Neighbourhood Watch

Protect Your Identity

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

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

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

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

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

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

How?

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

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

2. Unused/dormant Social Media profiles no longer used should be deactivated and deleted

How?

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

3. Check and close down unused/dormant email accounts

How?

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

4. Use strong passwords and 2 factor authentication
How?
Check this link to GetSafeOnline https://www.getsafeonline.org/protecting-your-computer/passwords/

Doorstep Pedlars – It could be a scam

They are doorstep callers who target areas offering small household products for sale. These callers may claim to be ex-convicts attempting to mend their ways, however they are not part of any recognised rehabilitation scheme.

Please warn your neighbours, particularly elderly or vulnerable neighbours, not to open the door to strangers or buy or sell on the doorstep. Some doorstep callers may offer poor quality goods at inflated prices and if a caller is not genuine, they may be gathering information for future crime.
Please keep in mind that if cold callers don’t get any sales in your area, they are less likely to return.

How they work

The sellers may say that they are on a “rehabilitation course” arranged by probation services or other organisations trying to find people work. This is not the case and often they are known criminals. Probation services do not run such schemes.

They may show a card which claims to be a “Pedlars Licence” or work permit.

A bag of household products (including the typical tea-towels!) is supplied at a minimal sum by the person who employs them. Once they sell enough to cover the cost of the products they get to keep anything else earned.

Usually they are deposited in an area from a transit van and given a list of streets to work. An hour or so later they are picked up and dropped off in another location. They often work from 9am to 9pm.

They will knock on a door, offering cleaning items which they know are cheap and of very poor quality; the householder also knows they are rubbish but that is part of the scam. Many people will purchase items and pay them something, just to get rid of them. There have been cases of elderly residents handing over large sums as these lads can be very persistent and confrontational.

The price for whatever has been purchased usually comes to a note; usually £10. The householder disappears to get the money, this is when the scam begins. When the note is handed over, the lad examines the condition and how long it took the person to get it. If it is crumpled, they accept it and move on. If it is crisp flat and new, they are much more interested and may engage the person in more conversation, to obtain details about them. As they leave they will smell the note. If it is slightly musty, this is an indication that there is more in the property. Those addresses are noted. The addresses of elderly / vulnerable / gullible people are all noted.

These are handed to the employer and there is a small amount of cash handed over for each one.

These addresses are then sold in prisons and pubs. If there is a later break-in, the employer expects a further cut of the proceeds.

These lists are purchased by all sorts of people including; tarmaccers, tree workers, roofers, dodgy builders etc., and can be shared amongst the travelling community. Once on a list, your address could be sold on and on. Hence the repeat nature of these persistent callers.

TURN THEM AWAY

REMEMBER if cold callers don’t get any sales in your area, they are less likely to return.

Operation Snap – report poor driving and dangerous behaviour

 

Road users across Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Warwickshire can report incidents using footage from dashcams or other devices

As part of Operation Snap, members of the public can submit (via a secure online form ) digital footage showing potential traffic offences. This can range from driving dangerously or carelessly to overtaking on solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving, ignoring traffic lights or dangerous driving around other road users, such as horse riders and cyclists.

Your submission will be sent to West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police where the evidence will be reviewed by one of our road traffic officers, who will enforce against any offences committed. Any footage submitted through the portal can also be used by us to help educate other road users and to advise on case results.

See the Frequently Asked Questions section (https://www.warwickshire.police.uk/article/47353/National-Dashcam-Safety-Portal-NDSP-FAQs)

For further information regarding the Safer Roads Partnership please visit the West Mercia Police Website, (Crime & Safety Section) Safer Roads Partnership

https://www.westmercia.police.uk/article/38869/About-Safer-Roads-Partnership

Is crime harming your community?

If you have any information about criminal activity and you know who is responsible but you feel that you can not go to the police because you are scared that it would mean going to court and giving evidence, or you are scared of what might happen to you or your family if those responsible find out? You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and tell them what you know. You will remain 100% anonymous.

Always!

Just tell them what you know, not who you are.

Contact Crimestoppers about crime anonymously:

Tel: 0800 555 111
Website: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/
Twitter: @CrimestoppersUK

Using SMS to contact the 999 service in an emergency

Do you know about the EmergencySMS service?

It is a valuable tool that can be shared with our communities, partners and even families and friends.

It assists anyone who may have communication difficulties with contacting the police or other emergency services.

The service is free and allows you to use text messaging to get in touch with any of the UK 999 services (police, ambulance, fire and rescue or coastguard).

It is available for anyone who finds making a voice call difficult, has communication difficulties, is deaf and includes members of the autistic community.

To use the service you need to pre-register your phone on the website. For further details go to – http://www.emergencysms.org.uk/

Say No to Marketing Call – The Telephone Preference Service

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

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

The TPS can accept the registration of mobile telephone numbers, however it is important to note that this will prevent the receipt of marketing voice calls but not SMS (text) messages. If you wish to stop receiving SMS marketing messages, please send an ‘opt-out’ request to the company involved.
As TPS registration only prevents marketing calls, organisations will still be able to call you for the purposes of genuine market research.

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

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

For more information visit: www.tpsonline.org.uk