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NW Information on Scams and how to deal with them

Alert message sent 28/04/2022 19:05:00

Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch


This is a message from Val McPherson Area Neighbourhood Watch Representative for Aylesbury Vale.

New Scam quoting WhatsApp from Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards - 20 April.
A new scam is circulating - emails claiming to be a notification from WhatsApp of a new private voice message. You are asked to click Play, which takes you to a website with a button to "confirm you are not a rebot". Once this has been clicked, malicious software will be installed on your device.
https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/report/weekly-threat-report-8th-april-2022

New Scam quoting Government's £150 Council Tax Rebate
A number of Councils have issued warnings following reports from residents who have received telephone calls from scammers purporting to be from the Council requesting bank account details in order to pay them £150 Council Tax  energy rebate. Council's have started to pay out the rebate to households that pay their Council tax by direct debit.Households that do not have direct debit will receive a letter explaining how to claim their rebate.
The council will NOT call you to request your Bank Details.

If you are worried you have been scammed here is what you can do:
If you have responded to a scam cease all further communications immediately. Call your bank directly and cancel any recurring payments - for speed and ease, most can call a new Telephone number 159 hotline, 
Report the scam to the Police through Action Fraud on T: 0300 123 2040 or report a scam anonymously on the Action Fraud website. www.actionfraud.police.uk/reportscam
If you wish to receive further help contact Citizens Advice Scams Action via Citizens website www.citizensadvice.gov.uk/ScamsAction or call Scams Action line on
T 0800 250 5050.

Bike Security

Remember the R's for Bike Security.
Register it - Register your bike on a secure SBD recognised national database. The Police will check these databases if they find bikes in the possession of a criminal or if left in the street to help identify the rightful owner. A bike carry a database label or stamp is a highly effective visible deterrent to bike thieves, as they know that of they are caught with a registered bike they will be arrested as the owner can be traced by the police within seconds.

Record It - Remember to record as many details as possible about your bike such as make, model, size, colour, frame number ( normally found underneath the bike between the pedals or where the back wheel slots in) plus any other distinguishing features and take a photo for reference.

Remove the removable bits - Take parts that are easy to remove with you, such a saddler or wheels. Alternatively, use locking skewers or nuts which can increase security by securing the bike's components to the frame permanently making it difficult for thieves to steal detachable parts.

Do you get annoyed when you fill in a form and have to enter your phone number even when you know that the company doesn’t really need it?   What are they going to do with it? Who will they give it to? Your privacy is valuable so protect your phone number with trueCall38!  You just need to enter their phone number 0333 88 88 88 88 (that’s three threes, eight eights,) as your phone number, but if the form wont let you enter the full number then use three threes, seven eights and if, or rather when, they call, those cold callers will hear a short recorded message:-    "trueCall38 is handling my calls. I prefer not to be contacted by phone, so please contact me via my email address.  Goodbye!"    trueCall38 is a completely free service and has won many awards and in independent trials has been shown to block over 95% of nuisance calls. In 2009 trueCall was featured on the BBC TV programme Dragons’ Den and got offers from all five Dragons.   Remember - some companies actually do need your phone number – maybe they need your mobile number to send you a text as part of their validation process, or it's a flight booking, or a form at a hospital. In these cases, it may be better to give them your real number.

Anonymous Caller Rejection : Dial 150 from a BT line. This is a BT service and costs £6.50 per month.
( This prevents calls from withheld numbers. If you subscribe to this service, any person or company that withholds their telephone number (i.e by dialling 141 before the telephone number) will hear a recorded message saying: " The person you are calling is not accepting anonymous calls. Please redial without withholding your number". After hearing this message , the caller is automatically cut off.)

Remember that Doctors, Hospitals and Councils often call from withheld numbers which may mean that you would inadvertently cut off contact from your GP.  If you do really want to block withheld calls you should contact your GP to let them know that you are blocking withheld numbers as the GP then needs to dial 1470 prior to entering the patient’s telephone number and that will ‘reveal’ their number and ensure that it doesn’t get blocked. 

What can I do about Scam Mail

Royal Mail and Trading Standards have joined forces to launch a new initiative to tackle scam mail in the postal system. If you think you or a family member is receiving scam mail, you can report it. If you have receive items of mail you believe to be from fraudsters please send them with a covering letter to FREEPOST SCAM MAIL.
You can also email to scam.mail@royalmail.com or report your concerns by calling 03456113413. They will send you a scam mail report form  for completion together with a prepaid addressed envelope in which to return the form with examples of the scam mail received.
 
Message sent by
Val McPherson BEM (NWN, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley)

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