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This message is dated Friday 11th October 2019 - Ascot

Alert message sent 11/10/2019 13:44:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police

This message is dated Friday 11th October 2019 for Ascot.
We do this every year at this time, as the evenings get darker and clocks change, at the end of the month.
This really relates to houses left in darkness, before you get home from work or you go out.
How do you protect your home,
if it will be dark before you get home
  1. Timers.  Please use these, on lights, to come on randomly around the house.  A single kitchen light left on, with a door left open, to allow a small glimmer of light, to show down a hallway - means you are out.
  2. Leave a radio on, tuned into a talk radio station.  If an opportunist thief listens at the letterbox, they will hear voices.
  3. Buy a ‘Fake TV’ from major online stores.  These are placed in an upstairs, front facing room, plugged in, turned on and left.  They have an on / off switch and two setting - summer / winter.  It has a dusk to dawn sensor and comes on in the summer for 4 hours, and when switched over to winter, comes on and stays on for 7 hours.  The lights are LEDs so it costs very little to run.
  4. Think about a video doorbell.  These are brilliant, but you do need WiFi.  The coverage is brilliant, the camera is ultra-wide-angle, full HDD colour.  It activated like an external security light, every time the beam is broken, so you will get footage of your postman, dustman, foxes etc.  The mechanism sends live footage, directly to your mobile phone / computer and it is interactive.  There is a speaker and you can tell someone ‘to go away or get off your driveway’ !  If you do have footage, you can send it directly to the police.  We are having parcels stolen from front steps / porches and this is a really good way to prevent that.
  5. External security lights - are essential.  Think about replacing one of them with a ‘Guard Cam’, again easily obtainable from online shopping sites.  They contain a hidden, wide angle, HDD, colour camera - and speaker.  The advantage of these over conventional CCTV, is that the video only records, when the beam is broken and the floodlights come on, so images are full, floodlit, HDD colour.  Traditional CCTV goes over to fuzzy grey when it gets dark and is not really very useful.  Opportunist thieves, are CCTV savvy and wear hoodys to cover their faces.  As they don’t know there is a camera in the security light, they often look up when the lights go on.  These range in price from a basic model, which contains a memory card, which needs to be removed to view and incident, to more expensive models, that send the footage to your computer / mobile phone.
  6.  Buy and fit a burglar alarm.  This is a 90% deterrent for our opportunist thieves.  Alarms are now zoned, fob activated and pet sensitive.  As they are all now wireless, technology has moved on and they are now relatively inexpensive.
We do not want you to live in a fortress, locked inside.  Please just be reasonable and take reasonable precautions - lock doors and windows at night, don’t leave keys in patio doors, or rear doors where they can be seen through windows.  Cement down garden ornaments and don’t have loose bricks / rocks around that can be used to smash patio doors.
NEXT: RBWM Community warden, Clive Dent came to see me yesterday.  He had just visited a previous victim of a Courier Fraud, who had fallen victim a second time !  The first time it was a straightforward call from Hammersmith Police Station in January - and she lost £96,000 !
This time, it was a call from her bank to say there had been unusual expenditure on her account.  To protect the account could she give them all her bank details.  This she did and over three days, they transferred, £10,000 per day into other accounts.  For some reason the ‘banking protocol’ did not kick in.  Her usual expenditure was £300 per month to cover her expenses and in this instance, the scammers took £30,000 in three days.  Clive is working with the bank to get the money back, as the protocol should have caught this.  This is just a warning, that though it is a brilliant backstop to prevent these frauds, it doesn’t always work, so protecting people is the only real way to prevent this.  In this case, the victim was not vulnerable and was perfectly compos Mentis, the scammers pretending to be her bank, were just really good at what they do !
I was at a village NHW meeting in Hurley last night - standing room only.  Paul Hay my IT online Safety Guru, was there to do a presentation about online safety.  Afterwards, one of our members came up to me to say, the scammers had got into his bank account - again, he was really switched on, but the scammers were so convincing, he had fallen for it.  They asked for all his bank security information, which he gave them.  Fortunately, the bulk of his money was in a savings account and they could not withdraw directly from it - but they did manage to transfer a large sum from that savings account, into the current account, in readiness for a transfer - fortunately, in that case, the Protocol worked.  The aggrieved received a real call from the security department at his bank, asking if he had made the transfer.  He explained he knew nothing about it - so the money was saved.
The banks are doing their bit - they do not want their customers to be scammed - we must do our bit, to protect ourselves.
If you get a call from the police, bank or anyone else.  Thank them for the information, then either go into your bank - if you can, or get a real phone number if it is a bank, it will be on the back of your card - not one they give you - and call the bank yourself.
The main message from Paul’s presentation was - ‘YOU ARE IN CONTROL’
Scam emails usually have four components:
  1. It has a generic address.  These are sent out to tens of thousands of people, they can rarely address them personally - so - dear customer / dear online banker etc  Your bank . telephone supplier - whoever - knows who you are
  2. They want you to do something - usually click on a link
  3. There is a threat or implied threat and a short time limit - if you don’t do something, something terrible will happen - your account will be closed etc.
  4. There is a link - ‘click here’.  The email may really look like a real Bank email, but they are really easy to copy.  The Link may say ‘Nat West Bank’, but if you run your cursor over the ‘hyperlink’, it will show you where it is really going.
  5. Look at the top tool bar.  Real encrypted bank sites, will show a small padlock image and the address will not be http:, but will be https:, which shows the site is encrypted and genuine
PLEASE REMEMBER - NOTHING BAD WILL HAPPEN IF YOU SIMPLY DELETE AN EMAIL.  Banks will still make contact with you by letter !
If you get a strange phone call - don’t panic and react immediately.  The scammer will try to panic you.  Go and make a cup of tea and think about it !  Phone a friend or relative and ask if it sounds OK.

9/10 - 10/9  Wednesday 8 p.m. / Thursday 11 a.m.  Brockenhurst Road.  CAR ENTERED BY UNKNOWN MEANS - sunglasses, dashcam and other items stolen.
10/10  Thursday 1 a.m.  Llanvair Close.  CAR ENTERED BY UNKNOWN MEANS.  Loose change stolen from the centre console.  This was captured on the aggrieved’s CCTV.  The offender fiddles with the handle and opens the car.  He was wearing a hoody which covered his face.

Please consider using our online reporting system but please note this reporting tool is not for use where a crime happening right now, the suspect is still at the scene, or anyone seriously injured or in immediate danger.
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Eyes, ears.....and Brain

Message sent by
Jeffrey Pick (Police, Community Engagement & Resilience Officer, Windsor & Maidenhead LPA)

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