Newsletter – January 2021
This is primarily an abridged version of the national newsletter issued recently. The full version is available through the members of the scheme. In constructing this version, I have taken into account these difficult times and decided to concentrate on Fraud and Scams that may have some impact on us. I am also aware that there is plenty doom and gloom at the moment without adding to it, but some messages do bear repeating! There is, however, a design project for the under 16s at the end.
Scams and Fraud
At the top of the list is the, now fairly well published, COVID 19 Vaccine Fraud. Some criminals are using the programme as a way to target the public and tricking them into handing over cash or other personal details. You should note that the NHS is the only supplier of the vaccine and will:
- NEVER ask for payment. It is free,
- NEVER ask for bank details,
- NEVER arrive unannounced at home to administer the vaccine,
- NEVER ask you to prove your identity by sending personal documents.
The scams are generally carried out by Text messages, Phone Calls, Websites or by individuals in person. If you have any cause for concern please report the facts to the police, the Neighbourhood Watch team or friends and family. Don’t do nothing!
A list of useful numbers is at the end of this note.
The Next scam relates to Doorstep Sales. The story here relates to an elderly person who was intimidated by 2 males who appeared on his doorstep and took a payment for repairs which, firstly, he didn’t need and secondly, were never carried out. Remember do not answer your door to anyone you do not recognise or are not expecting. Genuine callers will try to contact you in advance and or leave a card and carry provable identification. Let someone know if you are approached in this way using one of the numbers at the end of this note.
At this current time of lockdown, frustrations can be quite high. Romance Fraud has been raising its ugly head.
This type of fraud is very serious as it plays on the current situation and the lack of social contact we are all experiencing. This occurs when you think you have met the perfect partner through an on-line dating site or app but the other person is using a fake profile to form a relationship. They are using the site and the lack of face to face contact to gain trust and ask for money or other personal details. In the final event one person can gain control over another.
All parents should be aware of the possibility of On Line Grooming and this is no different except it can apply to adults as well as the younger generation. In both these events individuals can be lured into believing they are making rational and balanced decisions. Family and friends can have difficulty in changing the mindset to reveal this for what it is – a fraud. If you become aware of these scams please use the listed contacts to report the facts.
A booklet “Staying Safe” dealing with this and produced by Thames Valley Police in conjunction with the University of Roehampton is available on request, both in hard copy and electronic form.
Loans Fraud and scams have been around for a while. However, one aspect of which to be aware is a current trend to ask for arrangement fees to be paid up front before any loan is advanced. Do not pay any fees in advance of a loan. You should also check that your intended provider is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Always challenge if you are unsure about anything you are being asked to do or provide. Report anything suspicious to the Police, the NW team or any friend or relative.
Design a Tree House
The launch of “The Croods 2: A New Age” is a new partnership between Universal Studios and the Co-op. This is a computer animated adventure comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation. Nationally Neighbourhood Watch is partnered with the film to help promote the importance of neighbourliness to new audiences across diverse communities.
The promotion is to Design a Croods 2 inspired tree house and win it for the local community.
To enter: go to Co-op Insurance website and download the treehouse template and top tips for entering.
Useful Numbers and Contacts
Non Urgent 101
Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator 01295 660608
Tom Smith 0779 209 8167
Crimestoppers (Anonymous) 0800 555111
National Cyber Security Centre firstname.lastname@example.org ; forward text messages to 7726
Financial Conduct Authority Financial Services Register | FCA
Romance Fraud Booklet romance-fraud-ebook_v3.pdf (thamesvalley.police.uk)