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NOTICE BOARD - CRIME PREVENTION ALERTS

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
THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK BEFORE YOU DRIVE!


Don't risk a drink drive conviction this Christmas

Motorists across West Mercia are being reminded of the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs during the festive period.

Enforcing the drink and drug drive law is a 24/7 commitment for West Mercia Police Force. This will be reflected by the police officers and increased enforcement at all times of the day and night. Since the launch of the campaign on 01/12/17 and until 10/12/17 so far, there have been 116 arrests for drink/drug drive offences across the Warwickshire and West Mercia areas.

There is no fool proof way of calculating how much you can drink and remain under the limit, or of knowing how much an individual person can drink and still drive safely. Importantly, it is hard to calculate how long alcohol may stay in your body if you are driving the morning after, so the safest option if you are driving is to drink no alcohol at all. There are plenty of alternatives available with public transport, taxis and sharing designated drivers. Pedestrians are also being encouraged to stay safe during the festive season and to plan safe routes home and to drink responsibly.

Figures indicate that, over the past 3 years 13 people were killed and 109 seriously injured in West Mercia alone following collisions where drink or drugs were recorded as a contributory factor.

Assistant Chief Constable Martin Evans for West Mercia Police comments: "There are still people out there who feel they can gamble with drinking and driving and think they know how much the limit is. Cracking down on those who take drugs or drink and then decide to drive is a year round commitment for us. However, we are very aware the festive season can present opportunities where people are tempted to drive under the influence. To combat this, extra patrols will be conducted in the run up to and over Christmas and New Year in a bid to tackle those who commit the unacceptable act of drinking or drug driving. The simple fact is, there is only one way of being sure that you are safe to drive and that is not to drink at all."

Think before you drink before you drive!


Date posted: 14/12/2017

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Safer Neighbourhood Team Notice
SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD BRIEFING (9 DECEMBER 2017)


To see the latest update from the Bromyard Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) please click on the link below.

Date posted: 09/12/2017
Link: Click here for more details

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Neighbourhood Watch Notice
STAY SAFE WHILST OUT CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!


A timely reminder to everyone to take extra care of their wallets, purses and handbags whilst shopping for Christmas presents.

Now the countdown to Christmas Day has begun, many people are busy buying presents for friends and loved ones. Unfortunately it can also be a lucrative time for pickpockets and bag dippers who can take advantage of the hustle and bustle of town centres and the distracted shopper.

Protecting your belongings in crowded environments will help reduce the risk of having to cancel credit cards, replace keys, change locks and all the inconvenience and distress associated with having your bag, purse or wallet stolen.

Police advise shoppers and anyone else who finds themselves in crowded places, to follow the crime prevention advice below:

  • Carry your wallet in an inside pocket, preferably one that has a zip or a button closure.
  • Never put your wallet or purse in your back pocket.
  • Make sure your handbag is securely closed at all times and your purse is placed near the bottom of the bag.
  • Make sure that the zip or clasp to your handbag is fastened securely.
  • Don’t leave purses, wallets or bags unattended for even a second, whether on a supermarket trolley, or on a counter while paying for goods.
  • Do not put bags on the floor or purses on stall tables or shop counters when paying for goods. In a busy shop or market they can be taken in an instant.
  • Always make sure you replace your purse or wallet safely when you have finished a transaction. Do this whilst still in the shop and do not attempt to secure your purse or wallet in the street.
  • At shop checkouts do not feel pressured to leave the counter until you have secured all your money, cards and goods - even if there is a big queue behind you.
  • If possible keep you credit cards in a holder separate to you purse and wallet. Do not write down your PIN number anywhere.
  • Be aware of people standing near you at the cash point. Cover the number pad when you enter your PIN and put your money away safely before moving away from the machine.
  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash with you. Use a payment card or take money from the cash point in smaller amounts, returning to withdraw more if you need to.
  • Check your receipt at point of purchase to ensure that cash back you have not requested hasn’t been added to your shop.
  • Try to avoid carrying too many bags. The more you have the more vulnerable you are as you try to keep check of all your bags and belongings.


  • Date posted: 06/12/2017

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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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    West Mercia Police Notice
    SCAM TELEPHONE CALL


    POLICE REF: 0456S 031117

    SCAM TELEPHONE CALLER, ROSS ON WYE 03/11/2017

    Please be aware of a scam telephone call recently made to a Ross-on-Wye resident.

    The victim received a phone call from a male purporting to be from the company TalkTalk’ and was calling concerning “issues with the ISP”.

    He stated his name was ‘Shaun Dawson’, spoke with a foreign accent and gave an address of Evesham Street in London. The scammer sounded very convincing and was allowed access to the victim’s computer and personal details were compromised. Luckily the victim’s bank intercepted transactions believing them to be fraudulent.

    If you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately

    Ensure the line is cleared before making any further calls, if in doubt use another phone.


    Phone Scams Advice

    Fraudsters are cunning in their phone-scam tactics and it’s not always easy or obvious to tell straight away whether it’s a scam.

    What is a vishing phone scam?

    These cold-call scams typically involve fraudsters deceiving people into believing they are speaking to a police officer, a member of bank staff or a representative of another trusted company or agency such as a government department.

    Usually, the fraudster will convince an individual that they have been a victim of fraud and will ask for personal and financial information in order to gain access to their account.

    Beware! Do not give your bank details, never disclose the following details:
  • Four-digit card Pin to anyone, including the bank or police.
  • Full password or online banking codes
  • Personal details, unless you are sure who you are talking to

  • If you think you have been subject to this or a victim of fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040

    Date posted: 14/11/2017

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    Safer Neighbourhood Team Notice
    SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD BRIEFING (5 NOVEMBER 2017)


    To see the latest update from the Bromyard Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) please click on the link below.

    Date posted: 05/11/2017
    Link: Click here for more details

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    WARNING ABOUT DISTRACTION BURGLARIES


    Attempted burglary/bogus callers, WELLBROOKSIDE, PETERCHURCH, HEREFORD

    Folks,

    Please be vigilant and look out for vulnerable & elderly neighbours.

    Golden Valley (message sent to all Hereford areas for your info).

    Police Ref 0526S 070617

    ATTEMPTED BURGLARY/BOGUS CALLERS took place between 14:20:00 on WEDNESDAY 07-JUN-2017 and 14:45:00 on WEDNESDAY 07-JUN-2017 at WELLBROOKSIDE, PETERCHURCH, HEREFORD

    Around above time an unknown male has knocked on door of a dwelling. This male stated had been a water pipe explosion nearby with a small girl injured, and that he needed access to the house to check the pipe work that comes into the house under the sink for vibration damage, as well as to check all pipes in the house.

    The male had no ID when asked and the resident reluctantly let him in to check pipes under the sink, but was sceptical about his intentions. A second male has then entered the address and has walked towards the living room area of the house after speaking to male 1. At this point the resident has then asked both males to leave, threatening to call their son. Both men have then left.

    Male 1 described as 5'4 tall, 20-30 years old, clean shaven, medium build, wearing pale blue small checked short sleeved shirt, jeans and a baseball cap.

    Male 2 described as 5'4, clean shaven, medium build, also wearing a baseball cap, and had a white shirt.

    Males are described as both as being very persistent, but could offer no ID. Nothing appears to have been taken.

    The males involved are thought to be connected with a burglary Clehonger earlier this week


    DISTRACTION BURGLARIES

    You don't have to open the door

    Most callers are genuine, but some aren't. Burglars won't go to the trouble of breaking in if they can just knock and be invited in. So always be on guard when unexpected visitors - men, women or even children - turn up at the door.

    Occasionally some callers will pretend to be on official business from utility companies (gas, electricity, water) or the council. They may pretend to be tradespeople who are calling to carry out urgent repairs or may claim that they have lost something in your back garden.

    To protect yourself from distraction burglary:

    1. Beware of anyone who says they are in a hurry - if in doubt, call a neighbour or friend.

    2. Check to see who is at the door by using your door viewer, or looking through a front window.

    3. Always put the chain on before you open the door as this is a barrier against unwanted callers.

    4. When an unexpected caller claims they work for one of the utility companies, they must be able to quote your password and unique customer number and produce an identity card:

  • all of the utility companies operate password schemes - contact the customer services department and set up a password with them.

  • make a note of your customer number, which can be found at the top of the utility bill and keep it handy - this number is unique to your household.

  • as added proof of identity, genuine trades people should carry an identification card with their photograph on -check this carefully and keep the chain on.


  • 5. if you're unsure about the caller's identity telephone the company the caller claims to represent, but don't rely on them giving you the number as it may be false - genuine callers won't mind waiting.

    6.if you're still unsure, ask the caller to come back later so that you can arrange for a friend or relative to be present.


    Date posted: 09/06/2017

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    Rural Watch Notice
    ALERT - HMRC TELEPHONE SCAM


    We are receiving a number of calls from concerned residents reporting multiple calls from persons purporting to be from the HMRC. 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 a 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.

    Kind regards,

    Sue.

    Sue Berrett
    Police Community Support Officer 6439
    Bromyard Police Station
    Tel 101 Ext 61220

    View our new Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police websites at: www.warwickshire.police.uk and www.westmercia.police.uk


    Date posted: 06/06/2017

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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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    Rural Watch Notice
    SCAM ALERTS - SPEEDING AND PACKAGES


    Hello folks, just a quick email to let you know about a couple of scams doing the rounds on the run up to Christmas. There is lots of information about scams and how to avoid them on the Action Fraud website, which is always an interesting read. They can be found at www.actionfraud.police.uk

    Action Fraud has received thousands of reports about fake emails purporting to be from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) that claim you were caught speeding.

    Analysis of the reports shows the emails have been sent by cyber criminals to victims across the UK and not just in the GMP area.

    The emails claim that GMP are notifying you about a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) and have photographic evidence that you failed to adhere to the speed limit at specific date, time and location.
    This is of course not true, but it goes on to say that because you have been named as a driver of the vehicle you have a legal obligation to comply with the provisions of the notice.

    The aim of these emails is to get you to click on the link to “check the photographic evidence” which leads to banking trojan malware.

    NIP’s are never sent by email, they are always sent through the post using a Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) registered address


    Fraudsters are sending out virus infected emails to victims that claim a package is waiting for them at their local sorting office.

    The emails are similar to the ones we alerted to December but this time fraudsters are hoping that email recipients are waiting for a delivery and download the attachment to find out more.

    One victim, who contacted our call centre, downloaded the attachment and unwittingly installed Cryptolocker on her computer. Once installed CryptoLocker works by encrypting victims’ personal files such as, photos, music, office documents and then demands payment.

    Infected users have a time limit to send the payment. If this time elapses, the private key is destroyed, and your personal files may be lost forever.

    If you receive one of these emails, do not click on any links or download any attachments.

    You can report any scam or fraudulent activity on the action fraud website.

    As usual....

    Kind regards


    Steph

    Pcso Steph Annette 6440
    Bromyard Police Station
    New Road
    Bromyard
    HR7 4AJ
    101 ext 61220
    07970602354
    stephanie.annette@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

    Date posted: 16/12/2016
    Contact Name: See above
    Contact Tel: See above

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    West Mercia Police Notice
    SCAM AFFECTING LLOYDS BANK CUSTOMERS



    Latest news regarding scams and Lloyds customers

    Lloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters.

    The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative.

    The letter tells recipients that there have been some "unusual transactions" on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine.

    When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth. Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number.

    The fraud was spotted by the Daily Telegraph who was alerted to it by a reader who had three identical letters sent to an office address. On separate occasions the Daily Telegraph ran some tests using fake details and were passed to fraudsters who claimed to be from a Lloyds contact centre. The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake.

    The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks.

    If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card.

    For further information regarding the latest scams go to the Action Fraud website
    http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

    If you believe you have been a victim fraud please call 101 to report.

    Date posted: 14/12/2016

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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
    NEW SCAM TELEPHONE CALLS


    Police in Warwickshire and West Mercia are warning members of the public to be alert to potential hoax calls pretending to be from telephone or computer companies.

    There have been a few reports involving hoax phone calls claiming to be employees from either BT or TalkTalk to inform potential victims that they have a virus on their computers, or they are due a refund.

    Incidents have been reported in the Harbury and Alcester areas in Warwickshire and Malvern, Worcestershire over the past week.

    Incident 150-18-06-16

    An elderly person in her 80s received a call from Talk-Talk who advised her that they needed to download some software on to her computer and obtained their personal information. They were on the phone for approximately for an hour and a half and advised her that she was owed a refund and this is why they needed their bank details.

    Incident 219-22-06-16

    A call from someone claiming to be from Talk-Talk accessed the victim's laptop as they claimed the victim was owed £200. The victim realised later on and the offenders had attempted to take money from the victim's bank accounts, however the bank has blocked money transfer.

    Incident 0243S 220616

    A call from someone claiming to be from BT accessed the victim's laptop as they claimed the victim had multiple hacks on the account and requested they transfer £750 to help ambush the hackers. The victim has realised the report was false and has not transferred money and contacted the police.

    Police warn that the scammers will make repeated attempts to gain access to computers by asking potential victims to input codes to target 'infected' files, or may request account details.

    How to protect yourself:

  • Do not allow remote access to your computer.

  • Hang up the phone when you identify that the call is uninvited.

  • Never divulge passwords or pin numbers.

  • BT, Microsoft, other computer companies or someone on their behalf will never call you.


  • TalkTalk have also said they will NEVER:

  • Ask for your bank details to process a refund. If you are ever due a refund from them, they would only be able to process this if your bank details are already registered on their systems.

  • Call you and ask you to download software onto your computer, unless you have previously contacted TalkTalk, discussed and agreed a call back for this to take place.

  • Send you emails asking you to provide your full password. They will only ever ask for two digits from it to protect your security.


  • It is also a good idea to contact the company who the fraudulent caller claims to be from, especially if this is a bank. Police urge anyone who receives similar calls to dial 101 and report them.


    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: 24/06/2016

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    PHISHING CAMPAIGN TARGETING UNIVERSITY STUDENTS


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

    A new phishing campaign which has hit students of UK universities claims that the student has been awarded an educational grant by the Department for Education. The email purports to have come from the finance department of the student’s university and tricks the recipient into clicking on a link contained in the message to provide personal and banking details.

    One victim reported that after submitting their sensitive information (including name, address, date of birth, contact details, telephone provider, bank account details, student ID, National Insurance Number, driving licence number and mother’s maiden name), they were taken to a spoofed website which appeared like a genuine website of their bank, where they were asked to type in their online banking login credentials.

    Protect Yourself:

  • Do not click on any links or open attachments contained within unsolicited emails.

  • Do not reply to scam emails or contact the senders in any way.

  • If an email appears to have come from a person or organisation you know of, but the message is unexpected or unusual, contact them directly via another method to confirm that they sent you the email.

  • If you receive an email which asks you to login to an online account via a link provided in the email, instead of clicking on the link, open your browser and go directly to the company’s website yourself.

  • If you have clicked on a link in the email, do not supply any information on the website that may open.


  • If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank, and report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300-123 2040, or visiting 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: 15/06/2016

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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
    UPDATE: PROTECT YOURSELF FROM BOGUS WEBSITES


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

    This is an update to a previous alert sent from Action Fraud in November 2015
    .

    Fraudsters are setting up high specification websites advertising various electrical goods and domestic appliances. These goods are below market value and do not exist. The website will state you can pay via card; however, when the purchaser goes to pay, this option is not available and the payment must be made via bank transfer.

    The fraudster entices the purchaser and reassures them it is a legitimate purchase by using the widely recognised Trusted Shop Trustmark. They then use the Trustmark fraudulently and provide a link on the bogus electrical website to another bogus website (which purports to be Trusted Shops). This website shows a fake certificate purporting to be from Trusted Shops and provides thousands of reviews for the bogus electrical website. These reviews are all fraudulent. The website has 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 website 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/.

  • Conduct 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 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, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300-123 2040 or visiting 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: 23/02/2016

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    THE GOOD CITIZEN AWARD SCAM


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

    Action Fraud has been receiving reports of an advanced fee fraud whereby suspects phone a member of the public and claim to be calling on behalf of the UK (or British) Government Grant Department.

    They go on to state that the individual has won a Good Citizen Award – of typically £8,000 – and that the grant can be released for a fee (of around £210).

    Fortunately, very few members of the public have lost any money as a result of this scam, but have reported it to Action Fraud in order to help build a picture of this fraud and protect others from falling victim to it.

    Protect yourself:

    There is no genuine ‘Good Citizen Award’ scheme in the UK that operates by cold calling “winners” and asking for an upfront fee to release a grant.

    If you receive a call that claims to represent such a scheme, it is a scam. End the phone call – do not give out any personal or financial data.

    If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300-123 2040 or visiting 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: 23/02/2016

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    ADVICE FOR FLOOD VICTIMS: BOGUS TRADESMEN


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


    In December 2015 the UK was hit by three severe storms resulting in widespread flooding across the North of England and Scotland.

    The NFIB would like to make flood victims aware of the possible threat that Rogue Traders and Bogus Trades People pose to them. Buying on your doorstep can be convenient. However, a salesman who uses clever tactics can pressurise you into buying something you actually don’t want or something that’s poor value for money.

    Protect yourself against bogus trades people fraud

  • Always ask for identification before letting anyone you don't know into your house.

  • Check credentials, including a permanent business address and landline telephone number. The mobile phone numbers given on business cards are often pay-as-you-go numbers which are virtually impossible to trace.

  • Take control by asking the questions. Ask for references from previous customers or to see examples of their work.

  • Don’t sign on the spot – shop around. Get at least three written quotes to make sure you’re not being ripped off.

  • If in any doubt, ask the person to leave or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454-04 05 06.


  • If you do decide to buy:

  • Always get any agreement you make in writing.

  • Beware when filling in forms or when speaking to the salesperson, and ensure you don’t reveal confidential details that a fraudster could use to assume your identity or take control of your finances. This may allow a fraudster to steal money from your account or order goods and services in your name.

  • Usually, you have a seven-day cooling off period. So if you decide to cancel the contract, act fast.

  • Think very carefully about having any work done or goods delivered during the cooling off period. You may have to pay, even if you change your mind.

  • Never pay for work before it has been completed, and only then if you are happy with it.


  • 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: 08/02/2016

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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

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    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

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    WARNING - COLD MORNINGS AND CAR THIEVES


    Cold mornings - Don't give car thieves an easy ride

    Although vehicle crime is low across West Mercia, every winter the force receives a number of reports from drivers who have had their cars stolen after leaving the engine running, while they wait in the warmth of their home for the car to heat up and defrost the windscreen.

    Some vehicle owners nip inside for just a few seconds to collect a bag or finish the last mouthful of their breakfast coffee - but that's all the time an opportunist thief needs.

    To 'freeze out' the thieves, West Mercia Police advises motorists to:

  • clear windscreens with de-icer and a scraper

  • sit in vehicles while the heater de-mists the windscreen

  • Drivers who ignore this advice are taking big risks. Thieves will drive around residential areas looking for likely targets. When they spot a vehicle with its engine left running on a drive or outside a home, it's there for the taking.

    One person will be dropped off, get into the target vehicle and simply drive away.

    Many of the vehicles are never recovered, and some - especially high value models such as Mercedes, BMW and Audi - may be shipped overseas.

    It is also worth remembering, if your car is stolen when keys have been left in it, you may find your insurance will not cover you. If your house keys are stolen along with your car, your home is then vulnerable too. So, this winter, don't give criminals an easy ride by leaving your car running unattended.


    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: 20/01/2016

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    DISTRACTION THEFT IN LEOMINSTER


    Incident 242S 211115 - At 1040 on Fri 20th November, a lady was stopped by an unknown male as she was loading shopping into her car which was parked at a Leominster supermarket. The male asked her various questions; it was not until later that day that she realised cash and bank cards were missing.

    This is a common method used to steal cards and cash. Offenders usually work in pairs or small teams, they may target a person in the supermarket queue and note the PIN number used when paying for shopping, which is why it is so important to always shield your PIN when paying for items. Offenders follow the victim (usually female) out of the store and wait for them to put their bag in their vehicle. Meanwhile one of the team will distract the victim, such as asking for directions, whilst the other removes cards and cash from the victim's purse and/or bag, hence why the theft tends to go unnoticed until later.

    Please be vigilant whilst out shopping, particularly in the run up to Christmas when supermarkets tend to be busier. Likewise, never hang a handbag on the supermarket trolley or a push chair as this is an open invitation to the opportunist thief.


    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
    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

    [top]

    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

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    WARNING - FALSE LANCASHIRE POLICE E_MAIL


    A local resident in South Herefordshire has reported receiving an email from Lancashire Police and a staff member called Lyn Whitehead asking for final payment for services.

    Lancashire Police have confirmed this is NOT genuine.

    We strongly advise you not to open e-mail attachments or click on links sent from Lancashire Police.


    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

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    THE DARK NIGHTS RETURN

    Vehicle Security Advice.


    Thieves are opportunists, looking for an easy way to steal items of value from an unlocked or unattended vehicle-sometimes cash left on display, a Sat Nav from the glovebox, a mobile phone from the dashboard or perhaps tools kept overnight in a work van.

    Don't give car criminals an easy ride - remove it or lose it!

    Here are a few additional tips to help keep you and your vehicle safe this winter:

  • Check your fob has done its job! Don't assume your vehicle is secure, always check doors are locked before you walk away.

  • Take your Sat Nav with you when leaving your vehicle, remove the cradle and wipe away tell-tale suction pad marks.

  • Never leave valuables in the glove box, this is the first place thieves will look.

  • Don't leave shopping on view in the vehicle while you return to the shops- Lock everything in the boot, out of sight.

  • Fit an alarm or immobiliser, this will also help to reduce your vehicle insurance.

  • If you have a garage, use it for your vehicle.


  • Frosty morning warning- Don't make your car cosy for criminals.

    Every year, vehicles are stolen around the UK from driveways and outside homes when owners leave them to warm up with the key in the ignition.

    Car thieves watch the weather forecast too and will be out early in the morning on the lookout for vehicles left unattended in this way.

    Stay with your vehicle and if you are in a rush, use de-icing spray and a scraper to speed up the process.

    Sit inside your vehicle while the heater de-mists the windscreen.

    Claims on insurance policies can be affected, if the vehicle owner is in any way deemed responsible for the theft.

    Contact your local team for more information. https://www.westmercia.police.uk/myarea


    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: 08/10/2015

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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

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    CRIME STOPPERS 0300 555 111


    As an independent charity, we are not part of the police. When you contact us you won't be identified. The only person who knows you contacted us with information is you.


    We know that it can be difficult to come forward with information. You might have seen or heard something about a crime but don't know what to do, or are scared to come forward. It's easy to think there is nothing you can do, but we offer you a safe way to do this.

    Our statistics for 2013-14 show that around 17 people are arrested and charged every day thanks to the information we receive from the public - your information can make a difference.


    How we can help you give information safely

    Our service is unique and designed to protect your identity, whether you call us on 0800 555 111 or submit our Anonymous Online Form. To see it please click on the link below.

    We will listen to you about any crime that you have information about.
    We don't record any personal details about you.
    We pass information to the relevant authority without revealing your identity.
    All of our call agents are trained to support you through the process.
    In the 26 years that we have been running, no one has ever been identified after giving information. It is vital that we guarantee your anonymity because if your identity became known, our reputation would be seriously damaged.

    Crimestoppers is not an emergency service and if you see a crime taking place you should ring 999 to report it immediately.

    Published 18/08/15


    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,

    Liz Wells
    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Shropshire West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 21/08/2015
    Link: Click here for more details

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    AVOID BEING A VICTIM OF BOGUS WEBSITES


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


    Fraudsters have created a high specification website template advertising flat screen televisions for sale which are below market value and do not exist. Payment is being requested via bank transfer and will offer no protection to the consumer when the television does not arrive.

    Protect yourself:

  • Payments made via bank transfer are not protected should you not receive the item.

  • Always make payment via a credit card or PayPal where you have some avenue of recompense should you not receive your product.

  • Conduct some online research on the website, company name and business address to identify any poor feedback or irregularities.

  • Check the authenticity of websites before making any purchases. A ”whois” search on the website will identify when the website has been created, so be wary of newly formed domains. This search can be conducted using the following website - https://who.is/

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


  • 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 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: 21/08/2015

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    PROTECTING YOUR SHED FROM BURGLARY


    Although theft from outbuildings and sheds is uncommon there have been a few over recent months across the area. Therefore police are asking residents to remain vigilant.

    We have seen a number of sheds and outbuildings being targeted and we do need people to take precautions to protect their property. Please ensure you keep valuable tools out of sight, lock buildings, and fit good security lights and alarms where possible.

  • If you have CCTV look at using it to cover your sheds and outbuilding as well as the house.

  • Whitewash the shed window or put a curtain across to stop any one looking inside the shed.

  • Fit good locks and attach the fittings with bolts. Cover the screw heads on hinges so they can't be taken out.

  • Remember, sheds that are not attached to homes or are out of sight at the bottom of a garden can be quite vulnerable.

  • Look at making sure that your boundary fences and hedges are in good condition and grow shrubs such as Firethorn or Hawthorne in your hedges. Don't make it easy for the thief.

  • Put tools away and out of sight after use and don't forget to lock the shed up before popping off to the shops.


  • 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: 01/08/2015

    [top]

    Rural Watch Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - BE ALERT TO CURRENT SCAMS


    Folks,

    Please see below for the latest scams that seem to be doing the rounds.

    West Mercia Police, Trading standards, Consumer Direct and Action Fraud are always good websites for up to date information about scams, how to report them and crime prevention advice. Don't forget, you can register with the Telephone Preference service and also the Mailing Preference service which will help cut down on the amount of cold callers/junk mail that you receive.

    The Microsoft 'there is a problem with your computer' scam is still doing the rounds and hopefully by now you will all be wise to it. They offer to fix a non-existent problem with your computer for a nominal fee, all you have to do is allow them full access to your computer. Remember all your personal details are stored on there! You wouldn't hand a complete stranger in the street your purse/ wallet…..the same principles apply online. Keep it private.

    **********************************************

    A lady in Edwyn Ralph was contacted on the telephone by somebody purporting to be from the Ministry of Justice and told that £3600 was coming to her for repayment of bank charges. All she needed to do was pop and get two £100.00 UK Cash Vouchers and somebody would attend her address in the evening with the cheque for the full amount.

    One of our local shop assistants (a huge big thank you) thought it was slightly odd and when the lady explained what she was after, was thankfully able to prevent the woman getting the vouchers and explained to her about the scam. The full details have been reported to Action Fraud.

    It is very easy to fall in the trap of expecting monetary returns on claims that may have been submitted for PPI, been in an accident, etc, but be very wary of ANY business or company that are asking for money up front. The chances are that as soon as you pay any money, it will be the last you see or hear of them!

    **********************************************

    Subject: Rio 2016 Olympics Lottery Scam Alert

    The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has received intelligence regarding two new Lottery Fraud letters/ email attachments (Scam 1 & Scam 2) using the 2016 Rio Olympics as a theme.

    The scams try to trick people into believing they have won the following:

    Scam 1: An online lottery prize of £650,000 and a trip to Brazil to watch the Olympics as the recipient’s email address was chosen out of a possible ten million at random.

    Scam 2: An online lottery prize of £820,000 and a trip to Brazil to watch the Rio Carnival and the Olympics as the recipient’s winning numbers 8 17 34 38 42 and 51 were selected.

    Protect yourself from lottery fraud

  • Never respond to any such communication. If you have not entered a lottery then you cannot have won it.

  • Official lotteries in other countries operate in much the same way as the UK’s National Lotto.

  • No official lotteries that we know of contact people to tell them of their win.

  • We do not know of any official lottery operators who ask for fees to collect winnings. Any request for a fee payment is a good indication that someone is trying to defraud you.

  • Never disclose your bank details or pay fees in advance.

  • If they have provided an email address to respond to, be very suspicious of addresses such as @hotmail.com or @yahoo.com or numbers beginning with 07 because these are free to get hold of.

  • Genuine lotteries thrive on publicity. If they ask you to keep your win a secret, it is likely to be a fraud.

  • Many fraudulent lotteries have bad spelling and grammar – see this as a warning that fraudsters are at work.


  • 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.

    **********************************************

    Think Jessica.

    Do you know an elderly or vulnerable person ?

    Criminals worldwide are hunting down the most fragile members of our society by "working" from mailing lists which categorise people as being elderly or vulnerable in some way. Everyone is at risk but those listed as living alone, not having the internet or any way of being educated about scams or how to report them are their preferred targets.

    They contact them by letter and phone call and try to trick them into parting with cash. Those who respond end up have their details put on what criminals call "suckers lists". They sell these lists to other scammers all over the world. This can result in victims being delivered 100+ scam letters a day and plagued by international phone calls. The National Trading Standards Scams team estimate postal scams could be netting criminals worldwide up to £10 billion a year.

    Victims of scams or their relatives can make a report to Action Fraud or contact Think Jessica to have the victim referred to local Trading Standards for a home visit. Please find out more by reading Jessica's story on the attached link (www.thinkjessica.com) and help ensure vulnerable members of your community are protected.

    **********************************************

    Bogus Callers

    If in doubt, keep them out... Not all burglars have to break and enter.

    Burglars won't go to the trouble of breaking in if they can just knock and be invited in. Always be on your guard when anyone you're not expecting turns up at your door.

    Bogus "officials" may be smartly dressed and claim to be from the council, water company or other organisation. Their real purpose is to talk their way into your home to see what they can steal.

    Genuine callers will normally make an appointment first and will carry identification with their photograph on it.

    Bogus "workmen" may say that they need to come in to check something or make urgent repairs. You also need to be careful of callers who offer to make building repairs or surface your drive. Often they will ask for money in advance, even offering to drive you to the bank to withdraw the money you need to pay them. They could then simply disappear, or do a poor job very expensively. If you need any building work done, get several written quotes from reputable firms, then decide which one is best. If in doubt, talk it though with a neighbour or someone in your family. For consumer advice telephone Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06

    REMEMBER

  • Genuine callers will normally make an appointment first and will carry identification with their photograph on.

  • Always put the chain on before you open the door.

  • If you don't know the caller, ask to see their identity card. Check it carefully and keep the chain on while you check.


  • **********************************************

    Right that’s it for now but remember IF IN DOUBT, KEEP THEM OUT!

    Kind regards


    Steph


    PCSO Steph Annette 6440
    Bromyard Police Station
    New Road
    Bromyard
    HR7 4AJ
    101 ext 61220
    07970602354
    stephanie.annette@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

    Date posted: 29/07/2015

  • [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    FAKE DESIGNER GOODS ALERT


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

    People looking for a cheap designer bargain online are being targeted by fraudsters advertising fake designer goods.

    The items received are usually cheap and inferior counterfeits of handbags, clothes and sunglasses amongst other things.

    The general rule is ‘if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.’ Designer products sold at heavily discounted prices are an immediate sign that something isn’t quite right.

    What can you do to protect yourself?

  • Where possible, buy from well-known, High Street retailers. If you've never heard of a firm, or it is based overseas, be sceptical.

  • Avoid paying by cheque or bank transfer. Use PayPal or a credit card as they will give you additional protection.

  • Search the internet. Type the website you are buying from and look for reviews of what others customers are saying about the company. Bad customer service feedback usually finds their way online quite quickly.

  • Check for spelling mistakes or poor grammar on websites as this may suggest the website has been put together by a fraudster.

  • Sign up to Action Fraud Alert at https://www.actionfraudalert.co.uk/ to keep yourself updated with what’s going on.


  • 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 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: 16/07/2015

    [top]

    Herefordshire Council Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - SAY NO TO ROGUE TRADERS


    Trading standards authorities across the Midlands are working with the home security industry to stamp out rogue traders. Over the last few years, a number of rogue traders supplying burglar alarms and other home security devices have been prosecuted and in some cases imprisoned. In the last 12 months central England trading standards has received 116 complaints relating to burglar alarms, with a total loss to consumers of £92,296. However, it is feared that the actual number of incidents is far higher than this.

    To see the full Herefordshire Council message please click on the link below.

    Date posted: 14/07/2015
    Link: Click here for more details

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - LIGHT/ LITE LOANS 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 individuals who have recently expressed an interest in an online loan. Unsolicited calls are made by fraudsters who appear to be calling from a genuine company. They state that the recently applied for loan has been agreed, but an "advance fee" is required before the money can be transferred.

    Once these “fees” have been paid, either directly to the fraudsters’ bank accounts or through a money service bureau, they are unrecoverable.

    In many cases fraudsters have asked for multiple upfront “fees” to address issues arising with the loan.


    Protect yourself:

  • Authentic credit companies do not charge fees in advance.

  • Be wary of anyone calling who says they represent a credit company.

  • Report any instances of a credit company attempting to request fees in advance of a loan to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

  • 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: 08/07/2015

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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

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    ADVICE REGARDING ROGUE TRADERS


    Now the summer months are upon us, there tends to be an increase in rogue trader activity; persons offering to do gardening work, tree cutting, fence painting, pressure washing etc.

    They rarely offer a cooling off period, in spite of the fact that goods and services costing more than £42 when purchased from a doorstep seller are subject to a 14 day cooling off period which should be given in writing. If you do not receive a written statement of your right to cancel, the cooling off period continues indefinitely.

    Work should not start until after the cooling off period. Most cold callers either do not give a cooling off period or will coerce their 'victim' into signing away this right and allowing them to do the job straight away.

    Sadly, rogue traders tend to deliberately target the elderly and vulnerable in order to rip them off. Please keep an eye on elderly and/or vulnerable neighbours.

    If you notice something untoward, please phone us straight away on 101 or contact Herefordshire Trading Standards on 01432-261761.

    For more information regarding rogue traders/scams and how to protect yourself visit: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/about-us


    Many thanks.

    Regards,

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

    Date posted: 25/06/2015

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    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
    ATTEMPTED BURGLARIES in BODENHAM


    Good morning folks,

    Please be extra vigilant in the Bodenham/ Risbury and Stoke Prior area's of our communities. There have been two incidents over the weekend whereby persons have tried to steal items from locked units and sheds.

    The first incident was at a property nr to Ash Grove View in Bodenham, offenders have entered the shed and put items to the side to steal, but have then left empty handed. The second incident was at a commercial property in Bodenham, whereby offenders have tried to gain access to several containers by damaging locks and doors. Thankfully nothing was stolen and hopefully the CCTV of the male will further the investigation.

    If you have any information regarding these incidents, please contact us on 101 quoting incident number: 0186-S-240515. Or you can call anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

    Report any suspicious vehicles or people to us on 101 and help us catch them.

    Please also note on the other side of our patch at Brockhampton/ Bromyard Downs, a vehicle window was damaged so offenders could reach in and take a handbag left on the floor inside. Do not leave valuables in your car on view; sadly it just encourages thieves to break in as they know there is something worth pinching.

    Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding this alert.


    Many thanks.

    Kind regards.

    Steph



    PCSO Steph Annette 6440
    Bromyard Police Station
    New Road
    Bromyard
    HR7 4AJ
    101 ext 61220
    07970-602354
    stephanie.annette@westmercia.pnn.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: 27/05/2015

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    WATCH OUT FOR SPOOFED PAYPAL EMAILS



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

    Fraudsters often target ‘goods for sale’ adverts on popular online auctions sites, so watch out whenever you’re selling anything online.

    How does the fraudster operate?

    The fraudster will contact the seller to say that they want to buy the advertised item.
    The seller then receives what looks like a genuine PayPal email, to confirm that the money has been paid by the buyer into their account.

    With confirmation of payment, the seller will then send the item to the buyer’s address. The seller will later find that the PayPal email is fake and that the money has not been paid. The seller ends up losing out twice as not only do they not have the money, but they no longer have the item to sell.

    Protect yourself:

  • Check your PayPal account to ensure that the money has been paid in and has cleared into your bank account before you send the item to the buyer.

  • Do not be bullied or rushed into sending items before you know that the payment has cleared – a genuine purchaser will not mind waiting a day or two for you to send them their item.

  • If you are selling a vehicle, think carefully when selling to overseas purchasers – especially if they tell you they will send an extra payment for shipping – check that the funds have cleared before arranging this.


  • 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: 24/05/2015

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    ACTION FRAUD ALERT - ON-LINE AUCTION WEBSITES


    Online auction websites are being used by fraudsters to advertise agricultural machinery for sale which do not exist.

    The fraudster advertises on an auction website and gets their victim to agree to purchase farming machinery, making sure that all correspondence is done via email.

    The victim then receive emails which claim to be from genuine payment merchants or auction websites which state that the money they have paid for the machinery will be held in an ‘escrow account’.

    The email indicates the money will be released to the seller, once the person has confirmed that they’re happy with the purchase. The email says that this will provide the person with ‘buyer protection’. In reality these emails are fraudulent, they don’t come from the named companies and the bank accounts are controlled by fraudsters.

    Protect yourself:
    Always stay within the terms and conditions of the auction websites.

    Remember that PayPal do not include vehicles under their buyer protection.

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

    Be vigilant of emails that purport to be from genuine companies and check the ‘domain’ name of the email address for any inconsistencies.

    Check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller.

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

    For further information view the Action Fraud website: 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: 29/04/2015

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    BEWARE OF FAKE NATIONAL SAVINGS WEBSITE



    Beware: Cloned National Savings & Investments website is offering “investments”

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



    Fraudsters have set up a bogus website claiming to be the official site of National Savings & Investments (NS&I) and are contacting members of the public, cold calling them and offering them the chance to invest in 65+ Bonds (also known as Pensioner Bonds).

    Members of the public who are searching for the official website (for example on search engines) may be directed to the fake one which then asks them to supply contact information.

    Victims are then receiving a follow up e-mail and/ or phone call from the fraudsters who are requesting evidence of identity documents and bank account details either over the phone or by sending the victims fake forms to fill out. A common name that appears on the emails sent by the fraudsters is ‘Kevin Archer’.

    Avoid being a victim of fraud:

  • Do not pass personal or banking information to companies that cold call you.

  • Please note that the only domain name (website address) that is legitimate is www.nsandi.com

  • National Savings & Investments (NS&I) do not make sales calls to potential customers (cold calls) so do not enter into discussion with cold callers claiming to be NS&I.

  • The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau is committed to tackling all types of fraud and the Cyber Prevention and Disruption Team aims to do this by disrupting and taking down fake and fraudulent websites.

  • If you have been a victim of fraud or suspect a company of fraud please contact Action Fraud on 0300-123 2040 or via the online reporting tool at 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: 20/04/2015

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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
    COLD CALLERS AND ROGUE TRADERS


    Police have received several reports of someone cold calling at properties in North Herefordshire, touting for gardening work. Consequently, a male has been arrested and charged with breaching an Anti Social Behaviour Order preventing him from cold calling.

    With the recent good weather, there will no doubt be further rogue traders out looking to target elderly and vulnerable people, offering to carry out patio washing, roof and gutter maintenance, general gardening work. In doing so, they often commit a variety of Trading Standards and/or criminal offences.

    Please do not entertain doorstep callers. Legitimate businesses have no need to call door to door touting for business. Always choose reliable trades persons to carry out work, they should provide a written quotation that includes written notification of your entitlement to a 7 day cooling off period (for any goods or services over £35).

    If you see doorstep callers in your area, please let us know via tel. 101 or contact Herefordshire Trading Standards on tel. 01432 261761.

    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: 15/04/2015

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    ACTION FRAUD ALERT - TICKET SCAMS



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


    Fraudsters regularly offer tickets for music festivals and popular sporting events scheduled for the summer. The tickets are generally offered for sale in the spring time and as the official tickets are sometimes not released until weeks before the event, potential victims don’t realise they have been deceived for some time after parting with their hard earned money. The internet is the most common place where this occurs; on platforms such as bogus websites, online auction sites and via social media.

    Protect yourself:

  • Purchase tickets from an official agent, box office or reputable ticket exchange website.

  • Be cautions of making advance payments via bank transfer, money transfer or e-money vouchers.

  • Remember paying by credit card or via PayPal offers the consumer greater protection should you be a victim of fraud.

  • Conduct some simple online research on the seller or website if you are considering making a purchase. Negative feedback can appear very quickly if something is not quite right.

  • If the ticket price is below market value and the tickets are in high demand consider whether this 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: 13/04/2015

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - PROPERTY RELATED OFFENCES


    Whilst North Herefordshire remains a low crime area we have recently identified a slight increase in property related offences. Members of your Safer Neighbourhood Teams are available for specific advice but please consider these key principles:

  • Report anyone or any vehicle you see in your area that looks out of place to you. This would include door to door callers offering any kind of goods, services or repairs. Where possible note vehicle registration numbers and descriptions of the people. Call the Police AT THE TIME on 101. Wherever possible we will check this out straight away.

  • Genuine callers will normally make an appointment first and will carry identification with their photograph on it.

  • When elsewhere in your home and especially when you go out ensure all doors and windows are secure. Don't hide spare keys in the garden; leave them with a neighbour or someone else you trust. Keep garden tools and ladders locked away.

  • Check your external security lighting and leave at least one internal light on a timer at home. Your Safer Neighbourhood officers have a small supply of timer switches available. Let us know should you need one by ringing on 01432-346739 or email us at leominster.snt@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

  • If in any doubt call the Police on 101 (999 in an emergency). We would much rather have a false alarm than miss an opportunity to help make our communities even safer.


    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: 13/03/2015

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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

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    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

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    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

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    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    BE CYBER SMART CAMPAIGN



    Monday December 1st, 2014


    On December 1, 2014, Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police launched the #Be Cyber Smart campaign to raise awareness of internet-related crime and to give people the knowledge they need to protect themselves.

    The first phase focuses on online shopping; urging people to carry out a few simple safety checks before parting with their hard-earned cash.

    We have joined forces with Get Safe Online to encourage people to follow their ‘12 Online Safety Tips of Christmas’


    The 12 Online Safety Tips Of Christmas – from Get Safe Online


    1. Don’t Transfer Money

    Always pay for items you buy online by card on a secure payment page, by cheque or by cash, in person. However desperate you are to secure an item, never transfer money into the seller’s account, as you may never see the goods or your money ever again.


    2. Check that Payment Pages are Secure

    Before you enter your card details on a payment page, make sure it is secure by checking that the address starts with ‘https’ (the ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’)and there’s a padlock or unbroken key symbol in the browser window.


    3. Use a Credit Card

    Still talking about payments, remember that you have more chance of getting your money back in the event of problems if you pay by credit card rather than debit card. Some sellers may charge a premium, but it could well be worth the extra for your peace of mind.


    4. Use Auction Sites Safely

    At Christmas time, many of us buy from online auction sites. Always use trusted and well-known payment methods instead of paying sellers directly. Read the site and seller’s conditions. And for your personal safety if you’re collecting in person, take someone with you or let people know where you’re going.


    5. Check Out Bargains With Care

    If you find or are emailed about an item that seems just too much of a bargain, it could be a scam, fake goods or it doesn’t match the description. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.


    6. Use Social Networks Safely

    Social networks are a popular medium for scams – and are becoming increasingly so. If you see a post promising something free of charge, free entry to a Christmas competition with a fantastic prize or perhaps an offer that seems just too good to be true, consider very carefully before following it up.

    7. Use Email Safely

    An email urging you to click on a link to reveal a special offer, to open an attachment containing some great news, or to “confirm details” or “reset your account”, could well be a scam, even if it appears to come from a reputable source. If in doubt, delete the email and don’t respond to or forward it.


    8. Look After That New Smartphone or Tablet

    If you’re buying or get bought a new smart phone or tablet, protect it by downloading a reputable internet security App, and make sure it’s safeguarded with a PIN. Install parental control software on kids’ mobile devices, and chat to them about how to use the internet safely.


    9. Remember To Log Out

    When you’ve finished your online shopping or banking session, always log out of the website or app… it only takes a second. Sometimes, just closing the window doesn’t mean you’ve logged out, and someone else could gain access to your account and personal details. Don’t forget to check and save purchase confirmation emails.


    10. Make Sure Wi-fi Is Secure

    At home or other premises you know, make sure the Wi-Fi is secured. When you’re out and about – in the café, the pub or a hotel for example – you can’t guarantee it’s secured even if you have to enter a code. When you’re shopping, banking or making other online payments, it’s better to connect with 3G or 4G, even if it’s slower.


    11. Beware of Scam Phone Calls

    If someone posing as a retailer calls you to confirm an online purchase, it could well be a scam. The idea is that you won’t remember the purchase, and call your bank. However, the fraudster stays on the line, and tricks you into revealing your financial details. If this happens, hang up, don’t call back, but report it to Action Fraud.


    12. Check Bank Statements

    Check your bank and credit card accounts regularly for irregular or unauthorised transactions. If you spot any entries you don’t recognise, contact your bank without delay. Make sure your bank has your up-to-date contact details so they can alert you if they spot anything unusual.


    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: 01/12/2014

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    Safer Neighbourhood Team Notice
    EMERGENCY CONTACT DISC ALTERNATIVE TO TAX DISC



    Police Launch Emergency Contact Disc As Alternative to Tax Disc

    Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police are pleased to announce the launch of our tax disc replacement, the Emergency Contact Disc.

    The Emergency Contact Disc contains next of kin contact details and medical alert information for the driver. In the event of a medical emergency or road traffic collision that renders the occupants unable to communicate, a first responder will be able to obtain vital information that is not otherwise accessible at the scene.

    The disc can be cut out and placed into the now otherwise redundant tax disc holder; the information sections fold inwards so it would not be viewed by passers by.

    PC Dave Wise, the West Mercia officer behind the idea said;” The information within the disc could be vital to save lives or quickly locate a casualty's next of kin, something that can be time-consuming at the scene of a serious incident"

    “All information is optional and the blank discs can be used to add customised information, or attach a passport photo to help link the information to the right person. If there is more than one regular driver or even regular passengers, consider printing multiple discs and add a photo or description of each person. The Emergency Contact Disc can be used alongside existing medical alert products like bracelets and necklaces.”

    PC Wise added "If people have concerns about security of information, they can omit certain details. We would advise that if the next of kin address is the same as the driver's address, it may be sensible to leave this portion blank."

    "The information within the disc would give little or no information away that could aid potential criminals and any slight risk is far outweighed by the benefits".

    The Emergency Contact Disc can be downloaded here: http://www.westmercia.police.uk/news/news-articles/police-launch-emergency-contact-disc-as-alternative-to-tax-disc.html

    (or by clicking on the link below).

    Regards,


    Kate Hawkswell

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    North Worcestershire
    West Mercia Police
    01562 826076
    kate.hawkswell@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

    Date posted: 23/10/2014
    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
    CRIME PREVENTION - HOLIDAY PRECAUTIONS


    Going On Holiday? Make Sure You Leave Your Home Safe And Secure


    Across both Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police the figures for domestic burglary are continuing to decline, but there are still opportunities to help reduce the figures further.

    So before you pack your suitcase and head off for a relaxing break, police are asking you to follow some simple advice to make sure you are not leaving your home open to thieves while you are away.

  • Remember to cancel regular deliveries such as newspapers so there are no tell-tale signs that the house is unattended.

  • Set the burglar alarm if you have one.

  • Don’t leave a spare key hidden outside the house; wherever you choose to hide it be sure that a burglar will know to check there.

  • Ask a trusted friend or relative living nearby to keep an eye on your property. Ask them to pop into the house each day to make sure there aren't any letters piling up behind the front door or to make sure there aren't any free newspapers sticking out of the letterbox.

  • Ask them to check around the house when they visit to make sure there are no signs of forced entry, remembering to check the garage and the garden shed. If someone is unfortunate to be burgled while they are away, it is sometimes difficult to establish when the break in occurred.

  • If you are going to be away for a long time ask them to mow the lawn so that the garden doesn't look neglected - you can always do the same for them while they are away.

  • Invest in some light timer switches and use them on lamps in bedrooms and on the landing, timing them to come on in the evening so it looks like there is someone in the house. (Make sure your electrics are in top notch condition before leaving lighting switched on in an unattended house).

  • If you are a member of the local Neighbourhood Watch let them know when you are away and ask them to keep a particular eye on your property. Also let them know if you have people, such as a gardener calling at the house and when they are due to be there. Then they will know if there are unexpected people calling at the house.

  • If you aren't already a member of the Neighbourhood Watch group consider joining - they can provide useful advice on home, car and personal security.

  • If you give your neighbour a set of keys, make sure they don't put your name or address on them.

  • Make sure your possessions are security marked. There are several ways of doing this including ultra violet pens or Smartwater Kits which can be bought from your Neighbourhood Watch group. This is an invisible "DNA" based liquid which when painted onto valuable items is invisible but shows up under special reader lights. It means items can be traced back to the owner if the property is stolen and then recovered. The pack comes with stickers to be placed prominently in a front window showing that your property is Smartwater marked, which is a deterrent to burglars in itself.

  • Think about moving valuable or highly sentimental items to a safe place, out of view, while you are away.

  • If you are leaving the car behind, make sure you lock it in the garage if you have one. Also put additional security devices such as steering wheel locks on the vehicle. If you are taking your car, think about offering your neighbours the use of your driveway while you are away.

  • If you are leaving the car, put the car keys away out of sight and also remove house keys from the back door and put them away out of sight.

  • Close and lock all windows, doors and patio doors – it sounds obvious, but it is alarming how many people leave windows open when they are not in the house. (If you do not already have locks on downstairs windows, consider fitting them).

  • Don't put your home address on luggage labels until you are making the homeward journey. Address labels can be seen by anyone handling your luggage - and they will then know you are away from your property.


  • “This may seem like a long list of things to do before you go on holiday, but the majority of these actions are common sense, and some, such as marking property or fitting window locks only need to be done once," said Inspector Wayne Cooke, Inspector for Local Policing Harm Reduction.

    "We all look forward to going on holiday all year round but don't spoil it by risking coming home and finding that you have been the victim of a burglary."

    Further home security advice is available online from www.warwickshire.police.uk or from www.westmercia.police.uk

    You can also visit the Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police Digital House to see further crime prevention tips http://www.westmercia.police.uk/citadelhouse


    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: 07/08/2014

    [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

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    ANOTHER WARNING OF 'COURIER FRAUD'


    Elderly residents are being warned about a phone fraud where victims are being duped out of cash by people posing as police.

    West Mercia and Warwickshire Police have recorded 70 of these offences across Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Warwickshire since March this year with unsuspecting victims falling for the scam.

    The offenders are targeting older people across both Forces, as part of a national scam which is commonly known as a ‘courier fraud’.

    In many cases a person claiming to be a police officer will contact an elderly or vulnerable victim by telephone and inform them that their bank card has been used fraudulently.

    The victim will then be tricked into thinking they are either calling or being put through to their bank, but in fact they are still speaking to the fraudsters.

    The victim will then disclose banking information and will be instructed to either place their bank cards in an envelope for a courier to collect or attend the local branch of their bank to withdraw a sum of money and pass it to a courier sent by fraudsters. Sometimes the fraudsters use legitimate Taxi companies to make the pick up.

    Often elderly victims are unwittingly defrauded of their entire life savings, being left distraught and traumatised in many cases.

    Over the last couple of months, the number of offences has escalated, with West Mercia and Warwickshire Police receiving numerous reports from victims across both Force areas.

    Detectives are working with local banks/buildings societies and taxi firms as part of the investigation into the fraud and are urging anyone else who may have been a victim to come forward.

    They are also repeating warnings to the public, particularly older residents, not to go along with the scam and to report any attempts to police.

    This is a national problem which has reached West Mercia & Warwickshire policing areas.

    DCI Sean Paley said, “This is a heartless and callous fraud with the offenders targeting elderly and vulnerable people who are trusting and willing to help who they think are bona fide police officers”.

    “We are urging the public, particularly older people, to be aware of this fraud and not to go along with it. Genuine police would not phone members of the public in this way and certainly would never ask you for your bank details or ask you to send money.

    “Because of the nature of the fraud and the vulnerable victims involved it is believed this offence is currently under-reported, therefore we would urge the public to come forward and tell us if they have been contacted by these people.

    “We appeal to members of the public, banks and taxi drivers to be on their guard and report any suspicious activity of this nature to the police immediately.”

    If you receive a phone call of this nature, police advise you to:

  • Do not give out any information and end the phone call immediately. Wait at least five minutes to clear the line from the scammer before making any other calls, or use another phone. Make sure you have a dialing tone
  • .
  • Report the offence as soon as possible to police by telephoning 101
  • .
    Please remember:

  • Your bank will never attend your home.

  • Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card or cash.

  • Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN.

  • Anyone with any information about this fraud can contact police on 101, quoting Operation Ardent.


    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: 15/05/2014

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    WARNING OF SNEAK IN BURGLARS


    Do Not Invite Sneak-In Burglars Into Your Home


    Now that we are moving towards the season of warmer weather (fingers crossed) it is an opportunity to get out into the garden and spend some time in the fresh air, invite friends round for a barbecue, do some gardening, or just chill out and relax.

    Even if the weather isn’t hot and sunny, the chances are people will be opening the windows and unlocking the patio doors to let some welcome fresh air into the house.

    Officers from Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police want to remind people to take steps to prevent sneak-in burglaries.

    Inspector Wayne Cook from the Local Policing Harm Reduction unit for Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police said: “Whenever we have a spell of nice weather we know that opportunist burglars are on the look-out for an easy chance to get into people’s homes.

    “An open window, or an unlocked door is an open invitation to these sneak-in burglars who can be in and out of your homes in minutes, taking with them the possessions you have worked hard to buy.”

    “We know that nationally about 30 per cent of domestic burglaries are through insecure windows and doors where the burglar just walks into the house. Yet by taking a few simple steps to keep your house secure, you can reduce your chances of being burgled.”

    Inspector Cooke said: “The easiest way to reduce your chances of becoming a victim of a sneak-in burglary is to make sure you lock your doors and downstairs windows when you go out into the garden during the day, if you go out of the house during the day, and also at night time when you go up to bed.

    “Even if you are in the house and you move to another room, close the window in the empty room. If you are going out, get into the habit of going round and checking that all the doors and windows and closed and locked, before you go. It only takes a couple of minutes.

    “People believe their house is their castle and that they will never be burgled. But if you leave a door or a window unlocked, it is an open invitation for a burglar to come in.
    “Even leaving a small window open can give a burglar the chance to get in. It is surprising how tiny a space some people can squeeze through or they may be able to lean through to open a larger window.

    “Some burglars don’t even have to go inside, if you leave your mobile phone or hand bag, car keys, lap top or other valuable items within reach of an open window, they can just lean in and take them.

    Others climb in through the window, then use keys left in the door lock to let themselves out, enabling them to carry larger items out through the door.”

    It can be even more distressing for the householder when they then find that because there is no evidence of a forced entry to their home, they learn their insurance may not cover them for the loss.

    In order to improve security at your home, consider adopting the following crime prevention tips:

  • Lock your front and back doors, even when you are in the house or when you go into the garden.

  • Before you go to bed make sure all downstairs windows, the patio doors and the front and back door are firmly closed and locked – not just pulled to.

  • Don’t leave keys in the door lock. Keep them somewhere safe, but out of view of anyone looking through a window or through the letter box.

  • Consider having a bell attached to your doors so you can hear if someone comes in.

  • Keep valuable items away from window sills so they cannot be taken by someone reaching inside the window.

  • Mark your property so, if it is stolen, it can be identified as belonging to you. You are more likely to get it back and it could help convict a burglar.

  • Never leave your handbag, wallet, briefcase or other valuable items near the door when you come in, a sneak-in thieve could nip in behind you and take it.

  • Lock the door behind you when you come home from work, school or from shopping.


  • Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police are focusing on reducing house burglary through Operation Citadel, a proactive campaign to target those who commit burglary and to increase awareness of crime prevention for householders.

    Download free tracking software for all your electronic equipment at https://preyproject.com/

    Register your valuables on www.immobilise.com If your property is registered it can be traced if it is recovered.

    Visit the Citadel House, the Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police digital crime prevention house at http://www.westmercia.police.uk/citadelhouse/

    Issued: Friday 2 May 2014


    KINGTON
    Stolen between 8pm Wednesday 30th April 2014 and 9.30am Thursday 1st May from the Dilwyn area a single axle trailer. It is has green wood and a metal frame with a drop down ramp. Make of trailer unknown.

    BROMYARD
    0077s 060514 Offenders have been using fake £50.00 notes in the Bromyard area. The notes were passed on 4th May and did not show up as fake when tested. Please take extra care when dealing with large denominations.

    WHITBOURNE
    150S 050514 Theft of farm machinery from Whitbourne. The offenders stole a grabber from a farm sometime between 20th April and 5th May 2014. The item is large and would have needed a large vehicle to remove it.

    LEOMINSTER
    0221S 020514 - Between 1145 and midday Fri 2 May a handbag was taken from a (briefly unattended) shopping trolley in Aldi, Leominster. The handbag was later recovered nearby with cards and cash missing. We advise shoppers not to leave handbags in shopping trolleys (whether the bag is attached or not), or hanging on pushchairs/buggies/mobility aids, as this provides an easy target for the opportunist thief. If you would like further crime reduction advice, please contact your local Safer Neighbourhood Team via 101, they will be pleased to assist.
    OIS 602S - 050514 A push bike has been stolen from Waterworks Lane Leominster
    The bike a silver and red Barracuda Mountain Bike was left outside a property overnight on the 4-5 May 2014.
    OIS 356S 050514 An attempted break in to the Nhs Dental Centre Dishley Street Leominster. The offenders attempted to gain entry by forcing the front doors of the premise. This offence took place overnight on 4/5 May 2014
    0109S 050514 Theft of hanging baskets form a property in Paradise Court Leominster. The baskets were taken between 1600-2000 hrs on the 4th May 2014.

    KINGSLAND
    Stolen between 12th Friday 2nd May 2014 and 4.30pm Saturday 3rd May from a field near to Kingsland church were three Dorset Cross lambs which were ready for slaughter. Did anyone see someone loading lambs into the back of a trailer during this time. If so please contact the police on 101 and quote incident OIS 0574S 031514.


    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: 06/05/2014

    [top]

    Rural Watch Notice
    RURAL WATCH ALERT - ROGUE TARMAC-ERS


    Good afternoon Folks,

    Be aware, there are rogue tarmac-ers operating in the North of the County. The rogue traders have targeted a rural isolated property, stating they have some 'spare' tarmac to use up after doing a job down the road. The traders have told the property owner that they will fill in the holes in their driveway for a small fee.

    Before the property owner realised, they had laid tarmac halfway down the drive not just filling the holes. The rogue traders have then returned to the property owner with their hand out demanding thousands of pounds for the extra work.

    Please don't be fooled by their charming patter, these conmen are out to take your hard earned money. They have no business credentials and no contracts or quotes were exchanged. Please ring us on 101 or contact trading standards (Herefordshire Council) if you happen across these unscrupulous rogue tarmac-ers.

    Kind regards


    Steph


    Pcso Steph Annette 6440
    Bromyard Police Station
    New Road
    Bromyard
    HR7 4AJ
    101 ext 61220
    07970602354
    stephanie.annette@westmercia.pnn.police.uk


    Date posted: 04/12/2013

    [top]

    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

    [top]

    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

    [top]

    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

    [top]

    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

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    UPDATE - CURRENT SCAMS


    Good afternoon,

    There are constantly a great many scams of various types circulating. Some are circulated via email; others are carried out via telephone cold call. There are too many in circulation to list them all - with new ones coming along all the time. As the vast majority originate from overseas, there is little the police can do to prevent them. Therefore public awareness is essential, ensuring that people do not fall for them in the first place.

    However, as a reminder about this issue, I would like to draw your attention to two scams that we have been seeing fairly regular reports of recently, and which have both been occurring for some time.

    The first example is where you receive an email which takes many slightly different forms, sometimes it is from a stranger, but sometimes supposedly from someone you know (in fact your friend has had their email account hacked, so it is not actually them who has sent it). The email advises you that they are abroad and have lost their money (or had it stolen), and they are in dire trouble and need you to lend them money temporarily so they can get home - in a recent example the email said "all we need is £2500"…! Obviously it is a scam, and if you were to "lend" them the money, you wouldn't be getting it back, so disregard such emails…

    The second example is where you receive a telephone cold call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft (or similar) and that they have somehow magically detected you have a virus on your computer. They ask you to log on to their website whilst you are on the phone to them, at which you are charged (between £100-£200) for their false "service" (obviously there is nothing wrong with your computer) and after the event some people have found that they have actually had viruses put on to their computer whilst doing this. Therefore hang up on any such callers.

    Do not allow yourself to be rushed into making a decision - e.g. a scam email falsely claiming to be from a bank (or paypal, etc) falsely advising you that you have made a payment that you are not aware of, and asking you to log in to your account to query the transaction, is just a scam to rush you into logging in on their false bank/ paypal website (that looks just like the genuine one) in order that the scammers can gain your username and password for your real account, which they can then access…..

    Please remind relatives and friends about the prevalence of scams such of these, especially any of the more vulnerable people you know. It is good to have a healthy suspicion of any such unexpected messages/ calls.


    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: 08/04/2013

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    POLICE WARNING ABOUT DISTRACTION THEFTS



    POLICE ALERT FOR ALL AREAS IN WEST MERCIA

    West Mercia Police are currently dealing with a number of distraction thefts in the region. One of the latest occurred on the Tesco car park in Ledbury.

    Others have occurred recently in Oswestry, Shrewsbury & Shifnal.

    An elderly female was approached by a young Eastern European female who initially tried to distract her by obtaining change for a £2 coin. Unfortunately the trolleys at Tesco don't need a coin so this approach didn't work. She then went back to the lady and was saying "Hospital, hospital" and showed her a map. When IP saw the map it was a map of England, not Ledbury specific so she said she couldn't show her the hospital. At this point offender turned and walked off.

    Later transpired that the elderly female’s Barclaycard had been stolen and fraudulent transactions took place immediately.

    (OIS 0204-S-130313 refers)

    All Members of the Public are asked to be vigilant against this form of distraction theft. It could happen anywhere. If seen please report it to the Force Control Room immediately on 101. Thank you.

    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: 20/03/2013

    [top]

    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

    [top]

    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

    [top]

    Neighbourhood Watch Notice
    PURCHASES AND SALES ON EBAY


    Please note the following message.

    Please report information re the below, 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


    Polite notice to all farmers.

    This morning a farmer in south Shropshire reported that he had bought a New Holland 4x4 tractor from Ebay. He paid a substantial amount of money for the machine.

    He has since discovered that the Ebay account was fraudulent and the contact telephone number was non-existent.

    When dealing with Ebay make sure you are dealing with a reputable seller/ buyer.
    For further information on fraud go to www.westmerciapolice - advice centre – fraud & identity theft – business fraud – report fraud

    Also visit Action fraud website for advice and guidance.

    If you think you are or have been a victim of fraud call the Force Control room on 101.

    Thank you.



    Date posted: 21/11/2012

    [top]

    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

    [top]

    Hereford Community Messaging Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - JEWELLERY FOR PETROL SCAM


    Please note the following message from CSO Adam Harris at Leominster.


    GENERAL OBSERVATIONS

    Herefordshire local policing team were notified on Monday 17th September that on several occasions, drivers were flagged down by a male on the side of the road. This male has then proceeded to speak with the driver, stating that he needs money for petrol so that he can take his friend/ brother to hospital. In return for some money the male is offering a gold ring. Several calls were made and each call offers a different description of the male(s). However, one part of the description remains the same across the calls made and that is, that the male making this request is of an Eastern European ethnicity and does not speak English very well and that other males of Eastern European ethnicity are seen within the parked vehicle. A possible description of the vehicle is that it may be a gold coloured Volvo estate.

    It is strongly believed that this is a scam!

    Officers conducted area searches of the areas given - Orleton on the B4362, Bircher and Leintwardine - but could not locate the vehicle or person(s) and the information provided has been obtained from the callers that informed the police.

    BE AWARE that other recent incidents of the same nature in Herefordshire have seen victims hand over cash for petrol in exchange for jewellery and or drive the other party to a garage, giving them money to buy petrol at the garage itself and then taking them back to their vehicle to fill up, believing that it is a genuine request by an innocent party.

    The reason for the piece of jewellery that the offending party will give to the suspected victim is because the offending party states that they will either make contact at a later date to exchange the piece of jewellery back for the cash they borrowed off the victim or state that the jewellery is payment and that they can weigh or sell it to obtain the money back.

    In spite of this the jewellery is worthless and the victim:

    A) Never sees that person again and
    B) never gets their money back either.

    Please be mindful not to be victim of this crime and inform police immediately of this behaviour.

    To report information re the above, or other incidents please dial the non-emergency police telephone number "101" and relay 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: 18/09/2012

    [top]

    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

    [top]

    Hereford Community Messaging Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - FAKE FACEBOOK TAG NOTIFICATIONS



    Beware of fake Facebook Tag notifications

    Good afternoon,

    Relevant to those of you who use Facebook, please note the following link (to the Action Fraud website) regarding a scam that has been brought to my attention.

    http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/beware-of-facebook-tag-notifications-jul12

    Many thanks.

    Regards,


    Adrian Symonds

    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 18/07/2012
    Link: Click here for more details

    [top]

    Hereford Community Messaging Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - DISTRACTION BURGLARY POSTER



    Police Issue Poster In Effort To Tackle Distraction Burglary

    If in doubt keep them out.

    Following two distraction burglaries and a number of reports about bogus officials calling at homes in Worcester, Evesham and Droitwich over the last two weeks, police are reminding people about their ‘Knock Knock' campaign.

    A ‘cut out and keep' door poster is being issued as part of the campaign, which aims to raise awareness of and prevent distraction burglaries.

    As older and vulnerable people are more likely to be victims of this type of crime, it is hoped that they or those close to them - such as neighbours, friends, relatives or support workers - will attach this poster to the inside glass of a door or front window in a bid to deter the burglars and remind potential victims not to open the door to anyone they do not know.

    "Research shows that sadly, the average age of those targeted by distraction burglars is 78 and more than three quarters targeted are women," says Crime Risk Adviser for Worcestershire, Mike Stephenson. He adds: "Local communities, carers and neighbours can play an important role in helping us prevent these crimes and catch those responsible for them.

    "As we've seen recently, criminals often claim to be from a utility company - the ‘water board' usually - and may be smartly dressed or in work clothes. They will then give the homeowner a task to do and while distracted, take money and any valuable items they can find.

    "West Mercia Police is determined to crack down on people committing doorstep crime and we take all reports of this type of crime extremely seriously.

    "I would urge people to cut out this poster and stick it in their door or window, or that of any vulnerable members of the community who it may be of use to.

    "I also ask that members of the public keep an eye on vulnerable people in their neighbourhoods and report any suspicious activity they see to the police on 101."

    For further information about preventing distraction burglaries and the Knock Knock campaign, please visit the force website at http://www.westmercia.police.uk/.

    Available by following the link below is the ‘cut out and keep' version of the poster, which should be folded so the ‘No Callers Without An Appointment' shows through the glass on the outside of the door/window and the advice section can be seen by the homeowner on the inside.


    Issued: Wednesday, 13 June 2012

    Date posted: 14/06/2012
    Link: Click here for more details

    [top]

    Hereford Community Messaging Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - WARNING OF THE 'COURIER SCAM'


    Police warn people of new 'Courier Scam'

    A sophisticated type of fraud is on the rise across the UK - where people are telephoned by fraudsters and tricked into revealing their PIN and handing over their bank card to a courier [23 May 2012]

    Pay Your Way is working with The UK Cards Association and Financial Fraud Action UK to raise awareness of how to avoid the 'Courier Scam'.

    More than £1.5 million has now been lost to the scam, with the same amount - £750,000 - stolen in the first four months of 2012 that was stolen during the whole of 2011. This equates to a three-fold increase in this crime.

    The scam involves a person being called by someone claiming to be from their bank and told that their debit or credit card needs collecting.

    The caller suggests the person hangs up and calls the bank back to ensure the issue is genuine, but stays on the line; tricking the person into thinking they're calling their bank.


    Revealing your PIN

    The fraudster will then ask the person to key in their PIN number, before sending a courier to collect the card. The victim is told the card is going to the bank to be changed but is actually delivered to the fraudster to use.

    According to figures released today by Pay Your Way, over three quarters of the UK (76%) feel confident they would be able to spot a fraudulent telephone banking call.

    However, after hearing how the Courier Scam works, over half (56%) of the 4,000 people surveyed were surprised by how sophisticated it is, one third (33%) worried they were more vulnerable than they thought and four-fifths (80%) felt that anyone could be a potential victim to the fraud.

    With 91% feeling that older adults would be particularly at risk, Pay Your Way is encouraging people to make sure that older relatives and friends are also aware of the scam in order to stamp out this kind of fraud and help older generations to keep their finances secure.

    For further information visit the Payments Council website
    (http://www.paymentscouncil.org.uk/payment_advice/pay_your_way_portal/).

    Please note that Action Fraud is not responsible for the content of external websites.
    To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool
    https://reportfraud.actionfraud.police.uk/fraudreport/default.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1.


    Adrian Symonds
    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 24/05/2012

    [top]

    Hereford Community Messaging Notice
    WARNING ABOUT OVERPAYMENT FRAUD


    West Mercia Police is urging members of the public - particularly local businesses - to be aware of fraudulent activity known as overpayment fraud.

    The warning comes as part of Scam Awareness Month, which is run by Trading Standards throughout May, and follows a recent investigation where a business in Worcester was conned out of over £40,000.

    "We have received a number of reports regarding overpayment frauds recently," said Robin Longmore, Financial Intelligence Development Officer with West Mercia Police's Economic Crime Unit. He explained: "Overpayment fraud is when a third party, often based outside the UK, makes an offer to purchase goods and then sends funds well in excess of the asking price.

    The third party will then request that the excess funds be sent back to them, claiming that there has been an employee error or some similar excuse. However, the sent funds are usually by way of a cheque or banker’s draft which will either be stolen or fraudulent and consequently not honoured.

    This means that after the overpayment has been refunded to the third party, the original payment from them then bounces leaving the victim vastly out of pocket."

    This is what happened to a Worcestershire-based manufacturing company in December 2011. A customer from the Middle East placed an order with them for £78,000 and paid via cheque. Before the funds had cleared, the manufacturer realised that the customer had overpaid for the goods in excess of £40,000. The manufacturer then refunded the customer via international transfer. Three days later, the customer's bank established that the cheque used to make the original payment of £78,000 was fraudulent and the payment bounced, leaving the manufacturing company severely out of pocket.

    "These scammers take advantage of the system in place to clear cheques and what is meant by ‘cleared funds'," explained Mr Longmore. He added: "Although your bank does a preliminary enquiry when you pay a cheque into your account, the physical cheque still needs to be returned to the issuing bank and verified.

    This means that even though funds may appear as ‘cleared' on your account, it then takes another few days for the issuing bank to receive the cheque and honour it. It is these few days which provide fraudsters with a window of opportunity to part you from large sums of money."

    Unfortunately, as with many fraud offences, it is difficult to establish the true scale of the situation. Often, victims do not report their losses, possibly through embarrassment. Many companies fear bad publicity if it is known that they have been scammed in such a way.

    "Individuals and businesses need to be aware of these types of scam so that they can try to avoid falling victim to them," said Mr Longmore, who has the following advice: "If you do receive an overpayment - be it for a large order or perhaps a car you are selling on the internet - ask yourself: why?

    These scammers are very plausible and they will offer any number of excuses as to why the overpayment has been made, but in reality this rarely happens. If it does happen to you though, resist any pressure to refund money until you have been reassured by the bank that the funds have definitely cleared. Banks are well aware of these scams and if you alert them to the issue, they may be able to do other checks with the issuing bank in relation to the overpaid funds."

    Anyone who has concerns that they may be a victim of such frauds should contact their local police by dialling 101.

    Further information is available on the Action Fraud website http://www.westmercia.police.uk/cms/tiny_mce/plugins/paste/www.actionfraud.police.uk


    Issued: Friday 18 May 2012


    Adrian Symonds
    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police

    Date posted: 19/05/2012

    [top]

    Hereford Community Messaging Notice
    CARD FRAUD TELEPHONE SCAM - NEW VARIATION


    [Card Fraud Telephone Scam]

    Good morning,

    Please note the following advice - this has been circulated by the "Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network" on behalf of "The UK Cards Association".

    Thanks.

    Regards,

    Adrian Symonds
    Community Volunteers Co-ordinator
    Worcestershire and Herefordshire
    West Mercia Police


    Card Fraud Telephone Scam

    The UK Cards Association is advising customers to be aware of a new variation on an old style scam that involves people being telephoned by fraudsters and duped into handing over their debit or credit card, and revealing their PIN.


    How does the scam happen?

    A fraudster rings you, claiming to be from your bank, saying their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on your card or that your card is due to expire and needs replacing. You may be asked to ring back using the phone number on the back of your card - which further convinces you the call is genuine. However, the criminal keeps the line open at their end so, when you make the call, you are unknowingly connected straight back to the fraudster.

    Then, by seeming to offer assistance, the fraudster tries to gain your trust. In most cases you are asked to 'cancel' your existing card or 'activate' or 'authorise' a replacement card by keying your PIN into your phone's handset.

    The fraudster then poses as a bank representative to pick up your card from your home, sometimes giving you a replacement card, which is a fake. In some cases a genuine courier company is hired to pick up the card, which the victim has been asked to place into an envelope.

    Once they have your card and PIN the fraudster uses them to spend your money. A variation of the scam involves the fraudster ringing a prospective victim and claiming to be from the police - again with the aim of going to the victim's home to collect the card and PIN.


    What can I do to avoid this scam?

    Remember this advice:

  • Your bank or the police will NEVER ring you and tell you that they are coming to your home to pick up your card, so never hand it over to anyone who comes to collect it.


  • Your bank will NEVER ask you to authorise anything by entering your PIN into the telephone.


  • NEVER share your PIN with anyone - the only times you should use your PIN is at a cash machine or when you use a shop's chip and PIN machine.



  • What should I do if I think I may have been the victim of a fraud or scam?

    If you think you have been the victim of a fraud or scam of this nature you should call your bank or card company immediately.

    Visit www.financialfraudaction.org.uk for more information.


    If you have any information that you would like to pass on to us, please call on 0300-333 3000 or dial 999 if it is urgent. If you would like to report anything anonymously, please call CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800-555 111.

    If the information you are giving refers to an incident number that you have, please make sure you give this number to the Call Taker - thank you.

    Dee Naylor, Hereford Community Messaging Service Administrator
    denise.naylor@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

    Date posted: 06/03/2012

    [top]

    Hereford Community Messaging Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - VISA/MASTERCARD SCAM PHONE CALL


    [VISA/MASTERCARD SCAM TELEPHONE CALL]


    VISA/MASTERCARD SCAM TELEPHONE CALL

    SCAM ALERT - This has been passed on via another Force area through our own Fraud Department In Wiltshire Constabulary, and it is a very convincing SCAM.

    We have been asked to disseminate the information as widely and as quickly as we can through Neighbourhood Watch, School Safe and others.

    This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself.

    One of our employees was called on Wednesday from "VISA", and I was called on Thursday from "MasterCard". The scam works like this: Person calling says, "This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank), Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for £497.99 from a Marketing company based in London?" When you say "No", the caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from £297 to £497, just under the £500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?" You say "yes". The caller continues - "I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 0800 number listed on the back of your card (0800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"

    Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works. The caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card." He'll ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers." There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers that verify that you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?" After you say, "No," the caller then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card number.

    But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of £497.99 was charged to our card. Long story - short - we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or MasterCard directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/ or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

    What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a "Jason Richardson of MasterCard" with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA scam. This time I didn't let him finish I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening.


    If you have any information that you would like to pass on to us, please call on 0300-333 3000 or dial 999 if it is urgent. If you would like to report anything anonymously, please call CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800-555 111.

    If the information you are giving refers to an incident number that you have, please make sure you give this number to the Call Taker - thank you.

    Dee Naylor, Hereford Community Messaging Service Administrator
    denise.naylor@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

    Date posted: 17/01/2012

    [top]

    Hereford Community Messaging Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - 'PARCEL AT POST OFFICE' SCAM


    [The Post Office - Fake Phone Calls]


    Fake Post Office Calls

    We have been informed that a male is making phone calls and saying there is a parcel to be signed for at the Post Office. Giving out the post office number as well; but when the person turns up there is no parcel. The Post Office say they have had a few of these incidents happening in Ledbury.

    When the male was asked if his wife could pick it up he was told "No" only he could collect it as his name was on the parcel.

    Apparently the male’s voice sounds "funny".

    We just wanted to make you aware of this in case it is a scam and he is trying to see if there is anyone at home or potentially trying to lure people from their homes in order for the property to be left unattended.

    As a general rule the Post Office would not make these phone calls and if you were to get one and are suspicious get your local post office number and call them yourself directly - it is advised that you do not use any telephone number this male gives as it is likely to be a false number costing an extortionate amount per minute.

    Thanks

    Dee


    If you have any information that you would like to pass on to us, please call on 0300-333 3000 or dial 999 if it is urgent. If you would like to report anything anonymously, please call CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800-555 111.

    If the information you are giving refers to an incident number that you have, please make sure you give this number to the Call Taker - thank you.

    Dee Naylor, Hereford Community Messaging Service Administrator
    denise.naylor@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

    Date posted: 17/01/2012

    [top]

    Hereford Community Messaging Notice
    CRIME PREVENTION - FLY TIPPING


    [No Licence - No Waste ]

    Think! No Licence - No Waste

    At some point, we've all seen a mattress, fridge or shopping trolley dumped on the side of the road and, although most would see this as inconsiderate and unsightly, some don't give it a second thought.

    In order to tackle fly tipping, Herefordshire Council's Community Protection Team, Safer Herefordshire and Amey are working together to promote the Think! No Licence - No Waste campaign across the county. The initiative was launched in High Town, Hereford on Saturday 3rd September and aimed to inform people that it's not only illegal to irresponsibly dispose of rubbish, but also to allow it to be removed by an unlicensed trader.

    Craig Sandman, Community Protection Team Leader, said: "Fly tipping is the illegal disposal of controlled waste and we are able to take enforcement action against any householder or business that doesn't correctly dispose of their waste or ensure it's collected by a Registered Waste Carrier. For those caught fly tipping, it can mean a formal caution, vehicle seizure or even prosecution in a court of law. Since April 2009, we have had 42 successful prosecutions for fly tipping in Herefordshire".

    He added: "If residents discover fly tipping they're urged to remember the 3 R's …Refrain, Record and Report.

    Refrain from approaching anyone suspected of fly tipping, these people are committing an illegal act and as such don't wish to be caught. Never touch or open bags and containers, as they may contain hazardous waste such as chemicals, glass or toxic substances and possibly even clues which could identify the perpetrator. The Community Protection Team is trained to deal with such incidents and carry specialist equipment for waste removal.

    Record as many details as possible, if you witness or find any fly tipping:

  • Date, time and location

  • Vehicle details (including make, model, colour and registration number)

  • Distinguishing features or characteristics of the perpetrator (including gender, hair colour, clothing and any noticeable accents)

  • What was dumped, the weather conditions and how far away you were at the time


  • Report the incident to the Community Protection Team as soon as possible on 01432-261761 or info@herefordshire.gov.uk".

    In 2005, the Government launched the householder's duty of care, which places a legal duty on households to ensure only authorised or licensed traders remove their waste. As a consequence, if it's removed and subsequently found dumped, the householder could be liable to prosecution.

    Craig continued: "It's actually relatively easy for householders and businesses to prevent this from happening, by asking to see the trader’s Waste Carrier's Registration Certificate. A genuine and respectable waste removal contractor will be more than happy to oblige along with providing an official receipt. Alternatively, their credentials can be checked by requesting an instant Waste Carrier Validation Check from the Environment Agency on 0370-850 6506 or www.environment-agency.gov.uk".

    He also warns residents to be wary of 'cold callers' who call uninvited and offer to remove waste for cash, because it's highly likely they won't have an official licence. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, that's normally because it is.

    Please remember, if you're approached by someone you don't believe has a licence or is behaving in an inappropriate manner, please contact either West Mercia Police on 0300-333 3000 or the Community Protection Team on 01432-261761.

    For more information on fly tipping visit: www.herefordshire.gov.uk/communityprotectionteam.

    If you have any information that you would like to pass on to us, please call on 0300-333 3000 or dial 999 if it is urgent. If you would like to report anything anonymously, please call CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800-555 111.

    If the information you are giving refers to an incident number that you have, please make sure you give this number to the Call Taker - thank you.

    Dee Naylor, Hereford Community Messaging Service Administrator
    denise.naylor@westmercia.pnn.police.uk

    Date posted: 04/09/2011

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