This message is dated Monday 3rd February 2020 - Ascot
Alert message sent 03/02/2020 18:31:00
Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police
This message is dated Monday 3rd January 2020 for Ascot.
JUST A REMINDER: All our Neighbourhood Teams offers a FREE Home Security Survey if you feel you need one. Their intention, is not to turn your home into a fortress, but balance your practical security, with your lifestyle and what you can afford. Very often, people are perfectly adequately protected, but just need that reassurance. Almost all modern houses have good security, but there is always something you can do - and it may not cost a lot of money, but just changing your behaviour.
To book a Home Security Survey, simply email the team on:
In Alerts, I can no longer include Hyperlinks to websites. So, please copy and paste the above web address into your browser, to access the document. Unfortunately, I have to do it this way now.
Talking about Links. As we have had so many frauds & scams lately, please circulate the three fraud videos we made last year and placed on YouTube:
Video 1: https://youtu.be/Ss3KY29vyeo
Video: 2: https://youtu.be/5g0CFATxOqE
Video 3: https://youtu.be/iOXBhgRV38Y
When you have accessed them on YouTube, save them as favourites !!
Honor Ryan, from Trading Standards - who was on Radio Berkshire last week, sent me this email:
Just wanted to keep you posted on a story went live on Friday.
Our Trading Standards team have taken action against a call centre which was taking direct debits from residents both in the Borough and beyond for services they were not delivering. The unscrupulous activities of this company affected nearly 13,000 people across the country and for the most part of trading standards team have secured refunds for those affected.
To help ensure other residents are not impacted by this and to ensure the company complies with the undertakings we have secured:
Television interview with ITV Meridian including interviews with a victim and trading standards officer (I did offer Cllr Cannon but I think with this type of story the people involved provide the human element of the story hence why we have only received requests for the case studies / trading standards officer. Cllr Cannon’s quote is in the press release though.)
Article on BBC News
Coverage on BBC Radio Berkshire
Coverage in tomorrow’s Maidenhead Advertiser
This package of media coverage sits alongside a mini social media campaign we will share from tomorrow including our trading standards team’s top tips for preventing this type of scam.
Trading standards take action against India-based call centre to protect thousands
The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead has helped thousands of UK citizens by taking action against a call centre which was taking money for services it could not provide and changing consumer’s landline providers without the appropriate consents.
The Royal Borough’s trading standards team secured a voluntary undertaking against Kunal Gupta, the director of two telecommunications companies; Guaranteed Telecom Ltd and Met Technologies Ltd trading as Zoom, Millennium Talk and Met Plus after receiving over 300 complaints about monthly direct debit payments for unknown services. Consumers alleged that following an initial cold-call in relation to selling call blocking services a direct debit was set up but no services were provided. Call blocking services can only be activated by the actual telephone provider of the line, not a by a third party.
The Royal Borough’s investigation found that through the two companies nearly 13,000 UK residents had been impacted by the activities of Mr Gupta and his companies.
During the investigation the Trading Standards team spoke with more than 150 consumers all of which were over the age of 65. Further allegations were made that the companies had transferred over consumer’s landlines without their consent or knowledge or that the consumer had been mis-led about the price and services the companies were providing. Taking over a landline without getting the line owner’s consent is known as “slamming”.
Thousands of consumers affected by these activities have now been helped as a result of the Royal Borough’s investigation and unauthorised direct debits have been cancelled at the source.
Greg Nelson, trading standards and licensing manager at the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead said: “Ensuring that both our residents and other UK consumers are protected from activities like this is one of our top priorities.
“The shocking targeting of some of our most vulnerable residents was of grave concern to us during this complex investigation and we are extremely pleased that we have been able to secure refunds for those affected by these activities.”
To help prevent others from falling victim to similar scams the Royal Borough’s Trading Standards team have shared their top tips for keeping safe:
Don’t buy over the phone (or the doorstep or email): Never feel pressured to buy a service you haven’t wanted over the telephone, by email or on the doorstep. If you do become interested in service following a cold call always do your own research before committing.
Check direct debits monthly: by checking your direct debits monthly you can ensure you are only paying out for services that you actually want and use. If you find a unknown direct debit you should first contact the company taking the money. If they do not stop the direct debit your bank can help prevent further money being taken.
Consider putting in a call blocking service: This can only be done by your land line provider and is now normally free of charge. You can also buy a 'trueCall blocker' which provides additional security.
Cllr David Cannon, lead member for public protection and parking said: “I am very pleased that our trading standards team have been able to protect both our residents and those from further afield from this trader. I hope that consumers near and wide will find their top tips to prevent falling victim to these scams helpful.”
In addition to the action taken by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, Kunal Gupta, the director of two telecommunications companies; Guaranteed Telecom Ltd and Met Technologies Ltd trading as Zoom, Millenium Talk and Met Plus is also subject to a further investigation by OFCOM, the telecoms regulator.
The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead’s trading standards team are continuing to monitor these companies to ensure that the terms of the undertaking document are being complied with. Consumers who have been directly affected by these companies are advised to report their experiences to OFCOM by calling 0300 123 3333 or visiting
Not make sales and marketing calls to consumers who have registered with the Telephone Preference Service to opt out of such calls.
Make it clear to the consumer which company they are and why they are phoning so as not to mislead as to true sales nature of the call.
Ensure that they use fair terms and conditions.
Be transparent in their dealings with consumers by providing the legal pre-contract information in writing before the service commences.
Ensure that consumers are provided with their statutory 14 day cooling off period/cancellation rights in writing.
Guarantee that consumers are treated fairly when they complain and direct them as appropriate to the Ombudsman CISAS.
OFCOM have commenced their own investigation which can be found here; https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/bulletins/competition-bulletins/open-cases/cw_01250
Dear Jeff – The RBWM Customer Services Centre have made us aware of a call, which came in yesterday. Please spread the word on the TVP Neighbourhood Alert:
A local resident called, in to enquire about a gentleman named “Tom from RBWM” who cold-called her around 4.00 pm to fix an appointment next week, to “have a look at the loft insulation which was done by RBWM around 5-6 years ago, to establish if it was safe or not”. This resident, cleverly thought to call our Council Customer Services Team and check, whether the call was genuine or not.
This was not a genuine call – RBWM do not cold-call residents to ask about their insulation, solar panels, windows or boilers. This resident was smart to spot the scam and put a call in. Please note down our number - 01628 683800.
The ONLY approved organisation in case any residents are thinking about checking or upgrading their insulation is called “Heat the Home Counties”. Their telephone number is 01344 888930 but they also have a website people can visit and apply for help: https://www.heatthehomecounties.org.uk/
It’s made up of a consortium of local Council’s along with a trusted private sector partner: Happy Energy.
All the best.
29/1 Wednesday 9 a.m. / 12.30 p.m. Charters Road. 2 double garage break. The owner found the doors open and their car on the driveway ENTERED BY UNKNOWN MEANS and searched - nothing stolen.
31/1 Friday 5 a.m. / 6.15 p.m. Kings Road. CAR ENTERED BY UNKNOWN MEANS. The owners were sure the car was locked. The car was searched and loose change stolen. The offender found the automatic garage door opener and then searched the garage and CCTV shows a man jumping the fence and working his way to a CCTV blind spot. He then enters and searches the car and wanders around the property. He then opens and searched the garage for 3 or 4 minutes, then leaves and jumps over the gate to leave. He is described as white, 5’10’’ - 5’11’’, wearing a long raincoat and a hood with a white stripe down the back, jogging bottoms, baseball cap, using his phone as a torch. If you live nearby, you may also have been targeted, but not a victim of crime - please check your CCTV / video doorbell.
31/1 Friday 4 p.m. / 7 p.m. Fox Covert Close. Burglary. The owner returned and noticed a light on upstairs. They had a look around inside and found a rear door forced and the house searched. Not yet known if anything stolen at this time. Access to the property via a forced garden side gate.
1/2 Saturday 5.20 p.m. / 8.50 p.m. Stonehill Gate, Hancocks Mount. The owners returned to the house and saw lights on. When they went inside, they could hear the alarm sounding. They turned off the alarm and found muddy footprints through the house. Entry via forced rear door.
31/1 Friday 5.05 a.m. / 6.15 p.m. Kings Road. Car entered and searched - The offender found the automatic garage door opener and then searched the garage
ASCOT & SOUTH ASCOT:
2/2 Sunday midnight / 8.50 a.m. St. Mary’s Road. An offender accessed a car on the driveway. The offender found the automatic garage door opener and then searched the garage. Unknown at this time if anything stolen.
31/1 Friday 5 p.m. / 8.30 p.m. Golf Club Car Park, Winkfield Road X2. 1. Car passenger window smashed - golf clubs stolen from the boot. 2. Car entered with minimal damage - rucksack containing laptop and iPad stolen
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
RE SCAM EMAILS: This one came into my police email inbox
Apparently, my work email was selected in a Powerball Lottery, to participate and possibly win $1.5 million. All I need to do ……………… send them my personal and bank details, so that they can deal with any possible winnings !!!!!! !!!!
I BINNED IT
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
“The Windsor & Ascot Neighbourhood Watch Association‘s aim is to encourage participation in NHW in the Windsor & Ascot parish areas, with a particular focus on increasing safety for residents, preventing scams, fraud and cybercrime, and assisting our elderly and vulnerable neighbours.
The Neighbourhood Policing Team areas covered by the W&A NHW Association are: Windsor Central (Windsor Inner, Eton & Eton Wick), Windsor West (The Clewers, Dedworth, Oakley Green), Windsor East (Old Windsor, Datchet, Horton, Wraysbury) and Ascot (Ascot, Sunningdale and Sunninghill).
The Association also has a Facebook page: www.fb.me/WindsorAscotNHW which you can Like and Follow to keep track of local NHW news.
Residents of these areas are encouraged to join the Windsor & Ascot NHW Association by signing up on www.ourwatch.org.uk, using their postcodes to find the most appropriate NHW scheme to become a member of. For more information please contact the Multi-Scheme Administrator for Windsor & Ascot NHW, Paul Ghent at WindsorAscotNHW@gmail.com”