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This message is dated Friday 27th March 2020 - the whole Area

Alert message sent 27/03/2020 23:22:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police


This message is dated Friday 27th March 2020 – Whole area.

8 p.m. Thursday evening was amazing.  Everyone in my road and the surrounding roads were out at their windows waving flags, shouting and clapping in support of the NHS - it was really moving, particularly for those living in flats, with nowhere to escape outside.  It was the first time we had seen and chatted to our neighbours - through their open windows - for a week and it was wonderful to get together and catch as to how they had been copying and if they needed anythig - even if only for a few minutes.

We must not forget all those other support workers out there, emptying bins, RBWM Community Wardens and other RBWM staff still at work.  Also police officers and staff in front facing roles.  They are all still out there totally dedicated and potentially at risk - and I am sure we are all really grateful to them all !  Our grateful thanks to all those and their families, still working to support those of us self isolating at home.

FIRST: A new scam. I have a report of someone that went out more than once, on his bike for exercise as he was so bored at home. Later he received a text message to say - the authorities were aware that he had breached the current regulations and was therefore being fined £200. Please click on the link to make the payment. He didn’t know if this was a scam, but wasn’t sure, as he had breached the current regulations.

I passed this to Trading Standards for advice.

 They responded;

Breached stay home regulations scam
This is an example of fraudulent text messages from .GOV.UK issuing fines, for leaving home.

DON’T DO IT - BIN IT !

There is a Covid 19 advice page on th RBWM website:

https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/info/200384/news_and_information_releases/1521/covid19_resident_and_business_update_page/2

Beware fraud and scams during Covid-19 pandemic fraud
Criminals are using the Covid-19 pandemic to scam the public – don’t become a victim.
Criminals are experts at impersonating people, organisations and the police.
Stop: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.
  • Your bank or the police will NEVER ask you to transfer money or move it to a safe account.
Free school meals scam
Fraudulent messages to parents entitled to free school meals requesting bank details.

Criminals are targeting people looking to buy medical supplies online, sending emails offering fake medical support and scamming people who may be vulnerable or increasingly isolated at home. These frauds try to lure you in with offers that look too good to be true, such as high return investments and ‘healthcare opportunities’, or make appeals for you to support bogus charities or those who are ill.

Reports from the public have already included online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser, and other products, which have never arrived and a number of cases have been identified where fake testing kits have been offered for sale.

Criminals are also using Government branding to try to trick people, including reports of using HMRC branding to make spurious offers of financial support through unsolicited emails, phone calls and text messages.

This situation is likely to continue, with criminals looking to exploit further consequences of the pandemic, such as exploiting financial concerns to ask for upfront fees for bogus loans, offering high-return investment scams, or targeting pensions.

Huge increases in the number of people working remotely mean that significantly more people will be vulnerable to computer service fraud where criminals will try and convince you to provide access to your computer or divulge your logon details and passwords. It is also anticipated that there will be a surge in phishing scams or calls claiming to be from government departments offering grants, tax rebates, or compensation.

Online Shopping and Auction Fraud
Seek advice: If you’re purchasing goods and services from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask friends or family for advice before completing a purchase.
Scam messages: Be wary of unsolicited emails and texts offering questionably good deals, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.
Payment method: Avoid paying for good and services by bank transfer as that offers you little protection if you become a victim of fraud. Instead, use a credit card or payment services such as PayPal.
If you have made a payment: Inform your bank as soon as possible, they can help you prevent any further losses. Monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.

Computer Software Service Fraud
Installing software: Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call.
Financial details: Genuine organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.
Tech support: If you need tech support, ask your friends or family for recommendations and look for reviews online first. Don’t contact companies promoting tech support services via browser pop-ups.
If you have made a payment: Inform your bank as soon as possible, they can help you prevent any further losses. Monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.
If you granted remote access to your computer: Seek technical support to remove any unwanted software from your computer. Ask your friends or family for recommendations and look for reviews online first. Don’t contact companies promoting tech support services via browser pop-ups.

Lender Loan Fraud
Seek advice first: Speak with a trusted friend or family members first if you’re using a loan company you’re unfamiliar with, or if the lender requires an up-front fee.
Scam messages: Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.
FCA register: Use the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) register to check if the company is regulated by the FCA. If you deal with a firm (or individual) that isn’t regulated, you may not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if things go wrong and you lose your money.
If you have made a payment: Inform your bank as soon as possible, they can help you prevent any further losses. Monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.

Pension Liberation Fraud
Investment opportunities: Don’t be rushed into making an investment. Remember, legitimate organisations will never pressure you into making a transaction on the spot.
Seek advice first: Before making significant financial decisions, speak with trusted friends or family members, or seek professional independent advice. The Pension Advisory Service (PAS) also provides free independent and impartial information and guidance.
FCA register: Use the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) register to check if the company is regulated by the FCA. If you deal with a firm (or individual) that isn’t regulated, you may not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if things go wrong and you lose your money.
Tax charges: Ensure sure you are aware of any tax charges (up to 70%), plus other fees, that will be deducted from the amount you withdraw before making any decisions. 

Investment Fraud
Investment opportunities: Don’t be rushed into making an investment. Remember, legitimate organisations will never pressure you into making a transaction on the spot.
Seek advice first: Speak with a trusted friend or family members, and seek independent professional advice before making significant financial decisions.

FCA register:
Use the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) register to check if the company is regulated by the FCA. If you deal with a firm (or individual) that isn’t regulated, you may not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if things go wrong and you lose your money.

Advice for businesses
Mandate Fraud

Verify: If you receive a request to move money into a new bank account, contact the supplier directly using established contact details, to verify and corroborate the payment request.
Internal processes: Establish robust internal processes for handling changes to payment details. For example, only designated employees should be able to make changes to payment arrangements.
Sensitive information: Invoices, payment mandates, and other documents containing sensitive financial information should be stored securely and only be accessible to those staff that need them to perform their duties. Sensitive documents should be shredded before they are disposed of.
If you have made a payment: Inform your bank as soon as possible, they can help you prevent any further losses. Monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.


AND FROM Carolyn Flintoff an Environmental Health Officer (Food & Safety)

I work with Victor Kasimba at RBWM. Together as a team, we have put together the following information, which I believe you are able publicise to the charitable and community groups you are in contact with on our behalf.
Thank you for your help with this, we are very grateful to you for getting this important information out, to as many groups involved in this as we can.

Thank you

Carolyn Flintoff
Environmental Health Officer(Food & Safety)
Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead
Environmental Health
Tinkers Lane
Windsor
SL4 4LR

Advice to Charities & Community Members Preparing and / or Delivering Food to People During Stay At Home Period for Coronavirus (COVID-19

It’s good to see the community supporting each other especially in relation to the provision of food.

The Commercial Services Team would like to remind any community or other group preparing and delivering food for others that they need to do it safely. National guidance has been issued to help, for which we have provided a link on our Resident and Business Update pages. Please follow the link below

https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/info/200384/news_and_information_releases/1521/covid19_resident_and_business_update_page/2

Care must be taken in respect of people suffering from a food allergy, especially if you are delivering to persons not generally known to you. All meals should have information about the allergens within. Allergen advice including the list of 14 can be seen at:

https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/allergy-and-intolerance

If you need any further advice please contact environmental health using the form on the linked page:

https://www3.rbwm.gov.uk/forms/form/399/en/environmental_services

Eyes and ears …….. and brain


Jeffrey Pick

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

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