Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Creating safer, stronger and active communities

Fraudsters Targetting Elderly

 There have been a recent series of incidents whereby fraudsters either phone or attend the home address of elderly members of the public, claiming to be police officers.            

The fake officer/s will claim that they are investigating a fraud which they believe the elderly person to be a victim of.

The fake officer/s will then request the bank cards and personal identification numbers (PIN) of the victim and claim these are needed for investigation purposes.

If the first contact was made by a phone call, the fake officer/s will tell the victim that someone will be over to collect the evidence. In one case the victim was instructed to attend their local bank and withdraw all of the money from their account. The suspect was left alone in the victim’s house whilst the victim carried out the instructions.    

 

Protect Yourself     

          
  • Before letting anyone into your home who claims to be from any law enforcement agency, ask to see their identity card and check it by calling 101.
  • Ask if they can attend at a pre-arranged time when a family member or friend can also be present.      
  • If you receive a phone call from a police officer,  ask for their name and force and tell them you will call them back. Wait a few minutes and then use 101 to call them back through their force’s switchboard and verify their identity.
  • The Police will never ask for your PIN or passwords. Do not give this information to anyone.      
  • The Police will never request that you withdraw/transfer any money to them.
  •      

     

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

Fake Websites

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

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

Protect yourself:

  • Check the authenticity of the websites before making any purchases. Conduct a ‘whois’ search on the website which will identify when the website has been created, be wary of newly formed domains. You can conduct this search using the following website - https://who.is/.
  • Carry out online research in relation to the website, company name and the business address provided to identify any poor feedback or possible irregularities.
  • Check the Trusted Shops Facebook page where warnings about websites using their Trustmark are published. If you are in doubt about the legitimacy of a Trustmark then you can contact Trusted Shops on 0203 364 5906 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. They will confirm whether they have certified that website.
  • Payments made via bank transfer are not protected should you not received the item. Therefore always try to make the payment via PayPal or a credit card where you have some payment cover should you not receive your product.
  • If the item advertised seems too good to be true, then it probably is. 

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

Advance Fee Fraud

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has been alerted to an Advance Fee Fraud in which individuals believe they are being recruited by Business Loan Scanner who will be moving to 34 Lime Street, London on 24th August.
 
Applicants receive a job offer and are then asked to pay an upfront fee for CRB checks etc.
 
However, please be aware that there is NO such company at this location and this activity is a fraud.
 
If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk

Are You a Good Neighbour?

A report from Co-op Insurance and Neighbourhood Watch takes a look at the nation’s attitudes towards neighbours. The report reveals that just 15% of people have invited their neighbours over to their home and almost a quarter (24%) think they’re a good neighbour because they keep themselves to themselves.

When asked, two in five people (41%) think they are a reasonably good neighbour and only 2% do not think they’re good neighbours.

Read more: Are You a Good Neighbour?

Good Neighbours - Scams

Hello Everyone

Unfortunately quite a lot of scams have come to our notice recently, making this potentially a rather long email.

You may be interested in the website ‘Have I been pwned’ (that’s correct, not my dodgy spelling) brought to my attention by the Cyber Protect Coordinator with the Police. If you put your email address into their search tool it will check the database to see if your email information has been breached. I have checked a number of email addresses here, both for myself and others and have found quite a few have been subject to data breaches by online organisations. If your email has been breached it is advisable to change your password, but the website will give you information as to what data has been stolen and whether it has been subject to a ‘paste’. This is where criminals add the details they’ve stolen to a shared space so that other criminals also have your personal details. Fortunately I have not found anyone who has been affected by a paste.

I have included below an Action Fraud warning regarding a ‘sexting’ scam which is extremely alarming for those receiving it. Please do not panic if you get one of these emails, they are unfortunately getting all the more common. You may notice that the fraudster would like paying in bitcoin. The other payment methods popular with scammers is bank transfer and vouchers, such as iTunes. These payment methods are very hard to trace so be wary of anyone asking for payment these ways.

A solar panel scam recently reported to us runs something like this; an unexpected call from a company who claim that the installer of your solar panels has gone into liquidation and they had taken over responsibility. They ask to visit (at no cost) to check the safety of the installation, then ‘find’ that you need a replacement inverter. The resident who reported this scam luckily called their original installer to check. The genuine company (who had not gone into administration or liquidation) were aware of similar scams where such firms get access to an installation and then claim, wrongly, that the installation is faulty. They then install a more expensive inverter (charged to the householder) and also sell on the original perfectly good inverter.

We have also been alerted by a resident who placed an advert on Gumtree. A person who responded to the ad sent a fake PayPal confirmation of payment via email. If you sell goods online please double check your account balance to ensure the money has really been paid into your account and do not supply any goods before payment.

eCops have been warning about fake texts from ‘Argos’. The Argos text scam (more details here) claims that you have a refund owing. It will direct you to a website, often a good copy of the genuine site, which is designed to trick you into giving away personal and financial information.

 Kind Regards

Elaine Mountfort

Community Protection Officer

People and Communities Directorate

Subcategories

Fraud, often called Scams, is the fastest growing area of crime and is often not reported.

ActionFraud is the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre.

They provide a central point of contact for information about fraud and financially motivated internet crime.

Click here to download a leaflet about Action Fraud.