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Neighbourhood Watch

Suspicious Volunteers Doing the Rounds

PLEASE TELL YOUR ELDERLY NEIGHBOURS – Give them a phone call

Over the last few days, social workers have reported a number of suspicious volunteers targeting vulnerable people in Worcestershire.

The County Council’s advice is to take normal precautions but don’t be afraid to accept offers of help from those you know and trust.

We advise people ask to see identification, and not allow anyone in their homes unless they are certain they are genuine.

Anyone who believes they have been visited by a bogus volunteer should contact the police.

Remember you can also apply for genuine help via Worcestershire County Council’s website http://worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help for by giving them a call 01905 768053.

Beware fraud and scams during Cov-19 pandemic

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

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

What scams are we seeing?
The majority of reports are related to online shopping scams where people have ordered protective face masks, hand sanitiser and other products, which have never arrived. Other frauds being reported include ticket fraudromance fraudcharity fraud and lender loan fraud

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

Reporting to Action Fraud can be done online at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk

or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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

Alleviate pressure on 101, report online

When you submit an online crime it is reviewed and assessed in exactly the same way as a 101 call.


During these unprecedented times please help keep our lines free for emergency calls and report any non urgent matters online.


https://www.westmercia.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/

Incident Update

Incident Update from West Mercia Police


Overnight we had 3 incidents in Fairfield.

Two break-ins at business premises (025s170320 and 030s170320) plus a motorbike stolen from a drive on Stourbridge Rd (191s170320).

Any info please call 101 and quote incident number.

Recent Break-ins

Recently there have been several incidents where properties in and around Fairfield have been targeted, most recently in Fairfield last night. No information is currently been shared regarding most recent incident.


Can we remind you to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to the Police, tel 101.


What is Suspicious Activity?


If a vehicle/person feels out of place please report to the Police as suspicious activity, tel. 101. Even if something seems trivial to you, it’s worth reporting as it could be important/vital information. Please remain vigilant at all times, and not just during anyone incident.

Attempted Burglary – Mount Road

Earlier today, between 12 noon and 2 pm, a property in Mount Road suffered a break-in. The perpetrator(s) attempted to enter the property via the rear, accessing via the rear fields, snipping the fence. The property alarm may have scared the perpetrator(s).


If you saw anything, even something that looked suspicious, please contact the police, tel. 101

Facebook based money scam

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

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

“Sadly, some of these attempts have been successful and naturally the victims are feeling violated and taken advantage of. I would please urge everyone to be vigilant of this scam and to never digitally deposit money to anyone’s account without confirming in person if possible it is in fact someone they know. “Some online scams are very clever and very convincing however there are steps you can take to help protect yourself –

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

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

To keep up to date with the latest scams visit the Action Fraud website https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ Members for the public – 0300 123 2040 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm). Businesses, charity or other organisations suffering a live cyber-attack – 0300 123 2040 (Available 24/7)

Catalytic Converter theft awareness

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

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

“Please help us tackle this crime by taking steps to reduce the chances of your vehicle being targeted.
“We need to know about any suspicious activity around parked vehicles. Please contact us on 101 with any information about what is happening in your area.”

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

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

West Mercia Police Issue Courier Fraud Warning

Please be aware and share the below message, especially with your elderly neighbours

November and December has seen a rise in the number of attempts to defraud elderly and vulnerable people out of their banked savings. Criminals pretending to be police officers have already obtained through a type of scam known as ‘courier fraud’ over £80,000 and we have had victims come forward from in Malvern and in and around Worcester.

Detective Inspector Emma Wright from the West Mercia Police Economic Crime Unit said: “Not all attempts of this scam are successful and it is reassuring to see that our clear messaging that no police officer will ever ask you for money on the phone is a message that people are hearing. Sadly however, some vulnerable people have been taken advantage of and have handed over thousands of pounds. In one case a victim withdrew over £10,000 and returned home to give it to a ‘courier.’

“Don’t trust anyone who calls you about your bank details or asking you to go to a bank to withdraw money. Always hang up and wait 10 minutes to ensure the call has disconnected before calling 101.

“If you want to check they are legitimate, find their number via directory enquiries and call them back.
“If possible, also use a different telephone line to make sure the line is clear e.g. a mobile phone or the phone of a trusted friend or relative. If they are genuine, you should be able to get through to them. You can also check what they are saying is true with your bank.

“Scams can be very elaborate, very convincing and cruel. If you think someone is trying to scam you, tell someone straight away. Don’t be pressured and give yourself time to stop and think.

“Please remember the police will never contact you asking for your bank card or cash. We will also never ask you to purchase expensive items or transfer money to a safe account. If someone does, it’s a scam – provide no details and hand nothing over, hang up and report it immediately to the police on 101 or 999 if there are people at your property to take money from you.

“We are working hard to identify these criminals trying to con our elderly and vulnerable family members and friends and a number of arrests have been made and charges have been brought. However we would ask the public to spread this message of caution and awareness throughout the wider community and would urge you to pass on, particularly to elderly relatives or neighbours, information about these scams and ask them not to trust anyone who asks them for their bank details or for money over the phone.”

What is Courier Fraud?

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

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

• The victim is told that if the bank cashier queries the large withdrawal that they are to say it is for work/repairs in the home or Christmas shopping.

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

• In some cases a victim is encouraged to hang up the phone and dial 101 to confirm with the police that the request is genuine. In these cases the line has stayed connected to the fraudster, who puts on another person to confirm this. In some cases a dial tone is played to the victim so they think they have called the genuine police. This is why we advise putting down the phone and waiting 10 minutes or using another telephone line. This way victims can be sure the call has disconnected from the fraudster.

For further information regarding Courier Fraud, please visit the West Mercia Police website https://www.westmercia.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/personal-fraud/door-to-door-courier-fraud/