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This message is dated Friday 22nd January 2021 - Ascot

Alert message sent 22/01/2021 14:23:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police


AGAIN – MY FAVOURITE MESSAGE

NO CRIME TO REPORT

NO BURGLARIES

AND

NO CARS BROKEN INTO

FIRST:  From Rob Abell, head of the Trading Standards Team for RBWM:


Hi Jeff – Something for the Alert, please:

We have been receiving lots of reports of door-to-door fish sellers, who use a variety of clever tactics to persuade and confuse residents, into buying large quantities of fish, which turns out to be mis-described and overpriced.

Some customers end up paying over £500 for frozen haddock, described as fresh Sea Bass, Turbot and Lemon Sole.

It is a cleverly constructed scam.  They look the part, in chef trousers and refrigerated van, say the right things and have perfected their art.

We are gathering information (‘intel’) on any fish sellers, as part of a national project being undertaken, to catch and stop them.

We particularly want phone numbers, descriptions of the sellers, van registration numbers, business names used, advertising flyers and anything else useful to identify them.

They often show a flyer which they then take it back (so you don’t keep their number to complain later), so please keep it or if you don’t, photograph it please.

If you are able to photograph them without putting yourself at risk, or capture footage from CCTV, or video doorbells, then please do so.

You should notify your local NHW co-ordinator, who can collate intel or pass it directly to us: trading.standards@rbwm.gov.uk

Here is an example of a recent successful prosecution: https://www.nationaltradingstandards.uk/news/coldcalling-fish-seller-ordered-to-repay-victims/

With everyone being at home, it provides the perfect market place for door to door scammers.

Kind regards

Rob Abell

Fair Trading Officer

Trading Standards & Licensing Team | Community | Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead
Trading.standards@rbwm.gov.uk

NEXT:  PLEASE DON’T FORGET TO JOIN IN WITH THE RBWM TOWN FORUM MEETINGS – THEY ARE FOR YOU !  WINDSOR DOES COVER ASCOT.

Town Forum meetings

If you’d like to have your say in future town forum meetings, where issues affecting Windsor are discussed, we want to hear from you.

You can suggest discussion topics for the Windsor Town Forum

https://rbwm.moderngov.co.uk/mgCommitteeDetails.aspx?ID=158

as well as attend the virtual meeting and contribute to discussions. Agendas are published a week in advance so you can see what councillors will be discussing and get involved if there is something you are interested in.

Suggestions for discussion will be added to a future agenda if appropriate.

The next meeting of the Windsor Town Forum is on Wednesday 27 January 6.15 p.m..

To find out more about how to get involved, email fatima.rehman@rbwm.gov.uk for Windsor Town Forum. You can watch the meetings live on our YouTube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZNp1KmF3YnabN6enzlyelQ

NEXT:  AN UPDATE RE CALL BLOCKER PHONES

Hi Jeff,

A correction on call blocker phones - there are different types available.

Ours, stops ALL calls.  It requests the caller announce their name before putting the call through.

This is a much better and safer option.

We have not had a single scam call get through in the last 3 years!

Cheers,

Simon

Thanks Simon.



CRIME:

I have attached reference numbers to each crime report. If you live in the vicinity of any of the crimes mentioned and have CCTV or a video doorbell, can you please check the footage. If you have any that might be of interest to the police, can you please make contact with us, quoting reference number given.

I have added a new email address below.  The first email address is directly to your local Neighbourhood Team.  The second is to our investigation team.  Please use it to send any intelligence / video doorbell / CCTV footage you may have, which is relevant to any of the crimes lists below - quoting the reference number.

Alternatively you can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or email - www.crimestoppers-uk.org

ASCOT:
ascotgeographical@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
SR.windsor&maidenhead@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
SUNNINGDALE:
NO CRIME TO REPORT

SUNNINGHILL:
NO CRIME TO REPORT

ASCOT & SOUTH ASCOT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT

NORTH ASCOT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT



MEMBERS’ COMMENTS:

FIRST: from Charmian

Hi Jeff,

I have just had another scam – this time from BT.

It says that they are having trouble obtaining payment for my last bill from my bank.

Would I please click on the link to re-enter current bank details, or they will turn off my service !!!

I binned it !

Charmian.


Lindy received the same text message.

Exactly – PAUSE – THINK – BREATH AND BIN IT !

NEXT: A reasonable thought from Tony.


Hi Jeff,

Doesn’t the responsibility to protect elderly people from scammers, who don’t have digital communications, must surely lie with the banks and building societies ?

They do send those customers warning letters and should do this even more regularly.

Perhaps the families of those vulnerable, elderly people should be encouraged to set up Financial Powers of Attorney with a family member.

Tony

Many thanks Tony.  This is a very complicated issue.  Many of our victims do not have close family, which makes them even more vulnerable and possibly isolated.  Some have family that live a long way away and cannot interact with them on a daily basis.  Some of the victims, because the scammers are so good at what they do, become willing participants with the scams and it is sometimes impossible to convince them that it is a scam.

I recently had a problem transferring a large sum of cash from my account.  The small card reader supplied by my bank to authorise these transactions online, apparently only works with a specific bank card and it had been supplied with my previous bank card, which had since been renewed – I didn’t know this.  I therefore went to my bank and asked them to do it in branch, as it was urgent.
Before they would authorise the transfer, I had to go through the ‘Bank Protocol’ with them.  It was time consuming, invasive, thorough and comprehensive and should easily catch fraud.  Unfortunately, the victims really believe the scam and have been supplied with all the answers to all the questions the bank will ask.  The scammers are really good at what they do.  Those of us who would not fall victim and commit to it, just put the phone down, so the pool is whittled down, to the most vulnerable.

Re Powers of Attorney, elderly people are often fiercely independent and don’t like – even close family, but particularly distant relatives – taking over control of their affairs !

Unfortunately, most of the serious victims, have been self-selected by their particular vulnerability and isolation.  The rest of us fall victim, because we have such busy lives, we forget to stop, pause and think for a few minutes, before responding.


We must take responsibility to protect our vulnerable friends, relatives, neighbours and work colleagues, by spreading the message as far and wide as we can and particularly, to those unreachable corners.

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.

https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/

follow us on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/TVPWindsorandMaidenhead

Eyes, ears.....and Brain

Jeff
Jeffrey.pick@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk


NEWS UPDATE FROM NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

The lockdown has resulted in many neighbourhoods drawing closer together in supporting local residents with needs, and in neighbours spending a lot more time talking to each other over fences or across the road. This has improved community spirit no end, and a great way to keep this spirit alive is for residents to join their local Neighbourhood Watch scheme, or start up a new scheme if there is not already one covering their respective street.

Neighbourhood Watch is not just about looking out the window and being alert for any crime in the neighbourhood, it is much more than that. It serves as a valuable resource for crime prevention, in supporting the Police with things such as local home security surveys, installing crime prevention aids in homes for the vulnerable and elderly especially, helping those vulnerable and elderly residents with any other needs, and in drawing residents together in supporting one another.
 
The Windsor & Ascot NHW Association is making great strides in reactivating and expanding Neighbourhood Watch within the various parishes of Windsor & Ascot. Its Facebook page (@WindsorAscotNHW) is receiving multiple enquiries from interested residents and serves as a means to highlight local issues relating to crime and residents in need. New NHW schemes are continuously being set up with active Coordinators, and residents within those scheme areas can now benefit from the new initiatives being introduced by Neighbourhood Watch and Thames Valley Police.
 
To search for your nearest NHW scheme, or to set up a new scheme, visit www.ourwatch.org.uk and enter your postcode. 

For any questions relating to Neighbourhood Watch please contact the Windsor & Ascot NHW Association at contact@windsorascotnhwa.org.uk

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

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