The Pershore Rural South and Rural North Safer Neighbourhood Team look after our village. The team has a Safer Neighbourhood Police officer and two Police Community Support Officers who work hard to reduce the risk of harm in the community with the aim of protecting people and improving their quality of life.
From April 2015, people over the age of 55 have been 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:
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:-
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.
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.
Please visit their page for more information and advice https://www.westmercia.police.uk/becybersmart2
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."
Trading Standards have a Trader Register scheme - an online directory of local traders who are committed to providing good workmanship. West Mercia's advice is never to offer work to 'tradesmen' who turn up at your door unsolicited. If you want some work done we would advise that you get two to three 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.
As winter sets in, West Mercia Police give 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
Avoid losing your hard-earned cash:
It is also worth noting that some Bogus Callers claim to be from the 'Water Board' - please note that there has not been a 'Water Board' since 1989 - therefore anybody claiming to be from there or similar should be viewed with suspicion.
Finally, some of these callers offering to do work (e.g. drives etc) will 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. This has included 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'. Their colleagues can then target them on another pretext. So unfortunately, once someone becomes the victim of a bogus caller, they may be targeted again. This makes it doubly important to do all we can to prevent them becoming victims in the first place.
What is Smartwater?
It is a water-based, inorganic traceable liquid which contains a unique forensic signature. It is not DNA-based so will withstand fire, humidity and sunlight. Only a tiny speck is required to link a criminal back to the scene of crime
We have now enough residents using SmartWater to get street signage from the company. This is as important a deterrent as the liquid itself, as it will advertise to would be burglars that our village is protected.
We are looking for a new coordinator for Ashton Neighbourhood Watch and volunteers from around the village and including Long Carrant. Your job would be to maintain a watch on our neighbourhood and ensure that useful intelligence received from the Police is shared around our community.
There is no arduous or dangerous work involved, just the willingness to be observant and share information with the group and your neighbours. An email address is essential because this is how the group keeps in touch. Contact us via this site or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can get facebook updates by clicking here: Evesham and Pershore Neighbourhood Watch