The Fraud & Scam Bulletin January 2022.

Welcome to our first monthly Bulletin  highlighting current fraud trends in our area.

Please circulate to your members and contacts, as well as using it for your own information.

This month we are focusing on two types of Fraud about which we have had multiple reports from the public in recent weeks and how you can keep safe.

Romance fraud – What is it?

You are convinced to make a payment to a person  you may have met through social media platforms, dating websites and Apps, or Gaming sites.

  • Fake profiles are used by criminals in an attempt to build a relationship with you – this is often known as “Catfishing”.
  • Criminals  use information found on social media to create fake identities to target you with the scam, often looking for profiles saying you are single, widowed or divorced
  • They will go to great lengths to gain your trust and convince you that you have found a genuine relationship before appealing to your compassionate side to ask for money
  • Criminals use language to manipulate, persuade and exploit so that requests for money do not raise any alarm bells
  • These requests might be highly emotive, such as criminals claiming they need money for emergency medical care, or to pay for transport costs to visit you from overseas

What to do:

·      If you are speaking to someone online that you have not met in person, stop and think. It could protect your heart and your money

·      Never give your bank details to someone online that you have never met, and if you are in any doubt about the person’s honesty, speak to a friend or family member. If they have tried to take money from you, report it to  Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via the website https://www.actionfraud.police.uk

NEW WhatsApp FRAUD

A rising number of similar Frauds using WhatsApp have been seen in recent weeks in our area which residents need to be aware of.

  • The suspect will send the victim a message via WhatsApp claiming to be their son/daughter/friend and that they have had to change their phone number
  • The suspect then asks for money for debt repayment / to buy a new phone/asking to pay outstanding bills
  • The victim then ends up sending money to the fraudster believing this is going to an actual relative or friend
  • This type of Scam is becoming more frequent

Always remember:

  • STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

For further information visit:

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/

Bike Marking Event

We are hosting a FREE bike marking event outside Morrisons near St Andrews Square, Droitwich on Sunday 23rd January 2022 between 10am-2pm.

By marking your bike, you are helping to protect yourself and your property against thieves, and making it easier for your property to be identified and returned should it be stolen.

Please come along and meet the team whilst we mark your bike.

For more information please contact Droitwich East Safer Neighbourhood Team: droitwich.east.snt@westmercia.police.uk

Community Infrastructure Levy Neighbourhood Fund.

Please view attached financial statement for the year ended 31st March 2021 in relation to Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

C2011 Atch Lench Road to Leys Road, South Lenches) (Temporary Closure) Order 2021

WORCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
PUBLIC NOTICE
Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
Order made: to close that part of C2011 Atch Lench Road to Leys Road from its junction with C2117 Handgate Lane to its junction with U43609 Farm Lane.
Reason: New Customer Connection by Wales & West Utilities Ltd
Exemptions: to permit access to any land or premises fronting the highway affected where there is no other form of access; and to allow the works to be undertaken.
Alternative route: C2117 Handgate Lane, U43606 Evesham Road, C2263 Main Street, C2011 Atch Lench Road and vice versa.
Maximum duration: 18 Months. Anticipated duration: 6 days Commencing: 12 January 2022

FRAUD UPDATE FROM WEST MERCIA POLICE ECONOMIC CRIME UNIT 16/11/2021


                                                         CAN YOU SPOT A SCAM? 

Have you been contacted out of the blue?

  • Cold Calls or unexpected e-mails should raise suspicion, especially if personal/payment details are requested
  • Legitimate organisations/businesses will not normally contact you for sensitive details unexpectedly
  • If you are not certain about the contact’s identity, hang up

Are you being asked to provide personal details?

  • Do not share personal/ sensitive details with a contact if you cannot confirm who they are.
  • Phone Scammers may try get valuable details from you to steal money from you, or use your details for Identity Fraud

Are the Contact Details vague or suspicious?

  • Scam websites often have imprecise contact details  such as Premium Rate “09” numbers, PO Box numbers, or use mobile numbers
  • Always look out for unusual email addresses on unsolicited emails

Look out for spelling and grammatical errors in emails 

  • Messages full of spelling and grammar errors are usually indicative of a Scam message
  • Genuine Organisations/Businesses will rarely make such unprofessional errors

Is an offer too good to be true?

  • Scams usually offer big returns for small financial commitment
  • Beware of Scam Voucher offers from Retailers and Supermarkets, has it been sent from a genuine email address?

Are you being pressured to commit or sign up?

  • Fraudsters will usually try to force a quick decision, do not be pressurised but say you need a break to consider the “offer”
  • Genuine Sales persons will normally give you time to make your mind up. Have you been offered a cooling off period on the deal? 

IF YOU THINK YOU ARE BEING SCAMMED OR DO NOT RECOGNISE THE CONTACT

  • STOP: Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a Scam, and report it to Action Fraud.                                                      For further information visit:

    https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

    https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/

West Mercia Police – Door Knockers

Between 6th November and 10th November, we received a number of calls about ‘Nottingham Knockers’ operating in the South Worcestershire area.

Nottingham Knockers are groups of individuals, usually young men, who travel from the North East of the country to our towns and villages, knocking doors, targeting vulnerable and elderly people, claiming to be on a rehabilitation scheme, or similar, with a bag of household items.

These men are NOT on a rehabilitation scheme and the ‘Probation Service’ do NOT send people out selling door-to-door. Please do not buy from someone who’s selling goods in this manner. 

In order to trade door-to-door, a person MUST have a pedlar’s certificate, issued by the Chief Constable of the police force where they live. The ‘Pedlars Act 1871′ defines a pedlar as a person who trades by travelling on foot between town to town or visits another persons’ house.

Trading as a pedlar without a certificate is an offence and a number of these individuals have been prosecuted.

A laminated ‘Hawker’s ID‘ or ‘Work Creation‘ card is NOT a pedlar’s certificate.

If you were visited by one of these men in the last 7 days, especially if you have Ring doorbell or CCTV footage, please contact me via the following email: 

When rogue traders come to your door uninvited and pressure you into buying something, or signing you up for a service you don’t need, it can be very intimidating, the impact of which causes emotional and financial repercussions.  The following comments were made by people who’ve encountered Nottingham Knockers:

He became abusive when i declined to buy anything”

“The male became verbally aggressive”

“He was persistent and I ended up buying from him as I just wanted to get rid of him.”

“He became rather abusive and said I wasted his time. He called me a horrible woman”

We’re working with Trading Standards in order to tackle doorstep crime and there is legislation to deal with people who commit these type of offences, therefore, if you receive a visit from a rogue trader, please call the police on  101.

Update Police – Re: Quantity of Tools/Machinery recovered.

This week, officers recovered a quantity of garden tools / machinery, which are suspected to be stolen. We’d like to trace the owners of these items and are therefore appealing to anyone who’s had items made by Stihl, Husqvarna and Milwaukee, stolen from them recently to contact us. 

The items include; chainsaws, hedge cutters, leaf blowers, strimmers, disc saw, hedge trimmers, circular saw, angle grinder, cordless drill. 

If you’ve been the victim of theft, where you’ve had these brand of items stolen, please could you send the details via an email to the address below, providing the make, model, serial number and any identifying marks, which we can check against the items we’ve recovered.  

Here2Help

Worcestershire County Council “Here2Help” poster attached giving details on how to search for services available,  access support, volunteering etc.

 

Make the Right Call.

Is it an emergency? Does it feel like the situation could get heated or violent very soon? Is someone in immediate danger? Do you need support right away? If so, please call 999.

If you’re deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergencySMS service.

As an alternative to calling 101, in order to help people contact the right service first time, there are pages on our website advising who would be the best agency to contact for a number of issues including:

  • fly-tipping
  • noise complaints
  • nuisance parking
  • abuse on social media
  • fireworks
  • civil disputes
  • annoying phone calls and unwanted visits

Make The Right Call | West Mercia Police

Crime 

Report a crime | West Mercia Police

Is it an emergency? Is there a crime in progress or someone is at risk of harm? Call 999

If you’ve witnessed or been the victim of crime please report it to us. Reports are dealt with by our control room in exactly the same way whether you report it online or call 101.

Before you give us the details of the crime, we will ask you a few questions to make sure you go to the relevant online form.

Please see our website to find out what else you can report online:

  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Domestic abuse
  • Fraud
  • Road traffic incidents
  • Lost / found property
  • Lost / stolen vehicle

Online reports are dealt with by our control room in exactly the same way whether you call 101 and may save you time during busy call periods.

Home | West Mercia Police

These are the details of some of our partner agencies who are able to assist with advice and guidance for other matters (click on the attached links for more information):

Abandoned Vehicles

You can report an abandoned vehicle like a dumped car to the local council.

Report an abandoned vehicle – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Bonfires

There is no law in England and Wales that prevent people from having bonfires. But there are circumstances that may occur which may result in the consequence of a bonfire (ie. material type, smoke and nuisance) which may give rise to specific environmental offences. Smoke from a chimney is not covered in this page, please follow the link to our Smoke pages.

Bonfires | Worcestershire Regulatory Services (worcsregservices.gov.uk)

Civil Disputes 

Unless a crime has been committed or someone is in immediate danger, the police are unlikely to intervene in civil disputes. However, we’ll put you in touch with the groups and organisations who can help.

Search – Citizens Advice

Advice line (England): 0800 144 8848

Action Fraud 

You can report fraud or cybercrime to Action Fraud any time of the day or night using our online reporting tool. Reporting online is quick and easy. The tool will guide you through simple questions to identify what has happened and our advisors are available twenty four hours to give you help and advice if you need it.

Action Fraud

Graffiti

Your local council is usually responsible for removing graffiti from things like public buildings, monuments, benches and bins.

Report graffiti – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Immigration 

Contact the Home Office if you think someone is:

  • living or working in the UK illegally
  • employing someone who isn’t allowed to work in the UK
  • involved in smuggling
  • involved in illegal immigration

Report an immigration or border crime – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Modern Slavery

Modern slavery is real and happening all around us. The good news is anyone can play a part in stamping out exploitation. Keep a look out for the signs of slavery described below, and call the Modern Slavery Helpline or report online if you see anything amiss.

The free Unseen App gives you a short guide to spotting the signs in your pocket, and enables you to report at the click of a button.

08000 121 700

File a report (modernslaveryhelpline.org)

Mud, Oil or Spillage on a Road

Report | Worcestershire County Council

Noise 

If you’re having a problem with noise like loud music, noisy pubs, rowdy parties or barking dogs in your neighbourhood, your council can help you.

Report a noise nuisance to your council – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Noise | Worcestershire Regulatory Services (worcsregservices.gov.uk)

Obstruction in the Road 

Unless there is an obvious danger to road users, you should report obstructions on the road, such as mud, illegal signs, overhanging tree branches, hedges, builder’s skips or scaffolding, to the local council or Highways England.

Report an obstruction on the road – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Stray Dog 

If you find a stray dog and cannot contact the owner, you must report it to the council.

To report a lost dog contact our Duty Officers at Worcestershire Regulatory Services on 01905 822799 between the hours of 9am – 5pm Mon – Fri. Or use our on-line Lost Dog Form.

All stray dogs picked up by WRS Dog Wardens will have their details (breed, colour size etc.) recorded, a duty officer will be able to check if a dog matching the description of your dog has been found in the Worcestershire area.

The Police can also get involved if a dog displays aggressive behaviour to a human or it attacks livestock. However, if a dog attacks someone else’s pet (such as another dog or a cat) then this would be a civil matter between the animals’ owners.

Report a stray dog – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Suicide Prevention

If you feel overwhelmed – you are not alone. Please do not suffer in silence.

There are so many people who care for you – and countless places you can turn to. This site does not seek to replicate other excellent resources already in existence but offers signposting and information that we hope will make a difference.

Suicide prevention | Worcestershire County Council

Links to the websites of your local Councils for their reporting process and further information:

Report it – Wychavon District Council