WINSHAM NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
and Local Health Support


01/04/21 9788 Somerset – Caravan Security

Dear Members,

As the restrictions around Covid-19 are being eased and many people are looking at “Staycations” rather than holidays aboard, Caravans are becoming increasingly popular. Unfortunately criminals have also noticed this, so please take steps to increase the security of your Vans.

Secured By Design is the official police security initiative which provides a recognised standard for all security products, and a recent addition to this listing is Caravan iD. This scheme provides an individual identification number for your caravan and motor home that can be checked to see if it has been stolen. For more information, visit their website at https://caravanid.com/

Other similar products are also available on the SBD website http://www.securedbydesign.com. All these products are police approved products.

https://caravanid.com/

https://caravanid.com/

Attachments:

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

 

30/03/2021 9788 Somerset: Buying & Selling on Social Media / Online Platforms. (Market Places)

Dear Members,

We are seeing an increase in burglaries from garages and sheds where the offenders are clearly seeking out motorcycles, specifically dirt bikes such as KTM & Yamaha. It appears that a number of these bikes have been listed for sale on social media platforms, where a potential buyer arranges to view the vehicle but then doesn’t turn up. Not surprisingly, a day or so later the Garage / Shed is broken into and an attempt is made to steal the bike or it is stolen.

If you are considering selling your vehicle - or any expensive item - follow the guidance provided on the website. Do not automatically assume it is safe to pass over your address details and or photos of your vehicle outside of your garage, especially if it shows your street name and garage number. If you do so and the purchaser doesn’t turn up, be aware and pay close attention to the item you are selling and the security of the location it is stored.

Sadly, this may not just affect you. If your garage is broken into, your neighbour is likely to be targeted and may also sustain damage to their garage in the process.

Remember, whenever you place an advert you are also advertising what you have to steal. Read the guidance provided by the website carefully, and ask yourself if you really need to provide your address or do you meet somewhere public nearby? Always meet any prospective buyers in a well-lit, public area.

Attachments:

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

 

 

26/03/2021 9788 Somerset: Rogue Trader / Fraud / Potential for Distraction Burglary.

An elderly resident living in rural Yeovil was on Wednesday (24th March) visited by a man claiming to work for a Loft Insulation Company. Prior to this they had received a phone call stating that their Loft insulation warranty was no longer valid as the previous company had become insolvent and they had to accept the visit to maintain the warranty. Once permitted access he was then supposedly looking at the loft hatch when the resident’s granddaughter arrived and noticed an unusual car parked on the driveway. Upon entering the property the granddaughter approached the male and noticed his lanyard did not contain his ID but a driving licence, he had no tools and was in poor health. The loft was not entered at any point and as such he was not left unattended with a photo being taken of the man concerned. The man left and was immediately reported to Police where enquiries are underway.

Do please remain alert to any potential bogus callers stating your Loft Insulation needs attention, how could they possibly know? If it needs work you will contact them, and if they are contacting you there is probably a good reason they do not have enough work.

Attachments:

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

 

22/03/2021 9788 Somerset: Scams / Local Numbers!

Dear Members,

We are hearing several reports of members receiving scam calls from local numbers, these are where scammers are trying to trick you into believing they MUST be real as they are near by. One such example has been received from a member in Martock who had a call claiming to be from Ebay security on a local number, very handy if there was indeed a problem with Ebay as we may be able to visit them to fix the problem (After Lockdown)! but quite clearly a scam. Several others have been reported since from various companies and again the ploy is to instil a sense of trust in the recipient.

Do please remain alert to any calls you receive advising for example you have a slow broadband connection, your loft insulation does not meet current regulations, you have post from Royal Mail that has not been fully paid, your Amazon Prime has expired or has been hacked, these will almost certainly be scams and if in doubt hang up, let the phone line clear for at least 5 minutes and then call the company back on a number you know, preferably on a different phone. And please never press 1 on your keypad when asked.

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

18/03/2021 9788 Somerset: Prolific burglars, robbers and thieves to be fitted with GPS tags in Avon and Somerset.

Avon and Somerset Police is one of six forces taking part in a world-first scheme involving burglars, thieves and robbers being made to wear GPS tags on release from prison.

With more than half of those convicted of theft and burglary reoffending within a year, this will be a vital extra source of intelligence to help police catch these persistent offenders.

Under new rules, offenders committing acquisitive crimes that have served a prison sentence of a year or more will be automatically fitted with a tag on release, allowing their whereabouts to be monitored by GPS satellites 24 hours a day for up to 12 months.

Police will work with HM Prison and Probation Service staff to investigate whether those on the tags have been in the vicinity of recent offences. It could provide the crucial evidence needed to catch the perpetrators.

The intention is the tags will also act as a deterrent, protecting the public from further burglaries and thefts and targeting so-called ‘career criminals’.

Minister for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse MP said: “Being burgled or robbed is devastating and I understand how frustrating it is when the perpetrators can’t be caught, both for the public and the police.

“Tagging these prolific offenders so we know where they are 24 hours a day should be powerful persuasion to change their ways and will help police find and charge them if they don’t. It’s another tool helping probation staff to cut crime and keep the public safe.”

National Police Chief’s Council Electronic Monitoring Lead, Deputy Chief Constable Jon Stratford said: “Tagging prolific offenders provides a strong deterrent and means officers will be able to quickly arrest and gather evidence against anyone suspected of being involved in a robbery, burglary or other theft.

“This scheme will play a part in our overall work to prevent crime and keep our communities safe.”

DCI Dickon Turner, who leads the Integrated Offender Management team at Avon and Somerset Police, said: “We’re pleased to be one of the initial six forces taking part in this scheme and we estimate around 60 offenders will be tagged within the first six months in our force area.

“This innovative partnership approach will provide another tool we can use to help break the cycle of re-offending and reduce the amount of acquisitive crime committed.

“We know these crimes cause untold misery to victims. We believe this scheme will intensify our ability to tackle these offences head-on and bring prolific offenders to justice.”

The scheme will initially launch in six police force areas (Avon and Somerset, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Humberside and West Midlands) on 12 April and will be extended to a further 13 areas in September.

Police officers will be able to submit any offences they are investigating to a dedicated unit overseen by HM Prison and Probation Service. Trained staff will then be able to check the location history of those on tags against the details of the crime, allowing police to either rule out or investigate suspects further.

The joined up nature of this work builds on the recently updated Integrated Offender Management strategy, which sees police and the Probation Service working together to reduce neighbourhood crime.

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 



Something a bit different-From Linda Piggott- Vijeh (County Councillor)

In recent years I have been contacted by local residents, church officials, and the fire brigade, in relation to concerns over residents who hoard, and as a result of which, are putting themselves, and others, at serious risk of harm.   

The people concerned have often been private reclusive types living alone, or those living in sheltered accommodation. 

I admit to being a bit of a hoarder myself, but regular house moves prompt a good old clear out, and being confined to home as a result of Covid-19 has given me the opportunity to tidy up.  

As outsiders, of course we have no right to intrude on how others lead their lives. The reason I raise this subject though is that the real danger of hoarding became all too real for me this week when the death of a dear friend from New York, who I had spoken to just a few weeks ago, made front page headlines.   

This was the report on ABC News –  

‘An 80-year-old woman is dead after flames tore through her apartment in the East Village.
early Friday morning on East 5th Street. The victim was found unconscious and badly burned inside a 7th floor apartment filled with clutter. Fire-fighters say the fire is not suspicious. Officials said the 80-year-old victim appeared to be hoarder and had a large amount of clutter in her apartment. Two fire-fighters sustained minor injuries battling the blaze. The woman's cat was unaccounted for following the fire.’ 

What a terrible, terrible way to die. 

Extreme clutter and unsafe and unsanitary conditions hamper the desire of retaining a level of independence for the hoarder and is not something that many family members, friends or carers can anticipate. It is a relatively common disorder among the elderly and gets progressively worse with age; as many as 6% of the population aged 55 or older fall victim to its perils.  

As we get older, many of us face a dramatic decline in the quality and frequency of our social interactions. This often leaves people feeling lonely and separated from the outside world, leading to behaviour that helps them to cope with isolation and depression.  

In some cases, this can revolve around accumulating “things”, everything from clothes and knickknacks to food, and even animals. 

Up to 13% of older adults experiencing depression report severe compulsive hoarding. People with a hoarding disorder are also likely to experience other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, alcohol dependence and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

Other risks include fire hazards, poor hygiene and nutrition, and poor sanitary conditions. 

Where there are also age-related mobility issues, this increases the risk of trips and fall-related injuries. In extreme circumstances hoarding can result in eviction, especially for those in rented accommodation. 

In addressing the treatment of hoarding, enabling the person to form a trusting relationship with a significant other, which may be a friend, relative or carer, or even a social worker, is crucial. To encourage them to de-clutter they need to feel in control so that they can better handle alterations to their home environment without experiencing extreme distress. 

 

Linda Piggott-Vijeh 

3 Rectory Court 

Vicarage Hill 

Combe St. Nicholas 

TA20 3NE 

0797 178 5069 


05/03/2021 9788 AN/AE/AW Beat Areas: Phone fraud warning after incidents reported in Somerset.

We’re reminding people to be cautious and recognise signs of telephone and courier fraud following a number of reported incidents in Somerset in recent days.

We’re investigating four reports in the Bridgwater area of fraudsters phoning potential victims and claiming to be police officers dealing with fraud.

In one instance, a woman in her 90s living in Sedgemoor, was called by a fraudster falsely claiming to be working for police in Bournemouth. He told her officers had arrested someone who had her account details and claimed her bank were involved in the scam.

He went on to encourage her to take out a four-figure sum from her bank and to lie to cashiers about why she was making such a large withdrawal, before handing it over to a ‘courier’ who would give her a password when he arrived. She duly handed the money to the fake ‘courier’ and also provided personal banking information over the phone, which led to money also being stolen from her account.

Fraud protect officer Amy Horrobin said: “Fraudsters tend to prey on the elderly and vulnerable people but anyone can be a victim. There’s no shame in being tricked by these professional criminals, they can be very convincing.

“We must stress though police will never asking you to make a withdrawal from your bank for an investigation. They will never ask you to hand over personal banking details, such as your PIN. And they will never ask you to hand money to a courier who will collect it. The same goes for banks and other legitimate organisations and agencies.

“It is difficult during a phone call out of the blue to always think clearly, especially if the subject appears at face value to be very serious.

“So if you are unsure if what you’re being told may be a scam, then hang up the phone – the person at the other end of the phone will not be offended by you being cautious, if they are who they claim to be.

“Leave it five minutes, make sure you hear a dialling tone and the person who called initially has cleared the line, before then calling the organisation or company back. Use a number they advertise on their website or in the phone book. Don’t use any number the person gives you.

“Alternatively call police on 101 or speak to someone you know for further advice.”

We are also aware of an unsuccessful attempt to defraud someone living near Glastonbury too over the past week.

Crime prevention advice

Genuine callers, such as from a bank, police or crime agency, will:

* never ask you to withdraw cash for them

* never arrange for cash to be collected by a courier

* never ask for bank card details

* never ask for your PIN

We’d urge any other victims in the Bridgwater area to come forward and contact the police on 101, giving reference number 5221045252.

More information on how to prevent being a victim of fraud is available on Action Fraud’s website and we’d ask people to spread the message to friends and family, especially people living alone, to prevent further victims.

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

 


 

24/02/2021 9788 Somerset: Lloyds Bank, Text Message Scam

Dear Members,

One of our coordinators in Cheddar, has very kindly made me aware of this latest scam. I then had a conversation with a very helpful member of staff from Lloyds bank who offered some useful tips.

The scam itself which you can view on the attached document comes from a random mobile number suggesting a new payee has been linked in your app and to click on the below link if this was NOT you. (Please do not do this)

Having queried this, two details are missing. When contacted in this way legitimately by Lloyds they will always include your name and the last 4 digits of your account number.

If you do receive one of these messages do please take a moment to ensure these details are included, if indeed you do bank with Lloyds.

Attachments:

 

 

17/02/2021 7315 AN 006 DISTRACTION BURGLARY

AMBERLANDS CLOSE, BACKWELL, sometime between 3:30pm and 3:45pm on Tuesday the 16th of February, a mixed race male has knocked on a door when answered he said he had a food delivery, the resident refused delivery, the male then asked for a note to say they refused delivery, while the victim went to get some paper the male has stepped inside and has stolen a purse, which contained cash,

Please remind your members, family and friends to ask for identification of callers and if necessary close the door while checking, genuine callers will understand the need for security,

When reporting a crime or giving information through Crimestoppers, No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to a police officer.

If you have any information regarding this incident, contact the Police on 101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or via their online form.

Please quote Reference number 5221034194, Thank you.

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).


  

From Brian Turner-1st February 2021:

A caller will state they are from BT, and you have an unsettled balance on your account of £****, you will be disconnected if immediate payment if not made and the bill will rise when re connected at a later date.

When challenged, they provide a false name, last used was 'John Peacock' and a strong foreign accent was detected, the caller states they can prove they are from BT and goes through a process where they pretend to disconnect the line momentarily. The recipient is asked to end the call and try and call someone else which they find is not possible The reason this is not possible is the caller had initiated the call and only they can terminate, they simply mute the phone to make it appear they are not there, this gives the impression the line is dead. When the Scam caller hears you stop trying to call out, they will clear the line and call you back giving the impression they have re connected your line.

At this point you may feel reassured this is genuine, IT IS NOT.

If in any doubt call your provider and check with them, never hand over your bank details to someone that calls you out of the blue.

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).


28/01/2021 9788 Somerset: Dog Thefts

Dear Members,

There were two incidents where dogs were stolen during the night of Tuesday 26 January. On both occasions pure bred dogs or new-born puppies were taken from secure outside pens. One incident was in Alveston, South Gloucestershire and the other at Queen Charlton in Bath & North East Somerset. Whilst both of these were outside of our area, this does not mean it could not head our way and it is far better to be forewarned.

We want to remind all dog owners to review and increase the security of their pets wherever possible. Ensure that they are microchipped and registered, and make sure your garden is secure.

It is estimated that dog thefts have increased by 250% as the Covid restrictions have caused a huge demand for puppies across the country. Although these offences are classified as “Theft”, losing a pet in this way can cause enormous trauma and heartbreak to a family.

You can find advice on protecting your dog on many sites on the internet, one of them being:

https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/protect-your-dog-against-theft

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

 

Important Message from Government Counter Fraud Protection concerning Covid-19 Vaccine Fraud (17th January 2021)

Click HERE

 

 

A warning from Stewart Binns...

A worrying telephone scam, operating under the guise of a 01460 number, has been reported by Stewart Binns. A pre-recorded warning, claiming to be from BT told Stewart that his internet connection been compromised and was about to be turned off.

The message then claimed that this can be mitigated by pressing ‘5’ on the phone number pad.

Stewart then questioned the gentleman who responded on # 5 and soon became suspicious, particularly when the man became evasive about who he was and from where he was calling. He then rang off.

Stewart then contacted BT, who confirmed that it was a scam. No doubt the purpose of the call was to harvest data, probably for resale to other villains to use as part of other scams. Nothing new there, but what is new, and of concern to BT is the use of the exchange number, to falsely imply that the call is from our general locality, offering a sense of false security. BT also suggested that the use of 01460 may indicate that there will be a surge in these types of calls in our area.

Editors Note.

Sadly , constant vigilance is required. I am ruthless. If get a call that I cannot instantly recognise from the number on the  phone screen or by the voice, I cut off immediately. If it is was not a scam  they will be back in touch soon enough, if it is important. Amazingly, I have never had a second such call in years, so my judgement cannot be far wrong! Of course, I am retired and not that many people want to talk to me; your own situation may be different-but you still have to be careful.

 

02/12/20 9788 Somerset: Telephone Fraud Alert (Important)

Two elderly residents in the Clevedon area have been the subject of serious fraud. Both received telephone calls today, 2nd December, stating they were police officers - one from Luton and the other allegedly from Bristol. The supposed officers were very persistent and even asked one of the victims to call 191 to check their identity with a colleague. This was a clever ploy, as the line had not been disconnected and the phone was merely handed to an accomplice.

In both instances they were asked to attend their banks, and were advised by the fake police that they could get around the security measures / questions. On arrival the victims withdrew thousands of pounds between them, which was later collected from their homes by a courier. A password was given by the fraudster to use when handing the money over to the courier to make it even more convincing.

This type of fraud can occur anywhere, so always be wary of unexpected calls. Never give out any personal details, especially financial account numbers or passwords. If you have any concerns, hang up immediately. Contact the bank or organisation they claim to represent using a mobile or different phone in case the offenders are still on the line. Never use any telephone numbers provided by the fraudster. Police will never ask you to attend you bank or withdraw cash.

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

27/10/20 7164 Forcewide – Latest Penalty Charge Scam emails

We have been sent copies of the latest Penalty Charge Scam emails (see attached). Although these can look official, they are designed to panic recipients into making a quick payment with the threat of the “fine” being quadrupled in a few days.

There are some simple checks you can make to ensure that you are getting genuine emails:

1. Is the email from an official email address? This one originates in Morocco and has a personal email address. geomedia.ma

2. Is the email written with good grammar and spelling? the date and timestarted below

3. Is it correctly spaced?

4. Does it state exactly where the “offence” took place?

5. Are you able to contact them? 0343 222 3331 temporarily unavailable

6. NEVER click on any links in the email

Attachments:

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).


You are receiving these alerts because you are a member of one or more groups within the Avon and Somerset Police area.
Want to change how often you hear from us or unsubscribe? Simply contact your Administrator at alerts@avonandsomerset.police.uk.


Facebook Twitter Instagram

 

 

 

 

12/10/20 9788 Somerset: Rogue trader warning after Weston-super-Mare couple lose £2,000

 

Homeowners are being warned to be wary of rogue traders following an incident in Weston-super-Mare.

A couple, aged in the 70s and 80s, contacted a firm they found on a price comparison website offering a guttering cleaning service. Two men turned up in a van at a property in the Hillside area of town at approximately 10.30am on Monday 7 September.

After inspecting the guttering, they told the couple the roof also required fixing before quoting a price of £3,500 for the job. They claimed to need a £2,000 cash payment to purchase materials, before returning to carry out the work. Having received the cash, they left and never returned to the address.

Both men were white. One was described as wearing a dark black stretcher style earring with very short dark hair. The other appeared older and spoke with Irish accent. Enquiries have been carried out and show a vehicle we are hoping to track down as part of our investigation. The van is described as being a white Ford Transit, with roof bars and a side bar.

Following this incident, residents are encouraged to take note of the following crime prevention advice, particularly regarding being alert to rogue traders and distraction burglaries:

•Never open the door to an unexpected caller until you’ve checked their identification – use a door chain or viewer, intercom or a ‘smart’ doorbell. Genuine callers expect it.

•If you’re not sure, don’t open the door.

•Never agree to have work done or part with money on your doorstep and ideally get written quotes from at least two traders for any work. Always agree a start and finish date and agree a price before any work starts on your home.

•If you are suspicious of a caller tell us straight away – ring 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated, otherwise call 101.

•Store any high value items such as jewellery, passports and cash in a properly secured and hidden safe or bank vault.

•Keep windows and doors secured if you’re not in the room and never keep large sums of money in the house.

•If you see someone calling door-to-door, but only on frail or elderly neighbours, call 999 straight away.

•Ask a trusted neighbour to help you deal with unexpected callers.

•Look out for vulnerable and elderly neighbours and make sure they know what to do when they receive an unexpected caller.

•Join Neighbourhood Watch.

•If you think you’ve been deceived, are concerned about a trader or have any doubts call 101 or Citizens Advice Consumer Services.

Anyone who can help with our investigation, recognises seeing the van photographed or has experienced a similar incident, is asked to call 101 and give reference number 5220203810.

Attachments:

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

9th October-Beware Test & Trace Scam-Click HERE


27/08/20 9788 Somerset: Rogue Traders / Gardeners (Tree Specialists)

Dear Members,

We have been made aware that there has been a sharp increase in calls relating to bogus “Tree Specialists” who have been preying on the older population within our communities, offering to carry out gardening work. Several residents are reported to have paid vast sums of money for poor quality work to the so called "Specialists" who have also taken the money and never returned to complete the work.

There are a few things that you should be wary of before allowing anyone into your home or garden.

1. Did they put a leaflet through your door claiming to offer discounts for OAPs?

2. Do they offer 20 / 30 / 40 % off for calling within a particular time scale of receiving your leaflet?

3. Do they offer Tree work and then claim to offer a host of other services seemingly unrelated?

4. Does it look like a professionally printed leaflet?

5. If you speak to an operator, do not be bullied into committing to their services or an appointment.

6. If they are in your home, phone a friend and ask them to come round.

7. You can ask them to leave at any point during their sales pitch.

These are just a few points to look out for, but the best rule to go by is that if you require any work you should find the person yourself or go by the recommendation of others that you trust.

There are plenty of websites that can steer you in the right direction to find the right company.

And of course there are some genuine, honest companies so make an informed decision, but remember:

“If you’re not sure, don’t open the door”

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

26/08/20 9788 Somerset: TV Licence Scams.

Dear Members,

I am sure we have all received an email claiming to be from TV Licensing at some point in the past, but this is one scam that appears to keep on going.

One of our members has recently emailed me with a slightly new version of this scam and I have decided to share this with you to make you aware of what to look out for. The email has been sanitised to protect the members identity. I have placed a couple of obvious pointers on there for your information.

On the attached document is some additional useful information provided by the Age UK website.

Kind regards

Paul Johnson

NHW Admin (Somerset)

Attachments:


21/08/20 9788 Somerset: Important Scam Update

Dear Members,

This morning one of our Coordinators has kindly advised us that another of their members received an automated telephone call claiming to be from Amazon stating that they had opened an Amazon Prime Account.

They are then told if they wish to cancel they should press 1 on their keypad.

The call is then transferred to a fraudster posing as an Amazon operative who will then advise them the purchase went through as a result of a “Security Flaw” on their computer.

They will then ask for remote access to your computer to “rectify this problem”, this is to steal your personal information.

NEVER ALLOW ANYONE TO REMOTELY ACCESS YOUR PERSONAL COMPUTER IF THEY HAVE CONTACTED YOU.

The helpful guidance attached has been sourced from the Genuine Amazon Website:

Attachments:

 

 

20/08/20 9788 Somerset: Rogue Traders (Let's get ahead of them)

Dear Members,

My colleague in South Gloucestershire has shared the below Community Alert message and after reading it I felt this may be important to share with you. They could head our way at some point!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

There have been numerous reports of rogue traders throughout the South Gloucestershire area during the last two days. Two males have called on a resident of Bredon, Yate, offering to repair damage to the roof for £800 which was rejected, although it was agreed that the pair would clean the guttering for £180. The suspects then left after 5 minutes, after asking the resident to sign some form of document.

An elderly male was approached by a male as he walked along Quarry Road in Alveston. The suspect claimed that he had done work for the victim before, but fortunately an off-duty police officer noticed what was going on and the offender walked off when the officer approached.

Another vulnerable resident was stopped by a male on Alcacia Road in Staple Hill who said that he had done work for her before and asked if she wanted anything else done. The female said that she needed some damp work done and the offender said he wanted some money in advance to buy some materials. Fortunately the resident remembered that he hadn’t done any work for her before so refused to hand over any money.

We have sent messages previously about cold callers and doorstep traders, but we now want to extend that warning to include anyone who approaches people asking for work and claiming that they know you, or have worked for you in the past.

Always use traders who have been recommended to you by someone you trust. Get a written quote on headed notepaper and never pay in cash. Be wary of anyone asking if you need any work done or someone who “just happened” to notice that there was some damage they could fix straight away

 

 

 

 

 

20/07/20 9788 Somerset Guide to Online Shopping

Dear Members,

The current virus situation is just one of the reasons for a huge increase in the number of people doing their shopping online.

ActionFraud has produced a handy guide on how to stay safe when shopping online, and this is attached to this Alert message. Please pass it on to your friends, relatives and neighbours.

Attachments:

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

13/07/20 7164 Northeast/Somerset Public reminded to report suspicious activity and concerns about vulnerable people

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cullen is reminding people to report suspicious activity and any concerns they may have about vulnerable people. Please read and distribute the attached document and help keep your area safe.

Attachments:

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

The item below is an extract from an item sent in by Rose Richards (Parish Clerk) relating to help detect fraudulent e-mails-well worth reading-and remembering:

 

 


Email Scams
Email scams have been much more prevalent during the recent lockdown situation and their tactics have been more intelligent than normal. It is crucial for you and your council to be vigilant when reading emails supposedly from a member of your council or a third party asking for money. To help you recognise and prepare for these emails we have written a blog post on fraudulent emails. If you are still worried, you can always forward a copy of the email to our support team using support@visionict.com so we can look it over for you. 

 


 

25/06/20 9788 Somerset: Covid-19 Related Frauds & Scams a useful guide.

Dear Members,

The attached booklet has been created to address some of the most common Frauds & Scams and to provide some insight on how to best protect yourselves, this includes those currently working from home. Please do take a moment to read through the information as there is also key information regarding the NHS Test and Trace system.

Kind regards

Paul Johnson

NHW Admin (Somerset)

Attachments:

 

 

 

24/06/20 9788 Somerset: Warning after phone fraud in Somerset costs victim £13,000

People in Somerset are being reminded to be vigilant of telephone fraudsters following several reports of scams in the past fortnight.

We’ve been contacted by one person who lost £13,000, while we’ve received four similar reports this month from others. The five victims live in the area around Chard.

In all five cases the victims received calls from scammers posed as police officers from London. They claimed the victims’ money was at risk from a rogue bank employee and asked them to make a substantial withdrawal from their bank, but not tell staff why they wanted to take out such a large amount of cash. Two of the victims hung up on the call and reported the matter to the police.

The other three victims attended their local bank, but in two cases the bank staff felt the circumstances were suspicious and informed Avon and Somerset Police.

In the third instance, the victim took out £13,000 and left the money to be picked up by a male courier, described as white, 5ft 10ins to 6ft, with messy hair – dirty blond to grey hair in colour – dark trousers, dark grey top, logo on the right side and of medium build, with no discernible accent.

The two victims – both women in their 70s – who were prevented from withdrawing the money by their bank, have issued advice to people who may find themselves in a similar situation.

One said: “My advice would be to discuss it with a family member or talk to someone who is close to you before you proceed.”

The second victim said: “I feel very, very stupid. I feel so small, stupid and pathetic.

“I’ve never come into contact with that side of life so it didn’t occur to me that it might be a scam.”

When asked what advice she would give to others who may find themselves in a similar situation, she replied: “Put the phone down and report it to police.”

Neither the police nor the banks will ask you for banking details or PIN numbers on the phone. Similarly, they would never send a courier to collect bank cards or money.

Our message is – don’t discuss your finances with anyone who calls you out of the blue, even if they claim to be a police officer or a representative from a bank fraud department.

Genuine callers will be happy for you to make an appointment to visit them at a bank branch or police station. They will never ask you to withdraw cash on their behalf; arrange for cash to be collected by a courier; ask for details about your bank card; or ask for the PIN on your card.

If you know someone who may be vulnerable to this type of offence, please speak to them and share our crime prevention tips and remind them of the threat from telephone fraudsters.

People who receive a call on their landline and are asked to contact their local police station or bank to verify the caller’s details ideally need to put the receiver down and not touch it for five minutes, just in case the fraudster has kept the line open. Ensure you have a dialling tone before re-using. Ideally use another phone such as a mobile phone or a neighbour’s phone and use 101 to verify the call.

We would also appeal to taxi drivers who are asked to collect parcels – especially from elderly – to be vigilant and contact us if they are suspicious.

DS Louise Sinclair said: “The trusting nature of elderly and vulnerable victims is often preyed on by criminals who target them.

“Under no circumstances should people withdraw cash from their bank accounts as a result of a telephone call, and if you have received a call like this, or ever do so in the future, please do report it so we can put a stop to this crime.

“I can understand why anyone who has lost money to fraudsters in this way may be reluctant to report it because of feeling ashamed or embarrassed, but there is no need to be. We know how devious and cunning these people are.

“Any legitimate bank employee or police officer would never ask you to withdraw money, transfer it to a different account or send a courier to pick up your money. Bank staff will never ask you to reveal your full banking password or PIN and they would never ask you not to tell bank staff why you are withdrawing money.

“Contact your bank immediately if you think you have fallen victim to a scam and report it to Action Fraud.”

Anyone with information about the incidents in Somerset should call 101 and quote reference 5220128467.

More information on protecting yourself from fraud is available on our website and from Action Fraud.

https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/

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

 

 

05/06/20 9788 Somerset: Loft Insulation Scam Warning – Important Update

Dear Members,

We have received numerous calls following the Alert message about the Loft Insulation Scam which was sent on Friday the 29th May. In future, we would like to ask all recipients of this message to contact ActionFraud directly if they receive one of these calls. You can report this by contacting them on 0300 123 2040 between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday.

Alternatively you can email them at:

contact@actionfraud.police.uk

Avon and Somerset Police crest


29/05/20 9788 Somerset Loft Insulation Scam Warning

Numerous residents in the Somerset area have reported that they have received telephone calls from individuals who claim to be from government funded companies and that they needed to make an appointment so they could inspect their loft insulation.

A check online reveals that there have been reports from residents all over the country who have had similar calls, so it is highly likely that this is a scam and your area could be approached soon.

Always be wary of any cold callers, whether in person, by email or by phone. Never give out any personal details, especially financial information. If you have any concerns, hang up and contact the company or business the caller claims to represent using a telephone number from a phone book or old invoice or letter. You should always wait at least five minutes before making this call as the fraudster may still be on the line. If possible, use a different phone such as a mobile.

If you have any information regarding this incident contact the Police on 101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

 

 

 

 

22nd May, 2020

 

SCAMS ABOUND-TAKE CARE

Lots of people are talking about scams they have run into. Phone calls that promise this and that, always in return tor giving up precious information about yourself. To use the phraseology of the day they are mutating very rapidly, presenting themselves as being from local authorities, banks, police etc. etc; but always at the end they want information about you!

To make things more difficult,  not all calls from outside sources are scams, but these do not seek personal information-certainly not Pin numbers or bank account details. Use your instincts, and if anything does not sound right, cut off the call. If the topic is  genuine, they can always write! Or even call back! My experience is that they never do.

Don't forget the old adage-'You are only conned by the people you trust!'

***

Now we are still in the grip of the Corona virus pandemic, it is apparent that health security is as important as  protecting ourselves from  crime.

To help defend our community by offering advice on protecting ourselves from infection, space will be shared on this web page with advice from the Police in protecting our property. It will offer  ideas for protection, often found on Facebook and other media, which  seem sensible. These always supplement, never replace, the advice from the Government which is very widely distributed i.e social distancing, regular washing of hands, use of antiseptic alcohol gels, avoid touching your face, etc.

  • When visiting the Supermarket, wear latex gloves, for example, or some form of hand protection to avoid the risk of cross contamination from trolleys and baskets.

  • When getting fuel for the car wear some form of hand protection to avoid cross contamination from the pumps.

  • Use contactless payment for goods and services whenever possible.

  • Use some form of hand  protection when using public touch screens.

  • Use some form of hand  protection when retrieving emptied recycling and non- recyclable rubbish bins from collection points.

Always wash your hands as quickly as possible after using any of the above, especially if you have been unable to protect your hands, and dispose of the protection, hygienically, as quickly as possible after use.

Lets have your tips for practical steps for minimising the risk of infection. But don't let us get paranoid about the issue-mental health is also important. Coping with the virus is  one of life's many challenges, which for the most part we survive!

***

Some general information about cooking food, which applies at all times,

can be seen on the link below to the Food Services Agency web site

https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/cooking-your-food

***

Chard Covid19 Support Group-a newly formed group offer some very useful services, including prescription delivery services to vulnerable people.

Just used it myself-very nice people to deal with.

Tel: 01460 239567 or visit their web site. They are also looking for volunteers. - Click HERE

*** 

 

The Ilminster Beat team who look after Winsham, called in for a cup of coffee at the Jubilee Cafe, and took the opportunity to talk to residents about problems.

***

 

22/05/20 9788 Somerset Wide: Alert over thefts from vans – North Somerset and Bristol

We’re investigating after the occupants of a dark-coloured BMW car were reported as being involved in thefts and attempted thefts from vans in North Somerset and South Bristol.

There were four incidents on Saturday night, 16 May:

•the first happened at about 10.13pm in Aspen Park, Weston-super-Mare. A witness reported disturbing men who made off in a car. Officers attended and found that three Vauxhall Vivaro vans in the street had been tampered with. Two were damaged but nothing had been stolen.

•in Wrington Lane, Congresbury, another Vauxhall Vivaro was broken into and tools were stolen. These included Hilti batteries and impact guns and a number of cordless Makita tools. This wasn’t witnessed and was reported on Sunday afternoon but CCTV shows the incident happened at 10.36pm on Saturday night.

•just before 11pm officers were called to Chescombe Road, Yatton. A Peugeot van was damaged but had nothing stolen after the men were disturbed by witness.

•finally at 11.30pm a Vauxhall Vivaro parked in Westward Road, Bishopsworth, was damaged in an attempt to break into it. Again a witness called officers after seeing someone interfering with the vehicle.

We responded to each report on Saturday night. The area was searched for the suspect vehicle with no trace. House-to-house enquiries have been carried out and an alert issued through Neighbourhood Watch.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Mark Raby said: “These witnesses did exactly the right thing by calling us immediately to report this suspicious behaviour. We understand the significant impact of this sort of crime on trades people's livelihoods. We’d be keen to hear from anyone with information which could help, especially who recognises the men in the image above, quoting reference 5220106973.”

He added: “We know it’s not always possible to empty a work van overnight, but we’d recommend it if you can.”

Other vehicle security advice:

•permanently mark tools with your business name or postcode

•keep a record of the serial numbers

•keep tools inside a secure storage cage or box anchored within the vehicle

•set the alarm as well as locking the van whenever you leave it

•park it in a secure garage, or with the doors against a wall or another vehicle, to make access more difficult

•fit secondary locks

•use a tracking device

Don’t help to create a market for stolen goods – we’d also like to hear from you if you see tools offered for sale, online or in person, at a suspiciously cheap price.

If you can help, please call 101and give the call handler the reference number 5220106973

Attachments:

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

21/05/20 9788 Somerset: Stop-check of car in Romania results in burglary conviction.

Dear members,

The attached document tells how a stop-check in Romania led to a man being convicted of burglaries in Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Kind regards

Paul Johnson

NHW Admin (Somerset)

Attachments:

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

30/04/20 9788 Somerset: You Are Not Alone – Police launch domestic abuse campaign to victims and survivors to seek help

Dear Members,

The attached PDF carries some very important information and highlights that no one should have to deal with domestic abuse alone. Do please share this information as much as possible.

Kind Regards

Paul Johnson NHW Admin (Somerset)

Attachments:

 

 

17/04/20 9788 Somerset: Scams & Fraud Video

 

Dear Members

The next of our popular senior safety videos, which discusses the topic of Covid-19 scams and frauds that are being targeted at the vulnerable and elderly, is now available. This may help protect the many frightened and vulnerable elderly citizens in our communities.

Please pass the link to anyone who you think would benefit, or watch and take notes to pass on to those residents nearby who don’t have access to the internet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUWkITYmcQg&feature=youtu.be

 

 

16/04/20 9788 Somerset: Tesco Email Scam

We have been alerted by a Neighbourhood Watch scheme of a scam email that claims to be from Tesco saying that “You Are Our Winner”. It doesn’t say what you have won, but asks you to click on a link to confirm your identity. Please don’t click on these links as you may download a virus onto your computer. At the very least it will try and get your personal details. The email comes from a company in Kentucky in the United States.

As with any email you get unexpectedly from someone you don’t know, delete this message without clicking on any of the links

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

 

02/04/20 9788 Somerset Another Corona virus Scam (Text Message)

Dear Members

The latest scam seems to be that scammers have been sending fake texts to individuals threatening a fine for leaving home. The text claims that the UK Government has been tracking your movements and that you left the home on given dates and travelled a specified distance. You are then told that you have to pay a fine, which will increase the longer you take to pay it. THIS IS A SCAM. It uses the name of a civil authority and preys on your worry that it will cost more if you ignore it. Delete the text and never click on any link in a message from someone you don’t know.

The BBC Website has more information on this and can be found by following this link below:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-52049616

 

At The Princess of Wales hospital. NHS staff have been sent this: This is the advice given to hospital staff. It explains the virus and hopefully, how to prevent getting it. Please share with family, friends and work colleagues.
Virus Detection: The simplest way to distinguish Corona virus from a Common Cold is that the COVID-19 infection does not cause a cold nose or cough with cold, but it does create a dry and rough cough. The virus is typically first installed in the throat causing inflammation and a feeling of dryness. This symptom can last between 3 and 4 days. The virus typically then travels through the moisture present in the airways, goes down to the trachea and installs in the lungs, causing pneumonia that lasts about 5 or 6 days. Pneumonia manifests with a high fever and difficulty breathing. The Common Cold is not accompanied, but there may be a choking sensation. In this case, the doctor should be called immediately. Experts suggest doing this simple verification every morning: Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for 10 seconds. If this can be done without coughing, without difficulty, this shows that there is no fibrosis in the lungs, indicating the absence of infection. It is recommended to do this control every morning to help detect infection. Prevention: The virus hates heat and dies if it is exposed to temperatures greater than 80°F (27°C). Therefore hot drinks such as infusions, broths or simply hot water should be consumed abundantly during the day. These hot liquids kill the virus and are easy to ingest. Avoid drinking ice water or drinks with ice cubes. Ensure that your mouth and throat are always wet, never DRY. You should drink a sip of water at least every 15 minutes. WHY? Even when the virus enters water or other liquids through the mouth, it will get flushed through the oesophagus directly into the stomach where gastric acids destroy the virus. If there is not enough water, the virus can pass into the trachea and from there to the lungs, where it is very dangerous. For those who can, sunbathe. The Sun's UV rays kill the virus and the vitamin D is good for you. The Corona virus has a large size (diameter of 400-500 nanometers) so face masks can stop it, no special face masks are needed in daily life. If an infected person sneezes nearby, stay 10 feet (3.3 meters) away to allow the virus fall to the ground and prevent it from falling on you. When the virus is on hard surfaces, it survives about 12 hours, therefore when hard surfaces such as doors, appliances, railings, etc. are touched, hands should be washed thoroughly and/or disinfected with alcoholic gel The virus can live nested in clothes and tissues between 6 and 12 hours. Common detergents can kill it. Things that cannot be washed should be exposed to the Sun and the virus will die. The transmission of the virus usually occurs by direct infection, touching fabrics, tissues or materials on which the virus is present. Washing your hands is essential. The virus survives on our hands for only about 10 minutes. In that time many things can happen, rubbing the eyes, touching the nose or lips. This allows the virus to enter your throat. Therefore, for your good and the good of all, wash your hands very often and disinfect them. You can gargle with disinfectant solutions (i.e. Listerine or Hydrogen Peroxide) that eliminate or minimize the amount of virus that can enter the throat. Doing so removes the virus before it goes down to the trachea and then to the lungs. Disinfect things touched often: mobile phone, keyboard, mouse, car steering wheel, door handles, etc .... Sent in to us just now and we wanted to share this knowledge & advice with you all. Please do the same and take care!
An e-Mail from Simon Gates:21/3/2020

Hi,

 Thank you for all our village e-letters, John, and for the excellently thought out strategy for our village, Jim.

 I'm  emailing you both since you two have the power of communication in this village.

 We had a scam today, which looked authentic.

 It told me that our direct debit payment for our TV licence had just expired and invited me to click on a link to set up a new direct debit.

 I did not click on the link, but, instead, checked the details of our TV licence - the number on the scam was fictitious and so was the information - we are covered until mid June.

 We do hope no one falls for this.

 With Best Wishes, Simon and Kate Gates

 

26/03/20 9788 Somerset: Press Office Release, Fraud & Scam awareness.

Dear Members,

Avon & Somerset Police Press Office have released information regarding recent online Fraud and Scam activity relating to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic.

Please do take the time to read through this information, you can either follow the link below or open the file attached.

Please Stay in and Stay safe.

https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/news/2020/03/beware-fraud-and-scams-during-covid-19-pandemic-stay-at-home-stay-safe-on-line/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=beware-fraud-and-scams-during-covid-19-pandemic-stay-at-home-stay-safe-on-line

Attachments:

 

Dear Members,

During this challenging period, it is heartening to hear lots of stories of kindness from friends and neighbours caring for one another. This is where many Neighbourhood Watches have excelled in looking after the elderly and vulnerable members of their community – or simply offer to help everyone. This includes phone calls to ensure people are ok, assistance with appointments and the collection of groceries and medications.

We must however remain vigilant and rely upon those we know and trust. I have learnt today of a couple of incidents where callers have arrived on doorways offering to do shopping, claiming to be good Samaritans. They have taken money and a shopping list but never returned.

Unfortunately there are some people who will always take advantage of any crisis to steal from those in need. Please do not fall foul to this and only rely upon people you know or trust to help you.

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

06/03/20 9788 Somerset: Covid-19 Scam Email

Dear Members,

Please be aware of a new scam email advising that you are entitled to a tax refund (rebate) of £128.34. The email states that this is a precautionary measure in cooperation with National Insurance and National Health Services, It is NOT. It goes on to suggest the funds can help protect yourself against COVID-19 and to access the funds now by clicking on the blue hyperlink, Please DO NOT do this.

North Wales Police (NWP) have advised this has already cost the public more than £800,000 in a month and to contact Action Fraud for advice on: 0300 123 2040

You were sent this message because you are in the following group(s): Winsham (Winsham, TA204JY).

 

 

26/02/20 9788 Somerset: Avon and Somerset Police -Telephone Scams

Dear Members,

There have been a significant number of telephone scams of late, a lot of us will have received the automated message saying your subscription is due for renewal "Please press Option 1". These are scam phone calls and companies such as Amazon will never call a customer outside of their website. If it does not feel right just hang up, you can always call back.

I have attached a copy of the Little Book of Scams for you to read and save.

Attachments:

 

 

06/02/20 9788 Somerset Press Release: Courier fraudsters dupe 28 victims out of more than £127,000 in Avon and Somerset.

Throughout January Avon and Somerset Police have been supporting a national campaign to raise awareness of courier fraud.

A three week campaign led by the National Economic Crime Centre was a combination of awareness raising and enforcement activity and is the first phase of activity to combat fraud.

All 43 forces in England and Wales have been supporting January’s Operation Radium.

Nationally since November 44 people have been arrested on suspicion of courier fraud. Over the past two years there have been more than 3000 victims of courier fraud reported nationally with losses believed to be around £12m.

Figures released by the City of London Police – the national lead force for fraud and the co-ordinators of Operation Radium – have revealed that 28 people in the Avon and Somerset force area reported being a victim of courier fraud in 2019. This amounted to an estimated £127,224 in losses.

Nationally, victims are predominantly over 60 years of age with the most targeted demographic being females aged between 80 and 89 years.

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

The ultimate aim of this call is to trick them into handing over money or their bank details.

Common techniques used by the fraudsters include telling the victim to withdraw large sums of cash or go and buy high value items. Sometimes they instruct the victim to leave their bank cards in an envelope somewhere safe. In all cases, a ‘courier’ will then come and pick up the cash, expensive item or envelope, on behalf of the police or bank. They will often come to the victim’s home address.

Last year a taxi driver in North Somerset thwarted a courier fraud incident when he became suspicious when taking a woman to the bank. His taxi had been pre-booked – allegedly by the woman’s relative – but after the taxi driver discovered the woman was planning to withdraw a large sum of money when she got to the bank, he became suspicious.

He alerted bank officials who advised the police and the large cash withdrawal was stopped.

Our message is – don’t discuss your finances with anyone who calls you out of the blue, even if they claim to be a police officer or a representative from a bank fraud department..

If you know someone who may be vulnerable to this type of offence, please speak to them and share our crime prevention tips and remind them of the threat from telephone fraudsters.

People who receive a call on their landline and are asked to contact their local police station or bank to verify the caller’s details ideally need to put the receiver down and not touch it for five minutes, just in case the fraudster has kept the line open. Ensure you have a dialling tone before re-using. Ideally use another phone such as a mobile phone or a neighbour’s phone and use 101 to verify the call.

We would also appeal to taxi drivers who are asked to collect parcels – especially from elderly – to be vigilant and contact us if they are suspicious.

DS Louise Sinclair of Avon and Somerset Police’s Complex Crime Unit said: “Victims of courier fraud tend to be elderly, living alone and trusting of the police and other official organisations.

“It is important we all play our part in protecting these vulnerable members of our community, informing them this type of crime is happening and encouraging them to report any attempts of courier fraud – successful or not – to Action Fraud and the police.

“As a force we have been happy to support Operation Radium and will continue to do all we can to create a hostile environment for would-be fraudsters,” she said.

 

Avon and Somerset Police crest


15/01/20 Somerset Press Release: Two duped out of £15,000 in telephone fraud incidents.

We are warning people to be on their guard against a telephone scam, which involves a fraudster claiming to be an official from Amazon.

The bogus official called the victims on their landline and said they were from Amazon and querying either an issue with a payment or a problem with the victim’s Prime membership.

We are aware of three incidents in the Avon and Somerset force area – two of the victims have lost a combined total of almost £15,000.

During the call a pre-recorded message invites the victim to press 1 on their phone to link to an operator. A long conversation follows in which the victim is asked to re-connect to the caller via a computer or mobile device and then allow Amazon to link to their account.

While they continue to talk to the victim, they ask them to log on to their online banking via the remote device to check whether a refund has been made to their bank.

The caller talks to the victim, distracting them from looking at their device, while money is quickly transferred from their bank, or even an application for a loan made while the banking session is open.

Amazon will never call and ask for personal information, including bank PiN numbers and passwords.

Any attempts for permission to remotely access your computer or phone should be a red flag warning.

If you are suspicious or uncomfortable about the call, finish it immediately and call the company who claimed to call you, using their official number and try to use a different phone to ensure the telephone line has not been held by the scammer.

If any link to your device has been added by the scammer – such as TeamViewer – have it professionally removed and keep the device disconnected from the internet.

General advice….

Neither the police nor the banks will ask you for banking details or PiN numbers on the phone. Similarly, they would never send a so-called ‘courier’ to collect bank cards or money.

Our message is – don’t discuss your finances with anyone who calls you out of the blue, even if they claim to be a police officer or a representative from a bank fraud department or even a well-known company.

.

Genuine callers will be happy for you to make an appointment to visit them at a bank branch or police station or for you to call them independently to verify that they have been trying to contact you.

The police and banks will never ask you to withdraw cash on their behalf; arrange for cash to be collected by a courier; ask for details about your bank card; or ask for the PiN on your card.

If you know someone who may be vulnerable to this type of offence, please speak to them and share our crime prevention tips and remind them of the threat from telephone fraudsters.

We would also appeal to taxi drivers, who are asked to collect parcels or take people to banks to withdraw large sums of cash – especially the elderly – to be vigilant and contact us if they are suspicious.

Attachments:

 

 

 

 

07/01/20 9788 Somerset Telephone Fraud

We are reminding people to be on their guard against telephone fraudsters following incidents in Somerset.

One person was scammed out of £5000 by the heartless fraudsters but two people thwarted the scammers by cutting the callers off. The latest incidents appear to have been targeting people living in the Chard area – particularly the elderly and vulnerable, although they could easily try other areas. We want people to be vigilant and on their guard against telephone fraudsters.

In the latest incident the scammers posed as officers from the Metropolitan Police, claiming that the victim’s grandson had been arrested for using a cloned copy of their bank card, encouraging the victim to confirm their bank card details.

In another call they claimed that there was a major investigation into the victim's bank and local post office, involving counterfeit money. He was asked to support the investigation by withdrawing cash and checking the serial numbers of the notes. They claimed it was fake cash and said a courier would be sent to collect the counterfeit notes for forensic examination. In a third incident the potential victim thwarted the scammer by stopping the phone call.

Neither the police nor the banks will ask you for banking details or PIN numbers on the phone. Similarly, they would never send a so-called ‘courier’ to collect bank cards or money. Our message is – don’t discuss your finances with anyone who calls you out of the blue, even if they claim to be a police officer or a representative from a bank fraud department. Genuine callers will be happy for you to make an appointment to visit them at a bank branch or police station. They will never ask you to withdraw cash on their behalf; arrange for cash to be collected by a courier; ask for details about your bank card; or ask for the PIN on your card.

If you know someone who may be vulnerable to this type of offence, please speak to them and share our crime prevention tips and remind them of the threat from telephone fraudsters.

People who receive a call on their landline and are asked to contact their local police station or bank to verify the caller’s details ideally need to put the receiver down and not touch it for five minutes, just in case the fraudster has kept the line open. Ensure you have a dialling tone before re-using. Ideally use another phone such as a mobile phone or a neighbour’s phone and use 101 to verify the call.

We would also appeal to taxi drivers who are asked to collect parcels – especially from the elderly – to be vigilant and contact us if they are suspicious. If you believe you have been scammed by a telephone caller, please contact us, quoting reference 5219299839

Attachments:

 

 

26/11/19 9788 Press Release, Warning after telephone fraud incidents in Somerset.

We are warning people to be on their guard following two incidents of attempted telephone fraud in the Crewkerne area.

In both incidents no cash was taken but we are concerned that there may have been other victims who have not reported incidents to us.

The victims were contacted by callers purporting to be from Lloyds Bank and advised there was a problem with their bank debit card and they would be sending someone to collect the cards and that a replacement card would be delivered to their home.

In the first instance the card was collected and PiN number provided but fortunately the victim realised their error and alerted their bank.

In the other incident someone visited the victim who refused to hand over their card.

In both incidents the bogus caller was wearing a high visibility jacket.

We are urging people to be vigilant and on their guard to such calls. Banks will never personally attend a home address to collect or deliver cards or important documents, and bank details and personal information – including PiN numbers – should never be disclosed.

Anyone with information, or has been a victim and wants to make us aware should call us.

We would offer the following advice:

Police and banks will never ask members of the public to give out personal details, such as bank account numbers or PIN numbers over the phone or send a courier to collect bank cards or money.

We advise people not to discuss their finances with anyone calling you out of the blue, even if they claim to be a police officer or representative from the bank. Genuine callers will be happy for you to make an appointment to visit them at a branch of the bank or police station.

If you receive what you believe to be a scam/fraudulent call, end it immediately and call your bank or police. Before making a confirmation phone call either Wait five minutes or Use a different phone (eg mobile or neighbour’s phone) in case your line has been locked by the scammer

If you have any doubts about who you are speaking to, ask for identification. Police officers and other official callers will expect you to check their identity. They won’t mind waiting while you do so.

Taxi services and courier companies in the county who have been made aware of the courier fraud offending and continue to pick up ‘packages’ from victims could face prosecution.

We would also appeal to taxi drivers who are asked to collect parcels – especially from elderly.

If you know someone who may be vulnerable to this type of offence, please speak to them and share our crime prevention tips.

If you can help, please call 101and give the call handler the reference number 5219267904

You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111or via their Anonymous Online Form.

No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.

 

31/10/19 7164 FORCEWIDE Suspected Fraud Phone Calls

Please alert any elderly or vulnerable friends, neighbours or relatives to the following scam.

Bath and North East Somerset Trading Standards have been made aware of three residents being contacted by suspected fraudsters who are claiming to be from “Bath Council”, “Safe and Secure” or “Protect Your Home UK”.

The caller say that they are contacting people aged between 50 and 70 to offer home security systems. One resident was offered an ID wrist band for £1, along with a quote for floor sensors which would alert the wristband if there was a flood or fire. The other resident was offered free security equipment, £1 for installation and ongoing maintenance costs to be agreed. Both residents say the caller was extremely convincing. The caller guaranteed that police, ambulance or fire would attend an incident. The telephone number provided to residents does not work and it's believed that this is a SCAM! This may be an attempt to get people’s bank details or to sign residents up to an expensive monthly subscription.

If you have been affected by a similar telephone call, the advice from Trading Standards is to call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 or report it online at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/contact-us/contact-us/consumer-service/

 

23/10/19 9788 Possible Somerset Brexit Scam

There have been reports from people living in the Devon and Cornwall area about a Brexit Scam. Scammers have been contacting people and claiming that the supply of medicines will be affected by the UK leaving Europe and people will have to pay in advance to ensure their prescriptions won’t be affected. The caller will then try to get their bank details. Although this hasn’t happened in Avon and Somerset as yet, it may only be a matter of time before the scammers try our area.

Always be wary of any unexpected callers who ask for your personal or financial information, especially if they are claiming to be from a bank or the tax office. Scammers will always seize on confusion caused by a major event like Brexit to take money from people. If you have any doubts or concerns about a caller, hang up.

Attachments:

the-little-book-of-big-scams.pdf

 

 

Click HERE to return to Noticeboard