This message is dated Friday 18th June 2021 - Ascot
Alert message sent 18/06/2021 15:26:00
Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police
FIRST: YET ANOTHER COURIER FRAUD !
Last Tuesday, the victim was called by a man purporting to be a Metropolitan Police officer. He said they had someone in custody, who had taken nearly £5,000 from her bank account. Would she please assist them with this. She agreed. He then asked her to go to her bank and take out a similar amount. If she could not get to the bank, he would organise a taxi. Once she had the money, he would send a courier to collect it. She was told this was a secret police operation and she was to tell no-one !
She did this and the money was collected.
On Wednesday, the supposed police officer called again and asked her to withdraw the same amount again. Again the man organised a taxi for her. When she arrived at the bank, their computers were playing up and she could only withdraw £2,500. She withdrew this amount and again a courier was sent to collect it.
They phoned again and she asked them to speak to her husband and explain it all to him, when he got home. They did not call back and when she explained what had happened, he immediately called the police and reported the fraud to Action Fraud.
Once again – we have not circulated this message widely enough, if people are still falling for a serious fraud, we have been reporting time and again, for at least five years. It has also appeared widely on various TV programmes.
PLEASE SPREAD THE MESSAGE. IF ANYONE GETS A CALL FROM THE METPOL THAT THEY HAVE SOMEONE IN CUSTODY RE BANK FRAUD – PUT DOWN THE PHONE.
NEXT: YET ANOTHER SEXTORTION !
A young man was online when he was contacted by a woman. They then moved to InstaGram to chat further. She asked him to show her his body and he did so – but fully clothed. Shortly after, he received a demand for money with a threat to send a video to everyone in his address book, together with a video, where his face had been photoshopped onto a naked body carrying out an intimate act. He sent £150 via PayPal. He then received another demand and sent £125 – but blocked the person – who he believes to be based in the Philippines. He has been advised not to send any more money, to block the person and be more cautious in future.
This shows it can happen to anyone – even if no intimate videos have taken place ! PLEASE BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHO YOU TALK TO ONLINE – PARTICULARLY IF YOU ARE FACE TIMING !!!
NEXT: We are being plagued with Nottingham Knockers – yet again. The young lads going door to door selling household products.
Thank you, to those that emailed to let me know. I forwarded the emails to the local Neighbourhood Policing teams and the RBWM Community Wardens.
If these people make money here, they will sell that information and addresses to other cold callers, who will want to expand to a lucrative market – the roofers / double glazing people / tarmaccers / ‘tree surgeons’ / moss removers / remnant carpets over from events / paintings after an exhibition / drive way laying etc. etc.. The answer is for us to let them know – there is no easy cash available here ! Then they will stop and go somewhere else.
In the past, the young lads and girls now, were used to locate elderly, vulnerable residents, easily parted from their cash. They would be supplied with a bag of poor quality cleaning products - which they have to pay for. Anything they make over that, they get to keep. They also get an additional payment, for each address they locate - of someone who is vulnerable and easily persuaded to be parted from their cash. They were also looking for elderly people who keep large amounts of cash in their homes. They used to do this, by noting how long it took the householder to go and get the money and the condition of the notes. Crisp, flat – musty smelling – notes, meant they had been in the house a long time – and there was probably a lot of it.
Now they have moved on with technology. They ask for an online payment via a debit card, using a card reading machine – the same used by shops. We have had cases, where they enter the amount and ask the resident to put in their PIN. They then – apparently – have difficulty getting a signal and move away from the door to find one. While they do that, they alter the amount of the charge. In one case to £500. The resident doesn’t find out for some time, when a bank statement comes in.
It is much easier never to get involved than trying to sort it out later. It would be almost impossible, to have the money refunded by the bank – as the resident entered their own PIN number !
Who can go door to door selling anything – it is strictly controlled to make people safe. Only people selling books and food Can go door to door without some form of authorisation. EVERYONE ELSE – must have a ‘Pedlars Certificate’ – issued by the police. Before issuing one, we carry out a personal history check – as they have to be ‘of good character’. Anyone who has been to prison, will be denied – so – if they start a story about having been to prison and now working on a rehabilitation scheme – you instantly know, they would not be granted one. As they cannot get a Pedlars Certificate – a small white square document, they print out a completely fake document – A ‘Hawkers Identification’. A large almost A4 yellow document. No such form exists. The way to protect yourself is very simple:
NEVER BUY ANYTHING AT THE DOOR ! SIMPLE AS THAT
We have a NHW Motto – everyone across the Thames Valley uses the same words to really send the message home:
‘I AM SORRY, I DO NOT BUY GOODS AND SERVICES AT THE DOOR’
Then – firmly, but politely close and lock the door – as sometimes, they do become abusive.
Elderly residents have been conned out of hundreds of pounds for substandard cheap products, which they don’t want – just to get rid of them.
As you can imagine – that is exactly how you get onto the ‘Suckers’ list, they sell to other fraudsters. Honor Ryan at Trading Standards, has obtained a Suckers List, which is often updated with more names and sold in pubs and prisons. She tries to visit them all and chat to them about why they are on the list and how to deal with all future cold callers. At the moment, I believe there are 300 names on the list in RBWM ! This doesn’t include, but might – our cases of bogus builders – which can cost a resident, their life savings !
PLEASE – PLEASE – DO NOT LET IT BE YOU, NOR ANYONE YOU KNOW. SPREAD THE MESSAGE AS FAR AND WIDE AS YOU CAN TO PROTECT ANYONE, YOU FEEL MAY FALL FOR THIS SCAM
I have attached examples of a Pedlars Certificate and a ‘Hawkers Licence’ – so you know then if you see them
NEXT: One of our members received an scam email, but it did quote his password in the first line to prove the threats in the email were genuine and could be carried out.
I passed this to Paul Hay – our NHW Volunteer IT Guru, who sent me this response.
From time to time there are large data breaches, whereby criminals get hold of personal information from company, or website databases. The data they get can contain the passwords you used.
The slang term used is ‘pwned’ . There is a good website you can go to see if your email has been included in particular data breachers.
The website is https://haveibeenpwned.com/
You enter your email address and it will tell you which websites were compromised. For each one listed, you should change your password.
The problem, however, is we often use the same password for other websites. So even if that other website hasn’t been compromised, the bad guys will now have your email and password for that site.
Therefore the steps you should take is to,
change your password for the site that was ‘pwned’ and
change the password for every other site you have used the same password.
Use a different password for each site, to limit any problems of a data breach in the future.
Make sure the passwords you use are ‘strong’ passwords. The longer the password the better and they should contain a mix of uppercase, lower case letters , numbers and special symbols. Also - do not base it on personal information that can be linked to you, such as the name of your pet, or family names. Search on line for strong password ideas and pick a method to suit you.
Even if you haven’t been ‘pwned’ it is still best practice to use different, hard to guess passwords.
Just to let you know that it can happen to the best of us. A couple of years ago, my Spotify account was taken over. I found out that I had used the same password for Spotify, as one of the sites listed as being ‘pwned’. On further investigation, I realised I had used it for other sites as well, so had to spend a bit of time changing all my passwords.
It is a hassle, but think of it in this way. We have different keys for different doors to our house, car, garage, children’s houses etc.
If we just had the same key and it was stolen they would have access everywhere.
Regards, Paul Thanks Paul – you provide an invaluable service for our members – and – you make it understandable, for those of us who are not Tecchy minded !!! Our grateful thanks.
NEXT: We publicised a survey back in May – the results are now in:
Hi Jeff – can you circulate the results of the survey for me and thank your members that responded.
We asked Windsor, Ascot, and Maidenhead residents to tell us ‘What Matters Most’ to them when it comes to Health and Social Care Services. The ‘What Matters Most’ survey ran from March to May 2021 and 244 people shared their views and experiences with us. A big thank you to everyone who participated and helped to promote our survey.
We are delighted to now publish our full report which highlights the key issues which Windsor, Ascot, and Maidenhead residents are concerned about when it comes to health and social care.
We asked which services people thought Healthwatch WAM should be focusing on in the coming year and the results were:
32% said GP services
23% said improving overall access to health and social care services
17% said Mental Health services
As a result of what we have heard from this campaign, Healthwatch WAM will now begin work on setting our annual work priorities based on what residents have told us.
We will be sharing this report widely with all key stakeholders in the local area, to make sure the voices of everyone who took part, are heard.
If you would like to pass this report on to others, please could you direct them to the above link where possible. This will allow us to analyse our website traffic.
We will be posting about our results on social media, and in our newsletter, from Wednesday 16th June. Please feel free to share any of these posts with your followers. Our social media accounts are: Facebook - @HealthwatchWAM
Twitter - @HealthwatchWAM
Instagram - @HealthwatchWAM
If you have any questions about the report, please do not hesitate to respond to this email.
Healthwatch Officer – Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead
19 Southbourne Grove,
Tel: 0300 0120184
Mobile: 07971 951445
Sign up to the HealthwatchWAM newsletter at https://healthwatchwam.co.uk/sign-our-newsletter
AND: COMMUNITY SPEEDWATCH IS UP AND RUNNING
At the moment, due to the Covid restrictions, we are not asking members of the community to attend with us.
If you feel your road is a rat run and needs a Community SpeedWatch please email us at the dedicated inbox:
The appropriate person from the local Neighbourhood Team will pick it up – or you can email me and I will let them know. We will need the name of the road, the time of day and day of the week, when the problem is at its worst.
I will publish the results to let you know how we get on.
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
17/6 Thursday 1.30 p.m. Park Drive. Burglary. Tool marks found around the front door frame. Very untidy search – nothing stolen. Ref. No: 43210266180
15/6 Tuesday 3 p.m. Broomfield Park. Reports of a man going door to door selling plants. Ref. No: 43210262592
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
ASCOT & SOUTH ASCOT:
15/6 Tuesday 10.45 p.m. Brook Avenue. 2 men seen walking along the road looking into cars. A witness shouted and they walked away towards the Bagshot Road. Ref. No: 43210263339
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
ANOTHER SCAM CALL RECEIVED BY SALVATORE:
My wife received a phone call earlier today from an foreign sounding man, pretending to be our internet provider – he didn’t confirm the company name and didn’t know my wife’s first name or her last name. He had a very strong accent and it was a really bad line. He was talking really fast, so she couldn’t understand most of what he was saying. Is it is a Tactic to confuse you ?
He wanted to know what electronic devices we had (specifically apple or Samsung). My wife refused to answer the question and he then stated that our internet security, had been compromised.
Needless to say, my wife, asked for proof of what company he was calling from, he didn’t answer the question and then he offered to give her his badge number – whatever use that would be. Our provider is Virgin media, and they do not have badge numbers !
My wife immediately put the phone down and they haven’t tried calling back.
Please share this to the group, I believe older people could be fooled by this type of a scam call.
Thanks Salvatore – done.
NEXT: Something from Richard
I always read your crime summary emails, always very good, thank you.
Might I most humbly suggest something regarding bike crime reporting ?
When you give the details re theft of a locked bike, could you give details of the lock ?
Saying “locked bike” is only half the story.
I now have a D lock, after my very solid looking cable lock was cut through with bolt croppers.
I would be v interested to know if all the thefts were of cable locks ? Or does it make little or no difference ?
The extra info, might persuade others to invest in the more expensive D lock.
Or might make me realise I'm still not totally safe!
Just a thought.
Thanks Richard, Unfortunately – as you can see from the messages, many people don’t know the make and model of their bike – and are often vague about the colour. If they have the frame number, which is rare – I always add that. Asking about their lock, would be just as vague. Most people who pay under £500 are unlikely to buy two expensive D locks – over £70 each.
Let’s explain how the theft works – to show how difficult to protect a bike. The thief arrives and places their back pack on the bike frame – as if they are searching inside for keys. What they are in fact doing, is using very large bolt croppers inside the back pack though a hole in the bottom, to cut the chain / D lock. Passers by will see nothing. They then, put their back pack back on , remove the bike and ride away.
To be clear – PCSO Lizzie Davidson out Bike Crime SPOC recommends at least 2 locks on a bike.
Because they keep the bolt croppers out of sight in a back pack, they can use large very large strong ones, which will cut through virtually any lock. That is why Lizzie suggests more than one lock – that might look more suspicious.
What would help, is if people took a photo of their bikes, so that we know model, make and colour, as well as a photo of the frame number from between and beneath the pedals. We do recover dozens of bike and are never able to trace owners to return them !
NEXT: A FRIDGE INSURANCE SCAM FROM BRIAN:
I had a call from an ‘ insurance company’, saying they could insure my washing machine - which had expired 4 years ago for £110.
That’s a new one on me, I did tell him where they could go.
NEXT: From Michael – what appears to be a scam email
It simply appears to be a response to a request for information. It is not personally addressed and simply contains a link !
Please click on the link below, to see the proposal from for your review.
Then there is a link.
These are never sent to just one person, but to thousands. They hope to hit a business, where someone in a department, just thinks someone has made contact, so they just open it !
Anything like this – that you have not requested - STOP – BREATHE – THINK – BIN IT
NEXT: A Chinese scam letter from Linda - with a difference:
This morning I received a letter in the post. It is written in an oriental language, it looks like Chinese ?
The envelope was written in English and addressed to me, using my initial and last name.
It is obviously a scam of some kind, but as I cannot read Chinese – it won’t work !
There is an email address and a telephone number – it may be they expect people to email to ask what it is about ???
I just want to make people aware of this.
It really is strange – unless you can read Chinese – it is meaningless !
NEXT: A BT SCAM FROM STEPHEN
I’ve received a very convincing email purportedly from BT headed
Please check your billing details
Any similar email from BT will show your account number at top right, above your BT email address.
Instead, this email has the words Billing Department above the BT email address. All previous BT emails always include words at very top right “View in browser”. This one does not.
It goes on to say - Our payment processor has detected incorrect, or out of date billing information, which needs updating immediately, by clicking on the link below. If I don’t do this, my account will be suspended in 2 days.
But (even) BT wouldn’t make an offer, combined with a threat. However, so easy to fall for it. Scary? The rest is promotional offers that’s look real enough.
I’ve forwarded it to email@example.com and to firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m assuming it is a fraud. Hovering over the links doesn’t really give clue because even BT’s real links are so obtuse you really wouldn’t recognise if genuine. As so were these.
Many thanks Stephen – STOP – BREATHE – THINK – BIN IT !
NEXT: POSSIBLE GAS SERVICE SCAM FROM LORRAINE:
Not sure if other people have had this happen, I received a reminder text message about a gas service that wasn’t booked in. The number is +44 7954 419201 and was sent to me on Sunday.
It reads: “Hi, Reminder – gas service booked for tomorrow. Please let me know if you won’t be at the property. Thanks Adam”
I thought it strange, so didn’t reply or delete and I waited around all day, to see if anyone turned up, they didn’t.
I do have a gas contract, but as I’ve already had my boiler serviced this year, I found the message odd but It could be a genuine mistake.
Definitely dodgy ! They don’t even name the gas supplier and there are dozens of those now that we all use websites to chop and change suppliers. One to delete. If it is genuine – the gas provider will write to you
FINALLY: SOME GOOD ADVICE FROM RAY:
In response to the recent neighbourhood watch regarding phishing, can I suggest that people add to their contact list the name - “Phishing” - with email email@example.com and the phone number 7726.
Whenever a suspect email or text arrives, it can then easily be forwarded to the authorities.
Excellent advice Ray – Many thanks.
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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NEWS UPDATE FROM NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
Hi, I am Valerie Pike, Chair of Windsor & Ascot NHW Association. The Association was formed in September 2019 and our objective was simply to help residents. In setting up the Association, we asked
How can each of us
· help to make our community safer?
· improve its spirit and neighbourliness?
· help the Police to reduce local crime?
· make our own home security better?
Starting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your street is easy, and it’s free. Police statistics show that a Neighbourhood Watch scheme significantly reduces the probability of your house being burgled.
Neighbourhood Watch is about neighbourliness and making our communities and homes safer. It’s about being friendly and caring, and watching out for the elderly and vulnerable too.
Members of Neighbourhood Watch are assisted in a number of ways, including having free home security surveys conducted by a local PCSO, to identify any areas in which security can be improved, and to advise on optimum ways to safeguard against crime and improve personal and household security
But most of all Neighbourhood Watch is about helping the Police to keep us safe. They need the support of people who care. If that’s you - join us now!
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be delighted to assist.