Image of Temple Island
Image of Temple Island
Remenham Parish
Remenham Parish

Thames Valley Police Alerts

Death Of Pc Andrew Harper

We've been moved and would like to thank everyone for the condolence messages we have received since the tragic death of PC Andrew Harper.

We will at the right time be passing these to his family.

If you would like to send a message, please email PCAndrewHarperCondolences@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk and for this, please do not use 101 or our online reporting forms. 

Fraudsters Targeting Social Media Influencers

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received intelligence to suggest that fraudsters are contacting social media influencers, based in the UK and abroad, offering them the opportunity to market a bogus product, service or investment opportunity.

Fraudsters will present professional and credible pitches to the social media influencers and try to convince them to feature the opportunity for a fee on their social media profiles in order to entice unsuspecting followers of the influencer to sign up or make a purchase.

Additionally, fraudsters are using the names of well-known public figures, implying that their opportunity or product is endorsed by the figure when it is not.

The public should be aware that any apparent endorsement by celebrities, influencers or personalities does not necessarily mean that an investment, product or service is genuine. The public is urged to exercise a cautious approach to any such offer of investment, product or service with the same caution they would at any other time.

What You Need To Do

  • If you are purchasing goods from a company you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, or ask friends or family for advice before completing a purchase.
  • Professional-looking websites, adverts or social media posts do not guarantee that an investment opportunity or product is genuine. Criminals can exploit the names of well-known brands or individuals to make them appear legitimate.
  • Avoid paying for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person or company. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud. Instead, use your credit card or payment services such as PayPal as they offer you greater protection if you become a victim of fraud.

Important Changes To Medical Information - Updated

UPDATED - FAQ’S ON THE NEW MEDICAL PROCESS

Further to the original Text Alert sent on 21/06/2019, which was in relation to the introduction of a pre application medical screening which will come into effect on 01 August 2019. Please use the following link to view the updated FAQ’s.

FAQ's - Updated

If you have any questions relating to this Alert, please contact the firearms licensing department directly on the following email address firearmslicensing@thamesvalley.pnn.police.ukUPDATED - FAQ’S ON THE NEW MEDICAL PROCESS

Further to the original Text Alert sent on 21/06/2019, which was in relation to the introduction of a pre application medical screening which will come into effect on 01 August 2019. Please use the following link to view the updated FAQ’s.

FAQ's - Updated

If you have any questions relating to this Alert, please contact the firearms licensing department directly on the following email address firearmslicensing@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
 

Twyford Neighbourhood Policing Team update

NHPT Update - August 2019.docx
Microsoft Word document [18.7 KB]

Drivers Targeted With Fake Fines

Action Fraud have received an increase in reports and intelligence where elderly victims are being targeted by individuals purporting to be police officers or traffic wardens. The victims are being approached whilst parked in a car park and are told by the suspect that they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and a photo has been taken of their car for ‘evidence’.

Victims are advised that they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee immediately. Victims, who opt for paying the smaller penalty, will be directed to a parking meter and asked to enter their card and PIN. These parking meters have been tampered with by the suspect in order to retain the card.

Once the victim inserts their card and are asked for their PIN, the victims are shoulder surfed for their PIN by the suspect. Once victims input their PIN, the card is retained by the machine and victims are told by the suspect to seek help from the company who operates the parking meter or their bank.

What you need to do

  • If you are suspicious about the authenticity of the fine, do not pay it until you have verified it with your local council.
  • Always shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine, andnever share your PIN with anyone.
  • If your bank card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bankimmediately to inform them.

Prevent Your Home From Becoming Hot Property This Summer

The summer is a time when Thames Valley Police, and other forces around the country, experience an increase in residential burglary. This is due to opportunist thieves taking advantage of doors and windows being left open in hot weather, and properties not being left secure while residents are away on holiday.

It only takes seconds to steal valuables that are within easy reach. Window opening restrictors can be fitted to ground floor windows to allow ventilation while preventing burglars from being able to climb through. If going out, even just in the garden, you should always close and lock your windows and doors.

The consequences of being burgled reach far beyond the cost and inconvenience of replacing stolen items. It is also the emotional impact of having your summer holiday ruined, and the feeling of being violated, after an uninvited stranger has been in your home.

If leaving your car at home when you go on holiday, remember to remove any valuables and check the windows are closed and doors are locked. If your vehicle is stolen you could lose your motor insurance excess and no claims bonus. You will still be responsible for any vehicle finance owed and likely to pay higher insurance premiums in the future.

Avoid checking-in on social networks at the airport and wait to post your holiday photos until you get home. Some home insurance policies become invalidated if you post that you are away from home.

Holiday Checklist:

  • Lock all windows and doors.
  • Check side gates, sheds and garages are locked and tools and ladders are not accessible for burglars to break into your home.
  • Store all keys out of sight and away from your letterbox.
  • Use a RFID pouch to store fobs for keyless entry vehicles.
  • Make your home look occupied by using a timer switch to turn on lights at night.
  • Ask a trusted friend to look after your home while you are away.
  • Invite a neighbour to park their vehicle on your drive while you are away.
  • Don’t post details of your holiday on social media until you return home.

For more burglary prevention advice, download your free Home Security Guide from the Thames Valley Police website here: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/thames-valley/advice/home-security-guide.pdf

By working together we can build community resilience to deter burglars from targeting homes in the area. 

Appeal For Witnesses Following Asian Gold Burglaries In Wokingham

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following five recent burglaries where Asian gold has been stolen in the Winnersh and Woodley areas. 

The incidents, which are believed to be linked, all took place between Wednesday 12 June and Tuesday (25/6).

You can read further details on the news page of the Thames Valley Police website here: https://news.thamesvalley.police.uk/news/appeal-for-witnesses-following-asian-gold-burglaries-wokingham-374371

If you have any information that could assist our investigation, please report the details on the Thames Valley Police website quoting reference 43190191021. Alternatively, you can call the non-emergency telephone number, 101, or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Crime Prevention Advice:
Residents can take steps to protect their property as follows:

  • Store all high value jewellery in a hidden safe.
  • You should be discrete when wearing expensive jewellery out in public.
  • Be cautious about showing any valuable items in pictures on social media.
  • Ensure that your jewellery is adequately insured.
  • Photograph each piece of jewellery being worn to prove that it belongs to you.

For more advice on protecting your home and belongings, please visit the Thames Valley Police website here: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/residential-burglary/

Burglaries

In Reading Road, Woodley on Sunday 9th June 2019 between 13:00 and 13:30 unknown offenders entered an address whilst the owner was distracted by someone possibly looking to do outside maintenance work. If you saw or heard anything suspicious in the Reading Road area, please contact the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number 101 or report this online at https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report/ quoting reference number 43190173349.

In The Village, Finchampstead on Tuesday 11th June between 12:00 and 13:00, the owner came home to discover the property had been burgled. If you saw or heard anything suspicious in the area, please contact the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number 101 or report this online at https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report/ quoting reference number 43190176248.

In Sonning Meadows, Woodley on Wednesday 12th June between 07:25 and 17:30 a window and door to the rear of the property was smashed. If you saw or heard anything suspicious in the area, please contact the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number 101 or report this online at https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report/ quoting reference number 43190177259.

If you don’t want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online atwww.crimestoppers-uk.org

For crime prevention tips and information, please visit our websitewww.thamesvalley.police.uk and download our free Home Security Guide. 

Please encourage your friends, family and neighbours to receive these type of messages by registering at www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk

Courier Fraud Alert

Courier Fraud, Bogus Police and Bank Officials Alert
What you need to know

Individuals have been receiving phone calls from people claiming to be a police officer or banking official

The suspect will say either: 

  • There has been fraudulent activity at the victim’s bank and the staff at the bank are involved, the victim is then asked to withdraw money to either keep it safe or assist the police with their investigation
  • A business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is fraudulent and they require the victim's assistance to help secure evidence by purchasing jewellery or exchange a large amount of currency to hand over to the police
  • The victim's card has been compromised and used to purchase goods by a suspect, the victim is requested to withdraw their money to keep it safe or hand over their bank card to the police
  • Occasionally the victim will be told to dial a non-emergency extension of ‘161’ to receive confirmation of the individual’s bogus identity, the bogus official will advise the victim to lie about the reason for the withdrawal or purchase if challenged by staff, as the staff member is involved in the fraud
  • A courier attends the victim’s home address to collect the goods the same day, often the victim is given a code word for the courier as a way of authentication


What you need to do

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
  • Ask you to transfer money out of your account
  • Send someone to your home to collect cash, PINs, cards to cheque books

The Firearms Amendment Rules 2019

With effect from 10 June 2019 Registered Firearms Dealer (RFDs) applicants will be required to complete a medical declaration and to provide details of their ‘servants’ at each place of business so that relevant background checks can be completed by the police.  Existing RFDs will also be required to provide details of their ‘servants’ when notifying the police of a new place of business.  

RFD applicants who have completed medical declarations as part of their personal firearm or shotgun certificate application will not be required to undergo medical checks a second time unless their medical circumstances have changed since the firearm or shotgun certificate was granted.  In these circumstances, the applicant will only be required to provide details about the certificate. 

The changes to the Firearms Rules come into effect on 10 June – Revised RFD application forms will be available on our website on and after this date.

New Service Satisfaction Survey Launched

Thames Valley Police (TVP) is launching a new service satisfaction survey which will ask the public to give feedback on their experiences when in contact with the force. 
From the 1 May 2019 TVP will be sending text messages to around 10,000 people a month who have contacted us to either report an incident or crime.
They will be asked to provide feedback on the response they received from the force.
The new text based survey is an expansion of the more in-depth telephone survey for which there currently is an overall satisfaction rate of 78.1 per cent.
The feedback is being gathered from the public in order to better understand the effectiveness of our response and how the force can improve the service provided.
People who have contacted Thames Valley Police, may be sent a text message to their mobile phone asking them to fill in a short text survey of just two questions.
We are aware that there are sensitivities around certain crimes and incidents for example in cases of domestic abuse. Due to these sensitivities texts will not be sent to victims involved in these cases. 
Thames Valley Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Jason Hogg, said: “Last year the force received more than 1.2 million calls for service.
“When people contact us we want to provide a caring, effective, and swift response and when things are at their most difficult for those we serve, we will strive to be at our very best.
“In light of this we are launching a new survey in order to understand the areas we need to improve upon and the public response will be hugely valuable to shape the service we provide.
“The survey is entirely voluntary but we would ask the public to take part if they receive a text from us as it will help us to ensure Thames Valley Police provides the service that you want from us.”
Important Information to note

  • Texts are at your providers standard rate
  • We want the public to have confidence that the text received is genuine. The number that we will send the text from will be 07860020479
  • People may opt out of the survey or withdraw consent for us to use your response for more information on this is on our website which also contains our privacy notice.  

Please Secure Your Vehicle

To help prevent thefts and to ensure that your car is not an appealing target for a thief, we are asking you to be extra vigilant and consider your vehicle security.
 
Leave thieves keyless and clueless 
Vehicles today are by and large more difficult to steal than ever, unless the thief can access your key or fob to clone them. Best to keep your keys safe, out of view when at home and away from your front door. It’s not uncommon for car keys to be stolen from inside your home by thieves fishing for them with a stick and hook through the letterbox. When not in use, keep your electronic car key in a security pouch to prevent it being scanned by thieves to open and steal your car nearby.

Always lock it
Electronic devices can be used to jam the electronic signal from your key fob to lock your vehicle. Always manually check your vehicle has locked before walking away. If unsure, lock it manually, then scan the immediate area for anyone hanging around. If a potential thief who’s watching feels they’ve been spotted, they’ll probably move off.
 
Take it with you
Your mobile phone, coins for the car park, sunglasses, packs of medication or other items that can earn quick cash are irresistible to the opportunist thief. Remember, the cost of replacing a window is often much more than that of what’s stolen. And it should go without saying that wallets, handbags, purses and credit cards should never be left in an unattended vehicle. A thief wouldn’t know the bag left on the back seat only contains a gym kit for example. Remove sat navs from your car, including the cradle and wipe the suction mark from the window. A thief will expect to find it hidden in the glove compartment or under the seat. Be mindful of who is watching you if you put valuable items in your boot when leaving your vehicle. 
 
Secure outside items 
Anything left on roof-racks, tailgate racks, holiday top boxes or in tool chests are easily stolen when the vehicle is parked. The use of cable locks, padlocks and self-locking tools chests, which are secured to the vehicle, makes them more secure. Don’t leave things in them if you can avoid it. 
 
Secure your documents
Having a vehicle’s registration and insurance documents could let a thief pretend to be the owner. This means they could sell it on quite easily, so never leave any documents in the vehicle.
 
Be vigilant
Look out for your neighbours when they are not home. If you see anything suspicious report it to the police and inform your neighbour.
 
For further information and advice visit www.thamesvalley.police.uk
Thank you for helping us to keep crime down.

Supermarket Car Park Handbag Theft Scam

Residents across the Bracknell and Wokingham districts are being warned to be vigilant so as not to fall victim to distraction thieves who have recently been active in supermarket car parks.
The  offenders working as a pair target females with handbags who pay for their shopping using a Chip & PIN bank or credit card at which point the thieves, who will have followed their victim to the tills, will take note of the PIN as the victim is entering it into the card reader.
The offenders then follow their victim out in to the car park where they will wait until the victim has loaded all her shopping and her handbag into the car before one of them will then approach the victim claiming to have seen someone bash her car with a trolley whilst she was in the store.
Whilst the victim is  distracted by this conversation a second thief opens a car door or the boot and steals the handbag. 
In incidents reported so far the victims have been unaware of the theft until they have got home, by which time the offenders have used the bank cards in ATMs to withdraw the maximum amount of cash.
The offender who has distracted victims in the Bracknell area is described as been a white adult male, (mid 30s) speaking English but with an eastern European accent; 5’9” – 6’ tall; slim; clean shaven with neat short cut dark hair and dressed in dark casual clothing and enquiries have confirmed he has been working with a second male. 
This scam is not just limited to Bracknell and there are others committing the same scam. In the past week a male and female couple were convicted and imprisoned for 2 years by High Wycombe Magistrates for committing the same style thefts across the Thames Valley region. 
If you have witnessed such incidents or have any information that will assist investigations please contact Thames Valley Police on 101.
 
To prevent yourself been targeted by these distraction thieves and to prevent unauthorised access to your account with your bank / credit cards,

  • Firstly ensure you prevent others from seeing your PIN whenever you use your bank / credit cards by shielding the key pad.
  • Never keep any written record of your PIN in your purse, wallet or handbag.
  • Consider carrying your purse and bank cards in a pocket rather than in a handbag.
  • On returning to your car check who is around, check your car bodywork and tyres as you approach and have a look around it. If you know there is no damage you will not be drawn into this scam.

Think handbag security, put it in the car or boot first don’t leave it lying on top of the shopping in view and easy to snatch.

Please feel free to share this warning and advice with family and friends.

Theft Of Tools From Vans

We have seen a rise in the theft of tools from vans across the Wokingham and Bracknell area. Criminals are targeting vans parked in areas such as hotels, supermarkets and retail outlet car parks.
 
Don’t let your van be a target, follow these simple steps to help protect your tools:
 

  1. Mark your tools
  2. Register your tools
  3. Secure your vehicle
  4. Install a dashcam or CCTV
  5. Park against a wall
  6. Use extra locks or security cages
  7. Empty your van, remove all valuables and tools

 
If you believe there is a crime in progress, please call 999; otherwise please report your concerns on our website www.thamesvalley.police.uk or by calling 101.   

If you have information about crime or anti-social behaviour in your area but you do not want to speak to the police, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Preventing Vehicle Crime

Is your vehicle attracting thieves?
Don’t let thieves get an easy ride. Here are a couple of rules to help protect your car:

1. Love it? Then lock it
Locking your vehicle, even when filling up or parked on your drive, greatly reduces the possibility of it being targeted by an opportunist thief. Even if you have locked your vehicle, check you haven’t left any windows or the sunroof open.
It is actually illegal to leave your vehicle running unattended while you de-ice it or warm it up in cold weather. If someone takes it while it’s left like this, your insurer won’t pay out because you won’t be covered.

2. Leave thieves keyless and clueless
Vehicles today are by and large more difficult to steal than ever, unless the thief can access your key or fob to clone them. Best to keep your keys safe, out of view when at home, and away from your front door. It’s not uncommon for car keys to be stolen from inside your home by thieves fishing for them with a stick and hook through the letterbox.
When not in use, keep your electronic car key in a security pouch to prevent it being scanned by thieves to open and steal your car nearby.
 
You can find further information and vehicle crime prevention advice on the Thames Valley Police website:-
https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/

Tree Surgeon Cold Caller

We have received two reported incidents in the Woodley area of a cold caller claiming to be a tree surgeon. In one incident, the man claimed to be from the council and in the other from Neighbourhood Watch, but this has not been the case.

Remember, any legitimate tradesman calling at your door should not make you feel uneasy. If you feel threatened in any way please call 999.

Please protect yourself from Doorstop Crime and Rogue Traders:
• If you are not sure then please don’t open the door.
• Use a door chain to check who is calling and ask for ID.
• Ask a trusted friend or family member for advice on reputable traders.
• Always report any suspicious activity. You can report it online at www.thamesvalley.police.uk or call 101.

HM Revenue And Customs Alert

What you need to know
Action Fraud has experienced an increase in the reporting of malicious calls, voicemails, text messages or emails to members of the public purporting to be from HMRC.

The fraudsters state that as a result of their non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings such as repossession of belongings to settle the balance but can avoid this by arranging for payment to be made immediately by method such as bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards.

If the victim is hesitant or refuses to comply, the suspect makes a threat such as immediate arrest, bailiffs or in cases where the victim appears to be of overseas origin; deportation.

Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due is distant enough to guarantee the victim will have little, if any, paperwork or ability to verify the claims. Once the money is paid the suspects sever all contact.

It is vital that the public exercise caution when receiving messages or telephone calls of this nature.

What you need to do
Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn't mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.

Listen to your instincts. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. No genuine organisation will ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher.

Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.

Report Phishing attempts. If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, report this as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud.

Telephone Fraud

Over the past week, a number of fraud offences have been reported to us. Elderly victims are being contacted by a person claiming to be a Detective from the Metropolitan or Essex Constabularies. They are stating that money has been fraudulently taken out of their account and to protect the remaining funds, they must withdraw large sums of money which will be collected by a courier and kept in a safe place for them.

The line is left open and the victims are encouraged to either call 999 and ask for the detective or to call their bank to clarify that this is not a scam. Because the line is left open, a further fraudster pretends to be the Police Operator or the Bank.

Crime Prevention Advice
Scammers frequently emphasise the need for the victim’s discretion and tell them they cannot speak to friends or family due to it being part of an ongoing investigation, and tell them they cannot even speak to staff at their bank as they are not trustworthy and are being investigated. This is designed to isolate the victim.
To ensure you do not fall prey to this type of scam, BE REASSURED AND REMEMBER that in no circumstances would any bank, or the police ask you to take such actions. These types of request will only come from a fraudster.
Under no circumstances divulge your 4 digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) to anyone. 
Thames Valley Police is calling on friends and family to help tackle the problem by talking to elderly or vulnerable friends and relatives, assuring them that:

  • They should never deal with cold callers either on the phone or in person no matter how polite or friendly they seem. Saying “No thank you” and shutting the door or hanging up the phone is not rude.
  • Their bank, the police or anyone legitimate will never send a courier to their home to collect bank cards or cash and they will never ask for their PIN number.
  • Legitimate callers will never try to rush them, scare or force them into anything. If they feel scared or pressured at any point, hang up or shut the door and tell someone what’s happened.

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.
Please feel free to circulate this message and advice to friends on social media.
For more information visit the crime prevention section of the Thames Valley Police website:
https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/

Extortion Scam

Cyber criminals send victims their own passwords in extortion scam

Cyber criminals are attempting to blackmail unsuspecting victims by claiming to have used the victims' password to install spying malware on the victims' computer. The criminals claim they’ve recorded videos of the victim watching adult material by activating their webcam when they visit these websites. What makes this scam so convincing is that the email usually includes a genuine password the victim has used for one of their online accounts. We believe criminals obtain the passwords from data breaches.

What to do if you get one of these emails?

Don’t reply to the email, or be pressured into paying. The police advise that you do not pay criminals. Try flagging the email as spam/junk if you receive it multiple times. Perform a password reset as soon as possible on any accounts where you’ve used the password mentioned in the email. Always use a strong, separate password for important accounts, such as your email. Where available, enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Always install the latest software and app updates. Install, or enable, anti-virus software on your laptops and computers and keep it updated.

If you receive one of these emails, report it to Action Fraud’s phishing reporting tool. If you have received one of these emails and paid the ransom, report it to your local police force.

How To Keep The Cyber-Criminals Out

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Church Services

SERVICES IN AUGUST 2019

 

Sunday 25 August

11.15am Sung Holy Communion with hymns (BCP)

 

SERVICES IN SEPTEMBER 2019

 

Sunday 1 September

11.15am sung Matins (BCP)

 

Sunday 8 September

11.15am sung Holy Communion with hymns (BCP)

 

Sunday 15 September

11.15am sung Matins (BCP)

 

Sunday 29 September – Harvest Festival

11.15am sung Holy Communion with hymns (BCP)

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July 2019

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Total for 2018

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48,218 pages viewed

 

Total for 2017

11,363 unique visitors 

35,942 pages viewed

 

Total for 2016 

10,546 unique visitors

30,430 pages viewed

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