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Remenham Parish
Remenham Parish

Thames Valley Police Alerts

Winter Burglary advice

Winter Burglary advice. October 2018.doc[...]
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Six Hate Crimes Recorded Every Day In Thames Valley

Today (8/10) we’re launching the latest phase of our Hidden Harm campaign, this time asking everyone to open their eyes to hate crime.

 

A hate crime is any crime committed against a person which is perceived to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards their:

  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Transgender identity

 

Hate crimes can take place anywhere, even online. They can include threats, intimidation, damage to property and physical attacks.

 

They can have serious long term effects on people – emotionally, physically and financially.

 

Last year at least six hate crimes were recorded every day in Thames Valley.

 

No one should be targeted because of who they are, how they look or what they believe in.

 

If you or someone you know has been a victim of hate crime, or if you have witnessed a hate crime, report it.

 

You can do this by contacting the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Or you can contact Victims First on 0300 1234 148 for confidential advice and support.

 

For more information about hate crime or to report online visit www.thamesvalley.police.uk/hiddenharm

Courier Fraud In Reading

Elderly and vulnerable residents in Reading Police Area have been targeted by courier fraudsters.

Courier Fraudsters phone and trick victims into handing over their bank cards and associated PIN (number) to a courier that arrives at their home.
 Thames Valley Police is calling on friends and family to help tackle the problem by talking to elderly or vulnerable friends and relatives.

The talk should cover;

  • Never deal with cold callers on the phone or in person, no matter how polite or friendly they are. Saying "No thank you" and shutting the door or hanging up the phone is not rude.
  • Your bank, the police or anyone legitimate will never send a courier to your home to collect your bank cards, your money and they will never ask for your PIN number. Close the door, lock it and call 101 to speak to the police.
  • Keep a mobile phone next to your landline, and if you want to make a phone call call immediately after hanging up the landline, always use the other phone.
  • If you do hand over your bank details or card, don't panic. call your bank immediately using another phone, such as a mobile phone, explain what's happened and cancel your cards. 
  • Legitimate callers will never try to rush you, scare you, or force you into anything. if you feel scared or pressured at any point, hang up or shut the door and tell someone you trust, what's happened.

There are many variations of the Courier Scam, but it usually follows this method;

  • A fraudster will cold call the victim on a landline, often claiming to be from the victim's bank, the police, or to be a fraud investigator.
  • the fraudster states their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment in the victim's account, or that they need the victim's help in investigating fraudulent activity at the bank.
  • In order to reassure the victim that they are genuine they suggest that the victim hangs up and rings the bank/ police back straight away. however they don't Hang up at their end to disconnect the call from the landline so even when the genuine bank/ police number is dialled the victim is still talking to the fraudster.
  • Finally, the fraudsters will send a courier to collect the card and PIN, cash or in some cases take the victim to a bank to withdraw cash. If you receive this type of call, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website. In an emergency dial 999 

Scam Alert - Fake Netflix Emails

We’ve seen an increase in reports about fake Netflix emails claiming that there’s an issue with your account, or that your account has been suspended. The email states that you need to “update” your account details in order to resolve the problem. The link in the emails leads to genuine-looking Netflix phishing websites designed to steal your username and password, as well as payment details.

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

For more information on how to stay secure online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk 

Calling 999 Vs 101

In Bracknell and Wokingham we have recently had a couple of 101 calls to report people attempting to break into houses. Whilst it is great to make us aware it is important that if the crime is currently happening you call us on 999 rather than 101.

Please see the guidance below on when to use each number.

In an emergency please telephone 999.

If you are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, a text phone is available on 18000.

You should use these numbers if:

·         A crime is happening right now.

·         Someone is in immediate danger, or there is a risk of serious damage to property.

·         A suspect for a serious crime is nearby.

·         There is a traffic collision involving injury or danger to other road users.

Non-emergency calls

For all other calls to the police in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland please telephone 101.

Calls cost 15p from mobiles and landlines, regardless of duration. They are free of charge from payphones.

If you are deaf, deafened, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment, a text phone is available on 18001 101.

You should use these non-emergency numbers to:

·         Report a crime not currently in progress - for example a stolen car, burglary, or damaged property.

·         Give information to the police about crime in your area.

·         Speak to the police about a general enquiry.

·         Contact a specific police officer or member of staff.

Changes To Rural Policing

This alert contains important information about changes to Rural Policing in the Wokingham Borough.

 

Firstly, for those not aware, last month our dedicated Rural Crime PCSO, Suzie Carr retired from Thames Valley Police. Suzie was a crucial part of setting up the Rural Crime initiatives that we currently have in the Wokingham Police area and was a very well-known face representing the police within the rural community. Although grateful for the fruitful work that Suzie started, Bracknell and Wokingham Police have now reviewed the area’s rural policing strategy as a whole to better reflect the current crime patterns and national changes to policing. Any changes will hopefully have minimal impact on the area while maintaining a policing presence within rural communities. Most significantly, instead of having a sole rural PCSO, each neighbourhood will have a PCSO Specific Point of Contact (SPOC) who will receive detailed training and intelligence that relates to their rural roles. Although there will always be the traditional contact methods to speak with the police, rural communities will also be able to communicate with their SPOC’s directly. Sergeant Matt Foskett remains the rural crime lead on the area.

 

We have been pleased to welcome Bill Dance back to the chairman role of the Rural Crime Action Group. The group continues to welcome new members and will promote the needs, views and suggestions of the rural community to the police while offering support with crime reduction, prevention or detection initiatives. If you would like to become involved with the group or would like an issue raised by the group on your behalf, please contact your local rural PCSO who’s details are listed below.

 

The Rural Crime Action group also has a supply of covert and overt crime prevention equipment that can be installed at vulnerable rural premises. This equipment can be installed free of charge for a trial period at suitable locations. Again, if interested, please contact your SPOC.

 

I would also like to take this opportunity to invite comments from the community about how you feel the police, community and RCAG could work more closely and productively whilst managing the national reductions in police officer numbers. If you do have any proposals about how you feel rural policing can be improved in your area, please feel free to get in touch.

 

Your new rural SPOC’s are:

Finchampstead & East Wokingham :   Craig.Byant@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

Swallowfield & Southern Parishes :     Daniel.Fallis@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

Twyford & Northern Parishes :            Daniel.Taylor2@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
 

Sergeant 2516 Matt Foskett 

Scam Alert - Fake British Gas Emails

We’ve had an increase in reports about fake British Gas emails claiming to offer refunds. The links provided in the emails lead to genuine-looking British Gas phishing websites that are designed to steal the usernames and passwords for British Gas accounts.

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

For more information on how to stay secure online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk

Advice To Motorists In Bracknell And Wokingham

Thames Valley Police has seen an increase in thefts from motor vehicles within the Bracknell and Wokingham areas recently.

Opportunist thieves often walk down streets with parked cars and pull the car handles to see which have been left unlocked.

Most vehicle crime is preventable. It can take less than 10 seconds for a thief to steal items such as clothing, cash, mobile phones, laptops and portable satellite navigation systems.

With the recent warm weather, we would like to remind motorists to take a few simple steps to protect their property:

  • Remove everything of value from the car including loose change and sunglasses - even a jacket left on view can tempt a thief
  • Make sure that the windows and sun roof are closed
  • Always double check that your vehicle is secure by pulling the door handles before you leave it
  • Store your vehicle ownership documents at home and not in the vehicle itself
  • Using theft resistant number plates can make your number plates less attractive to thieves
  • Avoid giving your car keys to children to play with. They will often inadvertently press the buttons, leaving your car unlocked

To report a theft from a vehicle or to provide information that may help police to identify offenders, please contact Thames Valley Police online or by calling 101.

Watchout For These Fake Linkedin Emails

We’ve received multiple reports about these fake LinkedIn emails. They claim that your LinkedIn profile has appeared in multiple searches and provide links you can click on to get more details. These links lead to malicious websites designed to steal your personal and financial details.

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

Unauthorised Encampments

At this time of the year we traditionally see a rise in the movement of unauthorised encampments. We would like to ask the rural community to take the time to look over all entrances and exits from your land and make sure it is secure.

 

Prevention advice

Remember to consider planning regulations and environmental issues before implementing measures and to ensure that the measure affects only your land and not that of neighbours or the highway. You should seek advice on these aspects.

 

Review your vulnerability

Look at the perimeter of your land and with a critical eye consider how you would go about getting onto it with a vehicle and trailer. Don't forget trespassers have been known in the past to remove ineffective barriers and to bridge gaps!

 

Mounding

Mounds are formed using rubble or hard-core as a base finished with topsoil then planted or grassed. These can add to your landscaping and do not need to be ugly. Strategically placed they can prevent access to the perimeter, infill gaps between trees and other obstacles and can border gating which protects but preserves your authorised access.

 

Ditching

This method can be combined with mounding with the spoil being used for the mounds. Remember to consider drainage implications. Bear in mind also that ditches can and have been bridged, they can however be effective in filling gaps in your perimeter.

 

Obstacles

There are a wide variety of obstacles that can be used; they can be effective in plugging gaps in an otherwise secure perimeter where authorised access is not required. They should be of such a nature that they cannot be readily moved even with towing equipment. These can be a cheap option utilising such things as concrete filled tyre stacks however these can be unsightly, large tree trunks or boulders can be more sympathetic. You should make sure that what you choose does not detrimentally affect the visual amenity of the area otherwise you could end up being required to remove or alter them.

 

Fencing

There are many fencing options on the market to choose from. Steel palisade fencing is among the most effective but costs may well be a factor. Wooden fencing is more pleasing to the eye but it can be more vulnerable to damage. The spacing of posts should take into account the width of the vehicles that may attempt access.

 

Gating

You can protect your own authorised access points with strong robust gates, preferably metal. Remember to use toughened steel padlocks and 'boxing in' the padlock housing helps to prevent them being forced using angle grinders etc. Remember also to ensure that the gate cannot simply be lifted off at the hinge end!

 

Height Barriers

These are usually combined with gates and can be fixed or swing and padlocked to facilitate authorised access. Again toughened steel padlocks boxed in are advisable for a swinging barrier. The height should be configured so as to deter the average caravan trailer.

Alert - Rise In Fake Amazon Emails

These fake emails are after your Amazon login details!

We’ve had an increased number of reports about these fake emails purporting to be from Amazon. The subject line and content of the emails vary, but they all contain links leading to phishing websites designed to steal your Amazon login details.

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.​​​​​​​

Watch Out For These Fake Texts About Your Ee Bill

Courier Fraud

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has identified an increasing number of reports submitted to Action Fraud from the public concerning courier fraud. 
 

Fraudsters are contacting victims by telephone and purporting to be a police officer or bank official. To substantiate this claim, the caller might be able to confirm some easily obtainable basic details about the victim such as their full name and address. They may also offer a telephone number for the victim to call to check that they are genuine; this number is not genuine and simply redirects to the fraudster who pretends to be a different person. After some trust has been established, the fraudster will then, for example, suggest; 
 

- Some money has been removed from a victim’s bank account and staff at their local bank branch are responsible.

- Suspects have already been arrested but the “police” need money for evidence.

- A business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is operating fraudulently and they require assistance to help secure evidence.

 

Victims are then asked to cooperate in an investigation by attending their bank and withdrawing money, withdrawing foreign currency from an exchange or purchasing an expensive item to hand over to a courier for examination who will also be a fraudster. Again, to reassure the victim, a safe word might be communicated to the victim so the courier appears genuine. 
 

At the time of handover, unsuspecting victims are promised the money they’ve handed over or spent will be reimbursed but in reality there is no further contact and the money is never seen again.

Protect Yourself


Your bank or the police will never:

- Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password.

- Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping, or send someone to your home to collect cash, PIN, cards or cheque books if you are a victim of fraud.

 

Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic
Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Be mindful of who you trust – criminals may try and trick you into their confidence by telling you that you’ve been a victim of fraud 
 

Stay in control

If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information.

 

For more information about how to protect yourself online visit

www.cyberaware.gov.uk  and www.takefive.stopfraud.org.uk  

What you need to know about phishing

Importance of Dog Microchipping

Having your dog microchipped can make a lot of difference when looking for and trying to identify a missing dog.

 

Since April 2016 it has been a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped by 8 weeks of age.

 

Each microchip has a unique number that must be registered on a Government approved database along with information about your dog and you as its owner. If your dog is not registered on one of these databases you can be fined.

 

It is important that the information is kept up-to-date so that if your dog does go missing, you can be contacted at the correct phone number or address.

 

Reporting it to the police as soon as possible is also important, including making us aware of the microchip number so we can record this on our database. This will make it easier for us to identify any dogs that are found and check to see if they have been reported as missing or stolen.

 

It is also recommended to record the loss or theft of your dog online using sites dedicated to finding lost and stolen dogs. Often these sites work with police and other organisations, such as local Neighbourhood Watch Groups and Vetinary practices, to try and find them.

 

More information on microchipping your dog can be found on the Governmentwebsite.

 

In 2016, the Dogs Trust recorded that 9,000 stray dogs were reunited with their owners due to having a microchip with up-to-date details.

 

The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) also reported that in 2017, 11% of dog owners did not realise that it was a requirement by law to have their dog microchipped and a further 7% had not updated their details when they needed to.

Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Investments and Fake Endorsements

Fraudulent websites alleging to offer cryptocurrency investments are dishonestly using the image of Martin Lewis, the founder and editor for moneysavingexpert.com, as an endorsement for their companies.


The adverts using Martin Lewis to promote illicit schemes can be found on social media and other websites. Clicking on the advert takes you to the full article where Martin Lewis image is presented along with fake quotes recommending investments in bitcoin and other digital currencies with the fraudulent “company”. Alternatively clicking on the advert will take you to a page where you are required to input your contact details, the suspect company then phones you and encourages you to invest.


Martin Lewis has published a warning to the public saying “I don’t do adverts. If you ever see one with my face or name on it, it is without my permission, and usually a scam”. The full article can be found here; https://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/2018/03/13/martin-lewis-spread-word-dont-believe-scam-bitcoin-code-bitcoin-trading-ads/?_.


Similarly these fraudulent websites are also misusing images and fabricating recommendations from the investors on Dragons Den. These adverts also claim the investors on the panel trade in cryptocurrencies using their services to try and legitimise their company.

  

What you need to do
 

  • Don’t assume it’s authentic: Professional-looking websites, adverts or social media posts don’t indicate that an investment opportunity is genuine. Criminals can exploit the names of well-known brands or individuals to make their scams appear legitimate.
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: A genuine bank or financial organisation won’t force you to make a financial transaction on the spot. Always be wary if you’re pressured to invest quickly or promised returns that sound too good to be true.
  • Stay in control: Avoid unsolicited investment offers, especially those over cold calls. If you’re thinking about making an investment, get impartial advice from an independent financial adviser – never use an adviser from the company that contacted you, as this may be part of the scam.
  • Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.

Magazine Advertisement Debt Alert

Victims receive a telephone call from someone purporting to be a bailiff enforcing a court judgement, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. The fraudsters state the debt originates from the victim not paying a magazine advertisement subscription.

 

A variety of magazine names and publishers are being used by the fraudsters, who also commonly use the names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents such “Scott Davis”, “Stephen King” and “Mark Taylor”. These are names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents employed by debt enforcement companies. 
 

The fraudsters request that the debt be repaid by bank transfer. If the victim refuses, they threaten to visit the victim’s home or place of work to recover the debt that is owed.

 

Once the money has been transferred, victims are not provided with receipt details of the payment or contact details. Later when victims make enquiries, they’ll discover that the debt did not exist, and often that no advertisement was placed.

 

This type of fraud is nationwide. Since 2017, there have been 52 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud. From the reports received, there are a range of different businesses and individuals being targeted.

 

Protection Advice:
 

1. Listen to your instinct: just because someone knows your basic details, such as your name and address, it doesn’t mean they are genuine.

 

2. Stay in control: always question cold callers: always contact the companies directly using a known email or phone number.

 

3. Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: a legitimate company will be prepared to wait whilst you verify information.

 

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

 

Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.

Online Marketplace Fraud Advice For Sellers

Action Fraud has received several reports indicating that sellers of items on online marketplace websites are falling victim to fraud by bogus buyers. Typically, the bogus buyers contact the seller wanting to purchase the item for sale and advise they will be sending the requested amount via PayPal or other electronic payment method. The seller then receives a fake, but official looking email stating they have been paid more than the asking price and to send the difference back to the buyer’s bank account. In reality, no money has ever been sent to the seller; the bogus buyer has spoofed an email and purported to be an online payment company. All contact is then severed with the seller.

 

It is important to remember that selling anything could make you a target to these fraudsters however the NFIB has identified that those offering sofas, large furniture and homeware are particularly vulnerable.

 

Protection Advice

 

• Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic. Remember criminals can imitate any email address. Stay in control. Always use a trusted payment method online, such as Paypal, and have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for payment like bank transfers.

 

• Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision.  Always verify that you have received payment from the buyer before completing a sale.

 

• Listen to your instincts.  Criminals will try and make unusual behaviour, like overpaying, seem like a genuine mistake.

 

Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.

 

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Action Counters Terrorism - Report suspicious activity and behaviour to tackle terrorism

Thames Valley Police and Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE) urges the public to help the police tackle terrorism and save lives by reporting suspicious behaviour and activity.

Communities defeat terrorism. With the enduring terrorist threat, it is now more important than ever that everyone plays their part in tackling terrorism. Your actions could save lives. 

Don’t worry about wasting police time. No call or click will be ignored. What you tell the police is treated in the strictest confidence and is thoroughly researched by experienced officers before, and if, any police action is taken.

Any piece of information could be important, it is better to be safe and report. Remember, trust your instincts and ACT. Action Counters Terrorism.

Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, Head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East, said: “It is vital for the public to know that no matter how small the matter might be, if you think it is suspicious and you have concerns, report it.

“Counter Terrorism Policing South East will take all information seriously, any piece of information could be important, it is better to be safe and report. Communities are the key to defeating terrorism and you can help us prevent terrorism and save lives through your actions.”

How can I report?

Reporting is quick and easy. You can report in confidence online via our secure form:www.gov.uk/ACT. Alternatively, you can call the police confidentially on 0800 789 321.

All reports are kept confidential and you can report anonymously. 

In an emergency always call 999.

What should I report?

Like other criminals, terrorists need to plan. You can report suspicious activity or behaviour – anything that seems out of place, unusual or just doesn’t seem to fit in with everyday life. 

Some examples of suspicious activity or behaviour could potentially include: 

Research

Do you know someone who looks at extremist material, including on the so-called Dark Web, or shares and creates content that promotes or glorifies terrorism? 

Have you noticed someone embracing or actively promoting hateful ideas or an extremist ideology? 

Meetings, training and planning can take place anywhere. Do you know someone who travels but is vague about where they’re going?

Do you know someone with passports or other documents in different names, for no obvious reason?

Gathering materials

Suspicious materials can be ordered online as well as in store. Have you noticed someone receiving deliveries for unusual items bought online?

If you work in commercial vehicle hire or sales, has a sale or rental seemed unusual?

Have you noticed someone buying large or unusual quantities of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders for no obvious reason?

Have you noticed someone acquiring illegal firearms or other weapons or showing an interest in obtaining them?

Storing materials

Terrorists need to store equipment while preparing for an attack. Have you noticed anyone storing large amounts of chemicals, fertilisers or gas cylinders?

Have you noticed anyone storing illegal firearms or objects that could potentially be weapons?

Hostile Reconnaissance

Observation and surveillance help terrorists plan attacks. Have you witnessed anyone taking pictures or notes of security arrangements or CCTV?

Financing

Cheque and credit card fraud are ways of generating cash. Have you noticed any suspicious or unusual bank transactions?

If you’d like more information or resources, visit www.gov.uk/ACT or follow Counter Terrorism Policing on social media: 

NFIB Alert - False Telephone Preference Service Calls

False claims of Telephone Preference Service:

Fraudsters are cold-calling victims, falsely stating that they are calling from one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers. They call victims claiming to provide a ‘Telephone Preference Service’ - an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres. 
 

The fraudsters ask victims to confirm/provide their bank account details, informing them that there is a one-off charge for the service. Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised. The fraudsters often target elderly victims. 
 

In all instances, direct debits are set up without following proper procedure. The victim is not sent written confirmation of the direct debit instruction, which is supposed to be sent within three days. 
 

On occasions when victims attempted to call back, the telephone number provided by the fraudster was either unable to be reached or the victim’s direct debit cancellation request was refused. 
 

During 2017, there were 493 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud.

 

Protect yourself:

  • There is only one Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The TPS is the only official UK 'do-not-call' register for opting out of live telesales calls. It is FREE to sign-up to the register. TPS never charge for registration. You can register for this service athttp://www.tpsonline.org.uk.
  • You will receive postal confirmation of genuine direct debits. If you notice unauthorised payments leaving your account, you should contact your bank promptly.
  • Always be wary of providing personal information, or confirming that personal information the caller already claims to hold is correct. Always be certain that you know who you talking to. If in doubt hang up immediately.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visitingwww.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Increase in burglaries crime prevention advice

We would like to highlight some Crime Prevention Advice considering there is a continuing number of burglaries around the area:

Crime Prevention Advice:

  • Keep front, back and side doors locked, even when you’re at home
  • Keep side gates locked
  • Install CCTV – think doorbell camera or sensor lights
  • Lock advice: Consider fitting additional or secondary locks or for added security new locks,ideally the new/replacement lock/cylinder should be a “3 star cylinder” Lower cost solutions are available such as a “1 star cylinders” fitted into “2 star handles”. The critical thing for all residents is “no lock protrusion”; for those competent in DIY it’s important to buy the right sized lock, ensuring the external dimension is measured accurately (accounting for designed offset). It’s better to have a professional locksmith install it for you, as uPVC doors frequently have multipoint locking mechanisms that are easily damaged for those that are uninitiated.
  • Ring the police if you hear the sound of glass smashing – it maybe someone breaking into your neighbours house

  

We urge residents to remain vigilant and if you witness any suspicious activity please report it to the Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101 but ring 999 if you think something is happening to someone's house and together we will aim to reduce the number of victims of burglary.

Flight Ticket Fraud Alert

Fraudsters are attempting to entice victims who are looking for cheap flights abroad.
Victims have reported booking tickets via websites or a “popular” ticket broker, only to discover that after payment via bank transfer or electronic wire transfer, the tickets/booking references received are counterfeit. In some cases, all communications between the company or broker and the victim have been severed.

Fraudsters are targeting individuals who are seeking to travel to African nations and the Middle East, particularly those wishing to travel in time for popular public and religious holidays. 

Prevention Advice:

  • Pay safe: Be cautious if you're asked to pay directly into a private individual’s bank account. Paying by direct bank transfer is like paying by cash – the money is very difficult to trace and is not refundable. Wherever possible, pay by credit card or a debit card.
  • Conduct research on any company you’re considering purchasing tickets from; for example, are there any negative reviews or forum posts by previous customers online? Don’t just rely on one review - do a thorough online search to check the company’s credentials.
  • Check any company website thoroughly; does it look professional? Are there any spelling mistakes or irregularities? There should be a valid landline phone number and a full postal address so that the company can be contacted. Avoid using the site if there is only a PO Box address and mobile phone number, as it could be difficult to get in touch after you buy tickets. PO Box addresses and mobile phone numbers are easy to change and difficult to trace.
  • Be aware that purchasing tickets from a third party, particularly when initial contact has been made via a social media platform can be incredibly risky.
  • If tickets to your intended destination appear cheaper than any other vendor, always consider this; if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Look for the logo: Check whether the company is a member of a recognised trade body such as ABTA or ATOL. You can verify membership of ABTA online, atwww.abta.com.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Assistance for vulnerable missing people - Herbert Protocol

A new tool to help find missing people with dementia was launched earlier this week in partnership with search and rescue teams across the Thames Valley.

The Herbert Protocol is a form to record key information about a person with dementia. This should be completed by carers or family members in case they go missing. 

Memory problems are one of a number of symptoms that people with dementia may experience, this can lead to feelings of confusion, fear and vulnerability and consequently can result in a person going missing.

Adopting the Herbert Protocol will help to ensure that the police and partner agencies, including the volunteer search and rescue teams, have the best possible information should someone with dementia go missing and a search needs to be conducted to find them.

It will help avoid any unnecessary delays as the right information is immediately available. The form may include if the person is on medication, favourite places they like to visit or key people they know.

Det Supt Nick John, Head of Protecting Vulnerable People, said: “The Herbert Protocol seeks to reduce the harm suffered by people living with dementia who go ‘missing’ by ensuring that the information needed is readily available to help inform the risk assessment and the search by the police and partner agencies, including the volunteer search and rescue teams.  I would strongly urge carers, whether family members, private carers, or care home staff, to adopt the protocol by completing the Herbert Protocol form in advance.”

Download the form and find out more information about the Herbert Protocol.

Fake Government Grants Fraud Alert

Individuals and businesses are being warned to watch out for cold calls and online contact from fraudsters who are offering victims the opportunity to apply for Government grants for an advance fee.

 

To make the grants look legitimate fraudsters have set up bogus companies and convincing looking websites that claim to be operating on behalf of the UK Government.

 

Fraudsters cold call businesses and individuals offering the grant and if they’re interested direct them to fill out an online application form with their personal information.

Once the fraudsters have that information they’ll contact back victims and congratulate them on being accepted onto the grant programme.   
 

Pre-paid credit cards

 

Applicants are then asked to provide identification and are instructed to get a pre-paid credit card to deposit their own contribution to the fake Government grant scheme. Fraudsters will then contact victims on the phone or are emailed and asked for the details of their pre-paid credit card and copies of statements to in order for them to add the grant funds.

 

Of course the grant funds are never given by the fraudsters and the money that’s been loaded by the victim onto the card is stolen.

 

If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately and report it to us. We’ve already taken down one website fraudsters have been using to commit this fraud and are working with Companies House to combat this issue.

 

How to protect yourself:

 

Be wary of unsolicited callers implying that you can apply for grants. You should never have to pay to receive a government grant, and they definitely won’t instruct you to obtain a pre-paid credit card. The government should have all the information they need if a genuine grant application was submitted, therefore any requests for personal or banking information either over the phone or online should be refused.

 

What to do if you’re a victim: 
 

  • If you think your bank or personal details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded contact your bank immediately.
  • Stop all communication with the ‘agency’ but make a note of their details and report it to Action Fraud.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. 
     

The information contained within this alert is based on information from gathered by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).  The purpose of this alert is to increase awareness of this type of fraud. The alert is aimed at members of the public, local police forces, businesses and governmental agencies.

Tackling rural crime with the Kubota off-road vehicle

Did you know... the Kubota is just one of the tools we have available to tackle rural crime? You can learn more about this versatile off-road vehicle in this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etXBlvRDGVg&list=PL1wqkFUHxKq562GEmXkTqGxCSxoKhwIm0&index=1

Shopping Online Safely

Pet - Fraud Alert

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed a rise in the reporting of pets, and in particular puppies and kittens, being advertised for sale via popular online auction websites. The fraudsters will place an advert of the pet for sale, often claiming that the pet is currently held somewhere less accessible or overseas. Upon agreement of a sale, the suspect will usually request an advance payment by money transfer or bank transfer. However, the pet does not materialise and the fraudster will subsequently ask for further advanced payments for courier charges, shipping fees and additional transportation costs. Even if further payments are made, the pet will still not materialise as it is likely to not exist.
 

Tips to staying safe when purchasing pets:
 

  • Stay within auction guidelines.
  • Be cautious if the seller initially requests payment via one method, but later claims that due to ‘issues with their account’ they will need to take the payment via an alternative method such as a bank transfer.
  • Consider conducting research on other information provided by the seller, for example a mobile phone number or email address used by the seller could alert you to any negative information associated with the number/email address online. 
  • Request details of the courier company being used and consider researching it.
  • Agree a suitable time to meet face-to-face to agree the purchase and to collect the pet. If the seller is reluctant to meet then it could be an indication that the pet does not exist.
  • A genuine seller should be keen to ensure that the pet is going to a caring and loving new home. If the seller does not express any interest in you and the pet’s new home, be wary.
  • If you think the purchase price is too good to be true then it probably is, especially if the pet is advertised as a pure-breed.
  • Do not be afraid to request copies of the pet’s inoculation history, breed paperwork and certification prior to agreeing a sale. If the seller is reluctant or unable to provide this information it could be an indication that either the pet does not exist or the pet has been illegally bred e.g. it originates from a ‘puppy farm’. A ‘puppy farm’ is a commercial dog breeding enterprise where the sole aim is to maximise profit for the least investment. Commercial dog breeders must be registered with their local authority and undergo regular inspections to ensure that the puppies are bred responsibly and are in turn fit and healthy. Illegally farmed puppies will often be kept in inadequate conditions and are more likely to suffer from ailments and illnesses associated with irresponsible breeding.
  • When thinking of buying a pet, consider buying them in person from rescue centres or from reputable breeders.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting  www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Vehicle Online Shopping Fraud

Fraudsters have been advertising vehicles and machinery for sale on various selling platforms online. The victims, after communicating via email with the fraudster, will receive a bogus email which purports to be from an established escrow provider (a third party who will keep the payment until the buying and selling parties are both happy with the deal).

These emails are designed to persuade victims to pay upfront, via bank transfer, before visiting the seller to collect the goods. The emails also claim that the buyer (victim) has a cooling off period to reclaim the payment if they change their mind. This gives victims the false sense of security that their money is being looked after by this trustworthy third party, when in fact it is not and the money has gone straight to the fraudster. 

Protect yourself:

  • When making a large purchase such as a new car or machinery, always meet the seller face to face first and ask to see the goods before transferring any money.
  • If you receive a suspicious email asking for payment, check for spelling, grammar, or any other errors, and check who sent the email. If in doubt, check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller.
  • Contact the third party the fraudsters are purporting to be using to make the transaction. They should be able to confirm whether the email you have received is legitimate or not.
  • False adverts often offer vehicles or machinery for sale well below market value to entice potential victims; always be cautious. If it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visitingwww.actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Little Book of Cyber Scams available now

We have joined up with the Metropolitan Police to produce our own version of the Little Book of Cyber Scams, to give information and advice to you and local businesses.

The 40-page booklet covers a wide range of cyber and cyber-enabled threats, including malware and ransomware, social engineering attacks – where cyber crime is made possible by someone gathering data deceitfully in person, by phone or email – denial of service attacks and data leakage.

It follows the successful ‘Little Book of Big Scams’, now in its third edition, and can be viewed and downloaded via theThames Valley Police website.

While some of the information is targeted at businesses, the advice is relevant to all and we hope you find it useful. 

Warning - pre-recorded prank calls

There has been a recent rise of prank calls within Thames Valley. 
 The calls are pre-recorded generated responses giving the impression that recipients are actually speaking directly to someone.
 The calls are not all the same. However one of the main scenarios has been described as an angry Scottish man claiming you are stealing his Wi-Fi. 
 Sometimes there is a mobile phone number showing and other times the number is withheld. 
 It appears that these calls are predominantly targeting elderly and young people and can cause alarm and distress to the call taker.  

We urge people to take the following advice: 
 

  • Anyone with particular concerns can contact us on our Police non-emergency number 101. Otherwise ignore the call.
  • You can contact your local phone provider who may be able to put a block on these types of calls.
  • If you are getting calls at night you could put your phone on night mode or switch it off. 

Reminder: Payment Diversion Alert

Fraudsters are emailing members of the public who are expecting to make a payment for property repairs. The fraudsters will purport to be a tradesman who has recently completed work at the property and use a similar email address to that of the genuine tradesman. They will ask for funds to be transferred via bank transfer. Once payment is made the victims of the scam soon realise they have been deceived when the genuine tradesman requests payment for their services.

Protect yourself

  • Always check the email address is exactly the same as previous correspondence with the genuine contact.
  • For any request of payment via email verify the validity of the request with a phone call to the person who carried out the work.
  • Check the email for spelling and grammar as these signs can indicate that the email is not genuine.
  • Payments via bank transfer offer no financial protection; consider using alternative methods such as a credit card or PayPal which offer protection and an avenue for recompense.

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

Be Aware of Emails Claiming "Buyer Protection"

Online shopping websites are being utilised by fraudsters to advertise vehicles for sale which do not exist. After agreeing to purchase the vehicle via email with the fraudsters, buyers then receive emails purporting to be from Amazon Payments and/or Amazon Flexible Payment Service stating that their money will be held in an ‘escrow account’ (a bank account held by a third party, used as a temporary holding account during a transaction between two parties- for a 7 day ‘cooling off’ period). Once happy with the purchase the email indicates the money will be released to the seller, therefore offering ‘buyer protection’. In reality these emails are fraudulent and do not come from Amazon. The bank accounts are controlled by fraudsters.
Protect yourself

Remember that Amazon does not provide an escrow account to purchase items.
Meet the seller ‘face to face’ and view the vehicle before parting with any money.
Be vigilant of emails that purport to be from genuine companies and check the ‘domain’ name of the email address for any inconsistencies.
Check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller.
If the vehicle is below market value consider whether this is an opportunity too good to be true!
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.

HMRC Tax Rebate Scam

Fraudsters are texting members of the public offering a tax rebate. The text message contains a link to a website and requests to provide personal information, such as bank account information, to claim the nonexistent rebate.

Protect Yourself

Don’t click on web links contained in unsolicited texts or emails.
Never provide your personal information to a third party from an unsolicited communication.
Obtain the genuine number of the organisation being represented and verify the legitimacy of the communication.
HMRC will never use texts or emails or tell you about a potential rebate or ask for personal information.
If you have provided personal information and you are concerned that your identity may be compromised consider Cifas Protection Registration.

River levels webcam

Church Services

Sunday 21 October

11.15am Harvest Festival – sung Matins (BCP)

 

Sunday 28 October

11.15am sung Holy Communion (BCP)

 

November

Sunday 4 November

11.15am sung Holy Communion with hymns (BCP)

 

Sunday 11 November

10.55am Act of Remembrance in church followed by sung matins (BCP)

 

Sunday 18 November

11.15am sung matins (BCP)

 

Sunday 25 November

11.15am sung Holy Communion with hymns (BCP)

 

December

Sunday 2 December

11.15am sung matins (BCP)

 

Sunday 9 December – patronal festival

11.15am sung Holy Communion with hymns (BCP) - followed by drinks in church

 

Sunday 16 December

11.15am sung Holy Communion with hymns (BCP)

4.00pm candlelit carol service followed by mince pieces and mulled wine in the Parish Hall

 

Sunday 23 December

11.15am said matins

 

Christmas Eve - Monday 24 December

9.00pm candlelit sung Holy Communion with carols (BCP)

 

Christmas Day - Tuesday 25 December

11.15am Children’s service with Holy Communion and carols ( 45 minutes)

 

Sunday 30 December

11.15am said Holy Communion BCP

 

Website Statistics

September 2018

988 unique visitors

3,841 pages viewed

 

Total for 2017

11,363 unique visitors 

35,942 pages viewed

 

Total for 2016 

10,546 unique visitors

30,430 pages viewed

Remenham Footpath Maps

Remenham Footpath Maps.pdf
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