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NOTICE BOARD - CRIME PREVENTION ALERTS

HM Government Notice
BE ALERT TO VACCINE FRAUD


Criminals are using the COVID-19 vaccine as a way to target the public by tricking them to hand over cash or financial details. They are sending convincing looking text messages letting people know they are eligible for the vaccine or phoning people directly pretending to be from the NHS, or local pharmacy.

For further information and what to do if you receive such a message please click on the ‘more details’ link below.

Date posted: 30/01/2021
Link: Click here for more details

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West Mercia Police Notice
'THE HUB' NEWSLETTER (SEPTEMBER 2020)


‘The Hub’ is a monthly newsletter from the Police in Herefordshire for the benefit of the people who live, work and visit Herefordshire. To see the September 2020 edition please click on the ‘more details’ link below.

Date posted: 28/09/2020
Link: Click here for more details

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West Mercia Police Notice
URGENT INFORMATION ABOUT COURIER FRAUD


Courier Fraud - Urgent information from
West Mercia Police


Fraudsters are back in action claiming to be from the police, banks and fraud squads in order to extort money from the vulnerable.

There have been a couple of incidents in Hereford where couples in their eighties have been targeted.

One man was conned into withdrawing an amount of cash from his personal bank account after being told his credit cards had been cloned. They then sent out two separate couriers to collect the cash from his home address.

In a second incident they asked for an amount of cash which has been collected by a "courier". Before the individual was about to send over a much larger amount of cash West Mercia Police officers were able to step in and offer the support needed to the victim and prevent the transaction taking place.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright said: “This type of fraud often targets older and more vulnerable people and we would urge everyone to tell someone, by passing on the information about the bogus callers to relatives, friends and neighbours who may not have heard about the local telephone scam in operation.

“There are many aliases that the imposters use but always remember that no police officer from any force or department will ever ask you to hand over money or transfer funds, regardless of their name or unit.”

The deception can also be carried out in several ways, such as

  • A phone caller pretending to be a police officer who is investigating unidentified activity/ fraud in their bank account and that they must cooperate with the ‘investigation’.

  • The victim is then persuaded to withdraw funds and hand them over to the 'investigators', either by some remote means or in person to a courier.

  • The victim is told that if the bank cashier queries the large withdrawal that they are to say it is for a large purchase e.g. work/repairs in the home.

  • Alternatively, the victim may be asked to hand over bank cards, vouchers or other valuable items. They may also be asked to transfer funds to another account, which is controlled by the fraudsters.

  • “These scams can be extremely convincing and manipulative. The fraudsters may give (alleged) crime numbers, investigation details, and job titles. They will always claim that the transaction must be done in secret. The fraudsters condition their victim not to trust bank branch staff, which can make it hard for those staff to help.


    These calls are not genuine and payments should not be made. No legitimate bank/building society, police officer, or business will ever phone you to ask you to give them your card, your PIN, or your cash in the way we've described above.

    "Don't trust anyone who calls you about your bank details. Always hang up and wait 10 minutes to ensure the call has disconnected.


    Date posted: 20/08/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    NHS TEST AND TRACE - FRAUD AWARENESS


    If NHS Test and Trace calls you by phone, the service will be using a single phone number 0300-0135 000. The only website the service will ask you to visit is https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk.

    Contact tracers will never:

  • Ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087);

  • Ask you to make any form of payment;

  • Ask for any details about your bank account;

  • Ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts;

  • Ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone;

  • Ask you to purchase a product;

  • Ask you to download any software to your device or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet;

  • Ask you to access any website that does not belong to the Government or NHS.

  • If you think you have been subjected to, or a victim of, a scam or attempted fraud using Track and Trace or any other fraud please call 101 or contact Action Fraud on 0300-123 2040. If you or someone else is in immediate danger or risk of harm dial 999 now.

    Date posted: 02/06/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    RECORD NUMBERS SIGN UP TO WE DON'T BUY CRIME


    A record number of homes and businesses are better protected from would be thieves as almost 20,000 sign up to We Don’t Buy Crime in 12 months.

    Between April 2019 and April 2020 18,643 SmartWater forensic property marking kits were registered across the cities, towns and villages covered by West Mercia Police.

    In 2015, the first ever We Don’t Buy Crime town was launched in Cleobury Mortimer.

    The initiative saw every resident in the town offered a free SmartWater kit after an investment by Cleobury Mortimer Town Council and West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, John Campion.

    Five years later, there are now hundreds of We Don’t Buy Crime areas across Telford, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire with signs at key locations sending a clear message to criminals.

    Earlier this year We Don’t Buy Crime won a national award for its work to reduce demand and prevent crime in partnership with local communities and continues to go from strength to strength, utilising innovative and effective crime prevention.

    In the past 12 months We Don’t Buy Crime co-ordinator, Estelle Stock, along with the We Don’t Buy Crime team supported by volunteers from local communities, town and parish councils, West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner and local safer neighbourhood teams, has worked tirelessly to increase the number of homes and businesses protected, leading to the record number of homes signing up in just 12 months.

    The record increase takes the number of SmartWater registrations across the West Mercia Police area to more than 54,000.

    Chief Superintendent Tom Harding has been behind We Don’t Buy Crime since its first launch.

    He said: “I’m absolutely delighted at the dedication of the We Don’t Buy Crime team with everyone working to ensure as many homes and businesses as possible are protected.

    “Independent academic research has found that there is a significant reduction in crime in We Don’t Buy Crime areas and just as importantly residents feel safer and more reassured.”
    We Don’t Buy Crime, which looks to tackle acquisitive crime and associated harm, also works with second-hand stores to help prevent the resale of stolen goods and fuel stations to prevent motorists driving off without paying for fuel, those who do are often involved in wider criminality with staff working with police to spot those who may be criminally exploiting vulnerable people.

    The award winning initiative also utilises the latest in covert technology leaving criminals exposed and catching them committing crime.

    Ch Supt Harding added: “Being a victim of a crime such as burglary can have a significant impact on victims, often leaving them to feel unsafe in their own home. With all of our measures we are seeking to increase the risk to criminals that we will be caught. Quite simply I want our work to put criminals out of business and make our communities safer.”

    Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “It is amazing to see the record number that have signed up to We Don’t Buy Crime, and just how many homes and businesses are now SmartWater protected as a result of my investment, and the hard work and dedication of everyone involved. My central mission as Commissioner has always been to prevent people from becoming victims of crime and protect those that are vulnerable. It is right that people feel safe and secure in their homes and place of work, and SmartWater is a proven deterrent against burglary and acquisitive crime.

    “Since its introduction We Don’t Buy Crime has seen some great success stories from communities all across West Mercia, and I want to ensure we continue this great work and reach as many people as possible.”

    For more information about We Don’t Buy Crime follow @WeDontBuyCrime on Twitter or visit the We Don’t Buy Crime Facebook page.

    https://twitter.com/WeDontBuyCrime

    https://www.westmercia.police.uk/news/west-mercia/news/2020/may/record-number-of-homes-sign-up-to-we-dont-buy-crime/

    Date posted: 29/05/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    NPCC SPEEDING CAMPAIGN


    Monday, 18 May 2020, saw the launch of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) speed enforcement operation.

    With the gradual relaxing of lockdown restrictions police forces throughout the UK will be taking part in a two phase operation to remind motorists of the importance of travelling within the speed limit. This operation is deliberately timed as travel restrictions start to ease, to keep people safe as the volume of traffic increases.

    In Phase One from 18th May, forces will be sharing messages across social media and other platforms encouraging the public to slow down and save lives, in addition to normal speed enforcement activity.

    Phase Two from the 25 May will see forces step up visible speed enforcement activity for the following two weeks, focussing on roads and areas where speeding is known to be an issue or there is a history of serious collisions.

    Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, Roads Policing Lead for NPCC, said:

    “With the gradual move out of lockdown and with traffic volumes starting to increase, this national operation is an important way of highlighting the dangers of speeding, particularly when so many people have not been out on the roads for quite some time.

    “Unsurprisingly, the lockdown saw very quiet roads. Many forces reported increased speeding in a general sense and some forces reported instances of very excessive speeding. It is also of particular note that we have seen an increase in pedal cyclists at this time, many of whom may be unfamiliar with busier roads. Pedestrians and runners have also got used to empty roads.

    “Put this together with better weather, lighter evenings, motorcyclists itching to ride out across our country roads and you have the concerning combination of factors for a significant increase in people being killed or seriously injured. I am determined for this not to be the case.

    Police want to remind motorists of the devastating impact speeding can have, not only increasing the risk of a collision but the severity of the impact at higher speeds.

    Figures show that on average 17 people are killed and 126 are seriously injured every month in the UK, where speeding is believed to have been a significant factor.

    At 30mph, vehicles are travelling at 44 feet or about 3 car lengths each second. Even in good conditions, the difference in stopping distance between 30 mph and 35 mph is an extra 21 feet or 6.4 metres, more than 2 car lengths, this could make all the difference in avoiding a collision. The distance required to stop safely, significantly increased at higher speeds.

    Chief Constable Bangham went on to say, “Speeding kills, and driving within the speed limits makes our roads safer. Please slow down and save lives.”

    Date posted: 22/05/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    PLEASE REPORT SUSPICIOUS EMAILS!


    Forward any suspect emails to: report@phishing.gov.uk.

    In just over two weeks, the public has passed on more than 160,000 suspect emails.

  • National Cyber Security Centre reveals range of fraudulent sites it has blocked with the help of the British public

  • Scams include attempts to exploit coronavirus fears through fake offers of testing kits and face masks

  • Public have flagged more than 160,000 messages to the NCSC’s new suspicious email reporting service – with more than 1,400 links to scams removed


  • CYBER security experts have today lifted the lid on some of the online scams which the British public have reported to a pioneering new Suspicious Email Reporting Service.

    Emails reported to the National Cyber Security Centre include callous attempts by criminals to exploit the coronavirus through fake offers of face masks and testing kits.

    The NCSC has shared some examples of what it has removed with the help of the reporting service. These include:

  • Scam web pages that have been flagged include mock-ups of official gov.uk/ and TV licencing websites. Visitors are lured into giving their billing information to scammers posing as these legitimate organisations.

  • There have also been scam web pages purporting to sell coronavirus linked bogus products such as testing kits, face makes and even vaccines. The NCSC noted a rise in cyber crime exploiting the coronavirus pandemic last month.

  • The automated email reporting service makes it easier than ever for people to help protect others from falling victim to scams.

    To use it, people are asked to simply forward suspect emails to report@phishing.gov.uk. If they are found to link to malicious content, they will be taken down or blocked, helping prevent future victims of crime.

    Reporting fraud and Cybercrime https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.

    Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    If you or someone else is in immediate danger call 999


    Date posted: 13/05/2020

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    Bedfordshire Police Notice
    WARNING ABOUT ZOOM BOMBING


    Since more and more of us are using Zoom to stay in touch with family and friends, you may find it useful to read some advice just issued by Bedfordshire Police:

    “We are issuing a warning following a new form of malicious communication emerging recently. These type of incidents are directly connected to the increase of video conferencing and video meetings, such as Zoom or other similar software

    ‘Zoom bombing’ is when an unknown person joins a Zoom meeting and displays images of an extremely disturbing nature.

    This is understandably unpleasant and traumatising for all participants.

    Zoom has become increasingly popular following the nationwide ‘lockdown’ as it is a great tool to stay in touch with family and friends. Since the emergence of these concerning incidents, Zoom has improved security measures, but there are certain steps you can take to decrease the chance of becoming a target.

    Make sure that your meeting is private and control your participants by either providing password access or by creating a ‘waiting room’. You can also disable sharing by all participants to avoid any unwanted materials being displayed.

    Please read this short document on how you can secure your meeting and enjoy the company of your friends and family online without the fear of becoming a victim.

    We would also like to encourage anyone who has been a target of this disturbing crime to contact us online or by calling 101. Our force is committed to keeping our residents safe and that includes online incidents.”


    Date posted: 29/04/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    TELEPHONE FRAUDSTERS CLAIMING TO BE FROM THE BANKS


    West Mercia Police are urging the public to be on their guard and to trust their instincts after fraudsters claiming to be from Lloyds Bank Fraud Department conned one victim out of thousands of pounds (24 April).

    As with most criminals and especially fraudsters, the people are cowards and they target the vulnerable and the elderly, as in this case.

    These scams are very elaborate and very cruel. These are very clever and very convincing criminals who pretend with confidence that they are from the police, your internet service provider, government and in this case, your bank. They are able to obtain your personal details and enough information, before calling you and without you realising, to convince you they are legitimate. They are not.

    Typical telephone bank fraud to be aware of –

  • Email or text received containing a link purporting to be a service provider, such as internet, mobile phone, etc.

  • Victim clicks the link and goes through to a website, which appears legitimate

  • Victim enters details onto web page as per the instructions. Fraudsters are able to see what is written on the page by using screen mirroring techniques

  • Fraudsters conduct research on the victim from details already obtained, including email address, bank details etc... this can be done on social media

  • Calls are then made to the victim, questioning a suspicious transaction which has not happened and suggesting the account may be compromised.

  • Fraudster uses information given to build trust with the victim, this will be the information obtained during their research

  • Fraudster then gives instructions for how to cancel the alleged fraudulent activity, when in fact, they are transferring the money to a different account, under the fraudsters control


  • We would ask the public to talk to elderly relatives or neighbours and to tell them what to be aware of. Remind them that no legitimate bank, building society, police officer, or business will ever phone you to ask you to give them your card, your PIN, or transfer your cash.”

    If you get a phone call like the ones described, hang up immediately - do not provide any personal details or hand anything over. Ensure the line has cleared before dialling out; use anther phone if necessary and report to 101 or Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or 0300-123 2040.

    If you need some support from your bank or building society, go to your local branch or phone them on the correct number in your statement (not one a mystery caller gives you, as this is likely to be part of the scam).

    Important note

    If the crime is still in progress, because for example, you have recently provided bank details or handed over cards or cash, or the caller has arranged for someone to visit your address to collect items, then you should call the police to report this on 101. In an emergency dial 999.
    Crime prevention can found on the West Mercia Police website; for further details please visit the Crime & Safety section https://www.westmercia.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/door-to-door-courier-fraud/.

    Action Fraud https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

    Stay home. Stay connected. Stay Cyber Aware. https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware/home


    Date posted: 29/04/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    HELP FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE


    PCC calls for those at risk of domestic abuse to speak up

    PCC John Campion is reassuring those who don’t feel safe at home, and are at risk of abuse, that if they speak up they will get help.


    As the national lockdown continues, and we’re encouraged to stay at home, many people are feeling that they are being forced to spend it with those they are in fear of. However, the PCC, along with West Mercia Police, is reminding people that lockdown doesn’t mean enduring abuse because they feel they don’t have a choice.

    To prevent situations escalating, people are being encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities to exercise and cool off if arguments are becoming common.

    Support services and places of refuge are still very much available and they are advising people to speak up through their various channels so that, if needs be, they can be safely removed and taken to alternative accommodation.

    Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said: “I don’t want people to be suffering in silence and thinking that they have no option but to stay in lockdown with someone who is abusing them, be it physically or emotionally. There are services on-hand to help those that need it, and I have maintained my support and funding to ensure that the national emergency doesn’t halt the incredibly important work going on across West Mercia.

    “I would also encourage friends, relatives and neighbours to be mindful of what may be happening behind closed doors. If you’re concerned about someone, your call could make a huge difference to someone’s safety. I am reassured that West Mercia Police is allocating resources appropriately to tackle this horrendous crime and protect those at risk, and I will continue to work with them to ensure that remains the case.”

    Detective Superintendent Damian Pettit, Head of Vulnerability & Safeguarding, said: “Domestic abusers can intentionally isolate victims from help and support as part of their actions, and, during the current Covid-19 restrictions ,West Mercia Police are very aware that there may be victims who are even more restricted from seeking support due to following government advice to stay home.

    “West Mercia Police continue to police 24hrs a day as normal and will respond positively to all reported domestic abuse to protect the victims and children who are abused or witness abuse. We will listen and work with the victim to help them to be safer, and hold abusers to account for their actions. A range of support agencies continue to offer online and telephone advice as well as offering refuge from abuse. I would urge anyone experiencing abuse or concerned for someone who may be being abused to call the police who will be able to help on 101 or 999 in an emergency.


    For details of independent support services available and advice, please visit the West Mercia Police website https://www.westmercia.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/c19/coronavirus-covid-19/domestic-abuse/

  • Free, Confidential Independent - Victim Support line : 0808 16 89 111 https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/

  • 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline Freephone 0808 2000 247
    https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/

  • https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/

  • https://mensadviceline.org.uk/

  • https://www.childline.org.uk



  • Date posted: 24/04/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    BE WARY OF COVID-19 QUIZZES


    With so many people self-isolating or social distancing, online quizzes have become an increasingly popular way of people staying in touch with friends and family and providing a source of entertainment. Many people are creating and sharing their own quizzes or taking part in online events.

    However, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute has received information about some quizzes that, whilst on the surface appear harmless, are designed to harvest data that can be used to commit financial fraud and identity theft.


    Some of these are circulating on social media and even claim to test your knowledge of COVID-19. However, many of the questions you are expected to answer will be personal in nature: your name; address; phone numbers and email addresses; family information; pet’s names and hobbies etc.

    Security questions for bank accounts and online passwords usually incorporate this kind of information., making it easier for fraudsters to build up information on an individual over time.

    This information can be harvested and made available both to genuine businesses (that may wish to sell you goods and service), but also scammers.


  • You wouldn’t tell a stranger in the street personal information, so why tell a stranger online? Your personal and financial information is valuable. Protect it!

  • Think before you click!

  • Be careful who you share your data with. Remember, not all web pages or social media platforms are private and secure.

  • Never share information such as credit and debit card PIN numbers.


  • For more information on safety online visit: https://www.getsafeonline.org/.

    Please share this information. You can also find the information online here: https://safeinwarwickshire.com/2020/04/22/be-wary-of-covid-19-quizzes-warn-warwickshire-trading-standards/.

    Date posted: 23/04/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    SUSPICIOUS EMAIL REPORTING TOOL AVAILABLE


    The suspicious email reporting tool report@phishing.gov.uk launched this week by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has already received 2,264 reports. This has led to 50 phishing sites being removed.

    Cyber criminals love phishing. Unfortunately, this is not a harmless riverbank pursuit. When criminals go phishing, you are the fish and the bait is usually contained in a scam email or text message.

    The criminal’s goal is to convince you to click on the links within their scam email or text message, or to give away sensitive information (such as bank details).

    These messages may look like the real thing but are malicious. Once clicked, you may be sent to a dodgy website which could download viruses onto your computer, or steal your passwords.

    Have you spotted a suspicious email?

    If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) report@phishing.gov.uk.

    Stay Safe. Stay Connected. Stay Cyber Aware

    For further information to stay cyber safe please go to:

    https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/report-suspicious-emails

    https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/section/about-ncsc/what-is-cyber-security


    Date posted: 23/04/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    CYBER CRIME HAS DOUBLED - STAY CYBER AWARE


    CYBER experts have launched measures to protect the UK from online harm as the country continues to rely more on technology while staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

    Today (21 April 2020), the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) a part of GCHQ, has launched it's Cyber Aware campaign.

    This will be delivered by the NCSC working alongside the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and will aim to help individuals and organisations to protect themselves online.


    It urges people to protect their data passwords, the accounts they protect and the devices they use to access them. The campaign encourages people to ‘Stay home. Stay Connected. Stay Cyber Aware’, and its top tips for staying secure online are:

    1. Turn on two factor authentication for important accounts

    2. Protect important accounts using a password of three random words

    3. Create a separate password that you only use for your main email account

    4. Update the software and apps on your devices regularly (ideally set to ‘automatically update’)

    5. Save your passwords in your browser

    6. To protect yourself from being held to ransom, back up important data

    With many people in the UK trying video conferencing for the first time, the advice includes top tips on securely installing the app, creating a strong password and tracking who is joining the chat. New guidance on the secure use of video conferencing services builds on a raft of advice published on https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/ since the coronavirus outbreak started.

    The NCSC also recommends that you do not make meetings public, connect only to people through your contacts or address book – and to never post the link or password publicly.

    Suspicious Email Reporting Service has been co-developed with the City of London Police. By forwarding any dubious emails – including those claiming to offer support related to COVID-19 – to report@phishing.gov.uk the NCSC’s automated¬ programme will immediately test the validity of the site. Any sites found to be phishing scams will be removed immediately.

    More information on Cyber Aware top tips:
    https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/public-urged-to-flag-coronavirus-related-email-scams-as-online-security-campaign-launches

    If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or by calling 0300-123 2040. If you live in Scotland, please report directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.

    Stay up to date with the latest UK Coronavirus scams:
    https://twitter.com/actionfrauduk.


    Date posted: 21/04/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    BEWARE OF COVID-19 TELEPHONE SCAMS


    Beware of telephone scams

    We are aware that criminals are trying to exploit the national coronavirus crisis and take advantage of innocent people.


    Fraudsters purporting to be from the police or your bank are targeting elderly and vulnerable people to try and steal money from their accounts. The callers will often seem genuine, offering you the opportunity to call them back to prove their identity.

    They establish their trust with you by confirming some of your personal details and will then make up a story in which money in your bank account needs to be transferred or withdrawn.


    The police or your bank will never:

  • Contact you out of the blue and ask for your personal details, including your PIN number, password or account details

  • Ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons

  • Ask you to withdraw cash and hand to someone for safe keeping

  • Send someone to your home to collect cash, bank cards, account details or PIN numbers


  • Protect yourself

  • If you are unsure whether someone on the phone is genuine, hang up and then use a different line to call the organisation they are purporting to be from using a number from the phonebook or internet to verify their identity

  • Don’t give out your personal information to anyone over the phone, including your PIN number and bank account or card details

  • If you have given out your personal banking details to someone over the phone or have given someone your card details, contact your bank immediately to cancel your card.


  • Where to go for help

  • If you receive a call from someone purporting to be a police officer and asking you to withdraw or transfer money, call Warwickshire Police on 101 – the more intelligence we receive, the more likely we are to catch those responsible.

  • If you have been a victim of a telephone scam, please report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

  • For advice on scams, contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

  • Always call 999 in an emergency.


  • Stay safe & well


    Date posted: 21/04/2020

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    Herefordshire Council Notice
    STOP LOAN SHARKS SOCIAL MEDIA RESOURCES - COVID19


    Herefordshire Council have asked for information about preventing loan sharks taking advantage of the Covid-19 situation to be circulated.

    The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) recognise that this period may be one of increased financial pressure for some people. The Team is committed to ensuring that illegal money lenders (loan sharks) do not take advantage and profit from other people’s hardship.

    The Stop Loan Sharks helpline service remains open and fully operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage not only victims but friends, family members and the wider community to come forward if they suspect someone is suffering at the hands of loan sharks.


    Anyone lending money should have the correct permission from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Legal lenders have to comply with strict guidance and ensure they are dealing with customers fairly, using proper paperwork and legal collection methods. You can check if a company is authorised to lend money at https://www.loansmart.org.uk/.

    Our partners at Citizens Advice, Money Advice Service and Stepchange have a wealth of information available to help people whose health and finances have been affected by the
    current situation.

    Citizens Advice: Coronavirus – what is means for you.

    Money Advice Service: Coronavirus – what it means for you.

    Stepchange: Coronavirus and your finances.

    Help us raise awareness of the dangers of using loan sharks and signpost people to support services. Please share these messages online to encourage safer borrowing and reporting of loan sharks. It is also important to protect people from falling victim to loan sharks during these challenging times.

  • The Stop Loan Sharks helpline service is still operating as normal on 0300-555 2222. If you are the victim of a loan shark, contact the team for help. Visit the website here for more info and support: http://bit.ly/2vyzQyg.

  • If you are being harassed or threatened by an illegal money lender – call the @LoanSharkNews helpline 0300-555 2222 for emotional support, information and guidance. Find out more about the different ways the team can help here: http://bit.ly/2Q0Yej9.

  • Loan sharks are not your friends – these criminals are highly manipulative and want you under their control. Find out how to get help if you or someone you know is a victim of illegal money lending here: http://bit.ly/2Q0Yej9.

  • Useful advice from @YourMoneyAdvice for those experiencing financial hardship. If you need to borrow money, check the lender is authorised by @theFCA and avoid loan sharks. More information here:http://bit.ly/33tJpLj.


  • Further information and links will be shared from our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    To see/ download four posters relating to this message please click on the 'more details' link below.

    Date posted: 08/04/2020
    Link: Click here for more details

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    Bodenham Parish Council Notice
    YET MORE CURRENT SCAMS ……


    Another list of some current scams.

    1 Text messages offering 'free passes' to Netflix for the 'period of isolation'

    2 Emails supposedly from the World Health Organization offering a PDF containing advice on how to stay safe

    3 Text messages claiming you've been caught leaving your house and must pay a fine

    4 Fraudsters posing as healthcare workers and going door to door selling bogus home-testing kits

    5 Text messages asking you to enter your postcode to apply for a Covid-19 relief payment from the Government

    6 Text message from EE advising you have to confirm your account number as there was a problem with the bank processing your last payment

    Date posted: 05/04/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    BE AWARE OF MANDATE FRAUD


    Mandate fraud is when someone gets you to change a direct debit, standing order or bank transfer mandate, by purporting to be an organisation you make regular payments to, for example a subscription or membership organisation or your business supplier.

    Notify your bank immediately if you see any unusual activity on your account or suspect mandate fraud has occurred
    .


    How can Mandate fraud occur?

  • You receive a letter in the post that appears to come from the company supplying a monthly magazine to you. It provides details of a new bank account and asks you to change the payment details to reflect this. The direct debit bank mandate is amended as instructed. The following month your magazine does not arrive and when you contact the publisher you are told that because your payment was cancelled you no longer have a subscription for the magazine.

  • Your online bank account has been hacked into by a fraudster and monthly payment details are altered so that the money is transferred to the fraudsters account.

  • You are contacted by someone pretending to be from an organisation you have a standing order with and request you change the order to reflect a change in their banking. The standing order mandate is changed accordingly but next month the actual organisation fails to deliver your products or a membership has been cancelled as they did not receive their payment.

  • As a business you are contacted by someone pretending to be one of your suppliers and told they have changed their bank and could you amend the direct debit to reflect this. As a result the bank mandate is amended to the account that was provided. The next month you are contacted by your genuine supplier asking what has happened with the monthly payment.


  • Advice to avoid Mandate fraud

  • Verify all invoices, as well as requests to change bank account details. To check that a request is legitimate, contact the supplier directly using established contact details you have on file.

  • Access to sensitive financial information should be carefully controlled. Don't dispose of confidential documents without shredding them first.

  • Check your bank statements regularly for any suspicious transactions. If you notice anything unusual, notify your bank immediately.


  • For more information, please visit https://www.scotland.police.uk/assets/pdf/keep_safe/bank-mandate-fraud.


    If fraud has been committed, report it to Action Fraud. https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime.


    Date posted: 02/04/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    BEWARE COVID-19 FRAUD AND SCAMS


    Criminals are using the Covid-19 pandemic to scam the public – don't click the bait, don’t become a victim.

    Action Fraud have received reports of #COVID19 related scams. The majority relate to the online sale of protective items such as facemasks and other items in short supply due to the outbreak, that don't exist.
    https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/coronavirus-related-fraud-reports


    What scams are we seeing?

    The majority of reports are related to on-line shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products, which have never arrived. Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and tender loan fraud.

    Protection advice

    Detailed counter fraud advice is available online, including from Scamsmart, ActionFraud, CIFAS, TakeFive, Citizens Advice, Trading Standards and the National Cyber Security Centre.

    Reporting to Action Fraud can be done online at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or by calling 0300-123 2040.

    To report offers of financial assistance from HMRC contact phishing@hmrc.gov.uk.


    Date posted: 30/03/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 - NEW TRENDS IN FRAUD


    Updated figures show there have been 105 reports (nationally) to Action Fraud since 1 February 2020, with total losses reaching nearly £970,000. The first report relating to Coronavirus, or COVID-19, was received on 9 February. There were 20 more reports that month. Since then, there have been 46 reports between 1 March and 13 March, and 38 reports in just four days (14 March – 18 March).


    What scams are we seeing?

    The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser, and other products, which have never arrived.

    Other frauds being reported include ticket fraud, romance fraud, charity fraud and lender loan fraud.


    Phishing emails

    We have also received over 200 reports of coronavirus-themed phishing emails. These attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing people’s personal information, email logins and passwords, and banking details.

    Some of the tactics being used in phishing emails include:

  • Fraudsters purporting to be from a research group that mimic the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO). They claim to provide the victim with a list of active infections in their area, but to access this information the victim needs to either: click on a link which redirects them to a credential-stealing page; or make a donation of support in the form of a payment into a Bitcoin account.

  • Fraudsters providing articles about the virus outbreak with a link to a fake company website where victims are encouraged to click to subscribe to a daily newsletter for further updates.

  • Fraudsters sending investment scheme and trading advice encouraging people to take advantage of the coronavirus downturn.

  • Fraudsters purporting to be from HMRC offering a tax refund and directing victims to a fake website to harvest their personal and financial details. The emails often display the HMRC logo making it look reasonably genuine and convincing.


  • Protect yourself

    1) Watch out for scam messages

    Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

    2) Shopping online:

    If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases. For more information on how to shop online safely, please visit: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/shoponlinesafely


    3) Protect your devices from the latest threats:

    Always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats.

    For information on how to update your devices, please visit: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/securing-your-devices


    For the latest health information and advice about COVID-19 please visit the NHS website.

    If you think you have been a victim please report to Action Fraud
    https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime


    Note: If you or someone else is in immediate danger or risk of harm dial 999

    Date posted: 27/03/2020

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      Notice
    TV LICENSING SCAM


    There would appear to be a TV Licensing Scam being sent by email in which the recipient is told that their recent direct debit did not go through and is asked for their bank details.

    As the recipients of this particular email in Bodenham have been pensioners and not paying a licence fee, it is obvious it was a scam.

    Please be aware.


    Date posted: 26/03/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    ATTEMPTED CORONAVIRUS-RELATED SCAM


    It has become clear that unfortunately there are some individuals and crime groups looking to exploit elderly and vulnerable people in these challenging times in terms of fraud either by phone, email or in door-to-door visits.


    Please see the report below for your information:

    Remain vigilant following an incident where people claimed to be police officers.

    Three people knocked on the door of a property at around 7.45pm on Thursday 19 March (Charlton Kings, Gloucestershire) and refused to show identification when asked by the resident. It has been reported that those at the door said they were there investigating Coronavirus related matters.

    This was a scam and thankfully the resident, aged in his 70's, did not let them inside the property due to the unusual circumstances and their lack of willingness to show identification

    When refused entry the trio, two white men and a white woman, left. Their intentions are not known but this appears to be an attempt at a door step scam.


    West Mercia Police - Detective Inspector Emma Wright - said: “Being a good neighbour is important, and communities are rallying around to support each other. However, there may be those who seek to exploit the situation also.

    “Volunteers working with the health and emergency services will have undertaken necessary vetting checks and they should all have documentation proving their status.

    “Community volunteering to provide assistance to those most vulnerable in meeting their daily needs will also be likely in the coming months. If people have doubts about those who are approaching them, and are concerned, we advise that they don’t engage and that they report serious suspicious behaviour to police. The majority of groups are well intentioned, and will be working through charities or through a local authority and should have proof that they are doing so.

    “Whilst we are aware some may be unable to regularly get to the bank due to self-isolation, we would remind people of good crime prevention practices and would advise against keeping large amounts of cash at your home address. Only keep what you need at home and try to set up direct debits, standing orders or use on-line/telephone banking to pay larger bills.

    “It is also important that people protect themselves from online fraud. Watch out for scam messages: don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details. Remember, that the police or your bank will never call you and ask you to transfer funds or to hand over cash/valuables to a courier – any such calls are a scam.

    “As many of us turn more to shopping online, if you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.

    “As well as looking out for those who are vulnerable in terms of their care and shopping needs, please look out for your friends, neighbours and family, by ensuring they are aware of this advice and that they continue to show vigilance at the door, online and via the telephone.”


    “There is additional information and updates regarding fraud on the Action Fraud website https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.

    Date posted: 23/03/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    COURIER FRAUD UPDATE


    Courier Fraud - We are continually urging people to be vigilant

    Courier fraud is where fraudsters call someone, pretending to be a police officer or bank official, warning that there are corrupt bank staff, intent on stealing their money, and ask for their help. Typically, the caller then tells the victim to withdraw a sum of money and a courier is sent to collect it.

    Police forces across the country have been cracking down on criminals who commit courier fraud, with a combination of awareness raising and enforcement activity co-ordinated by the City of London Police.

    This is the first phase of activity as part of the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) led operation to combat fraud, Operation Otello. City of London Police has co-ordinated the courier fraud activity, Operation Radium, across all 43 police forces in England and Wales, and with colleagues from nine police forces, 44 arrests have been made since November 2019.

    The culmination of the campaign was three weeks’ worth of operational activity across London, with 24 people arrested and 18 premises searched. These were joint operations between the City of London Police and Kent Police, West Mercia Police, Hertfordshire Police, Dorset Police and the DCPCU (Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit).

    This is a despicable crime in which fraudsters specifically target older people, by exploiting their trust in the police and their bank, to bleed them dry. Courier fraudsters are nearly always part of broader criminal gangs: they are persuasive and can be aggressive. This can be particularly intimidating when they turn up on a victim’s doorstep.

    Courier fraud was selected to be the first of the operations under Operation Otello because of the impact on predominantly vulnerable victims:

  • Over the past two years there have been 3,188 victims of courier fraud; numbers have risen sharply in the last six months.
  • This equates to losses of over £12m.
  • Victims are most likely to be women aged over 80.
  • In October 2019 one loss through courier fraud was £975,445, reported in Dorset. Other large losses have been £400,000 to a 74 year old victim and £190,000 to an 80 year old victim (both reported in November 2019).

  • WATCH THE VIDEO: What is courier fraud?

    To view more details visit the Action Fraud website and also keep up to date with the latest scams.
    https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/fraudsters-who-prey-on-the-elderly-targeted-by-police-operation


    Date posted: 24/02/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    MULTIPLE SCAM ALERT!


    Please be on your guard. Over recent days, scams of various different types have been reported. These come in a variety of ways, ranging from telephone fraudsters attempting to extract money, to on-line scams and unsolicited emails containing a link.

    Below are some examples of recent reports:

    0323S 200220

    Telephone Scammer - Bewdley
    20/02/20
    A resident received a telephone call purporting to be from a police officer, said to be a DC Alan Harper. The scammer asked the victim if they banked with Barclays as their card had been used in Argos, London and £499 had been taken out. The victim did not at disclose personal details, however was shaken by receiving such a call.

    0495S 180220

    Deception/Fraud – Worcester
    The victim was having a Facebook conversation with someone whom she thought was one of her friends. The ‘friend’ sent a link, which stated that the victim’s name, along with other names listed, had won a cash prize and not yet claimed. In order to make the claim, the victim must first send over an amount of money, which unfortunately they did. It then transpired the victim had NOT in fact been communicating with her friend and that her friend’s Facebook account had been hacked.


    0343S 180220

    Attempted Deception - Telford
    A Facebook message advertising a property to rent. The message stated that there would be a refundable a deposit. This was fake in an attempt to get monies deposited.


    0401S 160220

    HMRC Telephone Scam – Telford
    16/02/20
    A Telford resident received a telephone call from a male stating that there were problems with the victim’s computer and that they could fixed it for a fee. The victim allowed remote access to their computer. After providing transactions via debit card the scammer has re-contacted the victim - explaining that they can give him lifetime cover for his computer for £1700 which they will debit from his same bank card number. The fraudster told the victim to tell the bank that the money is for home improvements should he be asked by bank staff and to send the money via MoneyGram to ‘Susan Jones’ in India and to tell the Post Office that he is sending money to a relative. Victim has then been re-contacted and told that the MoneyGram transaction has failed and that he should repeat the process.


    0016S 130220

    Deception/Fraud – Amazon Prime
    Telephone call from a male who gave his name as ‘Mark Johnson’ from AMAZON PRIME on telephone number 02032901080. The fraudster said there was a problem with the victim’s PRIME account and unfortunately an extra request for £50 was coming through. The fraudster asked the victim for their bank details which unfortunately have been disclosed.


    Courier Fraud
    We are continually urging people to be vigilant to Courier Fraud.

    Police officers, HMRC, banks will NEVER ask for account details or PINs over the phone.
    Police would NOT come around to your house to collect your cards or property.
    Police will NEVER ask for payment in gift cards. (This is the equivalent of handing over cash to the fraudster).

    If you receive a call by someone claiming to be a police officer, HMRC, Bank or other official body asking for money, hang up immediately, wait 10 minutes and call 101, using another phone if possible.

    In an emergency, or if a crime is in progress call 999.

    We would encourage anyone with elderly relatives or friends to talk to them about the Courier Fraud Scam and the other on-line scams to make sure that they are aware.

    Action Fraud
    Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

    You can report fraud or cyber-crime using the online reporting service at any time of the day or night; the service enables you to both report a fraud and find help and support. Action Fraud also provides help and advice over the phone through the Action Fraud contact centre. You can talk to our fraud and cybercrime specialists by calling 0300-123 2040.


    Stay Safe Online

    For expert advice both personal and for business visit:
    https://www.getsafeonline.org/news/

    For Crime Prevention information please visit the West Mercia Police website
    https://www.westmercia.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/

    Report online
    You can now submit reports online, it’s a quick and simple process to use
    https://www.westmercia.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/


    Please note -if a crime is in progress, or in an emergency dial 999.



    Date posted: 21/02/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    SCAM FINANCIAL SERVICES OFFERED TO FLOOD VICTIMS


    Suspicious financial services being offered on Facebook to flood victims.

    Following the devastating floods affecting many of our communities, it would appear that an online scam has begun looking to target vulnerable people.


    DS Jon Cooper said: “It seems there are some suspicious Facebook posts purporting to be from banks, directed at flood victims.

    “I would urge people to only go through their personal and official bank and or insurance company direct and DO NOT click any links about lost cards or money via social media.”

    Fraudsters may be targeting flood victims with fake credit card and cash replacement on Facebook – DON’T CLICK THE BAIT.


    Date posted: 19/02/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    AUTOMATED SPAM CALLS RELATED TO AMAZON


    Action Fraud has received over 500 reports from people about an automated call scam impersonating Amazon.

    The recipient of the call is informed that fraudsters have used their personal details to subscribe to an Amazon Prime subscription, and are instructed to Press “1” if they’d like to cancel the purchase. When victims do this, they are automatically connected to criminals posing as Amazon custom service representatives who attempt to remotely access the victim’s computer in order to steal personal and financial details.

    The criminal tells the victim the Amazon Prime subscription was purchased fraudulently and that they need remote access to the victim’s computer in order to fix a security flaw that will prevent it from happening again. The victim is instructed to download an application called Team Viewer and asked to log onto their online banking account. The software download grants the fraudster remote access to the victim’s computer and allows them to see the victim’s personal and financial details.

    Other variants of the crime involve victims being told they are due a refund for an unauthorised transaction on their Amazon account.

    What can you do to protect yourself?

    Action Fraud is reminding people to never install any software as a result of a cold call.

    “Unsolicited requests to remote access your computer should always raise a red flag. It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations, but its okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.

    “If you’ve received an unexpected phone call, or other communication, stop and take a minute to think about whether an organisation would get in touch with you out of the blue in this way. Instead, contact them directly using a known email or phone number.”

    Remember, if you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud online at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or by calling 0300-123 2040.

    If you or someone else is in immediate danger or risk of harm, dial 999.

    Date posted: 13/02/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    CATALYTIC CONVERTER THEFT AWARENESS


    There has been a recent increase in the theft of catalytic converters from vehicles in West Mercia. This is due to a rise in the value of the precious metals they contain.

    PC Dale Tomkins said: “Thieves tend to target vehicles such as vans and 4x4s that have a higher ground clearance making the converters more easily accessible. However, all types of vehicles are vulnerable.

    “Please help us tackle this crime by taking steps to reduce the chances of your vehicle being targeted.

    “We need to know about any suspicious activity around parked vehicles. Please contact us on 101 with any information about what is happening in your area.”

    Tips on how to protect your vehicle:

  • Keep your vehicle in a garage if you can
  • If you park it on a driveway, install motion activated lighting
  • Otherwise, park in a well-lit, populated area
  • Forensic security marking kits are available to mark your catalytic converter
  • Locks are also available that can be fitted to your converter
  • Use high visibility signage to deter thieves

  • For crimes in progress call 999. For non-emergencies report online at https://www.westmercia.police.uk/report.

    Speak to your Safer Neighbourhood Team and, for more information, visit our website https://www.westmercia.police.uk/.


    Date posted: 30/01/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    FACEBOOK BASED MONEY SCAM


    We have been made aware that there is a scam operating on Facebook that is looking to con people by requesting they deposit money into a fake account.

    Detective Jon Cooper said: "The fraudsters are doing this by hacking a victim’s account and then messaging the victim’s ‘friends’ asking them to lend them some money, normally around £400, and deposit the money in the fake account. Some local people’s businesses have also been targeted by hackers accessing a victim's Facebook account.

    “Sadly, some of these attempts have been successful and naturally the victims are feeling violated and taken advantage of. I would please urge everyone to be vigilant of this scam and to never digitally deposit money to anyone’s account without confirming in person if possible it is, in fact, someone they know.

    “Some online scams are very clever and very convincing. However, there are steps you can take to help protect yourself –

  • Strong passwords are nonsensical and made up of a mixture of letters, numbers and punctuation.
  • Make sure you update your software and your antivirus before using the internet.
  • Always check when banking online that the ‘https’ shows the connection is secure.
  • Remember to shred documents containing personal details before throwing away.
  • Think scams. If an online bargain seems too good to be true, it probably is.


  • https://www.westmercia.police.uk/news/west-mercia/news/2020/january/facebook-based-money-scam/.

    To keep up to date with the latest scams visit the
    Action Fraud website https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/.

    Members of the public – 0300-123 2040 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm).
    Businesses, charity or other organisations suffering a live cyber-attack: 0300-123 2040 (Available 24/7).

    Date posted: 27/01/2020

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    TAKE THE ANPR SURVEY


    West Mercia Police has launched an online survey about the use of ANPR technology across the region.

    The survey aims to give local communities, as well as those who travel through the region, a chance to voice their views and understanding of how ANPR is used to tackle crime.

    The technology is used to help detect, deter and disrupt criminality at a local, force, regional and national level, including tackling travelling criminals, organised crime groups and terrorists.

    ANPR provides lines of enquiry and evidence in the investigation of crime and is used by forces throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

    The aim of the survey, which runs for six weeks from 20 January, is to develop a broader view of public perceptions and understanding of police use of ANPR, allowing us to inform and engage with our communities around its future use.

    To take part in the survey simply click here


    Date posted: 23/01/2020

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    Safer Neighbourhood Team Notice
    SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD NEWSLETTER (JANUARY 2020)


    To see the latest newsletter from the Bromyard Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT), which includes some items relating to Bodenham in particular, please click on the link below.

    Date posted: 20/01/2020
    Link: Click here for more details

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    FRAUDSTERS ORDERED TO PAY BACK PROCEEDS OF CRIME


    Please do remain vigilant and on your guard for such telephone scam callers.

    Five men were made subject of Confiscation Orders at Worcester Crown Court on Friday 13 December, following their part in an organised crime group who committed telephone and courier fraud offences against the elderly and vulnerable.

    Between April and June 2016, telephone fraud offences took place across Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Cumbria, West Midlands, Avon and Somerset, Gloucestershire and Thames Valley, when 50 victims, ranging from 49 to 96 years old were called on their landline telephone numbers and asked to hand over money.

    Fifteen victims were persuaded to hand over money, with a total of over £200,000 being stolen. A lengthy investigation followed under Operation Hyperion, led by officers from West Mercia Police working with a number of other police forces, in particular Cumbria Police, who had also commenced an operation into the group.

    Eight men were sentenced on 11 February 2019 at Worcester Crown Court to more than 21 years for their roles in the nationwide telephone and courier fraud scam. A further two men were sentenced on 25 June to eight months for their involvement in the scam, however their sentences were later varied upon appeal. Five members of the group are awaiting sentence, which will follow the trial of the remaining 3 defendants to be held in March 2020.

    On Friday, at Worcester Crown His Honour Judge Cartwright granted 5 Confiscation Orders under the Proceeds of Crime Act (2002), further to convictions obtained as a result of Operation Hyperion.

    Rejwanul ISLAM, who was involved in co-ordinating the group and making direct contact with victims on the telephone, had previously been sentenced to 6 years imprisonment, in February 2019. He was deemed to have benefitted by £213,000.00 for his role in the fraud, despite this Islam was deemed to have only £1,500.00 available and he was ordered to pay this within 3 months or face a default sentence of 14 days imprisonment.

    Cases like this highlight the hard work and dedication by officers and staff across the forces involved, to bring these individuals responsible for serious and organised fraud to justice. This case has involved many hours of painstaking investigative work by both the criminal investigation teams and also by financial investigators.

    The convictions and subsequent confiscation orders in this case, show that West Mercia Police will pursue offenders who directly target the elderly and vulnerable, including stripping them of any assets they have gained through crime. I hope this will deter other criminals who may be involved in these despicable offences, by showing that they will be convicted and have their ill-gotten gains removed.

    Being able to remove assets under Proceeds of Crime Act can then compensate the victims of the crime, bringing some comfort to those who were so cruelly targeted.

    To read further details on the West Mercia Police website please click here.

    West Mercia Police would like to remind people that the police will NEVER ask you to hand over cash or valuables. If you receive a call of this nature, do not provide any details, hang up and wait 10 minutes (to ensure the call has disconnected) before calling police on 101 (or 999 in an emergency) to report it.

    Members of the public are urged to pass on this information to elderly and vulnerable friends and relatives.



    Date posted: 18/12/2019

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    ATTEMPTED FRAUDS IN BODENHAM AND NEARBY


    Please note that the following message was circulated by West Mercia Police at 13.01hrs today, Saturday 16 November 2019. Similar cases are also reported today from Moreton-on-Lugg, Docklow and Leysters:


    ”Bromyard: Attempt fraud

    Force Incident Number 164s 151119

    Bodenham, Hereford

    Male purporting to be a police officer contacted victim by phone and attempted to scam victim into visiting bank, obtain / hand over cash (as per previous Modus Operandi). Stated victim's card had been fraudulently used in Argos. Male asks victim to replace receiver and call police. Line is kept open by male so victim believes they are through to police. This is one of a series of similar attempts by what is believed to be same male.

    No known suspect(s) at this time.

    Enquiries continuing.

    If you have information that you believe may be in connection to this incident, please contact the Police on 101, quoting the incident number given.

    Please remain vigilant around your area and report suspicious persons, vehicles or activity to the Police on 101. Thank you.

    Information can also be given anonymously to the Independent Charity, Crimestoppers, by calling 0800 555 111 or by visiting their website: www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

    Sender: 92854
    Business Area Name: Citizens in Policing”


    Date posted: 16/11/2019

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    WARNING OF THOMAS COOK 'REFUND' SCAMS


    Warning issued by Action Fraud that Thomas Cook ‘refund’ scams are on the rise

    Members of the public have reported receiving calls and messages offering “refunds” by people purporting to be associated with, or acting on behalf of Thomas Cook.

    We would urge people to be vigilant of unsolicited calls, texts or social media messages that ask for personal or financial details, and not to automatically click on the links in unexpected emails.


    Legitimate organisations will never contact you out of the blue and ask for your PIN, card details, or full banking passwords. If you get a call or message asking for these, it’s a scam.

    Remember, your bank or the police will never ask you to transfer money out of your account, or ask you to hand over cash for safe-keeping.

    If you think you have been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via the online reporting tool https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/warning-thomas-cook-refund-scams.

    For more information on how you can protect yourself, visit http://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/.

    Thomas Cook customers should go to https://www.abta.com/news/thomas-cook-group for details on how they can make a claim.


    Date posted: 27/09/2019

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    DRIVERS TARGETED WITH FAKE FINES


    Information sent on behalf of Action Fraud (NFIB)

    What you need to know

    Action Fraud have received an increase in reports and intelligence where elderly victims are being targeted by individuals purporting to be police officers or traffic wardens. The victims are being approached whilst parked in a car park and are told by the suspect that they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and a photo has been taken of their car for ‘evidence’.

    Victims are advised that they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee immediately. Victims, who opt for paying the smaller penalty, will be directed to a parking meter and asked to enter their card and PIN. These parking meters have been tampered with by the suspect in order to retain the card.

    Once the victim inserts their card and are asked for their PIN, the victims are shoulder surfed for their PIN by the suspect. Once victims input their PIN, the card is retained by the machine and victims are told by the suspect to seek help from the company who operates the parking meter or their bank
    .

    What you need to do

  • If you are suspicious about the authenticity of the fine, do not pay it until you have verified it with your local council.
  • Always shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine, and never share your PIN with anyone.
  • If your bank card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bank immediately to inform them.

  • For more details regarding Action Fraud and to keep informed of the latest scams go to https://www.actionfraudalert.co.uk/.



    Date posted: 03/07/2019

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    NOT FEELING SAFE ON A NIGHT OUT? ASK FOR "ANGELA"


    Are you are on a date that isn't working out?

    Is your Tinder or Plenty of Fish (PoF) date not who they said they were on their profile?

    Does it all feel a bit Weird?

    If you are out in a pub or club and feel like you’re not in a safe situation, go to the bar and ask for “Angela”. The bar staff will know you need some help getting out of your situation and will call you a taxi or help you out discreetly - without too much fuss.

    Advice for staff using ‘Ask for Angela’

    If you work in a pub, club or shop and regularly deal with members of the public, do you know what to do if someone asks YOU for "Angela"?

  • Ask the person in distress what it is they want to do? It might be that they just want to alert staff that things are becoming uncomfortable and might need someone to keep watch whilst they collect possessions from the area where they were seated.
  • Offer to call the person a taxi or assist them in calling a friend/ family member to come and collect them.
  • Where safe to do so (the person asking for help is out of sight and the staff consider it safe), request the person causing distress leaves the venue.
  • DO NOT allow the person asking for help to leave the venue in sight of the person causing distress - this could lead to them being followed out of the venue and placed at higher risk.
  • If the person causing distress becomes angry, consider calling the police for assistance or follow your corporate policy on this issue.

  • For more information please contact your local Police Safer Neighbourhood Team on 101.


    Date posted: 18/12/2018

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    ARE THE CORRECT LOCKS FITTED TO YOUR DOORS?


    Euro-cylinder locks are present on the majority of UPVC doors and we are aware that some offenders have developed a method of overcoming them to then gain access into a home.

    Look to upgrade your euro-cylinder locks if they have not achieved a 3 star rating under the TS 007 testing process or the Sold Secure Diamond Standard (SS312).

    Euro-cylinder locks can be changed by yourself, but you will need to measure them properly to ensure they are the right size for your door. They should not be fitted so they protrude from the door unit or handle.

    If you are going to ask someone to upgrade your locks for you, consider using the Master Locksmiths Association or a reputable security company. Obtain three quotes for the fitting of new locks to the standards referenced above and pick the one that best suits your circumstances.

    When replacing your locks you should consider fitting Anti-Snap locks. These types of locks are designed to have two parts. These parts are built to enable the door to lock even if a burglar manages to break the front part of the barrel off. With the way these types of locks are designed they prevent access to the inner part of the locking barrel and thereby preventing burglars from accessing the locking mechanism and unlocking your door.

    Due to the way these locks are designed you can also continue using your lock because the locking mechanism section will continue to work until you change the whole lock.


    Date posted: 03/12/2018

    [top]

    West Mercia Police Notice
    WATCH OUT FOR COUNTY LINES DRUG DEALING


    Following a senior officer from Warwickshire Police urging the public to be on the lookout for signs of county lines drug dealing, we are asking people across West Mercia to know the signs and report anything they see to us.

    County lines is a term used to describe gangs transporting drugs from bigger cities into smaller towns. This is a national problem involving drug gangs operating from cities including Birmingham, London, Manchester and Liverpool.

    Police are urging people to look out for the following signs:

  • Children or young people going missing from home or school.
  • Changes in a person's behaviour or emotional wellbeing.
  • Children or young people socialising with unfamiliar people.
  • A person starting to abuse drugs and alcohol.
  • Someone acquiring money they can't account for.
  • Someone buying expensive goods they can't afford.
  • Lone children visiting from outside the area.
  • Someone with multiple phones, tablets or SIM cards.
  • Unknown or suspicious people going into a neighbour's house - especially if that neighbour is vulnerable.

  • Detective Chief Inspector Neil Reader said: "We are getting very good at disrupting county lines gangs operating in Warwickshire and bringing the key players to justice.

    "However, we also need the people's help; the public are our eyes and ears in the community and it is important they are looking out for the signs of county lines drug dealing and report it to the police.

    "County lines criminals tend to target youngsters and vulnerable people, getting them to deal drugs. This is why we are asking people to look out for the signs. On their own, each of these signs may not be suspicious but put them together with changes in behaviour it could be a sign of county lines drug dealing.

    "If you have any suspicions please call the police. Your piece of information, no matter how small, might be the final piece of the jigsaw that means we can take action."

    If you have any information that could help police tackle county lines drug crime please call 101. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800-555 111.

    Any information or concerns can also be discussed with your local Safer Neighbourhood Team.



    Date posted: 01/12/2018

    [top]

    West Mercia Police Notice
    SCAM TELEPHONE CALLERS ARE TARGETING WEST MERCIA!


    Please be aware and remain vigilant. Over recent days there has been an increase in reports of 'scam telephone calls' being made to Hereford & Worcestershire residents.

    Calls have been received from male(s) and at least one female, described as having Asian accents. The fraudsters are purporting to be from the Inland Revenue and tell the victim large amounts of tax are owed due to some tax miscalculation, if the victim does not pay immediately, bank accounts will be frozen and they are about to be arrested. The fraudster states, to avoid this happening, the victim can pay by purchasing ‘Google Play’ gift cards and give the codes from the gift cards back over the phone. Victims have described the scammers as 'very convincing and persuasive'.

    Scammers love gift cards!>
    It’s one of their favourite ways to get your money! These cards are like giving cash. After you buy them, the scammer asks for the code on the back of the card or an image of it. If you provide the code, the scammer can use all the money on the gift card. They’ll likely spend it all before you can contact Google or the police. (See https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/a-z-of-fraud/courier-fraud).

  • If you receive such a call do not engage in conversation – clear the line immediately.
  • Remember NEVER divulge - or even confirm - personal details, give out bank account numbers or your PIN numbers.
  • Report the call immediately to Action Fraud (https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or Tel:03001-232040.
  • Before making any further outgoing calls, ensure the telephone line is indeed cleared from the fraudster. If you are still unsure, then use another phone if necessary.


  • Thank you


    Date posted: 29/11/2018

    [top]

    West Mercia Police Notice
    HMRC SCAM CALLS


    Over the past few days we have received several calls from members of the public reporting a scam phone call allegedly from Revenue and Customs - the below is from the government website:

    HMRC is aware of an automated phone call scam which will tell you HMRC is filing a lawsuit against you, and to press one to speak to a caseworker to make a payment. We can confirm this is a scam and you should end the call immediately.

    This scam has been widely reported and often targets elderly and vulnerable people.

    Other scam calls may offer a tax refund and request you to provide your bank or credit card information. If you cannot verify the identity of the caller, we recommend that you do not speak to them.

    If you’ve been a victim of the scam and suffered financial loss, report it to Action Fraud (https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/).

    The calls use a variety of phone numbers. To help our investigations you should report full details of the scam by email to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk, including the:

  • date of the call
  • phone number used
  • content of the call




  • Date posted: 29/11/2018

    [top]

    West Mercia Police Notice
    RECENT CRIMINAL ACTIVITY - NUMBER PLATE THEFTS


    We have recently experienced a number of thefts of vehicle number plates. This type of theft is a common crime.

    Criminal will often use stolen vehicle number plates (also known as VRM's - Vehicle Registration Mark plates) and then attach them to their own, or even previously stolen vehicles, in order to help them commit additional crimes and evade identification and capture by the police.

    Please consider replacing your number plate screws with “clutch head” screws which will prevent criminals from unscrewing your number plates and stealing them.

    If your VRM plates are not attached to your vehicle by screws, you may be more likely to become the victim of this type of crime as such VRM's are often only secured by double sided sticky tabs and can be removed relatively easily. In these instances please consider seeking suitable technical assistance from a professional in order to find an alternative method of securing your registration plates to your vehicle.


    Date posted: 12/11/2018

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    NOT SURE? DON'T OPEN THE DOOR!


    Protect yourself from doorstep crime. Be aware of people who turn up unannounced, most genuine callers will have a pre-arranged appointment. If in doubt, keep them out!

    Doorstep crime can include rogue traders offering home improvement or gardening services, or bogus callers who claim to be the council, police, health carers or energy companies.

    Rogue traders may say they are in the area working on another property and they have spotted a problem with your home or garden. They may claim to have materials left over from another job, like paving or tarmac. They may try to pressurise you to buy goods or sign up for services on the spot. Unfortunately all too often they may offer to carry out work cheaply, but charge an extortionate price after the work has been completed.

    Bogus callers may claim to be working for the council, water, gas or electric company. They could also say they are a nurse, doctor or even from the police. Bogus callers may say they need to come into your home, or try to get you to go outside. They may try to distract you so they can steal your money. They can be male, female or even children.

    A pedlar is someone who calls at your door to sell items that they have to offer, This can often include cleaning or household goods. These goods may be sold at an overpriced value. By law pedlars are required to carry a pedlar’s certificate, which is issued by the police force in the area they operate.

    If you are not sure who is at the door, do not open it. Check the identity of any caller. Confirm who they are by calling the company they work for by using the number from the telephone directory or from off one of your bills. Do not call a number provided by them.

    If caller does not leave your property when asked to do so, call the police.


    Date posted: 12/11/2018

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    ACTION FRAUD ALERT - ONLINE EXTORTION SCAM


    Cyber criminals send victims their own passwords in extortion scam

    Cyber criminals are attempting to blackmail unsuspecting victims by claiming to have used the victims' password to install spying malware on the victims' computer. The criminals claim they’ve recorded videos of the victim watching adult material by activating their webcam when they visit these websites. What makes this scam so convincing is that the email usually includes a genuine password the victim has used for one of their online accounts. We believe criminals obtain the passwords from data breaches.

    What to do if you get one of these emails?

    Don’t reply to the email, or be pressured into paying. The police advise that you do not pay criminals. Try flagging the email as spam/junk if you receive it multiple times. Perform a password reset as soon as possible on any accounts where you’ve used the password mentioned in the email. Always use a strong, separate password for important accounts, such as your email. Where available, enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Always install the latest software and app updates. Install, or enable, anti-virus software on your laptops and computers and keep it updated.

    If you receive one of these emails, report it to Action Fraud’s phishing reporting tool. If you have received one of these emails and paid the ransom, report it to your local police force.

    For more information on current scams/ frauds/ cybercrime or to report a suspected incident please visit the Action Fraud website at

    https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

    Date posted: 31/10/2018

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    PROTECT YOUR HOME DURING THE DARKER NIGHTS


    As the clocks are now turned back West Mercia Police is reminding its communities not to let burglars take advantage of the longer darker nights to use the cover of darkness to commit crime.

    Chief Superintendent Kevin Purcell said: "As the nights draw in we often see an increase in people's homes being burgled, as well as valuables stolen from cars as thieves take advantage of the cover of darkness.

    "Our officers do regular patrols, but I would also advise people, especially at this time of year, to think about their home and vehicle safety.

    "Simple things can be done in the home such as setting lamps and radios to come on to a timer, use /or install an alarm system, as well as installing outside security lighting.

    “As for car safety - don't leave valuables on your seats and if you can park your car somewhere that is well lit rather than a secluded street, these can all help prevent being a target of crime."

    Throughout West Mercia Police towns and villages have signed up to support We Don't Buy Crime and advertise their involvement, through support from West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, about their involvement in the initiative. The initiative has proven to act as an effective deterrent and a significant impact on reducing crime. To find out more about how your local community can get involved speak to your local safer neighbourhood policing team.

    https://www.westmercia.police.uk/article/53003/Protect-your-home-during-the-darker-nights


    Further Crime prevention advice can be obtained from the West Mercia Police website (Crime & Safety sections) please see ‘remove the opportunities for burglary’:

    For Homehttps://www.westmercia.police.uk/article/1955/Home


    For Rural & Business https://www.westmercia.police.uk/rural-and-business


    Date posted: 29/10/2018

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    CARS WITH KEYLESS ENTRY AND IGNITION


    Crime Prevention advice for vehicles with Keyless Entry and Ignition


    Although this technology is advantageous for the driver, it also means the vehicle can be unlocked and started remotely by car thieves. Thieves can use wireless transmitters to capture a vehicle’s radio transmission, which is then relayed to another device held close to the key fob that might be in a pocket at a motorway services or close by at home.

    The fob is fooled into thinking it is next to the car and the vehicle can be unlocked. Once the thief is inside the car, the process can be repeated to start the engine. In a bid to combat this, a protective wallet can be used. Within the wallet there is a protective sleeve, which looks like a piece of lining.

    There are number of key fob pouch protectors available on the market for you to choose from. It is advised the wallet should be used at all times to safeguard your vehicle with the keys being placed in the sleeve to stop the signal from being transmitted.


    Date posted: 22/08/2018

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    REPORTING INCIDENTS


    Please do not report crime or other incidents via Twitter or other forms of Social Media. Please call 101, or 999 in an emergency. Additional information is often required by officers in order for the police to act upon any information given.

    Please view the advice below on which number you should ring.

    999 is for reporting emergency situations only; below is a helpful mnemonic to remember when to use it.

    P - Phone 999 only if
    O - Offenders are nearby
    L - Life is at risk
    I - Injury is caused or threatened
    C - Crime or disorder is in progress
    E - Emergency situations


    What is 101?

    101 is now the number to call when you want to get through to your local police when it is less urgent than 999. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Calls to 101 from land lines and mobile networks cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day you call or how long you are on the phone.

    When should I use 101?

  • If you have had a minor traffic collision.

  • If your property has been damaged.

  • If your car has been stolen.

  • If you suspect drug dealing.

  • If you have been burgled and there are no offenders on scene.

  • If you have witnessed a crime.

  • If you have information about criminals in your local area.

  • If you have seen a missing person.

  • If you need crime prevention advice.

  • If you want to speak to a local police officer/ your local Safer Neighbourhood Team.

  • If you want to speak to the police about any other incident that doesn't require an immediate response.

  • If you want to make us aware of any policing issues in your local area.


  • What happens when you call 101?

    When you call 101, you will be greeted by an automated system that will automatically identify your location and offer you the option of being connected to your local police force.

    If you would like a different force you will be given the option to speak to an operator to select your chosen area. Your call will be answered by police contact handlers in the control room of that local police force.

    If you are anywhere in the UK you can still dial 101 and you will be given the option of speaking to police contact handlers within West Mercia. If your selection is not correct, you will be given the option to speak to an operator.

    Date posted: 21/08/2018

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    THE TELEPHONE PREFERENCE SERVICE (TPS)


    The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a free service. It is the official central opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. It is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so.

    Organisations with which you have an ongoing relationship, for example those who regard you as a customer, (or in the case of charities - a donor) may well gather your consent during the early stages of your relationship with them and will therefore be entitled to call you even if your number is registered on TPS, unless you have previously told them specifically that you object to them calling you for marketing purposes.

    The TPS can accept the registration of mobile telephone numbers. However it is important to note that this will prevent the receipt of marketing voice calls but not SMS (text) messages. If you wish to stop receiving SMS marketing messages, please send an 'opt-out' request to the company involved.

    As TPS registration only prevents marketing calls, organisations will still be able to call you for the purposes of genuine market research.

    To register your number or make a complaint the quickest and easiest way is to do this online by visiting
    https://www.tpsonline.org.uk//tps/number_type.html

    Alternatively you can phone the Registration Line on: 0345-070 0707. You can call this number to register your number, discuss your concerns or request a complaint form to report receipt of unsolicited direct marketing calls.

    For more information visit
    https://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/index.html

    Date posted: 08/08/2018

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    EMERGENCY SMS


    Did you know you can now contact the Emergency Services by SMS (text message)?

    Emergency SMS is a free service that allows you to use SMS (text messaging) to contact any of the UK 999 services (police, ambulance, fire & rescue or coastguard).

    It is available for anyone who finds making a voice call difficult, has communication difficulties, or is deaf and includes members of the autistic community or individuals who might need to contact emergency services discretely.

    To use the service, you need to pre-register your phone on the website.

    Please see more at
    http://www.emergencysms.org.uk/

    Date posted: 08/08/2018

    [top]

    West Mercia Police Notice
    PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY


    There have always been scammers out to empty your pockets, but with the age of the internet, they've managed to get even more clever into tricking you out of your cash.

    Your identity is valuable, to You and a Crook! Fraudsters know this. They can use the information you share online to pretend to be you and apply for bank accounts, mobile phones, loans or a wide range of other products or services in your name.

    As a victim of identity fraud, you might not realise you've been targeted until a bill arrives for something you didn't buy, or you experience problems with your credit rating, for example. To carry out this kind of fraud successfully, fraudsters usually have access to their victim's personal information, which they obtain in a variety of ways - such as through hacking and data loss, as well as using social media to put the pieces of someone's identity together.

    Did you know 88% of fraudulent applications for bank accounts and financial products are made online?

    So, what can you do? The answer is loads!... here's a few to be getting on with.

    1. Close down any unused/dormant bank accounts & credit cards

    How? Check this Banking industry site for lost accounts
    http://www.mylostaccount.org.uk/aboutus.htm

    Check your credit reference files for a £2 statutory fee or for FREE via Martin Lewis and Money Saving Expert at https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/creditclub

    2. Unused/dormant Social Media profiles should be deactivated and deleted

    How? Try this from Google (remember to tick all the boxes below where you enter your name)
    https://www.social-searcher.com/google-social-search/

    3. Check and close down unused/dormant email accounts

    How? Try this from the USA
    https://haveibeenpwned.com/

    4. Use strong passwords and 2 factor authentication

    How? Check this link to GetSafeOnline
    https://www.getsafeonline.org/protecting-your-computer/passwords/

    If you wish to discuss this or any other Crime Reduction advice, contact me on the details below


    Paul CRUMPTON
    Rural & Business Officer (Crime Prevention) HEREFORDSHIRE
    West Mercia Police
    Internal 4408
    External 101 then 4408
    07773-044781

    Paul.crumpton@westmercia.pnn.police.uk


    Date posted: 08/08/2018

    [top]

    West Mercia Police Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - WHEELIE BINS AND BURGLARS


    Did you know wheelie bins can be used by burglars?

    Please be aware that wheelie bins can be used by burglars as climbing aid to help gain access to your property. Make sure your wheelie bins are out of sight of burglars. Store or secure it away until collection day.

    Did you know that wheelie bins can be used in the following ways by burglars and criminals?

  • As climbing aid to help them gain access to your property? Would be burglars can your wheelie bin and climb on top of it to help them scale your garden wall or fence.

  • As an indicator as to whether or not you are at home? Wheelie bins left out in the street can be an indication that you have not yet returned home from work. Consider asking a trusted neighbour if they would be kind enough to collect your wheelie bins from off the side of the road after they have been emptied.

  • As a removal aid to help take the items away that they have stolen? Burglars and thieves can use any insecure and accessible wheelie bins as a carrying cart to take away any items they have stolen from your property.

  • To find out information about you? Criminal can search through your wheelie bins looking for any personal information which may be contained in discarded letters and documents. This information can then be used to aid in identity theft. Ensure you destroy all discarded personal documentation, ideally by shredding it.

  • To start small fires? Criminals and vandals can use wheelie bins to help set small fires which can easily spread out of control and cause damage to your property and in extreme cases endanger life.


  • For advice and more information please contact a member of your Safer Neighbourhood Team via 101.

    Date posted: 01/05/2018

    [top]

    West Mercia Police Notice
    DOG OWNERS PLEASE READ


    With the lambing season it is important for dog owners to keep in mind the following when out walking:

    ''Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, if a dog worries sheep on agricultural land, the person in charge of the dog is guilty of an offence. The Act considers sheep worrying to include attacking sheep, chasing them in a way that may cause injury, suffering, abortion or loss of produce or being at large (not on a lead or otherwise under close control) in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep.''

    The Countryside Code produced by Natural England offers the following advice:

    When you take your dog into the outdoors, always ensure it does not disturb wildlife, farm animals, horses or other people by keeping it under effective control. This means that you:

    Keep your dog on a lead, or keep it in sight at all times, be aware of what it's doing and be confident it will return to you promptly on command.

    Ensure it does not stray off the path or area where you have a right of access.

    Special dog rules may apply in particular situations, so always look out for local signs, for example:

    Dogs may be banned from certain areas that people use, or there may be restrictions, byelaws or control orders limiting where they can go.

    The access rights that normally apply to open country and registered common land (known as ''Open Access'' land) require dogs to be kept on a short lead between 1 March and 31 July, to help protect ground nesting birds, and all year round near farm animals.

    It's always good practice (and a legal requirement on ''Open Access'' land) to keep your dog on a lead around farm animals and horses, for your own safety and for the welfare of the animals. A farmer may shoot a dog which is attacking or chasing farm animals without being liable to compensate the dog's owner.

    However, if cattle or horses chase you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead, don't risk getting hurt by trying to protect it. Your dog will be much safer if you let it run away from a farm animal in these circumstances and so will you.


    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/558112/countryside-code.pdf


    Date posted: 27/04/2018

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    WHAT's IN YOUR SHED?


    People think that the contents of their shed have little value, but what if you had to replace the contents of your shed, just how much would it cost?

    Because people think that the contents of their shed have little value they pay very little attention to their shed security. When asked what is in their shed many people will answer something like “Just a few old tools”, “A bit of fishing tackle”, “The kids toys”, “nothing much just junk”.

    Remember the tools and equipment you keep in your shed could be used to force entry into your home, causing you even more expense and hassle.

    If you were to add up the value of just what you do keep in your shed and its replacement cost, you may be in for a shock, It is sometimes the case that the value of property people keep in their shed adds up to more than the value of the property in their living room. Is the security on your shed really up to the job?

  • Try to place your shed within view of your house and ensure there is adequate lighting. Consider installing an alarm.

  • Ensure the shed is in a good state of repair. Fit a good quality closed shackle padlock to the door in order to prevent thieves cutting through the shackle of the lock.

  • Consider having lockable steel boxes fitted to the floor to store your tools in.

  • Make a note of make, model and serial number of tools, equipment and bicycles, take photographs and secure all items in a safe place whilst stored in your shed.

  • Lock items together in order to make it more difficult for them to be carried away by thieves.


  • For further information on all aspects of security visit
    https://www.westmercia.police.uk/crime-and-safety .

    Date posted: 27/04/2018

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    REPORTING CRIME


    Good intelligence helps your local officers in investigating offences.

    Not sure what to report?

  • Time/Date/Location

  • What did you see?

  • People: Male/Female, Age, Height, Build, Hair (colour/length/style), Facial Hair, Marks/Scars, Tattoos, Accents....

  • Vehicles: Car/Van, Registration, Make/Model, Colour, Livery, Other features, Passengers, Direction of travel....

  • Animals: Type, Size, Colour, Markings

  • Tools: Shovels, Nets, Traps, Lights, Weapons....

  • Remember - if you see a crime in progress call 999. For non-emergency please contact 101.


    Date posted: 23/04/2018

    [top]

    West Mercia Police Notice
    MARKING YOUR PROPERTY - SMARTWATER OFFER


    Marking your property is a positive way to fight crime, it can act as a deterrent, it allows you to prove ownership and it helps you to identify your property easily if it is offered for sale. Marking your property also provides a means for the police to identify stolen goods and return them to their owners.

    There are a number of ways to mark your property including utilising visible markers such as permanent marker pens, waterproof paint, stencils, engraving and specialised overt marking kits which are available on the market.

    You can also use invisible markers such as UV pens or specialised forensic kits such as Smartwater.

    Smartwater have recently reduced their standard price for a home marking kit from £68 to £25 which is available to anyone.

    Smartwater is currently working in partnership with West Mercia Police and is providing an ‘offer’ for residents to purchase a standard home marking kit for a discounted price of £19.95.

    Any residents wishing to purchase Smartwater at this reduced price can do so by calling Smartwater on 0333-370 7797 and quoting "WDBC".

    Date posted: 23/04/2018

    [top]

    West Mercia Police Notice
    RURAL ALERT - FAKE POLICE TELEPHONE SCAM


    Please be advised of the scam below whereby a resident within the Golden Valley has been scammed out of £8000. Please tell your friends, family and neighbours to beware.

    The 90 year old lady lives alone in the Golden valley area.

    At about 11am on Thursday 22nd February she was called out of the blue on her landline by “DC SMITH” from Hammersmith Police Station giving shoulder number EK265.

    He stated he had people in custody, that he was doing checks into fraudulent activity at local banks. The lady asked how she could check he was genuine and he said to call him back on 161 which she did (but without clearing the line first).

    She then spoke to another male who confirmed DC SMITH was genuine and transferred the call back to him. He asked the lady to keep the line open, checked she had no mobile and no one was due to visit.

    He established she had accounts with LLOYDS and HALIFAX. He told her to withdraw cash from both because staff were corrupt so police needed the banknotes to be able to check for fingerprints. The lady agreed to get £5500 out of LLOYDS and £2500 out of HALIFAX .

    As briefed by DC SMITH she told the bank the money was for her daughter and that the police had not asked her to get it. She returned home around 4pm.

    DC SMITH was still on the open phone line and he asked her to read the bank note numbers for 10 notes from HALIFAX, and another 10 notes from LLOYDS. An hour later DC SMITH was back on the phone stating 2 notes from HALIFAX and 6 notes from LLOYDS were fake so he would send a plain clothes officer to collect the money. He said the password was “Disruptive” and the officer would know this, so the lady could be sure she was handing the package to the right person.

    At about 7.30pm the lady answered her front door and there was an Asian male there. The lady asked if he was there for the package and he confirmed this, and then gave her the password so she gave him the package containing £8000. Throughout this the lady was still on the phone to DC SMITH (this line having been open since 1100 hrs).

    DC SMITH stated he would call back before 1200 hrs on 23.2.18 to update her. Instead the lady told a neighbour who happened to attend the bungalow and she told the lady's daughter, and police were called.

    On a separate subject we have seen two quad bike thefts in the last couple of weeks in and around our patch alone. The quad bikes were stolen from within locked barns/outbuildings. Please mark your quad bikes with a property marker such as Smartwater or with a UV pen. Remove the keys and if you can, secure the wheels with a wheel clamp/or chains. If you require crime prevention advice, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout.

    Kind regards
    Steph

    Pcso Steph Annette 6440
    Bromyard Police Station
    New Road
    Bromyard
    HR7 4AJ
    101 ext 61220
    07773043483
    stephanie.annette@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

    Date posted: 25/02/2018
    Contact Name: See above
    Contact Tel: See above
    Email Address: See above

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    LIVESTOCK WORRYING - INFORMATION FOR DOG OWNERS


    There have already been several reports of dogs chasing pregnant sheep over the last few days.
    With the lambing season quickly approaching it is important for dog owners to keep in mind the following when out walking:

    "Under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, if a dog worries sheep on agricultural land, the person in charge of the dog is guilty of an offence. The Act considers sheep worrying to include attacking sheep, chasing them in a way that may cause injury, suffering, abortion or loss of produce or being at large (not on a lead or otherwise under close control) in a field or enclosure in which there are sheep."

    The Countryside Code produced by Natural England offers the following advice:

    When you take your dog into the outdoors, always ensure it does not disturb wildlife, farm animals, horses or other people by keeping it under effective control. This means that you:

  • keep your dog on a lead, or keep it in sight at all times, be aware of what it?s doing and be confident it will return to you promptly on command
  • ensure it does not stray off the path or area where you have a right of access

  • Special dog rules may apply in particular situations, so always look out for local signs. For example:

  • Dogs may be banned from certain areas that people use, or there may be restrictions, byelaws or control orders limiting where they can go.
  • The access rights that normally apply to open country and registered common land (known as ‘Open Access’ land) require dogs to be kept on a short lead between 1 March and 31 July, to help protect ground nesting birds, and all year round near farm animals.

  • It’s always good practice (and a legal requirement on ‘Open Access’ land) to keep your dog on a lead around farm animals and horses, for your own safety and for the welfare of the animals. A farmer may shoot a dog which is attacking or chasing farm animals without being liable to compensate the dog’s owner.

    However, if cattle or horses chase you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead; don’t risk getting hurt by trying to protect it. Your dog will be much safer if you let it run away from a farm animal in these circumstances and so will you.

    For more information visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-countryside-code.

    Date posted: 31/01/2018

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    MAKE THE RIGHT CALL - HELP AND ADVICE


    West Mercia Police have launched a series of help and advice pages and downloadable leaflets in the Contact us section on their websites. These are to support members of the public in 'making the right call' in the event of your wishing to contact the Police about a specific issue.

    This in turn will reduce the number of calls going in to the West Mercia Police Communications Centre, meaning that the staff are available for emergency calls and the waiting times for anyone calling in on 101 are reduced.

    The advice can be found here at
    Make the Right Call

    Here are the areas that are covered:

    Neighbour disputes
    We would all like to live in peace with our neighbours, but unfortunately that is sometimes not how things work out. Here's what you can do if you are having problems. Unless a crime has been committed or someone is in immediate danger, the police are unlikely to intervene in neighbour disputes. However, we'll put you in touch with the groups and organisations who can help.

    Noise
    The prosecuting authority in England for noise nuisance is your local authority. The police within England and Wales have very limited powers to deal with noise nuisance.

    Highways and road faults
    Road related faults and highways enquiries.

    Assault
    When you or someone you care about are assaulted, it is a very traumatic event. There are different levels of violence and assault and these are categorised in law by the level of injury.

    Road traffic collisions
    When do I have to report an accident to the police.

    Cyberbullying and online harassment
    Cyberbullying and online harassment can be extremely distressing. It can be classed as a criminal offence but there is lots of help available to support you.

    Missing person
    Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established will be considered as missing until located, and their well-being or otherwise confirmed.

    Fly tipping
    Fly tipping is the illegal dumping of waste. Often, this will involve dumping large items that are dumped instead of being legally disposed of at a household waste and recycling centre or commercial site.

    Home burglary
    Burglary can be a very upsetting for the victims. We understand that burglary in your home can feel like a personal crime and an invasion of your personal space.

    Civil dispute
    A civil dispute can be a disagreement over ownership of property, dissatisfaction with a product or service provided, disputes over debts or bills and many other things where there is a difference in opinion between two or more parties over what was agreed.

    Dogs fouling and barking
    Information on dog fouling, dog barking and dog incidents.

    Parking
    Parking issues are handled by a mixture of local authority and police powers, depending on the situation.

    Please click here Make the Right Call for Help and Advice on each of the topics listed above.

    Date posted: 29/01/2018

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    Bodenham Parish Council Notice
    ALERT - HMRC TELEPHONE SCAM AGAIN!


    Please be aware that the HMRC Scam has arrived in Bodenham. A local resident has just reported receiving a recorded telephone message purporting to be from HM Revenue and Customs. This required them to “Press 1” to respond to the message, otherwise dire consequences would follow. Apparently the recorded message was very convincing, but very sensibly the resident simply put the phone down and has reported the incident to the Police.

    This is not a new scam – the advice issued by West Mercia last June and which should be followed now, is:

    The general theme is that answerphone messages are left asking the resident to phone a number back immediately or be threatened with legal action. If the number is phoned, someone tells the resident that they have defaulted on their tax and asks them to pay a (large) sum of money, threatening the resident that they will have their possessions removed and face arrest. The conversations are more in depth than my wording and can be very convincing, enough to cause alarm and concern.

    Please be advised this is another scam along the HMRC theme. The perpetrators continually tweak the theme, enough to scare and frighten some people. If you receive such phone calls delete the message, do not phone the number given; if you answer such a call hang up, do not divulge personal information. Please be vigilant to this, keep an eye on anyone who may perhaps be convinced by this as the callers persist by leaving multiple messages
    .”

    To report fraud or a suspicious incident such as this, phone Action Fraud on 0300-123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk

    Take Five is a national campaign that offers advice on how to avoid financial fraud. For advice on how to spot fraud, visit their website takefive-stopfraud.org.uk

    Date posted: 28/01/2018

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    BEWARE OF A PHISHING EMAIL USING POLICE BRANDING


    We have been made aware of a phishing email that is using police branding to provoke responses.

    The email says that the recipient is being summoned to court as a witness and asks them to follow a link, which could then lead to a virus or malware being placed on their computer.

    It uses a police.uk heading and suggests it is from the CPS online portal, but is clearly not official and represents a risk to security.

    If any members of the public receive such an email they are advised not to click on any links and to delete it from their accounts as soon as possible.

    Date posted: 14/12/2017

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    EMPLOYMENT FRAUD WARNING


    Employment Fraud Warning from National Fraud Intelligence Bureau

    The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified a number of reports where job seekers are being targeted by fraudsters trying to obtain personal and banking details from them, or requesting money to secure accommodation.

    Individuals registering with job-seeking websites or searching for jobs on The Student Room website are being contacted by bogus recruitment companies/ businesses asking them to complete application and interview forms which request personal details and banking details, as well as copies of identity documents.

    In some instances the applicant is invited along for interview, either in person or over the phone, to make the process look as legitimate as possible. This is impacting on students and graduates looking for work both in the UK and overseas. Some job seekers, as well as divulging personal details, have paid money to the fraudsters in order to secure a bogus rental property alongside the job offer.

    How to protect yourself:

  • Check emails and documents from the recruiter for poor spelling and grammar. This is often a sign that fraudsters are at work.
  • If visa fees are mentioned, ask the embassy representing the country where you believe you will be working how to obtain a visa and how much it costs. Check that the answers the potential employer or recruiter gave you are the same. If they’re not, it may be a sign of fraud.
  • Carry out thorough research to confirm that the organisation offering you the job actually exists. If it does exist, contact the organisation directly using contact details obtained through your own research or their website to confirm the job offer is genuine.


  • What to do if you’re a victim:

  • If you think your bank details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded, contact your bank immediately.
  • Stop all communication with the ‘agency’ but make a note of their details and report it to Action Fraud.
  • Warn the operators of the job website you used that their site is being used by fraudsters.


  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300-123 2040.


    Date posted: 14/11/2017

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    SMISHING FRAUD ALERT


    This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)


    Smishing, the term used for SMS ‘phishing’ is an activity which enables criminals to steal victims’ money or identity, or both, as a result of a response to a text message. Smishing uses your mobile phone (either a smartphone or traditional non-internet connected handset) to manipulate innocent people into taking various actions which can lead to their being defrauded.

    The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received information that fraudsters are targeting victims via text message, purporting to be from their credit card provider, stating a transaction has been approved on their credit card.

    The text message further states to confirm if the transaction is genuine by replying ‘Y’ for Yes or ‘N’ for No.

    Through this method the fraudster would receive confirmation of the victim’s active telephone number and would be able to engage further by asking for the victim’s credit card details, CVV number (the three digits on the back of your bank card) and/ or other personal information.

    Protect yourself:

  • Always check the validity of the text message by contacting your credit card provider through the number provided at the back of the card or on the credit card/ bank statement.

  • Beware of cold calls purporting to be from banks and/ or credit card providers.

  • If the phone call from the bank seems suspicious, hang up the phone and wait for 10 minutes before calling the bank back. Again, refer to the number at the back of the card or on the bank statement in order to contact your bank.


  • If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber-crime, please report it to Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or alternatively by calling 0300-123 2040


    Date posted: 31/05/2017

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    MICROSOFT TECH-SUPPORT SCAMMERS USING RANSOMWARE


    This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)


    Action Fraud has received the first reports of Tech-Support scammers claiming to be from Microsoft who are taking advantage of the global WannaCry ransomware attack.

    One victim fell for the scam after calling a ‘help’ number advertised on a pop up window. The window which wouldn’t close said the victim had been affected by WannaCry Ransomware.

    The victim granted the fraudsters remote access to their PC after being convinced there wasn’t sufficient anti-virus protection. The fraudsters then installed Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, which is actually free and took £320 as payment.

    It is important to remember that Microsoft’s error and warning messages on your PC will never include a phone number.

    Additionally Microsoft will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication they have with you must be initiated by you.

    How to protect yourself:

  • Don't call numbers from pop-up messages.

  • Never allow remote access to your computer.

  • Always be wary of unsolicited calls. If you’re unsure of a caller’s identity, hang up.

  • Never divulge passwords or pin numbers.

  • Microsoft or someone on their behalf will never call you.

  • If you believe you have already been a victim, get your computer checked for any additional programmes or software that may have been installed.

  • Contact your bank to stop any further payments being taken.


  • Report fraud and cyber-crime to Actionfraud.police.uk


    Date posted: 28/05/2017

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    RANSOMWARE CYBER ATTACK


    This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)


    Following the ransomware cyber attack on Friday 12 May which affected the NHS and is believed to have affected other organisations globally, the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has issued an alert urging both individuals and businesses to follow protection advice immediately and in the coming days.

    Ransomware is a form of malicious software (Malware) that enables cyber criminals to remotely lock down files on your computer or mobile device. Criminals will use ransomware to extort money from you (a ransom), before they restore access to your files. There are many ways that ransomware can infect your device, whether it be a link to a malicious website in an unsolicited email, or through a security vulnerability in a piece of software you use.

    Key Protect messages for businesses to protect themselves from ransomware:

  • Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.

  • Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.

  • Create regular backups of your important files to a device that isn’t left connected to your network as any malware infection could spread to that too.


  • The National Cyber Security Centre’s technical guidance includes specific software patches to use that will prevent uninfected computers on your network from becoming infected with the ‘WannaCry’ Ransomware:
    https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/ransomware-latest-ncsc-guidance

    For additional in-depth technical guidance on how to protect your organisation from ransomware, details can be found here: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-your-organisation-ransomware

    Key Protect advice for individuals

  • Install system and application updates on all devices as soon as they become available.

  • Install anti-virus software on all devices and keep it updated.

  • Create regular backups of your important files to a device (such as an external hard drive or memory stick) that isn’t left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that too.

  • Only install apps from official app stores, such as Google’s Play Store, or Apple’s App Store as they offer better levels of protection than some 3rd party stores. Jailbreaking, rooting, or disabling any of the default security features of your device will make it more susceptible to malware infections.
  • :

    Phishing/smishing
    Fraudsters may exploit this high profile incident and use it as part of phishing/ smishing campaigns. We urge people to be cautious if they receive any unsolicited communications from the NHS. :The protect advice for that is the following:

  • An email address can be spoofed. Don’t open attachments or click on the links within any unsolicited emails you receive, and never respond to emails that ask for your personal or financial details.
  • The sender’s name and number in a text message can be spoofed, so even if the message appears to be from an organisation you know of, you should still exercise caution, particularly if the texts are asking you to click on a link or call a number.
  • Don’t disclose your personal or financial details during a cold call, and remember that the police and banks will never ring you and ask you to verify your PIN, withdraw your cash, or transfer your money to another ‘safe’ account.
  • :

    If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

    Date posted: 15/05/2017

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    TOURISTS TARGETED BY FAKE POLICE OFFICERS



    This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)


    There has been a series of recent incidents reported to Action Fraud where a lone fraudster has approached victims whom they believe to be unfamiliar with the local area. They make an excuse to talk to the victims such as enquiring about directions or offering a recommendation for a good hotel.

    After this interaction, several other fraudsters will intervene purporting to be police officers in plain clothes and will sometimes present false identification as proof. The fake officers will then give a reason to examine the victim’s wallet, purse or personal items. They may also examine the first fraudster’s items or try to tell victims that the first fraudster is suspicious in order to gain victim trust and appear more realistic in their guise.

    After all the fake police ‘checks’ are finished, victims have then reported being handed back their personal items only to later realise that a quantity of money or valuables were missing.

    How to protect yourself:

  • If an individual claims to be a police officer, ask for their name and rank, force, and examine any identification presented; this is always good practice but especially important if they are not wearing a uniform.
  • .
  • The Police will never ask for your passwords or PIN details. Do not give this information to anyone.

  • The Police will never request that you withdraw/transfer any money to them or to a ‘safe’ account.

  • If you have been affected by this, or any other fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk


  • Date posted: 09/05/2017

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    COLD CALLERS/ TRADERS, LEOMINSTER


    We have received reports of three males travelling around our area touting for roofing repair work at elderly residents. The suspects attend uninvited and tell occupants tiles are their roof are loose on the roof in attempt for payment of repairs.

    The males are in a white Ford Transit van displaying registration: CP03 KKG

    The males leave leaflets with the name "Town and Country Roofing" containing a Ledbury address.

    Please keep your eye out for any vulnerable neighbours who may fall foul to this type of incident.

    How to protect yourself from bogus traders:

    1. Don't be forced into making a quick decision on the doorstep

    2. Get at least three quotes from local reputable companies who have reputations to maintain, and if possible seek recommendations.

    3. Only deal with firms with genuine verifiable telephone numbers and addresses - beware of companies that only use mobile phone numbers and accommodation addresses.

    4. Anyone who signs a contract on the door step following a visit that was not arranged (unsolicited) does have 7 days in which to cancel it by law.

    5. All cancellation rights must be provided in writing to the customer at the time the contract is agreed, usually on the doorstep - it is an offence not to do so.

    6. If you don't want to speak to the trader don't open your door to them - it can be hard to distinguish the good traders from the cowboys so it might be easier to keep the door closed.

    7. Do not allow uninvited callers into your home.

    8. Refuse to be taken to the bank to withdraw money - if you ever feel intimidated by them, close the door and call the police.


    For further Crime Prevention advice please visit the Crime & Safety section at the West Mercia Police website. https://www.westmercia.police.uk/Bogus

    Police Ref: 0295S 170317

    If you have information that you believe may be connection to this incident, please contact the Police on 101, quoting the incident number given.

    Please remain vigilant around your area and report suspicious persons, vehicles or activity to the Police on 101. Thank you.

    Information can also be given anonymously to the Independent Charity, Crimestoppers, by calling 0800 555 111 or by visiting their website: www.crimestoppers-uk.org .

    Date posted: 22/03/2017

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    PAYMENT DIVERSION ALERT


    This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

    Fraudsters are emailing members of the public who are expecting to make a payment for property repairs. The fraudsters will purport to be a tradesman who has recently completed work at the property and use a similar email address to that of the genuine tradesman. They will ask for funds to be transferred via bank transfer. Once payment is made the victims of the scam soon realise they have been deceived when the genuine tradesman requests payment for their services.

    Protect yourself

  • Always check the email address is exactly the same as previous correspondence with the genuine contact.

  • For any request of payment via email verify the validity of the request with a phone call to the person who carried out the work.

  • Check the email for spelling and grammar as these signs can indicate that the email is not genuine.

  • Payments via bank transfer offer no financial protection; consider using alternative methods such as a credit card or PayPal which offer protection and an avenue for recompense.


  • If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300-123 2040.

    Date posted: 26/01/2017

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    AUTOMATIC NUMBER PLATE RECOGNITION


    Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology is used by Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police to help detect, deter and disrupt criminality. It can also be a powerful tool in helping us tackle travelling criminals. The deployment of ANPR cameras assists the police in protecting communities from harm and allows law abiding drivers to continue with their daily lives unhindered, whilst simultaneously drawing police attention to those using the roads for criminal endeavours.

    Across the four counties served by Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Policing ANPR technology is deployed in 55 areas of strategic importance. In line with national policy, the specific locations of cameras are not disclosed as to do so would be of potential benefit to criminals using the roads and in turn hinder the effectiveness of the policing purpose of ANPR.

    Camera sites are determined following an in depth assessment to ensure that locations are and continue to be necessary, proportionate and in line with a pressing social need. We act in line with guidance from the Information Compliance Office to consider privacy issues when seeking to install cameras and will consult with individuals and organisations with a reasonable interest in the proposal unless that would be contrary to the purpose of the development, namely to detect, deter and disrupt criminality. The in depth assessment is the essential source of information when reviewing ANPR deployments and data collection is ceased from sites which are no longer deemed to have policing challenges. During 2016 Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police have decommissioned 41 assets.

    We have clear rules to control access to ANPR data which only allows permitted staff to conduct searches of the information gathered to confirm whether vehicles associated with a known criminal have been in the area at the time of a crime to support the investigation process.

    Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police are committed to ensuring the deployment of ANPR technology across the alliance area is necessary and proportionate. We regularly review the location of ANPR cameras to make sure that its continuing use remains justified. All reviews include consideration of the impact on privacy.


    Further information

    The relevant Chief Constable is the data controller for the ANPR system operated by Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police.


    Any requests for information should be made to:

    Detective Superintendent Head of Intelligence
    West Mercia Police Headquarters
    PO Box 55
    Worcester
    WR3 8SP



    Date posted: 04/01/2017

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    BOGUS CPS ‘SUMMONS’ EMAILS


    You've Been Summoned!

    Fraudsters are sending out a wave of scam emails purporting to be from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that claim you have to appear in court.

    Concerned members of the public have reported receiving the email entitled “You’ve been witness summoned to court”.

    The email entices people to click on a link to view their start time/case details. This link is likely to lead to malware.

    This email has no connection to the CPS and anyone receiving the email should not download any attachments or click on any links.

    Make a scam/ rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454-040506.

    Date posted: 07/11/2016

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    Safer Neighbourhood Team Notice
    ADVICE ON DEALING WITH ROGUE TRADER SCAMS


    Be aware of Rogue Trader scam

    Following recent sightings concerning suspicious vehicles in the Worcestershire area a potential scam has come to notice that everyone should be aware of.

    Persons purporting to carry out garden or driveway repair will approach home owners and discuss carrying out repairs to their property. The workmen when discussing payment insist that any monies would be paid into a bank account, but not in cash.

    Prior to or during any work being carried or completed, the workmen then ask for a deposit or a substantial amount of the money up front and it gets paid into a bank account by the home owner. The offender then tells the victim it’s been paid into the wrong account and state that the money is being returned and immediately requests a second payment to a second account. Both sums of money are never returned and work is either left unfinished or never carried out in the first place.

    Offenders will target elderly and vulnerable victims.

    Please remain vigilant and note the crime prevention advice below.

    How to protect yourself from bogus traders:

  • Don't be forced into making a quick decision on the doorstep.

  • Get at least three quotes from local reputable companies who have reputations to maintain, and if possible seek recommendations.

  • Only deal with firms with genuine verifiable telephone numbers and addresses - beware of companies that only use mobile phone numbers and accommodation addresses.

  • Anyone who signs a contract on the door step following a visit that was not arranged (unsolicited) does have 7 days in which to cancel it by law.

  • All cancellation rights must be provided in writing to the customer at the time the contract is agreed, usually on the doorstep - it is an offence not to do so.

  • If you don't want to speak to the trader don't open your door to them - it can be hard to distinguish the good traders from the cowboys so it might be easier to keep the door closed.

  • Do not allow uninvited callers into your home.

  • Refuse to be taken to the bank to withdraw money - if you ever feel intimidated by them, close the door and call the police.

  • Remember if you see or hear anything suspicious report immediately on 101, or if a crime is in progress or in an emergency then dial 999


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 06/08/2016

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    CHEQUE 'REFUND' SCAM


    This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

    Businesses are being contacted for the sale of goods or services by fraudsters, who request to pay by cheque. The fraudster sends a cheque with a higher value than the amount expected, and then sends the business a request for the difference with instructions on how it should be paid back. This is usually by bank transfer or through a money transfer service, such as Western Union or PaySafe. Once the ‘refund’ has been provided, it is realised that the cheque provided was fraudulent and no funds are credited to the business’s account.

    The NFIB has seen an increase of 84% in the number of counterfeit cheque frauds reported to Action Fraud since November 2015. Criminals are targeting a wide range of services including paintings or other artwork, photography and lessons, with various amounts requested to be refunded. The average amount requested to be refunded is £1,818. The highest amount requested was over £80,000.

    The suspects have used pressure tactics to persuade victims to refund the amounts immediately prior to the cheques clearing.

    Crime Prevention Advice

  • Be cautious of payments where the amount provided is higher than expected. Refuse to provide the service unless the correct balance is received or wait until the cheque has cleared before refunding the difference.

  • Always contact banks on a trusted number found on their website or correspondence that is known to be authentic to confirm whether the cheque has cleared.

  • Do not feel pressured to provide a refund before the cheque has cleared.


  • If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300-123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk .

    Please report information re the above, or other incidents, by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Michael Jones
    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 15/06/2016

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    ADVICE ON SHED AND OUTBUILDING SECURITY


    It’s the time of year to review your shed/outbuilding security.

    Shed alarms cost around £5 and remember to display a good sign saying the shed is alarmed! Mark your equipment both overtly and covertly.

    Crime Prevention Advice-Outbuildings/Garages and sheds

    Garages and sheds are vulnerable to burglary, as they are generally quite flimsy structures, but they should not be forgotten. They are often the first places that a burglar will target, because they provide a ready source of tools and implements for breaking into the main house. Garages and sheds also have lawnmowers, bikes and other valuables that are easy to steal and costly to replace.

    By fitting additional security to garages and sheds, burglars will find it more difficult to break in and they will have to make more noise doing so. A few simple security measures can increase the visual deterrent and reduce the likelihood of garages and sheds being targeted.

    Garages and sheds are often the first places a burglar will target:

  • metal up-and-over garage doors can be secured with additional purpose made locks fitted to either side, approximately 300mm up from the floor, to reduce the leverage points.

  • an external floor mounted, solid steel locking 'T' bar with a closed shackle padlock, will offer a good visual deterrent and make it difficult to force the door open.

  • wooden garage double doors can be secured with two substantial hasps and staples and closed shackle padlocks, one towards the top and one towards the bottom.

  • garage side or rear doors can be secured with British Standard 5-lever mortice locks and two internal mortice rack bolts, one towards the top and one towards the bottom to reduce the leverage points.

  • shed doors can be secured with two substantial hasps and staples and two closed shackle padlocks on the outside, one towards the top and one towards the bottom. External hinge screws should be replaced with one-way clutch head screws to prevent them being removed and access gained this way.

  • garage and shed windows can be secured with internal diamond mesh grilles, which provide a good visual deterrent to opportunistic burglaries.

  • garden tools and ladders should be secured by wrapping a substantial chain around them and padlocking them to an eyebolt which has been secured to the floor or wall. This will prevent them being stolen or used to break into the house.

  • tools and garden implements should be visibly property marked with the postcode and house name or number, to deter theft and assist police with identifying the rightful owner.


  • For more information regarding Home Security please visit the West Mercia Crime and Safety section https://www.westmercia.police.uk/crime-and-safety .


    Many thanks


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 14/04/2016

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    PAYMENT DIVERSION ALERT


    This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

    Fraudsters are targeting members of the public who are expecting to make a payment for property repairs. The fraudsters, via email, will purport to be a tradesman who has recently completed work at the property and use a similar email address to that of the genuine tradesman. They will ask for funds to be transferred via bank transfer and once payment is made the victims of the fraud soon realise they have been deceived when the genuine tradesman requests payment for their services.

    Protect Yourself:

  • Always check the email address is exactly the same as previous correspondence with the genuine contact.

  • For any request of payment via email verify the validity of the request with a phone call to the person who carried out the work.

  • Check the email for spelling and grammar as these signs can indicate that the email is not genuine.

  • Payments via bank transfer offer no financial protection; consider using alternative methods such as a credit card or PayPal which offer some protection and avenue for recompense.


  • If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online at: ActionFraud or by telephone on: 0300-123 2040.


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 13/04/2016

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    NEW LAW ON MICROCHIPPING OF ALL DOGS



    From 6 April 2016 microchipping will be compulsory for all dogs in Scotland, Wales and England.

    There are benefits of having your puppy/dog microchipped, which will include:

  • Should the dog become lost (or be stolen), is more likely to be returned to you safe and sound.

  • All puppies are traceable to their breeder thereby helping reduce the problem of puppy farming and lessening the incidence of infectious disease and inherited defects from which many of these dogs suffer.

  • Deterrent to dog theft.

  • Allows for rapid return, meaning that local authorities are able to emphasise to the dog owners concerned that straying is not acceptable, the intention being that this education will lesson the likelihood of a dog straying again and reinforce the responsibilities of the owners under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

  • Easier identification and subsequent arrests of owners culpable of animal cruelty.

  • Enables veterinary surgeons to contact dog owners for emergency procedures.

  • Allows identification of dogs in properties in emergency situations so that dogs can be moved and reunited more quickly.

  • For further information about the new law regarding microchipping of all dogs, visit the following website: https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks

    Regards,

    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 06/04/2016

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    FAKE EMAIL ADDRESSES


    This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

    This alert is a reminder to be aware of emails that appear to have been sent from a legitimate organisation. Fraudsters often use fake email addresses designed to encourage recipients to open attachments or links. You are advised that if you are in any doubt as to the origin of an email, do not open it.

    Consider that emails can be spoofed and used to generate spam to recipients far and wide. If you receive a spam email, you MUST NOT open it. Instead, delete it from your email system to avoid infecting your device. If you have opened an attachment from a spam email, you should get your device checked over by a professional and change the passwords for all your bank, email and online shopping accounts.

    Protect yourself:

  • Do not click or open unfamiliar links in emails or on websites.

  • Make sure you install and use up-to-date anti-virus software.

  • Have a pop-up blocker running in the background of your web browser.

  • If you have opened an attachment and ‘enabled macros’ it is very likely that all your personal data will have been breached. You MUST change all your passwords for personal accounts, including your bank accounts.

  • Ensure Adobe, Flash and any similar software is up to date on your computer.


  • If you think you have been a victim of this type of email you should report the email to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre: www.actionfraud.police.uk If you do make a report please provide as much detail as you can about the email and any effects it has had on your computer. Additionally, if your Anti-Virus software detects any issues in relation to this email, please provide us with the details.


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Beverley Bladen
    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 04/04/2016

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    FRAUDULENT 'GP SURGERY' CALLS ABOUT MOBILITY AIDS



    WARNING

    Police forces have become aware of a fraud circulating targeting elderly and vulnerable members of the community.

    Some older people have received telephone calls from a caller who purports to be from the GP surgery and is asking for an appointment to discuss the person’s mobility needs. During the appointment, the older person is persuaded to buy mobility aids which are either unnecessary or inappropriate and always expensive.

    If you receive a call like this, please check with your GP surgery first before agreeing to a visit.

    Steve Loveridge

    Crime Prevention Design Advisor
    Shropshire Division
    Shrewsbury Police Station


    Please report information re the above, or other incidents, by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Michael Jones

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 05/02/2016

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    'ROYAL MAIL' EMAIL SCAM


    "Your Package Has Been Seized" Royal Mail Scam Email


    This is a message sent via Neighbourhood Watch on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

    Fraudsters are sending out virus-infected emails that claim a package has been seized by HM Revenue & Customs upon arrival into the United Kingdom. The official looking scam emails claiming to be from Royal Mail contain a link to a document which will install malicious software on your computer designed to steal credentials like account names, email addresses and passwords.

    An example email reads:

    “Title: Your parcel has been seized

    Royal Mail is sorry to inform you that a package addressed to you was seized by HM Revenue & Customs upon arrival into the United Kingdom.

    A close inspection deemed your items as counterfeit and the manufacturers have been notified. If your items are declared genuine then they will be returned back to you with the appropriate custom charges.

    You may have been a victim of counterfeit merchandise and the RM Group UK will notify you on how to get your money back. Please review the attached PDF document for more information.

    Document (RM7002137GB).Zip

    Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

    To help the spread of the virus, the email also says: you will need to have access to a computer to download and open the Zip file.

    If you receive one of these emails, do not click on any links or download any attachments and report it to Action Fraud.

    Protect Yourself

  • Royal Mail will never send an email asking for credit card numbers or other personal or confidential information.


  • Royal Mail will never ask customers to enter information on a page that isn’t part of the Royal Mail website.


  • Royal Mail will never include attachments unless the email was solicited by a customer, e.g. the customer has contacted Royal Mail with an enquiry or has signed up for updates from Royal Mail.


  • Royal Mail have also stressed that they do not receive a personal email address as part of any home shopping experience.


  • If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone: 0300-123 2040.


    Please report information re the above, or other incidents, by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Michael Jones
    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 02/02/2016

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    ADVICE ON IDENTITY FRAUD



    Identity Fraud

  • Identity Fraud is often quoted as the fastest growing crime in Britain. Identity Fraud involves the misuse of an individual’s personal details in order to commit crime. Your personal details are very valuable to a criminal who can use these details to commit crime or even sell them on to other criminals.

  • Victims of identity fraud often suffer a great deal of stress and cost in trying to clear matters up after the fraudulent use of their personal information. Many never establish exactly how their details were obtained.


  • Protecting your address

  • If you start to receive post from someone you don't know, find out why.

  • Register to vote at your current address (Lenders use the electoral roll to check who is registered as living at a particular address).

  • When registering to vote, tick the box to opt out of the "Edited" register to prevent unsolicited marketing mail. (This does not affect credit checks).

  • Sign up with the mail preference service to prevent marketing letters. (M.P.S. is a free service enabling consumers to have their names and addresses removed from mailing lists:- Telephone 0207 2913300 or www.mpsonline.org.uk .

  • Protect mail left in communal areas of residential properties.

  • Re-direct your mail when moving home.

  • Do not leave documents containing personal information in view, for example on window sills or where the general public can view them or has access to the location. (Communal areas).


  • Protecting your Bank Account

  • Be extremely wary of unsolicited phone calls, letters or emails from your bank, or other financial institutions, asking you to confirm your personal details, passwords, pin numbers and security numbers. (A Bank will never ask you to reveal your pin number, Its yours and yours only.)

  • Regularly check your accounts and chase up any statements that are not delivered and expected.

  • Dispose of anything containing your personal or banking details by using a cross cut shredder, tearing them up into tiny pieces or incinerating them.

  • Always sign up to American Express SafeKey, Mastercard SecureCode OR Verified by Visa when you receive your cards, even if you don't intend to use your cards online. This helps to protect you if your card or details are stolen or lost.

  • If you think someone is misusing your bank account details then report it to your bank.


  • Protecting Your Phone

  • Never reply to unsolicited Texts, e.g. Texts referring to accident claims, even to try and get them stopped. Simply delete them.

  • Sign up to the Telephone Preference Service to prevent marketing phone calls. (T.P.S. is a free service. It is the official Opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. To register 0800 398893 or www.tpsonline.org.uk .

  • If using a "smart" phone install anti-virus software on it.


  • Protecting Your Computer

  • Keep your computer security programs such as antivirus and firewall, up to date. Also make sure your web browser and operating system are the latest version. If unsure how to do this contact a computer specialist.

  • Be wary of opening links on unsolicited emails you receive. They may contain viruses or other programs that may harm your computer.

  • Know how to verify secure web sites if making financial transactions. You can do this by looking at the address line. Normally it will start with http but when you log into a secure site this will change to https. For examplehttp://www.mybank.com is the address of mybank, but if you want to go to the transaction page you log in and the address bar will change to something like https://mybank/login.com The address bar may also change colour. A padlock will appear in either the bottom left or bottom right corner of your browser bar, not on the website.

  • If you have received an email claiming to be from your bank, asking that you contact them, think about whether or not its genuine. DO NOT click on links in the email, open another window in your browser and visit your banks website using your normal method.

  • Check online banking security options your bank provides, some offer free anti-virus and browser security software.

  • Never reveal pin numbers.

  • Never click on links on emails (go the actual website).

  • Never open attachments unless it’s from someone you can trust. (Contact them first if you’re unsure it’s genuine.


  • Your Personal Information is Valuable,

    Take Action To Protect It.


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 26/01/2016

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    PROTECT YOURSELF FROM BOGUS ELECTRICAL WEBSITES


    This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales) on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)


    Fraudsters have set up a high specification website template advertising various electrical goods and domestic appliances. These goods are below market value and do not exist. The fraudsters will request your card details via the website; however the purchaser will then receive an email stating the payment failed and they must pay via bank transfer.

    The fraudsters entice the purchaser and reassure them it is a legitimate purchase by using the widely recognised Trusted Shop Trustmark. The fraudsters are using the Trustmark fraudulently and have not been certified by Trusted Shops and therefore the purchaser is not covered by the Trusted Shop money-back guarantee.

    Protect yourself:

    Check the authenticity of the websites before making any purchases. Conduct a ‘whois’ search on the website which will identify when the website has been created, be wary of newly formed domains. You can conduct this search using the following website - https://who.is/

    Carry out online research in relation to the website, company name and the business address provided to identify any poor feedback or possible irregularities.

    Check the Trusted Shops Facebook page where warnings about websites using their Trustmark are published. If you are in doubt about the legitimacy of a Trustmark then you can contact Trusted Shops on 0203 364 5906 or by email at service@trustedshops.co.uk . They will confirm whether they have certified that website.

    Payments made via bank transfer are not protected should you not receive the item. Therefore always try to make the payment via PayPal or a credit card where you have some payment cover should you not receive your product.

    If the item advertised seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

    If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards

    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 25/11/2015

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    WARNING - COUNCIL TAX SCAM



    The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’s (NFIB) proactive intelligence team is warning people of a new approach being used by scammers to carry-out vishing scams.

    Fraudsters have been phoning victims telling them that they are calling to let them know that they have been placed in the wrong council tax bracket for a number of years and that they are entitled to a rebate. They normally say that this rebate should be worth £7,000. Since mid-July Action Fraud has received 16 reports of this.

    Once the victim is convinced, the fraudster tells them that in order to receive the rebate they will need to pay an administration fee in advance; the payment they ask for varies between £60 - £350. The victim provides the details and makes the payment, but then is no longer able to make contact with the person they spoke to on the phone.

    When the victim phones their council about the rebate and the fact that they are in the wrong tax bracket, the council will confirm that they know nothing about it and that they have been contacted by fraudsters.

    The fraudsters have mainly been targeting both male and female victims who are aged 60 and over and live in the Sussex area, but it is likely that the fraudsters will also start to target victims in other areas.

    Head of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith said: “Fraudsters are relentless and will work tirelessly to find new ways to convince people to part with their money. These criminals make several calls and will be particularly convincing and provide good reason for why the person should make an immediate payment. We urge people to be vigilant and never respond to these callers who are simply trying to scam you”.

    How to protect yourself:

  • Never respond to unsolicited phone calls.

  • Your local council will never phone out-of-the-blue to discuss a council tax rebate.Iif you receive a call of this nature, put the phone down straight away.

  • No legitimate organisation will ask you to pay an advance fee in order receive money; so never give them your card details.

  • If you think you have been a victim of fraud, hang up the phone and wait five minutes to clear the line as fraudsters sometimes keep the line open. Then call your bank or card issuer to report the fraud. Where it is possible, use a different phone line to make the phone call.


  • To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300-123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

    You can now also sign up for free to Action Fraud Alert to receive direct, verified, accurate information about scams and fraud in your area by email, recorded voice and text message.
    http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 22/10/2015

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    FRAUDSTERS CLAIMING TO BE INTERNET PROVIDERS



    Warning: Fraudsters claim to be from internet providers in phone scam.

    West Mercia Police are encouraging the public to be aware of a phone scam in which fraudsters claim to be calling on behalf of internet providers.

    In the elaborate scam the fraudsters will ask the victim if they have been having difficulties with their internet. If the victim says yes, they will ask the victim to give them remote access to their computer to rectify the problem.

    Once they have accessed the computer they will state that there is a problem, and the victim is due compensation. They will then ask the victim to log in to their online banking to see that money has been transferred to them.

    However the money transferred will be more than the caller has said. Typically they will state that this has been made in error, and the victim needs to transfer it back to them either through a MoneyGram at the post office or via the Western Union.

    A man from Kidderminster was the victim of this scam. He received a phone call from someone claiming to be from his internet provider stating his account had been hacked and he needed a new router in order to fix the problem.

    The victim logged into his online banking, and saw that the scammer had transferred a substantial amount of money to him as compensation for the inconvenience. The scammer told the victim this was too much and in order to return this to them he would need to send a MoneyGram to Thailand. He did this, but became suspicious when they stated they had sent a further sum of money because the transaction did not work. When he visited his bank, he discovered the scammers had not transferred money to him but had hacked into his computer and moved money between his accounts, before telling him to withdraw it and send it to them via the MoneyGram.

    Last month similar offences were reported in Leamington and Rugby in Warwickshire.

    West Mercia Police are offering the following advice:

  • Never hand over personal details over the phone.

  • Your internet provider would not remotely access your computer, without arranging
    this with you. If you receive a call out of the blue do not allow access.

  • Do not transfer money to someone you do not know.

  • Please share this warning with elderly friends and relatives.


  • If you receive a call like this, please do not engage with the fraudsters. Hang up and report it to be police by calling 101 or contacting www.actionfraud.police.uk

    Issued: 4.15pm, Monday 7th September 2015, Sarah-Jane Lynch, Operational Communications Assistant


    Please report information re the above, or other incidents, by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Liz Wells

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Shropshire West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 08/09/2015

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    PROTECT YOU HOME WHILE ON HOLIDAY


    We all look forward to going on holiday, but want to make sure that while we are away our homes are safe from intruders. While you are packing your suitcase remember to take a few precautions to reduce the chances of your property becoming a target for burglars as much as possible.

    Tell your neighbour
    Ask a neighbour that you trust to look after your property when you are away by drawing the curtains, turning lights on/off, picking up post etc.
    Ask a neighbour to park a car on your drive.

    Make your property look like its occupied 24/7

    Cancel all milk and papers.

    Ask a neighbour to make sure your Wheelie bins are not left out on pavement for any length of time; this is a dead giveaway that there is no one at home

    Restrict access to the rear of your property. Approximately 90% off all domestic burglary is targeted from the rear. Restrict access by locking side gates and make sure all outside lighting is in good order.

    Lock away garden tools and equipment.

    Many opportunist crimes are committed by using tools or hard implements such as stones found in the garden, garage or shed.

    Exterior doors and windows
    Lock all exterior doors and windows.

    Do not keep any keys in the lock or nearby, but make sure you and your family know where they are in case you need to get out.

    Internal lighting
    Use time switches to turn lights on, radios etc. When you are out give the impression the house is occupied.

    Alarms
    Statistically, the best protection for unoccupied houses ranging from inexpensive DIY kits to sophisticated systems there are many burglar alarms on the market.

    Quality fitted alarms will certainly be a deterrent to burglars but make sure you turn them on!

    Mark your property

    Mark all of your valuables with a forensic marking kit or UV pen. Also photograph valuable items such as jewellery or antiques so that any recovered property stands a better chance of being returned to you.

    By taking a few small measures you can reduce your risk of becoming a victim.


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 04/07/2015

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    FRAUDULENT 'APPLE PAY' ALERT


    This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales) on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

    Fraudsters are targeting classified advertisement websites like AutoTrader to advertise vehicles for sale. Buyers are then contacting these ‘sellers’ to find out more about the vehicles and are being told to pay for them via ‘Apple Pay’. In this case the fraudsters are not using the genuine Apple Pay service and potential victims pay money directly to bank accounts under the control of the fraudsters. Individuals receive emails claiming to be from Apple Pay with a web link to a cloned website with false terms and conditions of the ‘escrow’ service. Any money remitted to the fraudsters is then unrecoverable and the vehicles are not delivered.

    Protect yourself:

  • Meet the seller ‘face to face’ and view the vehicle before parting with any money.

  • Be cautious of web links in an email. They may not direct you to the genuine website.

  • Report scam advertisements to the classified advertisement websites.

  • If the vehicle is below market value, consider whether this is an opportunity which is too good to be true!


  • Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 29/06/2015

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    NIP GARDEN CRIME IN THE BUD


    Top tips for a safer garden:

  • Gates, fences and walls should be kept in good repair to stop intruders getting in.

  • Grow prickly plants close to vulnerable areas such as windows, fences, boundary walls and drainpipes.

  • Don’t leave expensive equipment like garden tools, mowers, mountain bikes and power tools in the shed.

  • If you have nowhere else to store valuable equipment, take measures to secure your shed.

  • Don’t leave ladders and tools lying around in your garden - these could be used to break into your home.

  • Mark your garden tools and equipment with your postcode.


  • Let there be light!

    Well positioned external lighting is a great way of keeping intruders at bay and can be purchased from most large DIY stores.


    Location, location, location!

    Think about using defensive planting around vulnerable areas such as:

  • Windows

  • Fences

  • Boundary walls

  • Drainpipes


  • Protecting your boundaries

    The boundaries of your property are your first line of defence against burglars. Strong gates, fences and

    walls which are kept in good repair can deter intruders from getting to the back and sides of your property.

    Make sure:

  • Rear garden fences are high enough to make climbing them difficult. A trellis can be used to add additional height.

  • Side gates are positioned as close to the front of the house as possible. Thieves will be put off by the fact that they are in full view of the neighbours.

  • Gates are kept locked at all times.


  • Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards


    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 03/06/2015

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    COURIER FRAUD - DON'T BE CONNED



    Courier fraud – don’t be conned by phone scammers’ banking scare stories

    An important message for our communities, local partners, businesses and charities (April 2015)

    In 2014, West Midlands Police ran a campaign to raise awareness of a phone scam known as ‘courier fraud’ following a number of incidents in the region where vulnerable older people were persuaded to hand over their bank cards and PIN numbers to fraudsters impersonating bank or police officials.


    Our message is: Fraudsters want your PIN and bank card – don’t let them scare you into giving these away. It’s a con, call 101.

    Please share this message as widely as you can to help prevent other people from becoming their next victim. Together we can stop courier fraud. Here are a few more details about the scam…


    What is courier fraud?

    Phone scammers cold call you claiming to be a bank employee, police officer or other official. They say your account has been hacked and that they need to seize the cards and security details, including PIN numbers, to stop further fraudulent transactions. In some cases, a courier arrives to collect the bank card from your home. These fraudsters often suggest you hang up and call the number on the back of the bank card – but remain on the line to intercept the call.


    Protect yourself

  • Your bank or police will NEVER send a courier to your home to collect bank cards.


  • Your bank or police will NEVER ask for your PIN number.


  • If you receive one of these calls, end it immediately.


  • Always be wary of any unsolicited callers – if in doubt, hang-up the phone or close the door and call police.



  • Report it immediately

    Call police on 101 if you are contacted by someone asking for your PIN number, your bank card or both.

    Already handed your details to a suspected fraudster? Call your bank and cancel your card immediately.

    Call your bank from another telephone – the fraudster may still be on the other line.

    Remember: Card collect is a con… Help police, pass it on.

    Thank you for your time and assistance in reading our message and spreading the word.


    Please report information re the above, or other incidents, by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Michael Jones

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 17/04/2015

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    ACTION FRAUD - 'FREE TRIAL' SCAMS AND POP UPS



    Subject: Alert: Watch out for free trial scams and pop-ups

    This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales) on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau).

    Action Fraud has seen an increase in the amount of victims signing up for free trials for unapproved or misleading pharmaceuticals or supplements
    .


    The scam usually involves a ‘pop up’ on your computer or a text message advertising a free 14-day trial. In signing up to this trial you are asked for your credit or debit card details and after the 14 days have elapsed, recurring payments are taken.

    Recurring payments or continuous payment authorities are similar to a direct debit, but can be much harder to cancel or identify who is debiting your account. In most cases victims are finding it extremely difficult to cancel the subscription and the products are either not delivered or are inferior.

    Common pharmaceuticals or supplements being advertised are teeth whitening products, food supplements and slimming tablets.

    Protect Yourself

  • If you desire such products speak to your GP or a local pharmacist.

  • Be vigilant of free trials and always read the Terms and Conditions.

  • Conduct basic online research of the company before registering your details and financial information.

  • It is important to remember that in most free-trial cases because you have paid for a product and received it, this cannot be recorded as a fraud. If you have already entered your card details on one of these websites, call up you bank immediately to stop these payments and give us a call on 0300-123 2040 for advice.


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 13/02/2015

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    PENSION CHANGES - RISKS OF FRAUDULENT INVESTMENTS



    Subject: Pension Changes are coming in April 2015;
    avoid the fraudulent investment risks



    This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales) on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)


    HMRC have advised that from April 2015, people over the age of 55 will be given the flexibility of taking a number of smaller lump sum pension pots. 25% of the sum will be tax-free, with the remaining pension fund charged at marginal rate of income tax.

    If you take out money from your pension fund before the age of 55, the normal tax rules apply.

    We are concerned that fraudsters will take advantage of these rule changes by offering to invest pensions on the victim’s behalf. Be very wary of such offers.

    Avoid losing your hard-earned cash:

  • Do not invest with companies which cold call you, offering extremely high returns. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

  • Seek financial advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau, who work alongside the Treasury delivering the ‘Pension Wise’ service.

  • If you wish to invest your savings in a company, please ensure you seek advice from an FCA registered and authorised advisor

  • Be aware of callers offering a free pension review service by phone call, email and text message and do not invest in unregulated markets such as overseas property developments, storage units or forestry.



  • Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 10/02/2015

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    ADVICE ON AVOIDING JOB SCAMS



    Subject: Top safety tips to help avoid job scams


    This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)


    Get Safe Online, Safer Jobs and Action Fraud are warning people to take precautions whilst looking for jobs online, to avoid falling victim to scammers.

    There are a number of different ways in which job-seekers could be defrauded. These range from direct financial scams to misleading job descriptions.

    Safer-Jobs, the recruitment industry’s counter-fraud forum, provide free advice to ensure that people have a safer job search. They suggest several steps which any job-seeker should take when dealing with a potential employer:

    1. Never part with money – employers should pay you, not the other way round. If asked to pay for security checks, visas, training, or anything else, you should research the job, the company, and never use any associated company suggested to you without conducting independent thorough research.

    2. Never take it on face value – have you received an ‘out of the blue’, ‘too good to be true’ job offer? Be sceptical and ask questions. Why and how have you been contacted, what is the job, did you apply? Be wary of any non-business, generic email address (such as hotmail and yahoo), poorly written job adverts or job descriptions, and emails or contact at unusual times of the day (unless pre-arranged).

    3. Never do everything online – whilst technology is a great enabler to help people find work, at some point your job discussion should lead to an interview or a meeting. Hiring agents who keep the relationship solely on email must be treated extremely cautiously.

    4. Never fail to do research – find out about the company that the job is with and do your research! Check landline telephone numbers and call the end employer to check the job exists. Use social media and sources such as Companies House and LinkedIn to dig deeper into the organisations and people you are interacting with.

    5. Never phone them for an interview – premium rate phone scams are common. This is where an individual calls a pay-for number thinking it’s an interview, when actually they are paying for every minute they stay on hold. If an employer wants you to work for them, they will call you.

    6. Never accept money for nothing – with money mule scams on the increase, beware of any employer promising ‘get rich quick’ or ‘earn thousands working from home’. When cheques begin arriving it is easy to be fooled into being used as a money mule.

    7. Never provide personal details – be suspicious of any requests for personal data ahead of an interview or registration meeting (if an agency). Until you have the job, keep bank details safe and only provide identity details once you have met face to face.
     
    For more information visit (paste & copy links)

    www.actionfraud.police.uk/node/288

    www.getsafeonline.org

    www.safer-jobs.com


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Beverley Bladen


    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 04/02/2015

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    ACTION FRAUD - LOTTERY SCAM


    This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau).

    A lottery scam takes place when criminals pretend that you have won a prize, often a lottery. The people most likely to fall victim to this tend to be over the age of 60 (although younger people do fall victim too) – but we know that it is often close family members of victims who spot the tell-tale signs of the fraud. Criminals will normally get in touch by letter or email and will try to engage you into dialogue with them. Once they have convinced you that they are “genuine”, they will ask for a fee to be paid to release your winnings. This fee could be to pay taxes or duty, or for a solicitor, banker or judge to authorise the transaction. NO GENUINE LOTTERY WILL EVER ASK FOR ANY SORT OF FEE TO BE PAID.

    Often this first fee will be small, but once they know you are willing to pay it they will ask for more and more money, with ever-changing excuses as to why they need it. Victims can end up losing tens of thousands of pounds over the course of months or even years. Many of you reading will be surprised that this type of crime takes place. After all, why would anyone fall prey to scam like this when they never entered any such lottery in the first place? Why would they have to pay money when they are supposed to have won millions of pounds? The sad truth is that these criminals are incredibly persuasive and prey on people who are very trusting. Therefore, even if you know that you would not get defrauded like this, please spread this message widely to friends, family and to people within your community.

    Prevention:

  • If you have not entered a lottery or a prize draw, you have not won it.

  • Delete any emails which detail you winning money or being in a position to make a fortune

  • Spread the message amongst people you come into contact with, especially older people in your family, and look out for any unusual behaviour, for instance someone paying money via money service bureaux, like Western Union or MoneyGram, or buying Ukash vouchers.

  • If you believe you have become the victim of a fraud or cyber crime, or have received a suspicious email, find out how to report it by clicking on the link below or going to http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ .


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 30/01/2015
    Link: Click here for more details

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    SCAM ALERT - JOB AS ONLINE AUCTION SELLER



    Subject: Avoid falling victim of being an online auction seller or administrator


    This is a message sent via The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales). This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)

    Fraudsters are targeting people to list items on their behalf on popular online auction sites. The scam involves a job offer to sell desirable items at below market value and receive money from any potential buyers. The ‘work from home’ job will usually require retaining 10% of the money received as a “salary” and fraudsters will ask that the remaining funds are sent to them via bank transfer or money transfer.

    In these cases the proposed items being sold do not exist and are therefore not dispatched to the proposed buyers. This will usually result in the buyer making a complaint concerning the individual who has listed the items. This can result in your bank account being closed by the bank for suspected fraud or money laundering and being held accountable for reimbursing the potential buyers.

    Protect yourself:

  • Do not list items on online auction sites on behalf of others you do not know or trust.

  • Be vigilant of ‘work from home’ jobs which involve passing funds through your bank account.

  • Meet face to face with any potential employer

  • Question job offers which seem “too good to be true”.

  • If you believe you have become the victim of a fraud or cyber crime, or have received a suspicious email, find out how to report it click on the link at the bottom of this notice or go to: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 29/01/2015
    Link: Click here for more details

    [top]

    Neigbourhood Watch Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION ADVICE REGARDING BURGLARY



    Set a timer switch to turn your lights on when it gets dark - unlit houses are a give-away that no one is home.

    Lock your doors, patios and downstairs windows - even when you are in. Make sure you double check them again before you go to bed.

    If you have a burglar alarm, make sure you set it when you go out and also when you go to bed.

    DO NOT leave car keys, ID cards or valuables near windows, doors or letterboxes, where burglars can reach through to steal them.

    Lock your garden gates and side entrances. Don't leave tools lying around in the garden which could be used to break in to your home.


    Think Crime Prevention and Stay Safe


    For further Crime Prevention advice please click on the link below.



    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Beverley Bladen
    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 22/01/2015
    Link: Click here for more details

    [top]

    Neigbourhood Watch Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION ADVICE - HEATING OIL TANKS



    Crime Prevention Advice for Heating Oil Tanks


    It is that time of year again when the weather gets colder, the nights gets darker and everyone tends to spend a lot of time indoors. It is also that time of year when people order heating oil to get them through the winter.

    The purpose of the advice is to give you a few ideas about what can be done to make life more difficult for the thief.


    Where can you put the tank?

    The position of the tank can have a significant effect on how hard a target it is in the eyes of the thief.

  • If the tank is close to the house, with one or more windows capable of giving a view of it, then the thief may consider the chances of being seen too high.

  • If the tank is close to a road, path, drive or alleyway then it will be a far easier target for the thief.

  • Hiding the tank behind the garage, shed or some other type of outbuilding is fairly commonplace, but it does give the thief the advantage.

  • Tanks need to be within a reasonable distance of the road otherwise the oil supply company may not be able to refill it for you. Hiding the tank behind the garage, shed or some other type of outbuilding is fairly commonplace, but it does give the thief the advantage.


  • Locks

    A good thief will come equipped with a limited range of tools to attack your tank so it’s worth spending a little more on good quality locks. Close shackle padlocks are the best as they offer most resistance to the most popular of burglar tools - the bolt cropper. Due to their design, close shackle padlocks have very little of the metal hoop (shackle) exposed and bolt croppers cannot get a good grip.


    Monitors

    Remote electronic oil level gauges are now available which will set off an audible alarm if the oil level in the tank suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full. These gauges can be located in the kitchen or perhaps a utility room to warn of any potential problem. There are two or three different versions on the market at the moment and cost between £70 and £100.


    Security lighting

    Security lights can have a very positive effect and make any property a much harder target for the thief. Low energy "dusk till dawn” lights positioned close to the tank should provide sufficient light to illuminate any suspicious activity. This type of light can be both effective and inexpensive. High powered lights can be used but care should be taken not to cause any nuisance to neighbours or road users.


    Defensive Planting

    This is nature’s way of helping to reduce crime. Thieves will not wish to force their way through or over a prickly hedge. The smallest trace of blood or shred of ripped clothing could help the police identify the offender. Prickly shrubs and bushes can, if planted around your tank, provide an effective and decorative thief proof barrier.


    Fencing

    Fences and walls can also make life difficult for the thief. A wooden or metal fence, trellis or wall can give significant protection to the tank, but it must be remembered that the oil tanker driver will need access to fill the tank. A metal grill or cage with a lockable access point across the top of this wall or fence can further improve security.


    CCTV

    The use of CCTV as a crime prevention and a crime detection tool has grown massively in recent years. It could play a part in the protection of oil tanks but before you spend lots of money on equipment make an assessment of your needs. Ask yourself:

  • What do I hope to achieve by using CCTV?

  • How much am I prepared to spend?

  • Is there a reasonable level of light where the cameras will be operating or do I need to think about using cameras with low light capability? (most thefts take place at night).

  • What am I going to record the captured images on - digital recording is best?

  • How am I going to provide the police with any evidence I may capture?



  • Good neighbour agreement

    Some fuel companies offer a good neighbour agreement in which you and your neighbours can get fuel delivered at the same time. This not only could be cheaper for all the properties involved but you have a set date in which the fuel will be delivered. This means, if you see a tanker delivering fuel outside of these dates you may well think there is something suspicious. And this can work the other way too and allows your neighbours to be vigilant when you are away from your property.

    If you notice tankers or large vehicles close to your property - take down any details if you think they may be suspicious and report to the police. Regardless how minor you might think the information is, please let us know.


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 09/10/2014

    [top]

    Neigbourhood Watch Notice
    BE AWARE OF COLD CALLERS



    Police And Trading Standards Urge Residents To Be Aware Of Cold Calling

    Police and Trading Standards are urging residents to be aware of cold calling.

    Such incidents involve cold callers approaching homeowners and offering to carry out gardening works or home repairs.

    Victims of cold calling can be charged a significant amount of money, sometimes a lot more than the initially agreed price, for a small amount of work.

    Residents are advised not to buy services from unsolicited callers at the door. If you are looking for a trader to carry out work on your property then you can look for a trader using County Council Trader Registers which are run by Trading Standards.

    Since July 2013, when agreeing a contract in their home, consumers are entitled to a 14 day cooling off period. A trader must provide specific information about your rights to cancel in writing and also ensure that you have the correct name and address for the trader.

    For information about your rights or to report a rogue trader please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service (CACS) on 03454-04 05 06. CACS provides first line advice on Trading Standards issues.

    To check the Trading Standards Trader Register please go online www.traderregister.org.uk or call 01905-822799 for more information
    .

    Issued: 8.30am on Thursday 9 October


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.


    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Michael Jones

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 09/10/2014

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    Neigbourhood Watch Notice
    NEW WEBSITE FOR LOCAL CRIME INFORMATION


    Please can we all remember that we live in a very low crime area However, you may wish to view details for the number of crimes that have occurred in your area. These figures are available on the new national website www.police.uk, where you can search for your area and view the different incidents that have taken place over a particular period.


    Please report information re incidents by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.


    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Beverley Bladen

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    South Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 08/10/2014
    Link: Click here for more details

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    WARNING OF DISTRACTION BURGLARIES IN HEREFORDSHIRE



    Police Warning Following Distraction Burglaries In Herefordshire

    Police today renewed warnings to elderly people not to let strangers into their homes after three elderly people fell victim to distraction burglars in Herefordshire.

    Sums of money were taken from addresses in Hereford, Clehonger and Leominster and police believe the burglaries could be linked. In all cases, the caller claimed to be a builder who wanted to repair loose tiles on the roof.

    The first incident happened at around 10.45am on Friday 15 July at Hampton Street, Hereford where the victim was an 83-year-old woman. A 79-year-old female was targeted in Leominster yesterday (Sunday 20 July) and an elderly male was the victim of the most recent burglary in Clehonger which happened between 10.30am and 3.30pm yesterday (Sunday 20 July).

    It’s thought that one man was involved and was described as white, of large build with dark curly hair and beard and spoke with an Irish accent.

    Detective Constable Jamie Bullock said: “Almost certainly, the caller distracted the occupier at the addresses by asking for payment for work in advance and then searched the properties for money and valuables. He then left the properties without completing any work.

    “These people can be very convincing and very persistent but we would once again remind people – especially the elderly – to be on their guard and not to let strangers into their home under any circumstances.

    “We would always recommend that security chains should be fitted to doors. Even if strangers insist on coming in to sort out a problem or complete work, don’t be persuaded. Keep them out and then call the police on 101.

    “Distraction burglars prey on old and vulnerable people causing their victims tremendous distress. Fortunately, these type of offences are relatively rare in Herefordshire, but if you have been a victim of a distraction burglary or seen anything suspicious, please contact Herefordshire CID on telephone 101.”

    People wishing to report information anonymously can do so through the charity Crimestoppers on 0800-555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org


    Please report information re this, or other incidents, by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Kate Hawkswell

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    North Worcestershire
    West Mercia Police
    01562 826076
    kate.hawkswell@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

    Date posted: 21/07/2014

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - BOGUS COUNCIL TAX CALLS


    West Mercia Police are reminding residents never to disclose details about their security, bank accounts or other personal information to ‘cold callers' over the phone.

    The alert comes after reports were received from residents of North Worcestershire who had received cold telephone calls from people advising that they can offer a service to reduce Council Tax.

    The telephone calls may appear genuine and they may know the address and phone number of the people they are targeting. They will also have access to Council Tax band information and may know other personal details. The phone calls have been requesting for a representative to visit the targeted address and verify the householder.

    To protect yourself from becoming a victim of fraud:

  • Do not to give any personal details out on the phone or by email.

  • Do not arrange any meetings or home visits on cold telephone calls.

  • Do not open the door to any cold callers. You can always ask for callers to post through Identity Cards for you to see, call police if you have any doubts.

  • Do not pass any bank details or make any purchases on cold telephone calls.

  • If there is any doubt, request a phone number from the person you are speaking with and hang up and contact police for advice.


  • Fraud and identity theft is one of the fastest growing areas of crime and occurs when your personal information is used by someone else without your knowledge.

    PC Chris Bell said: "There are many scams around which involve unsuspecting members of the public receiving calls at home which they were not expecting. Often identity theft is the underlying aim and by giving out personal information it is all too easy to become a victim of this.

    "Our message is very simple - do not give personal details, and especially not bank details, in response to telephone calls from people you do not know.”

    If there is any doubt over your Council Tax Band please call the Valuation Office Agency on 03000-501501 or visit http://www.voa.gov.uk/corporate/CouncilTax/CTScams.html.
    Any incidents can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300-123 2040. Visit: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/council-tax-refund-scam-emails-jul14 for more information.

    Any incidents involving persons stating they will be attending your address should be reported to West Mercia Police on 101.


    Issued: Wednesday 9th July 2014


    Please report information re the above, or other incidents, by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Michael Jones
    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 12/07/2014

    [top]

    West Mercia Police Notice
    NEVER DIVULGE YOUR BANK DETAILS!!


    On Wednesday 25th June an elderly Ledbury gentleman was the victim of a telephone scam where fraudsters posing as officers from the Metropolitan Police (In this case Hammersmith) tricked him into revealing his bank details. They gave a story that he was the victim of bank account fraud and a courier was then sent to collect his bank cards.

    The fraudsters used the cards to withdraw £1120 from his accounts. A spokesperson for West Mercia Police said; “You should never reveal your personal bank details or the PIN number for your bank cards to anyone. Your bank and the police will never contact you by phone to ask for this information. Victims should refuse to give any details and end the call immediately.

    “In addition a police officer calling at your door will carry a warrant card which shows their name, number and a photograph as well as the force they work for. If you have any doubts you should call the police on 101 and ask for the name to be verified.

    Genuine police officers will NEVER ask for bank details over the telephone. One simple rule will prevent you from falling for this kind of con and that is to NEVER give bank details to anyone who has called you."

    Anyone with information about suspicious callers claiming to be police should call the non-emergency number 101.

    They can also report information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800-555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org

    Date posted: 27/06/2014

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - ON-LINE ROMANCE SCAMS


    Romance Scams On The Increase In Warwickshire and West Mercia


    People seeking online romance have been duped out of more than £100,000 in recent months, police fraud investigators in Warwickshire and West Mercia have revealed.

    Police say the number of internet romance scams is on the increase across the region and are warning people to be on their guard.

    They want people living in Warwickshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire and Telford & Wrekin to be aware that a growing number of unrelated scams are being reported.

    In one incident, a Warwick woman parted with almost £30,000 after “meeting” a man on an online dating site claiming to be an American soldier living in Birmingham. He persuaded her to forward money via an international money transfer facilitator to help set up a business deal in Nigeria while he served in Afghanistan, promising to pay her back on his return. The money was never repaid.

    Detective Constable Tina Athwal, a fraud investigator with the Economic Crime Unit for the two forces, said: “As use of the internet for dating purposes increases, so do the number of scams associated with it …… and the amount of money lost.

    “Most dating scams stem from online dating websites or forums, whereby criminals using fake personal profiles dupe victims.

    “Once fraudsters have gained the trust of their victims, they begin to request money under the guise of various false eventualities. These could be anything from a medical problem they have to claiming to be military personnel based overseas and needing funds for flights home or early discharge.

    “In other instances, as the online relationship develops, the exchanges become more intimate and the victims might be asked to share intimate pictures or perform sexual acts in front of a web cam. These images or videos are then used by the criminals to blackmail the victim into handing over money.”

    DC Athwal said people should think twice before taking a relationship “offline” and be extremely wary about sending money to people following internet contact.

    “We are dealing with people who become victims as a result of doing nothing more than look for a relationship and, after believing stories they’ve been told, have parted with large amounts of their hard-earned money.”

    She said the following tell-tale signs would help identify an online dating fraudster:

  • They want to communicate through instant messaging and, texts, rather than through the dating website or chat room where you met.

  • They ask lots of questions about you but don’t tell much about themselves.

  • They quickly start calling you by a pet name or use endearing terms such as “darling”.

  • They don’t answer basic questions about where they live and work.

  • Their profile picture is too perfect – for example they look like an actor or Miss World titleholder.

  • They start asking you to send money using a number of different scenarios.

  • They’ve arranged to visit you but need money to pay travel costs.


  • Top tips to help enjoy safe online dating:

  • Trust your instincts - if you think something feels wrong, it probably is.

  • Choose a site that will protect your anonymity until you choose to reveal personal information and that will enforce its policies against inappropriate use.

  • Be sure to run a Google image search on the photos in profiles you receive, to ensure they have not been stolen to create a fake profile.

  • Do not post personal information, such as phone numbers, on dating sites.

  • Never send money or give credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know and trust.

  • Wait until you feel comfortable with an individual before revealing your phone number, place of work or address.

  • Be extremely wary about removing clothes or doing other things in front of your web cam that could be used against you - even if you think you know the other party.

  • Use a dating site that offers the ability to email prospective dates using a service that conceals both parties’ true email addresses.

  • Set up a separate email account that does not use your real name.

  • Make sure your phone number is ‘blocked’ to people you contact on dating sites.

  • Pick a user name that does not include personal information. For example, “joe_glasgow” or “jane_liverpool” would be bad choices.

  • Finally, meet for the first few times in a safe place with plenty of people around.


  • If you are a victim of romance fraud, or suspect you are dealing with a fraudster, report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre by calling 0300 123 2040 or by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk .

    The following are some further recent case studies of romance frauds in the Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police areas.

  • A Rugby woman liaised with a man on a dating website. He claimed to be divorced, from Wolverhampton and was working abroad but had been jailed for assaulting a customs official. The man asked her for money to buy his way out of prison and also claimed to have a sick son in America. On saying she had no money to send, the man asked if he could get a friend to send her some money to forward to a church via an international money transfer facilitator. Although the woman lost no money of her own, she was used to launder fraudulently-obtained cash.


  • A Leamington man exchanged messages with an attractive woman via text and emails and not via the social network site they met on. They actually met in person and she promised to marry him on returning from visiting relatives in America. He later received an email saying she had spent three months in hospital following a road accident in America and had been fined for overstaying her visa. He received further messages that she was due to inherit property from her father and would repay him in due course. The victim sent £26,000, again by an international money transfer facilitator. Further inspection showed the paperwork he received was fake and the social network used had no established background, appearing to have been set up as a front.


  • A vulnerable man with learning difficulties from Telford became friendly with a Ghanaian who was going to move to the UK to be with him. The victim sent nearly £1,000 to pay for a visa before the scam was exposed.


  • A Shropshire man “met” a woman on a dating site last October. They formed a relationship and she introduced him to a lawyer who offered investment opportunities regarding a cocoa plantation in Africa. He sent more than £16,000 to people in Ghana and Holland.


  • A woman from Worcester “met” a man on a dating site who said he worked as a neurosurgeon for the United Nations. He claimed to have been posted to Damascus, Syria in August last year and then to Abuja in Nigeria on 1st December. She received flattering texts and emails and he quickly started using terms of endearment. The scammer said his bank account was not active while on duty for the UN and arranged for funds to be paid into her account for her to forward to him via a money transfer facilitator. She inadvertently became a “money mule”, laundering funds obtained from other romance scam victims, for the fraudster.


  • Earlier this year, a Worcester widow sent payments totalling £20,000 to a man in Ghana. She met him last summer following communication on a dating website and the man claimed he was a widower with a daughter living in London. A woman, purporting to be his daughter, even phoned the victim to introduce herself. The victim knew little else about the man, who stated he worked away on business in various countries as a consultant.


  • An elderly Shropshire man lost £25,000 sent to various people in Nigeria, Ghana and Zimbabwe. The victim used skype to speak to others from all over the world who shared similar interests. He then began to receive unsolicited contact from a woman in Ghana and eventually the conversation became sexual. Someone purporting to be from a newspaper in Ghana then made contact, saying they were going to report him to the courts. He was then contacted by another person saying they could represent him in the High Court and money was forwarded to pay for a “fine”. The scam came to light when court documents sent to him were found to be fake.


  • Advisory note: No further details will be issued concerning the above case studies to protect the victims’ anonymity. At this stage, none of them wish to go public or to speak further about their experiences.

    Issued: Tuesday, 27 May 2014


    Please report information re this, or other incidents, by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.


    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Kate Hawkswell

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    North Worcestershire
    West Mercia Police
    01562-826076
    kate.hawkswell@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

    Date posted: 30/05/2014

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    WALLETS, MOBILES AND PIN NUMBERS


    We have had two incidents of cards being stolen with wallet. Then the offender has rang the victim [obtaining mobile details from card with information on from wallet].

    They pretended to be from the bank and asked for the PIN number. One person gave it and it wasn’t until afterwards he realised he shouldn’t have. Easily done under the circumstances. Monies then taken.

    Therefore be advised and consider not having personal details and mobile numbers in your purse or wallet?

    Please be alert to this and never give out PIN number to anybody under any circumstance because even bank clerks do not ask for PIN. Nobody but yourself ever needs this.


    CSO Mika and CSO Alexander
    CSO 6218 Heather MIKA
    Ledbury Local Policing Team
    TEL NO: 101 X 6129


    Please report information re this, or other incidents, by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Adrian Symonds

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 21/05/2013

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    CALLERS ASKING FOR MONEY ALLEGEDLY FOR CHARITY


    Good morning,

    Please note the following message. Although the below relates specifically to Astley in Malvern Hills/ Worcs, they could call anywhere, therefore I am circulating this across the wider West Mercia area.

    Please report information re this, or other incidents, by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Adrian Symonds

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police


    A resident in Astley has received a telephone call from a male who stated he was raising money for a children's charity by selling advertising space in a publication for the charity. He asked for £295 and the resident didn't take up the offer.

    The call came from a mobile number 07785469179. Google shows a couple of reports of pushy charity sales coming from this number.



    Regards


    Sarah Kent (PS 2173)

    Police Sergeant,
    Tenbury Police Station
    Berrington Road, Tenbury
    WR15 8EL
    Tel: 0300-333 3000 X 3581
    Fax: 01584-811902

    CRIMESTOPPERS 0800-555 111
    Call anonymously with information about any crime

    Date posted: 10/05/2013

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    WARNING OF ON-LINE SHOPPING FRAUD



    Police Chief Warns Of Online Shopping Fraud in West Mercia and Warwickshire

    A senior police officer is urging people across the West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police areas to be on their guard against internet shopping scams.

    The warning has been issued by the detective in charge of the Economic Crime Unit covering both West Mercia – made up of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire - and the neighbouring Warwickshire force.

    Detective Inspector Mark Glazzard says he is concerned at the growing number of residents in the two police force areas falling victim to internet fraud.

    He said: “Online shopping and auction sites are regularly the most reported category of fraud to our two forces in recent months.

    “Obviously, shopping on the internet has grown massively over the past few years and is a huge area for business transactions.

    “But of course, something so big involving finance is bound to attract unscrupulous operators and people need to be aware there are sophisticated scammers around looking to take advantage.”

    He said other areas of internet shopping being exploited by criminals included advance fee requests and computer software services.

    “I don’t want to be alarmist but it is important people are aware of what’s happening and take all possible precautions to safeguard their interests.

    “Using the internet to buy goods or services saves considerable time and effort and also presents you with the widest choice. There are, however, risks associated with online shopping and you need to take care with what you are buying, from whom, and how you pay for your purchase.

    “Likewise, online auction sites are a highly popular way of buying and selling both new and second-hand goods and risks can be reduced by being careful. Choose reputable sellers and buyers, ensure payment has been received before despatching goods and ensure the payment website is authentic and secure before entering payment details.”

    DI Glazzard said online shoppers were best advised to choose reputable and well-established shopping sites.

    Heeding the following safety tips will help provide protection while shopping on line:-
  • Ensure any online retailer unfamiliar to you is reputable by researching them. Establish a physical address and telephone contact details.

  • Paying by credit card offers greater protection than other methods in terms of fraud, guarantees and non-delivery.

  • Double-check all details of your purchase before confirming payment.

  • Do not reply to unsolicited emails from companies you don’t recognise.

  • When making payment to an individual, never transfer money directly into their bank account but use a secure payment site such as PayPal.

  • Check sellers’ privacy policy and returns policy.

  • Keep receipts and check credit card and bank statements carefully after shopping to ensure the correct amount has been debited.

  • If new to online auctions, take time to read the online guides provided by the company to understand the system and what the rules are.

  • Understand what the auction company can do (and won’t do) if something goes wrong.

  • Use a login name for the auction site that is different from your email address.

  • If the seller is a business, check their real-world existence. If they provide a phone number or address give them a call.

  • Further advice is available from the www.getsafeonline.org website, as well as the police websites www.westmercia.police.uk/advice-centre/fraud-and-identity-theft or www.warwickshire.police.uk/crimeprevention/businesscp/index

    If you think you may be a victim of an internet fraud, contact Action Fraud, the central point of contact for reporting fraud and financially motivated internet crime. Call 0300-123 2040 or the website www.actionfraud.police.uk


    Issued: Friday, 19 April 2013


    Please report information re this, or other incidents, by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Adrian Symonds

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 19/04/2013

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    ESTABLISHMENT OF 'ACTION FRAUD'



    West Mercia Police Sign Up To National Fraud Busting Agency

    People living in the West Mercia Police area, who suspect they are victims of fraud or internet crime, are being urged to contact a national “one stop shop” reporting centre.

    Since the beginning of April, all police forces in the UK have signed up to Action Fraud, a government-led body co-ordinating the fight against fraudsters and scammers.

    Detective Inspector Mark Glazzard, Head of West Mercia’s Economic Crime Unit – covering Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire - says it is important people know who to contact if targeted.

    “If you’ve been scammed, ripped off or conned, there is something you can do about it. Action Fraud is a central point for reporting fraud and financially motivated internet crime and can be contacted on line through www.actionfraud.police.uk or by phoning 0300-123 2040. However, if there is any immediate danger, or if you see a crime in action, call the emergency 999 number.

    “The service is run by the National Fraud Authority working with partners in law enforcement.

    “All police forces across the country had to link into Action Fraud by April this year. In West Mercia and our neighbours Warwickshire Police, we were up and running by the beginning of the year and since then more than 500 people across the two force areas have reported incidents.”

    Det Insp Glazzard said West Mercia are also working closely with colleagues in Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands on a regional basis.

    “Fraud, including internet related scams, is a growing problem and is a priority area for the police working with Action Fraud, which co-ordinates all incidents identifying trends and patterns. They then pass on information and incidents to local police forces.

    “Although these kinds of crime are a growing problem, especially as technology advances, we suspect they are under-reported. Even so, we have had significant successes in identifying fraudsters and putting them before the courts.

    “Action Fraud undoubtedly will enable us to make further progress in tackling this scourge. It provides a standardised reporting system to ensure police forces have a greater understanding and awareness of threats, especially on a regional or national level.”

    He said fraudsters targeted a wide range of victims, including businesses, online users and those persuaded to make an advance payment for goods and services which failed to materialise.

    Although fraud comes in many forms, taking the following simple steps will help give protection:-

  • Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.

  • Many frauds start with a “phishing” email. Banks and financial institutions will not send an email asking you to click on a link and confirm your bank details. Do not trust such emails, even if they look genuine.

  • Destroy and preferably shred receipts with your card details on and post showing your name and address.

  • Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software and a firewall installed.

  • Sign-up to Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code whenever given the option while shopping online. This involves registering a password with your card company and provides extra security to online transactions.

  • If you receive bills, invoices or receipts for things you haven’t bought, or financial institutions you don’t normally deal with make contact about outstanding debts, take action – your identity may have been stolen.

  • You should regularly get a copy of your credit file and check it for entries you don’t recognise. Callcredit, Equifax and Experian can all provide your credit file.

  • Be extremely wary of post, phone calls or emails offering you business deals out of the blue. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  • If you have been a victim of fraud, be aware of fraud recovery fraud. This is when fraudsters pretend to be a lawyer or a law enforcement officer claiming they can help recover the money lost.

  • If you need advice about fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300-123 2040.

  • Further information about fraud and full details about Action Fraud are available on the West Mercia Police website: www.westmercia.police.uk/advice-centre/fraud-and-identity-theft


    Issued: Tuesday, 16 April 2013


    Please report information re this, or other incidents, by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Adrian Symonds

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 17/04/2013

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    CRIMESTOPPERS' APPEAL WITH £1,000 REWARD


    Crimestoppers Appeal Following Herefordshire Burglaries With £1,000 Reward


    The independent charity Crimestoppers is reminding the public that up to £1,000 is available for information which leads to the arrest and charge of an individual responsible for a crime.

    Herefordshire has seen a series of burglaries across the county, including two in Hereford in which the victims awoke in the night to find someone in their homes.

    Crimestoppers is appealing for information about a particular burglary that occurred on Thursday 7 February where a woman in her 90s from Gladstone Drive had her home burgled between midnight and 12.25am. The victim awoke after hearing a noise and went downstairs to find a man in her living room.

    He is described as white, aged around 30 years old, 5ft 1ins tall, wearing a beige padded jacket. He left the house via the front door and after he had gone, she discovered an amount of cash had been stolen from the property.

    The day before, Wednesday, 6 February, a man in his 60s living in Broxash Drive went to bed at around 2am and woke during the night to find a man in his bedroom who spoke to him briefly before leaving the property. When the victim got up later that morning, he realised three watches, a paperweight and a small trophy had been stolen.

    Pauline Hadley, Crimestoppers Regional Manager for the West Midlands, said: “The home is supposed to be a place of safety and sanctuary. It is unimaginable the fear and panic that would occur if awoken during the night to find a stranger in your room.

    “Those responsible for these crimes need to be caught and we need the public’s help to find these individuals which will help prevent similar occurrences happening in the future. These victims and the rest of the country have the right to feel safe within their home.

    “We offer up to £1,000 for any information you give to Crimestoppers which leads to the conviction of a person in connection with these burglaries. This reward is claimed in a way that means your anonymity is still guaranteed, no identification is ever required.

    “If you have any information at all about these recent burglaries please call us anonymously on 0800-555 111.”

    To be eligible for the reward information must be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800-555 111. Information can be given via a secure online form found on www.crimestoppers-uk.org but will not be eligible for a reward.


    Please report information re the above, or other incidents, by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Adrian Symonds

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 18/02/2013

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    JEWELLERY FOR PETROL SCAM - AGAIN!


    Good morning,

    I am circulating this message across the wider area as it is relevant beyond the specific areas mentioned below.

    On Monday 7 Jan 2013 at about 1615 hrs, a member of the public, whilst driving, saw a car stopped with its hazard lights flashing in the entrance to Alexandra Park Golf club, just off the main Hereford to Ledbury Road.

    A man with the parked vehicle was waving to slow down or stop the passing member of public, who stopped. The male was describes as “thick set” and “foreign” and possibly had a scar on his nose. The male claimed he had no fuel, no money and his baby was ill. He asked for money for fuel and then said he would sell his wedding ring which he took off and tried to pass through the window.

    The member of public declined to assist and wound their window up, at which point the male started pleading and waving his arms, becoming intimidating.

    On the same day, West Mercia Police received reports of a further two similar incidents, one near to Junction 2 of the M50 and the other at Sutton crossroads in Upton Bishop. Police attended, but unfortunately the culprits had moved on before they arrived.

    We do see this kind of incident happen on a fairly regular basis across Herefordshire and Worcestershire (and no doubt beyond). In similar incidents in the past in Worcestershire, where they have sold jewellery to members of the public in order to supposedly fund a purchase of fuel for their car, the jewellery has not surprisingly turned out to be practically worthless after the event……

    Please make your friends aware and report any such incidents to police by dialling “101”, making note of the make/model/registration of the vehicles involved. We would obviously also advise people not to hand over money or purchase items offered by these people.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Adrian Symonds

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 09/01/2013

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - 'MICROSOFT' SCAMS


    Good afternoon,

    A Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator has brought the following page of the Microsoft website to my attention.

    Over the last year or so we have had a number of reports of a scam where people receive cold calls from criminals falsely claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support, who go on to take payment for their (fake) "service" and potentially install viruses and spyware on your computer. The link below gives details of this, and other scams, involving people falsely claiming to be from Microsoft.

    http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/msname.aspx


    Please report information by dialling the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relaying any information to the West Mercia Force Control Room.

    Many thanks.

    Regards,

    Adrian Symonds

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 06/10/2012
    Link: Click here for more details

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    Bodenham Parish Council Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - HOAX REQUEST FOR HELP


    Please note that several local people have recently received hoax e-mails requesting help supposedly from a friend or relative who is abroad and has had their passport and money stolen.

    There are different versions of the message, but one example of such an e-mail reads:

    “From: [E-mail address of your friend/ relative]
    To: Sent: [Date]
    Subject: Hi
    I am in Madrid Spain at the moment, I am here for a conference and I just had my bag stolen from me with my passport and personal effects. I have been trying to sort things out with the necessary authorities, I need some assistance from you.

    Let me know if you can be of any help.

    Thanks

    [Name of your friend/ relative]”

    Obviously you should be extremely suspicious of any such message and the best advice is to delete it immediately.

    Date posted: 09/08/2012

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