Remenham Parish
Remenham Parish

Thames Valley Police Alerts

What you need to know about phishing

Summer Burglary Advice

The Bracknell and Wokingham Neighbourhood Policing Teams would like to remind their residents that now
the weather is brightening up and the sun is shining people become complacent when it comes to their home security. The most common cases of opportunist summer burglary involve offenders that:
 

  • enter an insecure front door while residents are in the back garden
  • enter doors that are closed but unlocked at night while residents are asleep
  • reach through  windows to take valuable items
  • Please report any suspicious incidents, sightings or any information to The Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101.
  • For general crime prevention please visit : www.thamesvalley.police.uk
  • Encourage family, friends and neighbours to sign up to receive TV alert messages atwww.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk
  • Register your valuables at www.immobilise.co.uk

 

 A number of burglaries that take place in the spring and summer months, entry is gained through insecure windows and doors, especially at the rear of the property.
 

  • Ensure that windows and doors are closed and locked when you are out. Don’t leave small windows open believing them to be safe.
  • If you want to leave windows open while you sleep, fit window restrictors so they cannot be fully opened, or make sure they are not large enough to allow access to a burglar.
  • When out in your garden ensure that windows and doors to the front of the house are secure. It only takes a second for someone to get into your home and take things without you noticing.
  • Do not leave valuables on display in front of windows or in reach of open windows or doors.
  • Ensure that all barbecue and garden equipment and tools are securely locked up in a shed and out of sight. Tools can be used by the potential offender to break in to your home.
  • Consider fitting outside security lighting or a visible alarm to help deter burglars. Even using pea shingle or gravel on a driveway and spiky plants in garden beds can help.
  • Don’t leave any keys near entry points where they can be ‘fished’ or ‘hooked’ out through the window, letter box or cat flap.
  • Ensure any internal handle operated locks on UPVC doors are fully secured with a key.

Sheds :
Offenders see sheds as easy pickings because they are unprotected and lack basic security measures. The buildings often contain property that can be sold on or implements that can be used to force entry into the owner’s home.
 

  • Many sheds whilst being of good construction fall short on basic security.
  • It is easy to unscrew the ironmongery, steal contents and in some cases replace the screws to make it look as if the shed has not been tampered with.
  • By using tamper proof screws or coach bolts together with a good quality pad bar or hasp and staple and close shackled padlock, the shed owner will make it harder for the would-be thief.
  • It is also a good idea to bond any window glass in, with mastic to prevent easy removal.
  • Ensure all tools and equipment is locked away when not in use.
  • High-quality locks should be used on doors. Windows can be fitted with a grille or, as a cheaper alternative, chicken wire, to slow a thief down.
  • A shed alarm can also be installed.

Installing security lighting as a deterrent, and plants such as thorny shrubs to act as a barrier at potential access points.

  • If building a shed, putting it where it is most visible to you and neighbours.

Going on holiday:
 

  • Make your home look occupied.
  • If you're out or going away, ask a trusted neighbour to open and close your curtains for you.
  • Ask a neighbour if they don't mind parking their car on your driveway and trimming your garden to make your home look occupied.
  • Cut the front and back lawns before you go away and trim any plants that burglars could hide behind.
  • Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries.
  • Before your holiday, don’t advertise that you are going away on Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • Leave important documents and valuable personal items with other family members or a bank.

Double-check that you've locked all outside windows and doors. Set your burglar alarm

FIFA 2018 World Cup Alert

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place from 14th June – 15th July 2018. The worldwide demand for match tickets, flight tickets, and somewhere to stay throughout the competition is expected to be significant. Those planning to travel should exercise caution when considering the purchase of tickets or accommodation because the event is highly likely to be targeted by fraudsters looking to take advantage of unsuspecting fans.

Fraudsters will likely be posing as;

- Official World Cup ticket vendors or private individuals attempting to sell on a match ticket via online marketplace.

- A fraudulent website or operator offering non-existent flights or other transport to host cities.

- An accommodation booking service, hotel or operator, offering seemingly convenient accommodation in one of the host cities for the duration of the game.

- Lottery or competition organisers claiming that you’ve won a prize or cash related to the tournament.

 

Action Fraud received over six hundred reports and intelligence submissions in relation to the previous World Cup so it’s vital that football fans exercise caution when considering a purchase or making a transaction.

Protect yourself: 
 

  • Listen to your instincts: If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Fraudsters will use the promise of steep discounts to lure you into handing over your money or revealing personal/financial details.
  • Clicking on links/files: Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details, and never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
  • Visit the Action Fraud website and take a look at their Ticket Fraud, Holiday Fraud and Lottery Fraud advice pages before making any decisions or bookings.
  • For useful advice and information on the World Cup please visit the Government Guidance Pages: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/be-on-the-ball-world-cup-2018

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

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.

CCTV images released after armed robbery in Sonning Common

Thames Valley Police is issuing CCTV images following an armed robbery that occurred at approximately 10pm on Sunday (8/4) at the Co-Operative store in Wood Lane, Sonning Common.

To view the CCTV images and for more information please visit our website or click the following link: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/news/witness-appeals/cctv-images-released-after-armed-robbery-sonning-common/
 

Detectives are working to locate those responsible and would like to remind the public to remain vigilant. If you see anything that looks unusual or suspicious, please report it to us on 101. In an emergency always call 999.

Twyford Neighbourhood Policing Team Update

Spring has arrived and the days are getting lighter and longer so we thought it useful to pass on some crime prevention advice about securing your windows and doors.

 

French Doors:

If you have French doors or a conservatory that has double doors, you can buy a 'Patlock' which locks the two door handles in position. It provides a visual deterrent to any would be intruders and instant peace of mind for home owners. The lock works by holding the internal door handles secure so that the external handles cannot be operated. This ensures that the door mechanism remains in the locked position, even if the locks are snapped or removed.

These can be purchased from a variety of online retailers.

Remember to shut and lock all doors and windows even when you are in the garden.

 

Posting personal information on media sites:

You can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime by considering the personal information you share online and through social media:

  1. Never include details of your home address
  2. Wait until you get home from your holiday before posting details about your holiday destination and any pictures
  3. Do not disclose any financial information
  4. Be wary of posting photos showing you with new purchases of high value items such as jewellery or watches
  5. Be selective with friend requests and only accept requests from people you know
  6. Click links with caution as social media accounts can be hacked

For more information about online security please visit the Thames Valley Police Website: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/protecting-yourself-and-others-cyber-crime-and-online-safety/

 

To receive free information updates about your area from Thames Valley Police you can register for Thames Valley Alert at: https://www.thamesvalleyalert.co.uk/

 

Contact us

You can contact us via the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number on 101. In an emergency, where a crime is progress or there is an immediate threat to life, always call us on 999. E-mail – You can contact your local neighbourhood team via TwyfordNHPT@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk – please note this email address cannot be used to report crimes or for any urgent matters. Twitter - Follow us on Twitter via @TVP_Wokingham

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.

 COMMUNITY CONFERENCE on Burglaries & Fraud

This conference has been organised, following community concern due to the spike in Burglaries and Fraud offences within the Wokingham Local Police Area.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I appreciate your support and would like as many members of the public to attend, as possible.  This will be a really good evening and very informative.

 

Tuesday 10 April 2018 – Crescent Centre, Lower Earley

 

18:30 – 1900             Registration and Refreshments

 

                                    Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue

                                    Trading Standards

                                    Wokingham Borough Council – Wardens

                                    Thames Valley Police

                                    Community Forum/Neighbourhood Action Group

                                    Meet your local Councillor’s  (Councillor’s, please come along and support the conference.

I have organised a large table and chairs at the venue)

 

                                    (STANDS OFFERING SUPPORT AND ADVICE)

 

19:00 - 19:10            Welcome and Introduction – Inspector Al Lloyd

                                    (Wokingham Local Police Area Neighbourhood Inspector)

 

19:10 – 19:50            Fraud.  Identity Theft, Telephone and Postal Scams

                                    Detective Inspector Gavin Tyrrell – Head of Fraud.  City of London Police

 

19:50 – 20:15            Trading Standards.  Rogue Traders.

                                    Caroline Stevenson – Trading Standards Officer

 

20:15 – 20:35            Local Burglary Squad – DC Mark Boyd

 

20:35 – 20:45            Introduction to the Community Forum/Neighbourhood Action Group

                                    Jim Willis - Chair Earley Neighbourhood Action Group

                                   20:45 – 2100             Q and A with our Panel. 

 

Saturday 12 May 2018 – Oakwood Centre, Woodley

 

10:30 – 11:00            Registration and Refreshments

 

                                    Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue

                                    Trading Standards

                                    Wokingham Borough Council – Wardens

                                    Thames Valley Police

                                    Community Forum/Neighbourhood Action Group

                                    Meet your local Councillor’s (Councillor’s, please come along and support the conference.  I have organised a large table and chairs at the venue)

 

                                    (STANDS OFFERING SUPPORT AND ADVICE)

 

11:00 - 11:10            Welcome and Introduction – Sergeant Matthew Foskett

                                    (Neighbourhood Sergeant)

 

11:10 – 11:50            Fraud.  Identity Theft, Telephone and Postal Scams

                                    Inspector Gavin Tyrrell – Head of Fraud.  City of London Police

 

11:50 – 12:15            Trading Standards.  Rogue Traders.

                                     Caroline Stevenson – Trading Standards Officer

 

12:15 – 12:35            Local Burglary Squad – DC Mark Boyd

 

12:35 – 12:45            Introduction to the Community Forum/Neighbourhood Action Group

                                    Jackie Rance – Deputy Chair Earley Neighbourhood Action Group

                                    Mary Bather – Chair Woodley and North Earley Community Forum

 

12:45 – 13:00            Q and A with our Panel. 

 

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How you can help keep children safe online

For the past couple of weeks, we have been raising awareness of online child abuse as part of our Hidden Harm campaign.

The internet is a huge part of most of our lives, especially for the younger generation, and while it brings a great deal of positive opportunities unfortunately it can be misused by some people.

It’s therefore really important that we all understand the risks associated with being online and take some simple steps to help keep children safe:

 

  • Understand the types of social media available to children and young people including age restrictions - take a look at Net Aware, developed by the NSPCC and O2, which can help you explore the sites, apps and games that they use most.
  • Know what your child is doing online and talk to them about it - no matter how old they are it’s important to have regular conversations about the types of sites they’re accessing, what the dangers are and how they can stay safe. The NSPCC’s Share Aware pages gives some good advice on how to start these conversations.
  • Set up and manage parental controls on all your family’s devices - watch our videos on how you can quickly and easily do this on a PS4 and Xbox One. You can also call the free NSPCC and O2 Helpline on 0808 800 5002 to chat to an expert advisor.
 
  • Reassure your children that they can talk to you about anything that is worrying them - we can all do our best to keep children safe online but sometimes things can go wrong, so it’s important that they know where to go should this happen. Encourage them to talk to you or alternatively contact Childline on 0800 1111 for free confidential advice and support.

For more information about the signs of online child abuse and the force’s Hidden Harm campaign please visit our website - www.thamesvalley.police.uk/hiddenharm.

Appeal for information relating to theft of tools from vehicles

This message is to make you aware that there has been a rise in Thefts from Motor Vehicles in the Bracknell and Wokingham area and to ask for any information.

Thieves have been targeting unattended vans and work vehicles which have been full of power tools and equipment.

Officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have noticed a black Audi/Skoda or a silver Ford Galaxy acting suspiciously in the area.

If you have any information relating to this case, please call our 24 hour call centre on 101.

If you don’t want to speak directly to police you can contact the independent charity “Crimestoppers” anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are asked for or recorded so you will not attend court


Crime prevention advice for van drivers 

  1. Park your vehicle in a secure area (in a garage or behind locked gates, if possible).
  2. If you can’t, park in a well-lit street in easy view of your own or neighbours’ houses.
  3. Where possible, remove valuable items from the vehicle overnight and store them in a secure place.
  4. Do not leave tools or equipment on view inside the vehicle.
  5. Consider fitting an appropriate alarm system, protecting the cabin and load areas.
  6. Apply a security marking product to power tools and equipment (further details available on request). Alternatively, etch or emboss identifiable marks to these items.
  7. Consider installing secure storage containers or lockers in the van to store tools in.
  8. Ensure that the van doors are securely lockable and consider having suitable deadlocks installed.
  9. Make sure to physically check that the van doors and windows are locked if you have used the remote to lock the vehicle, even if the feedback indicates the van as locked.
  10. When visiting businesses, try to park close to the entrance and preferably in the view of CCTV
  11. Log your property for free at www.immobilise.com

 

Thames Valley Police would advise you to remove any tools or valuables from your vehicles at night or when not in use.

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: 

Help us tackle online child abuse

“You don’t have to do anything anyone online tells you – whether you know them or not”.

 

This powerful message from a victim of online child abuse is at the heart of the second phase of our Hidden Harm campaign, which we’re running in partnership with the NSPCC.

 

Over the next three weeks we will be raising awareness of online child abuse, particularly around online grooming and sexual exploitation.

 

To mark the launch of this phase of the campaign, we’re sharing the true story of 12-year-old Ellie who built up a friendship via social media with someone claiming to be a 15-year-old boy.

 

The person she was speaking to was in fact a man in his forties who ended up sexually assaulting her numerous times. Watch Ellie’s story on our website.

 

Detective Superintendent Nick John, Head of Thames Valley Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People Unit, said: “Ellie’s story is a powerful example of how something as simple as accepting a friend request from a person you don’t know online can escalate into something with serious consequences.

 

“The internet is a huge part of most of our lives, especially for the younger generation and, while it brings a great deal of positive opportunities, unfortunately it can be misused by some people.

 

“This campaign isn’t about scaring people or telling them not to let their children use the internet. It’s about making everyone aware of the potential risks associated with children being online, ensuring they can spot the signs that may indicate a child is being abused and educating everyone on ways we can all help to keep them safe.

 

“Keeping children safe from harm is everyone’s responsibility and we are very pleased to be partnering with the NSPCC for this element of the campaign.” 

 

Please follow the campaign via @ThamesVP on Twitter and the Thames Valley Police Facebook account using #HiddenHarm.

 

More information on the campaign, and the signs of online child abuse, can be found on our website – www.thamesvalley.police.uk/hiddenharm.

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.

Burglary Update

The number of burglaries around the area are continuing.  Predominantly the rear doors are being forced and thorough searches are being done in the houses including going into the loft, security lights are being ripped out and blinds and curtains are being opened presumably to keep a look out.  Jewellery and cash are the main items stolen.  These offences are occurring late afternoon to early evening (1600-2100) and although they are across Wokingham, a large proportion have been in Earley or Winnersh.

 

Patrols and police investigations are continuing 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.

New Bath Road Twyford

Country Watch message:
New Bath Road, Twyford 16-18th February – we have received two reports of ducks being taken and some injured with marbles fired from a catapult.  Bales of straw have also been stolen.  Other incidents involve a pig needing medical treatment after being shot with marbles and lead pellets. 
If you have any information which could assist the police with their enquiries please ring 101 quoting Ref: 43180049707
Thank you.

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.

Phantom Debt Fraud Alert - January 2018

Action Fraud has recently experienced an increase in the number of calls to members of the public by fraudsters requesting payments for a “phantom” debt. The fraud involves being cold-called by someone purporting to be a debt collector, bailiff or other type of enforcement agent. The fraudster may claim to be working under instruction of a court, business or other body and suggest they are recovering funds for a non-existent debt.

 

The fraudsters are requesting payment, sometimes by bank transfer and if refused, they threaten to visit homes or workplaces in order to recover the supposed debt that is owed. In some cases, the victim is also threatened with arrest. From the reports Action Fraud has received, this type of fraud is presently occurring throughout the UK. 
 

It is important to recognise that there are key differences between the various entities who seek to settle debts or outstanding fees in England and Wales. These differences range from the type of debt they will enforce to the legal powers they possess. To learn more, please take a look at some of the helpful information and links on the Step Change Debt Charity website; https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/debt-collection/bailiffs-and-debt-collectors-differences.aspx 
 
Protect Yourself
  • Make vigorous checks if you ever get a cold call. Bailiffs for example, should always be able to provide you with a case number and warrant number, along with their name and the court they are calling from; make a note of all details provided to you.
  • If you receive a visit from a bailiff, they must always identify themselves as a Court Bailiff at the earliest possible opportunity. Ask to see their identity card which they must carry to prove who they are, this card shows their photograph and identity number. They will also carry the physical warrant showing the debt and endorsed with a court seal.
  • If you work for a business and receive a call or visit, be sure to speak with your manager or business owner first. Never pay the debts yourself on behalf of the business you work for; some fraudsters have suggested employees make payment suggesting they can then be reimbursed by their employer when in reality the debt is non-existent.
  • Exercise caution believing someone is genuine because you’ve found something on the internet; fraudsters could easily create fake online profiles to make you believe them.
  • Double check with the court, company or public body they claim to work for to confirm whether the call is legitimate; if you use a landline make sure you hear the dialling tone prior to dialling as the caller could still be on the line and you could potentially speak to the fraudster(s) to confirm the non-existent debt. Also be sure to independently search for a telephone number to call; never use a number provided by the caller without carrying out your own research.
  • Do not feel rushed or intimidated to make a decision based on a phone call. Take five and listen to your instincts.
  • If you know you have a debt, keep in regular contact with your creditor and be sure to establish the debt type at the earliest opportunity if you are not aware. This will help you to understand who might be in contact with you regarding any repayments or arrears.
You can report suspicious calls like these to Action Fraud by visitingwww.actionfaud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Residents advised to secure jewellery following series of burglaries in Bracknell and Wokingham

Thames Valley Police has issued crime prevention advice following fifteen recent burglaries in the areas of Bracknell and Wokingham.

The incidents, which are believed to be linked, took place between 10 and 21 January and have resulted in various pieces of high value jewellery being stolen.

Incidents have occurred in Binfield, Bracknell, Finchampstead, Lower Earley, Sandhurst, Winnersh and Wokingham.

Investigating officer, Clare Hickman based at the Loddon Valley Investigation Hub, said: “Following our investigations into a number of recent burglaries, we are advising residents in the Bracknell and Wokingham areas to secure any valuable or sentimental jewellery that they may have at home.

“All high value jewellery should be secured in a hidden safe. You should be discrete when wearing expensive jewellery in public, and be cautious about showing any valuable items on social media.

“Make sure that your jewellery is properly insured, and photograph each piece being worn to prove that it belongs to you.”

More advice about protecting your home and belongings is available on the Thames Valley Police website: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/protecting-your-home-and-belongings/

Avian flu latest advice and guidance

Cases of bird flu have recently been confirmed in Dorset and Warwickshire, which has resulted in a national response led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

At this moment in time no cases have been reported in Hampshire or the Thames Valley region.

For the latest update, including the current situation and advice for bird owners, please visit the DEFRA website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-in-winter-2017-to-2018

Wild Birds
If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the DEFRA helpline 03459 33 55 77.

Police may then collect some of these birds and test them to help understand how the disease is distributed geographically and in the different types of bird. 

Burglaries in the local area

Reading Road (house number 460’s odd) Winnersh 11 Jan – attempted burglary, someone tried to break in by smashing the glass pane in the back door, may possibly have been disturbed by a neighbours dog barking which happened 1200-1300.  Ref: 80011138

 

Reading Road (house number 450’s odd) Winnersh 16 Jan 1500 – 2115  - house broken into by forcing the lock and every room searched, even the bath panel was removed.  Ref: 80016264

 

Birchmead Winnersh 11 Jan 18:30-20:38  - French doors at the back of the house forced open and house searched, bedrooms searched and Asian Gold jewellery stolen. Ref 80011285

 

Laurel Cottages Road Winnersh 14/15 Jan – overnight Sunday into Monday, someone has attempted to break into a house, there is damage around the from door and around the lock but they have been unable to break in.  Ref: 80015280

 

The Delph Earley 12 Jan 17:30-18:18 – burglary last Friday evening, conservatory window has been damaged and the lock on the door forced.  Upstairs searched and Asian gold and other jewellery stolen.  Ref: 80012324

 

Beech Lane Earley14 January 15:50  -  The lock on the door forced to break in, house searched and cash and jewellery stolen. Ref:  80013815

 

 

Roberts Grove Wokingham 12 January 18:50-18:57 - First floor window forced open to break in (this is a bedroom window that opens out onto the garage roof)  and then house searched, items of jewellery stolen.  The alarm was activated which alerted neighbours who contacted police.  One neighbour saw a man enter the house and then 3 men where seen running infront of the house.  They then jumped over the fence into Blagrove Close/Drive. Ref: 80012346

 

Barkham Road, Wokingham 15 Jan 0800-1930  - daytime burglary, rear doors found open, the house had been searched and the only item stolen was a watch left on the bedside table.Ref: 80014971

 

Affray in Barkham Road, Wokingham  Friday 12 January 1800-1830 – a fight took place between a group of 10-15 youths outside NISA local on Barkham Road in which one person, a 14 year old girl was assaulted.   Description of the offenders: 5 females - 4 between 13-18 years of age and one wearing a khaki green coat with a fur hood, one wearing a dark puffa coat, one wearing a wearing white coat, the other unknown. and one female between 30-40 years old also wearing a white coat.

 

If you have any information which could assist the police with their enquiries please ring 101 and ask to speak to PC Ben Taylor (PC 7892).

  

Kestral Way Wokingham 16 Jan 21:00 – on Tuesday evening a house was broken into, the lock on the front door was forced and they searched everywhere including locked filing cabinets.  Items stolen included cash, jewellery and a watch.  They made off through the kitchen window and into the back garden jumping over fencing to get to the pathways. Ref: 80016248

 

Norris Green Woodley 14 Jan 12:00-15:00  -  on Sunday afternoon the door of a house was forced to break in, they then searched inside stealing Euros.  Ref: 80013725

 

Headley Road East Woodley 16 Jan 16:10 – during the afternoon on Tuesday 2 men were seen trying to break into a house. When they realised someone was in the house they ran out and one person saw men running from the house and getting into a grey Audi RS3 which was waiting in the doctors surgery car park Ref: 80015985

 

We need your help – there have been at least 10 burglaries whereby locks have been targeted by either snapping or smashing the lock case to remove the lock, mainly on rear doors and houses searched including going in the loft, removing bath panels and also ripping out security lights. These burglaries are happening late afternoon to early evening (1600-2100) and they have been across the area, Wokingham, Winnersh, Earley, Woodley.  There are a number of things we need your help with?

 

If you live near any of the above roads, would you check your CCTV and see if anything could help police with their enquiries.

 

We believe a grey Audi RS3 is being used, possibly with 3 men in it.  If you see a parked up grey Audi RS3 please ring the police – we would rather get telephone calls to check out where this car may be than continue with burglaries around the area – your help is vital to let us know when such a car could be in your road.

Ring the police on 101

 

How Residents can help the police: 
 

  • If you see or hear anything suspicious ring the police on 101.
  • If you see something happening to someone’s house and you think someone may still be there ring 999.

Appeal for information following two burglaries - Lower Earley

Thames Valley Police is appealing for information following two burglaries in Lower Earley on Wednesday 10 January. 

Between 15:30-19:00 a burglary occurred in Eriswell Close and between 18:10-19:10 in Skelmerday Way. 

Entry was gained at the rear of the house in both burglaries and cash and jewellery were taken.   


Investigating officer, DC Barry Johns is appealing for any information that could help with this investigation. 
If you have any information relating to these cases, please call 101 quoting reference 43180010061 (Eriswell) or 43180010027 (Skelmerday).

If you do not want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Get involved in policing in your community

We’re starting 2018 by asking more members of the public to get active and involved in policing matters affecting our communities in Thames Valley.

We want you to have your say about what matters most to you - working with us to identify priorities and solve local issues.

Anyone can contribute to local policing, regardless of age or background.

You don’t have to have a lot of time to spare or commit to travelling long distances – we’ve got a role to suit everyone. You can even get involved from the comfort of your own home.

Below are just a few ways you can get active in your community:

  • Community Forums: Open to all members of the public, Community Forums are held both online and in person at times to suit everyone. They let you have a say on what matters most to you, enabling us to work together to solve issues in your area. Watch our video for more information.
  • Independent Advisory Groups: Independently chaired by members of the community, IAGs meet four times a year and help shape the way we work and the service we deliver. IAG members represent their communities, sharing their views on policing issues affecting local people and challenging them when necessary.
  • Cadet Leaders: Our Cadet Leaders help inspire and support our young Police Cadets, developing their skills and confidence. They assist with weekly meetings as well as supporting activities and events in the local community. Cadet Leaders need to be over 18 and able to commit to one evening a week with some additional hours when required.
  • Fraud and Cyber Crime Prevention Volunteers: Work closely alongside officers and staff to help raise awareness and understanding of fraud and cyber related crime, arranging and attending events as well as offering advice and guidance to both members of the public and businesses.

You can apply for the above roles via the vacancies section of our website.

For more information about all the ways you can get involved visit our website or follow our #ActiveCommunities campaign on social media.

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.

Equipment and tool security

To help protect your property, here’s a link to a useful video explaining the importance of property marking - find out how to do it and why it’s so important: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPnDwgcxy-4&list=PL1wqkFUHxKq562GEmXkTqGxCSxoKhwIm0&index=3
 
Don't forget you can also help to protect valuable items by:
• Locking equipment away in a secure building or part of a building when not in use
• Investing in a secure storage toolbox
• Installing a burglar alarm on buildings where equipment is kept
• Always locking vehicles when left outside and keep the keys in your possession
• Keeping expensive items and vehicles out of sight when not in use
• Using hitch locks, wheel clamps or ground anchors
• Registering your tools and equipment for free with Immobilise at www.immobilise.com

More rural crime prevention advice is available on the Thames Valley Police website here: https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/advice/protecting-your-business/rural-crime/

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

Important notice from Thames Valley Police regarding explicit video circulating on social media

We are aware of an explicit video involving a child which has been distributed via social media. This is currently under investigation by Hampshire Constabulary.

If you have received this explicit video on Snapchat, Instagram or by any other means you must delete it immediately. If you show this video to someone else or forward it on to other people you could be committing a criminal offence, which the police may investigate and consider prosecution.

The people in the video have been identified and specialist police officers are supporting them to ensure their safety.

If you have any knowledge or relevant information related to who shared this video or how it was distributed, please contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101 as soon as possible.

Children who have been affected by this video are encouraged to speak to their parents, teachers or a trusted adult or can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111 for further support.

Further advice for both children and parents about how to stay safe online is available on the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) command website:https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/

Shopping Online Safely

Next phase of ProtectYourWorld campaign launched

Building on the success of last year's campaign, this week the force is launching the next phase of the #ProtectYourWorld campaign. This aims to raise awareness about cyber crime, as well as encouraging residents and businesses to take action to protect their online worlds and to make a report if they fall victim.

This includes a new video highlighting the various ways we are all at risk of becoming a victim  of cyber crime every day and giving helpful advice to avoid this happening.

Employment Fraud Alert

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified a number of reports where job seekers are being targeted by fraudsters trying to obtain personal and banking details from them, or requesting money to secure accommodation.

 

Individuals registering with job seeking websites or searching for jobs on The Student Room website are being contacted by bogus recruitment companies/businesses asking them to complete application and interview forms which request personal details and banking details, as well as copies of identity documents.

In some instances the applicant is invited along for interview, either in person or over the phone, to make the process look as legitimate as possible. This is impacting on students and graduates looking for work both in the UK and overseas. Some job seekers, as well as divulging personal details, have paid money to the fraudsters in order to secure a bogus rental property alongside the job offer.

 

How to protect yourself: 
 

  • Check emails and documents from the recruiter for poor spelling and grammar – this is often a sign that fraudsters are at work.
  • If visa fees are mentioned, ask the embassy representing the country where you believe you will be working how to obtain a visa and how much it costs. Check that the answers the potential employer or recruiter gave you are the same – if they’re not, it may be a sign of fraud.
  • Carry out thorough research to confirm that the organisation offering you the job actually exists. If it does exist, contact the organisation directly using contact details obtained through your own research or their website to confirm the job offer is genuine.

 

What to do if you’re a victim: 
 

  • If you think your bank 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.
  • Warn the operators of the job website you used that their site is being used by fraudsters.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.ukor by calling 0300 123 2040.

Vehicle Crime Prevention

Following a number of Theft from Motor Vehicle offences across the area, we would like to offer some vehicle crime prevention advice. 

Vehicle criminals are opportunists, and most vehicle-related crimes can be prevented by taking simple security measures. Always lock your car, wind up the windows and close the sunroof, even if you are only leaving it for a few minutes. You should also double check it is locked before leaving. It only takes a few seconds for your valuables to be stolen from an unlocked car. 

Never leave valuable possessions such as handbags, laptops, phones or sat navs on show inside a vehicle. This makes it much more likely to be targeted by thieves. Even items of little value, such as shopping bags and clothing, may tempt a potential thief to break into the vehicle to see whether they contain anything worth stealing. Keep your possessions out of view, or take them with you. 

For extra security:
Fit a car alarm
Use a steering wheel lock
Get an immobiliser, this stops the engine from starting if the car is being stolen
Always park your car in well-lit areas in full public view 
When stationary in traffic, keep your doors locked and windows up
Take your sat nav with you and wipe away any marks left by the suction pads 
Don't leave items in the glove compartment
If you have a garage, use it

Phishing - How to protect yourself

Modelling Jobs Advanced Fee Fraud Alert

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) and Action Fraud have recently noticed that Fraudsters have been setting up fake adverts on social media (including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) and job browsing websites to dupe people into believing they are recruiting for prospective models.

Once victims show interest in the job, the fraudsters contact potential victims on the false promise of a modelling career and subsequently advise the victims to come in for a test shoot.

The fraud can then potentially be carried out in two ways;

Firstly, the fraudsters can pressurise the victims in sending an upfront fee to book a slot for the test shoot. Once they have received the upfront fee, the victim will never hear from the fraudsters again.

The second possible method is that the fraudsters will take the advance fee that the victim sends for a photo shoot and arrange a photo shoot with the victim. After the photo shoot, the fraudsters will contact the victim after a few days and convince them that their shoot was successful and offer them a job as a model. The victim will then be asked to sign a contract and pay another upfront fee, usually to secure the modelling contract.

Fraudsters are also creating fake adverts for supposed modelling opportunities for children which do not exist. Fraudsters will inform parents or guardians that a potential career in modelling awaits their child. This tactic convinces the parent or guardian to sign up their child and send an advance fee.

The suspects will also convince the victim that in order to become a model, they will need to have a portfolio. The fraudsters will recommend a number of packages and stress that if a package is not paid for in advance, the process of becoming a model cannot continue.

Over a two year period (September 2015 – August 2017), an average of 28 reports of advance fee modelling frauds have been received per month by the NFIB. In August 2017, 49 Action Fraud reports of this fraud type were received and may continue to rise. The total loss in August 2017 alone was over £71,000.
 

Tips for staying safe:

  • Carry out your own research prior to paying any type of advance or upfront fee.
     
  • Be wary if you are asked to pay for a portfolio, as many legitimate agencies will cover that cost.
     
  • Don't give your bank account details or sensitive information to anyone without carrying out your own research on the relevant agency.
     
  • 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.

Do you have CCTV and Crimestoppers

Why we are asking who has CCTV?

The use of CCTV in private residential properties has seen a significant increase in recent years and cameras in and around the home have become a common site.

 

Sometimes images captured on your CCTV are helpful to crime investigations.

For example, if there has been a burglary in a road we would like to contact anyone with a CCTV within the vicinity and ask if they have any images. This can help to catch the offenders and make your community safer. If you do have CCTV we would like you to register this with Thames Alert so we can contact you if required.

 

What we need you to do:

People registered on our Thames Valley Alert system can ‘tick a box’ which lets us know you have CCTV – we already have your contact details.  You can do this 2 ways:

1.  Use the reply button on this email to tell us you have CCTV and we will do the rest (mark you as having CCTV)

or

2. Log in to your account

Go to Community interests

Go to Other Community Contact

Tick the box which is: CCTV Operators/Owners

Go to save community interests

 CCTV – helping us helping you
 

Crimestoppers Trust is an independent crime-fighting charitable organization in the United Kingdom.

It can be a big decision to give information about crime, Crimestoppers guarantee your anonymity.

Crimestoppers operates the 0800 555 111 telephone number, allowing people to call anonymously to pass on information about crime.  No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

 

By phone: 0800 555 111

Give information online: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online

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. 

Warning: if you received this e-mail…

If you receive an e-mail entitled ‘paedophile alert in your area’ or ‘sex offender map of your area’ from Neighbourhood Watch do not click on the link as it is fraudulent. 
 
If you receive the e-mail please report it to Action Fraud. 

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.

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Church Services

Sunday 27 May –

Trinity Sunday

11.15am sung Holy Communion (BCP)

 

Sunday 3 June

11.15am sung Matins (BCP)

 

Sunday 10 June

11.15am sung Holy Communion (BCP)

 

Sunday 17 June

11.15am sung Matins (BCP)

 

Sunday 24 June

11.15am sung Holy Communion (BCP)

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