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Ashton Neighbourhood Watch
a crime is in progress and you consider it to be an emergency: dial 999
For all non-emergency calls - dial 101
view or print a helpful leaflet giving advice on when
to call the police
Click here to visit the Pershore Rural South Local Policing Team web page.
Click here to find out details of crime and and convictions in our local area from the Police UK website
Important Neighbourhood Watch Advice
Fraudsters are targeting people by ‘cold calling’ them on the telephone
a message from West Mercia Police February 2015
This scam starts with the following simple activity:
1. They will state that they are from your Bank Fraud department, the Police or other Law Enforcement.
2. They will tell you that fraud is being carried out on your bank account and that to prevent it they need to carry out any of the below activities:-
- Need to access your bank accounts online.
- Need to hand over your pin numbers and bank cards to a courier/official sent to collect them.
- Need to hand over money to A courier/ official sent to collect them.
- Need to transfer your money to another “safe” bank account(s) which they provide details of.
3. In order to prove their own credentials they will often ask you to telephone the 'fraud' number you may have on the back of your bank card, or they may even ask you to telephone the Police to check that there is an official investigation, or telephone your own bank once the phone call to them is terminated.
Do not be fooled!
Do not telephone anyone at that stage as the phone line remains open and you are simply telephoning them back without realising. They will then continue with your assistance in stealing your money by any of the above methods.
- The bank or the police will never telephone you “out of the blue” to ask you to transfer money into another account or hand over any of your money or bank cards. It is your money!!
- The bank or the police will never ask for your personal bank account details, or pin numbers over the phone.
- If you really want to check the credentials of a caller then go into your bank and ask to speak to the bank manager or use another phone to call the bank or police.
- If you are still unsure then attend a police station.
- Never discuss your banking details with strangers who call you!
Beware Pension Fraudsters
a message from West Mercia Police February 2015
HMRC have advised that from April 2015, people over the age of 55 will be given the flexibility of taking a number of smaller lump sum pension pots. 25% of the sum will be tax-free, with the remaining pension fund charged at marginal rate of income tax.
If you take out money from your pension fund before the age of 55, the normal tax rules apply. We are concerned that fraudsters will take advantage of these rule changes by offering to invest pensions on the victim’s behalf. Be very wary of such offers.
Avoid losing your hard-earned cash:
- Do not invest with companies which cold call you, offering extremely high returns. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Seek financial advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau, who work alongside the
- Treasury delivering the ‘Pension Wise’ service. Further information can be found here.
- If you wish to invest your savings in a company, please ensure you seek advice from an FCA registered and authorised advisor
- Be aware of callers offering a free pension review service by phone call, email and text message and do not invest in unregulated markets such as overseas property developments, storage units or forestry.
Be Cyber Smart
On December 1, 2014, Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police launched the #Be Cyber Smart campaign to raise awareness of internet-related crime and to give people the knowledge they need to protect themselves.
The first phase focuses on online shopping; urging people to carry out a few simple safety checks before parting with their hard-earned cash.
We have joined forces with Get Safe Online to encourage people to follow their ‘12 Online Safety Tips of Christmas’ Download your copy here
Police Issue Heating Oil Theft Advice
As winter sets in, West Mercia Police is giving people advice on how they can avoid having their heating oil stolen.
With the cost of fuel remaining high, Crime Risk Manager for the force PC Ian White has the following advice: "Hide your oil tank so you're not a target for thieves in the first place: if they can't see it, then they won't know it's there.
"Plant shrubs or install fences to conceal your tank from view - especially if you live close to the road. If your property is more secluded, deter thieves from entering your property by installing lockable gates and maintaining any perimeter fencing. "Check your tank's oil levels on a regular basis. Be extra vigilant of tankers or large vehicles close to your property. Note down any registration numbers of vehicles you think look suspicious and report them to the police. "Where possible, install security lighting that covers your tank and the immediate surrounding area. If your tank is openly accessible to all, consider moving it to an area or building where it is better protected."
West Mercia Police has produced a leaflet detailing all this advice which is being handed out by a number of oil distribution companies at the same time as they make fuel deliveries to their customers. Further crime prevention advice can also be found on the force website: www.westmercia.police.uk
Warning over fake computer virus scam
(Published on behalf of West Mercia Police)
What's wrong with your computer? Probably nothing, but that's not what internet scammers will have you believe in order to get you to part with your cash. West Mercia Police is warning people about unsolicited phone calls from companies who tell you that your computer has a virus and they need to access your system to fix it.
"If you get a call like this, just hang up immediately," says Ed Roberts from West Mercia Police's hi-tech crime unit. "Don't let them have remote access to your computer and under no circumstances should you give them any money.This scam has been around for a few years, but we have had a lot of reports recently from members of the public saying they have received these types of calls.Many have downloaded harmful software which allows the scammers to access their computers and actually installs viruses, rather than remove them. They have then had to pay reputable firms a lot of money to repair the damage caused to their computer. In the worst cases, people have paid up to £150 to these tricksters to pay them to fix a problem they didn't have in the first place."
The scam operates by householders being called by someone claiming to be from 'Microsoft' or a company working on their behalf. They say your computer has a serious virus problem and if it is not fixed now, then all sorts of bad things will happen to your computer. To gain your trust, the scammer will direct you to the Event Viewer in Windows. The Event Viewer is always full of messages, but the caller will try and convince you that these are signs of a serious problem.
Once your trust has been gained, the caller will ask you to go to a website and download a program which lets them access your computer remotely. You will then see the caller moving the mouse around, opening folders and showing you where the 'problem' is. The caller will then ask for credit card details for payment to fix the 'problem'.
"Unfortunately, it is often the most vulnerable in our communities who are taken in by these scams," says Ed Roberts. "The elderly for instance - who are often not as computer savvy as the younger generation - may be grateful for any technical help on offer.Microsoft does not make these kinds of calls and I urge anyone who receives an unsolicited call of this nature to hang up straight away and not to give the scammer the time of day."
Winter Driving Advice
(Published on behalf of the Safer Roads Partnership in West Mercia)
Despite warnings of the onset of snow and ice causing challenging road conditions in places, West Mercia Police have still seen a number of road traffic collisions over the weekend that have been attributed to the bad weather.
With freezing fog, heavy frosts and icy conditions still forecast over the coming week, the Partnership and West Mercia Police wish to remind people to exercise caution when travelling on affected routes throughout the region.
A number of collisions over the weekend have involved 4x4 vehicles, which raises the issue that even if motorists believe they have a vehicle that will cope with harsher weather; driving on icy roads is still challenging and stopping times and distances are greatly increased compared to those in finer weather no matter what car you are driving.
Examples of collisions that have occurred in the bad weather over the weekend include a written-off Shogun, a Land Rover Discovery that left the road and ended up on its roof and a Freelander 4x4 which skidded on the road and collided into someone's house.
Vicki Bristow, Communications Manager for the Partnership says; "Widespread icy roads and freezing fog are still making driving conditions hazardous in some places. Our advice if travelling is to check local weather forecasts and road conditions before setting off and ensure any ice is removed from windows, mirrors and lights so you have good visibility.
"It is important to drive smoothly and avoid braking sharply and accelerating quickly as this could lead to wheels locking or spinning. Keep well back from the vehicle in front to allow plenty of time to slow down and always look as far ahead as possible to anticipate what other road users might do.
"Winter drivers need to use their eyes more effectively; drive carefully and smoothly, avoiding harsh accelerating and braking regardless of whether your vehicle is a 4x4 or not."
SmartWater, the property marking fluid with more codes than DNA, is available through the Evesham and Pershore Neighbourhood Watch. If you'd like to know more or to order your own SmartWater pack please get in touch with Ted Williams 881018. You can also find more details at www.smartwater.com
Trading Standards Trader Register
Trading Standards have launched a Trader Register scheme - an online directory of local traders who are committed to providing good workmanship. This is especially relevant currently, in light of the series of Distraction Burglaries that have taken place in some areas, where callers will often call on the pretext of undertaking work. West Mercia's advice is never to offer work to "tradesmen" who turn up at your door unsolicited, but if you want some work done we would advise that you get 2-3 quotes first. The new Trading Standards register will also be a useful resource to find a reputable trader.
Trading Standards point out that the Trader Register is not an approval scheme, but members of the scheme have signed up to a Code of Practice and are dedicated to fair and honest workmanship.
If you are interested in the scheme, please see www.worcestershire.gov.uk/traderregister. Alternatively you can call the Trader Register Scheme on 01905 765394.
Advice about Bogus Callers
PLEASE REMEMBER the importance of making sure rear doors/windows are locked before answering the front door, putting your door chain on (if you have one) before answering the door, asking for/checking Identification (and if not 100% convinced by the ID to check with the callers organisation by calling the organisation on a number got from Directory Enquiries/Phone Book etc NOT BY USING A NUMBER PROVIDED BY THE CALLER OR DISPLAYED ON THEIR ID CARD). Most of the utilities will be happy to arrange a password with you, so you know that they are who they say they are if they call. It is also worth noting that many Bogus Callers claim to be from the "Water Board" - please note that there has not been a "Water Board" since 1989 - therefore anybody who claims be from the "Water Board" or similar should be viewed with suspicion.
Finally, some of these callers offer to do work (e.g. drives etc) - some go to considerable lengths to appear legitimate (including - bogus - sign written vans). They will often do work after agreeing a price, but when it comes to pay, the price for the (often shoddy) work has escalated and they intimidate the person into paying - including in the past even driving the victim to the cash point. It is also worth noting that these criminals "trade" victims. If one group of bogus callers note that there is more cash around than they were able to steal, they will pass the victim's address on to their "colleagues" in the criminal fraternity (on the agreement that they have a cut in any "winnings"), so that their "colleagues" can target them on another pretext. So unfortunately, once someone becomes the victim of a bogus caller, occasionally, they will be targeted again - making it doubly important to do all we can to prevent them becoming victims in the first place.
Ashton Neighbourhood Watch is co-ordinated by Roger Umpelby together with a small team of enthusiastic volunteers. The group's purpose is to maintain a watch on our neighbourhood and ensure that useful intelligence received from the Police is shared around our community.
You can help and benefit in two ways. The group needs a few more volunteers to ensure coverage around the village, especially in Cottons Lane , Bakers Lane, Cornfields and Beckford Road . There is no arduous or dangerous work involved, just the willingness to be observant and share information with the group and your neighbours. An e-mail address is essential because this is how the group keeps in touch.
If you don't want to help directly, you can still choose to receive information that the group puts out by e-mail.