police station in London, that they are working undercover and that there is fraudulent activity on your account, when in fact it is them scamming you.
 
They ask for your help to stop it from happening and are very convincing. They may even tell you that your bank is involved or know your full name and address.
 
In the Monxton incidents, one of the victims was told they would be arrested for interfering with the investigation when they refused to transfer their money.
 
We want to remind you that a police officer would never call you and ask you for your money. No one, not even someone from your bank, would call and ask for your financial details or ask you to withdraw cash.
 
Look out for elderly relatives and friends, and remember:
 
• Police officers will never call people in this way and ask you to withdraw money or disclose personal or financial information. If someone does do this, please hang up – it will be a scam.
• Consider contacting your telephone provider to get a free call-blocking service if you are getting unsolicited calls. 
• If you are a friend, relative or carer of someone you think might be vulnerable to this type of scam, please speak to them about this advice. You might be the only person who can stop them from being scammed. 
 
If you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, report it to us by calling 101. If a crime is in progress, dial 999. 
 
You can make yourself aware of this type of scam and how to protect yourself by visiting the Action Fraud website (https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/) or by calling them on 0300 123 2040.

Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator

Your Village Needs You!

David James has been acting as Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator for Monxton for almost eight years and is now looking to recruit a successor.

Neighbourhood Watch (NW) is the largest voluntary organisation in the UK – one in seven homes across the country is a member of a scheme and they work with each other and the Police to reduce crime and the fear of crime in their community.

In Hampshire we have over 4,500 schemes covering about 150,000 homes. In a time of cuts the Police cannot deal with all the problems and issues arising from crime and antisocial behaviour alone. They need the help of the whole Community. NW provides a way for local people to play an important part in addressing this balance and making their communities safer.

The role of the Coordinator involves the need to:

  • Keep contact details of scheme members and ensure this is passed to subsequent coordinators.
  • Welcome new residents, explain NW and encourage them to join.
  • Have a system that allows information to be distributed quickly to your members – i.e. warnings about crimes, incidents or scams. This is currently done via Monxton Matters.
  • Encourage members to report to the Police any criminal or suspicious activity in the area. They should also tell the coordinator, so a warning can be passed on to the neighbours if necessary.
  • Encourage neighbours to get to know each other.
  • Identify your vulnerable neighbours – keep in touch with them.
  • Help neighbours by signposting relevant information.
  • Support local crime and safety initiatives.

Anyone interested in taking on this important role should contact David for more information on 01264 710049 or djamescdr@gmail.com. Additional training and advice will be made available through Hampshire & IoW Neighbourhood Watch Association.

Hampshire Constabulary Media Release

Hampshire Constabulary’s Cyber Crime Team are issuing warning after 15 year old girl’s Snapchat account was hacked

Hampshire Constabulary’s Cyber Crime Team are issuing a warning after a 15 year old girl’s Snapchat account was taken over by hackers.
The criminals have used the victim’s account to send messages to her contacts and friends – encouraging them to harm themselves.
They have then demanded money from the victim so she can regain control of the account.

Detective Inspector Paul Masters said: “Although this particular incident affected someone in the Southampton area, this is just one of a series of reports of this same type of fraud being committed throughout Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
“In this case, the victim has done the right thing by refusing to pay anything and by contacting all her friends to let them know individually to ignore the messages from her Snapchat.
“But we need to alert the general public – in particular young people and their parents – to be on their guard and to follow some simple advice.”

* Be wary of unusual messages on any of your accounts including social media, WhatsApp or email asking for assistance with financial transactions. Even if the message appears to be from someone you know and trust, you should check by calling them or speaking with them in person.

* Never respond to any requests to send money, or have money transferred through your account, by someone you don’t know and trust.

* You can protect your important online accounts by using a strong separate password and, where available, turn on two-factor authentication (2FA).

* Be aware that posts are sometimes made from accounts that may have been compromised and the content may not be from the named account holder. If you are in any way unsure you should contact the sender by calling or seeing them in person.

* Always be cautious about clicking on links within an email or a social media message.

DI Masters added: “If you have had something similar happen to one of your accounts, you can report it online to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk. If you or someone else is in immediate danger or at risk from harm, dial 999.”.

 

 

Alert for Dog Owners

The Ramridge/Clanville NHW put out an alert that on 14th August 2020 a Ramridge resident returned home from walking her dog to discover wet paint on her gate latch.

There are many posts going around at the moment about dog napping in surrounding villages – in particular people are being asked to be vigilant & look out for a ‘grey van’ with two men inside who are hunting out houses with potential dogs.

They appear to be looking for medium sized older dogs.  White paint is being dabbed on potential dog owning homes – either on walls or pathways or anywhere as a signal for dog nappers. Cable ties are also being hooked around posts as a sign.

With thanks to Bridget Goddard in Ramridge who kindly shared this with a local NHW coordinator.   These are some of the signs being used outside properties to indicate a dog which is a potential target, along with anything from small piles of stones, bits of ribbon, coloured card or paper.  Please keep a eye out in the village for these signs and please report anything suspicious to the police on 101 and Judith Balding, Vice Chair, Monxton Parish Council on jbalding@monxton.plus.com

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Theft Alert in Monxton

A number of properties in the High Street and Chalkpit Lane had their garages and sheds broken in to in the early hours of this morning, Saturday 22 August 2020.  Garden machinery and tools were taken.  If you have been broken in to, or if you have any information or CCTV footage, please report it to the police on 101 or at www.hampshire.police.uk

 

 

Loft Insulation Phone Calls

A number of residents, myself included, have recently received phone calls from someone claiming to be from a company that had installed loft insulation for them. The caller then starts to talk about government grants.

I suspect this is just another ploy to get bank details from people but so far nobody that I have spoken to has hung on long enough to let the young man finish his spiel. I would be interested to know if anyone can confirm my suspicions and for that matter whether anyone has been installing loft insulation in the village?

Always remember never give any financial or personal details to callers you do not know, either over the phone or online.

Amazon scams are around again, I received a call saying that my card account had been debited with £399 for an iPhone 7 and to press 1 if I had not ordered it. Amazon do not have my account details and what’s more they are selling them for £299! They are just phishing.

David James

Coronavirus-Related Scams – How to Protect Yourself

Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.

How you can protect yourself from Coronavirus-related scams:

There are some simple steps you can take that will protect you from the most common Coronavirus-related scams. Here’s what need to do:

1 – Watch out for scam messages
Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk

2 – Shopping online
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.

3 – Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support
Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.

NHS Test and Trace scams:

The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.

What you need to know:

Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.

All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.

The NHS Test and Trace service will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS
  • If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you live in Scotland, please report directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.

Corona Virus Scam Awareness

The following has been issued by Hampshire Police:

CRIMINALS ARE EXPLOITING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC TO DEFRAUD PEOPLE

Below are some of the most common scams to be aware of:

EMAIL, TEXT & PHONE CALL SCAMS

  • An unexpected email from the government offering you money;
  • The ‘infection list’ scam mimicking the World Health Organisation (WHO) claiming to provide a list or map of local infections:
  • An email from HM Government asking for donations for the NHS;
  • An HMRC email stating you are ‘eligible to receive a tax refund’;
  • Sale of fake COVID-19 swabbing tests, supplements and anti-virus kits;
  • A text message asking you to pay a fine saying that you have been recorded as leaving your home on three occasions during the lockdown;
  • A phone call stating ‘government guidelines now require everyone to wear a mask outside the house, press 1 to purchase your mask’.

DOORSTEP CRIME

  • Cleansing services that offer to clean drives and doorways to kill bacteria or offering to ‘decontaminate’ the inside of your home:
  • Bogus healthcare workers offering ‘home-testing’ for the virus;
  • Criminals offering to do your shopping. They take the money and do not return.

ADVICE & SUPPORT

Always question unsolicited calls, texts or emails requesting your personal or financial information (name, address, bank details). To verify the company, contact them directly using a known email or phone number. For advice on cybercrime, or to report suspicious emails visit www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware.

Anyone who has been a victim of fraud or cybercrime can report it online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call0300 123 2040.

Coronavirus Scam

I suppose this was inevitable!

Coronavirus Phishing

The worldwide spread of the Coronavirus is being used by scammers to scare people into clicking on links, open malicious attachments, or give out confidential information.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has sent out an alert about rising Coronavirus (COVID-19)-themed ‘phishing’ whereby messages appearing to come from WHO officials ask the recipients to share sensitive info like usernames and passwords, redirect them to a phishing webpage via malicious links embedded in the emails, or ask them to open malicious attachments containing malware payloads.

Be careful with anything related to the Coronavirus: emails, attachments, any social media, texts on your phone, anything.

Look out for topics like:

  • ‘Check updated Coronavirus map in your city’
  • ‘Coronavirus Infection warning from local school district’
  • ‘CDC or World Health Organisation emails or social media Coronavirus messaging’
  • ‘Keeping your children safe from Coronavirus’
  • You might even get a scam phone call to raise funds for “victims”.

 

How to keep safe from this type of fraud

There will likely be a number of scams using COVID-19 as bait, so please be cautious:

  1. Do not open or download attachments to unexpected emails eg if you see “go through the attached document on safety measures regarding the spreading of coronavirus”, ignore it.
  2. Do not click on any buttons in unexpected emails e.g. if invited to click on a “Safety Measures” button to see more information, ignore it.
  3. Ignore any pop-up that appears on your computer asking you to verify your information e.g. email username and password.
  4. If you are contacted by a person or organisation that appears to be from WHO, verify their authenticity before responding.

The Bobby Scheme

Supported by Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service, The Bobby Scheme is a free, practical service which aims to bring peace of mind to the vulnerable and elderly and help reduce the fear of crime. 

Their staff visit clients across the two counties providing FREE home security advice. They carry out a full crime-prevention survey, fitting as appropriate, items such as locks, door spy holes, door chains and smoke alarms.

Key safes can be supplied and fitted but they ask for a £75 donation for a police accredited ‘Supra C500’ model with a 5 year warranty.

The visiting staff are uniformed, police vetted and carry ID cards to reassure their clients 

“Our aim is to build confidence and enable people to carry on living independently and to maintain a sense of security in their own home” …..The Blue Lamp Trust 

How to get support from the Bobby Scheme: 

Requests for help can be made by or on behalf of anyone who meets the criteria which includes people who are vulnerable due to their age (over 65) or their circumstances, disabled, victims of burglary, repeat victims of crime or victims of domestic abuse. 

For further information and the application form go to:

http://bluelamptrust.org.uk/about-the-bobby-scheme

Or for further help call 0300 777 0157 or e-mail bobby@bluelamptrust.org.uk 

The Blue Lamp Trust have produced a booklet with advice about how to protect your home against crime and fire:

http://bluelamptrust.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/A5_24pp_FirePoliceLeaflet_2019.pdf