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COUNCIL, ACTION FRAUD & CONSTABULARY MATTERS

   There is so much information issued by our local South Ribble Council that for a number of reasons, many residents may not see it all. This page has been added, in conjunction with Cllr Barrie Yates and other local councillors who supply the BBB with much of the information, in an attempt to make more people aware of news and events etc that may be of interest to them.
  This also applies to information supplied to us by the Action Fraud Team, Lancashire Constabulary and Neighbourhood Watch.
  As much of this information is quite extensive, it would be impractical to publish it here in its full context. What we will do however is write a short description of the subject matter and if any reader requires further information and contacts the BBB, we will then send them a full transcript by e-mail attachment, which will usually be in either 'Word' or 'PDF' format.

    Right! Now that we have established how it will work, here are the issues for this edition.

See below for the various reports.   


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Neighbourhood Watch News
All the latest Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter on  

https://www.stayintheknow.co.uk/                 

https://www.stayintheknow.co.uk/Content/Pages/Latest-Alerts

Do You Know Where To Report Scam Messages?

Fake emails and text messages are a common tactic used by cyber criminals, their goal is often to convince you to click a link. Once clicked, you may be sent to a dodgy website which could download viruses onto your computer, or steal your passwords and personal information.
In order to try and convince you that their messages are legitimate, criminals will pretend to be someone you trust, or from some organisation you trust. This could be your Internet Service Provider (ISP), local council, even a friend in need. And they may contact you by phone call, email or text message.


Reporting suspicious emails:
If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, you can report it by forwarding the email to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service at: report@phishing.gov.uk
As of 31st October 2021, the number of suspicious email reports stands at more than 8,100,000, with the removal of more than 67,000 scams and 124,000 URLs.

Reporting suspicious text messages:
You can report suspicious text messages to your mobile network provider, for free, by forwarding the text to 7726.
If you forward a text, your provider can investigate the origin of the text and take action, if found to be malicious. If 7726 doesn’t work, you can find out how to report a text message by contacting your provider.
(On many Android devices and iPhones, pressing and holding on the message bubble should present the option to forward the message)
For more of the government’s latest advice on how to stay secure online, visit the Cyber Aware website: ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware

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Leading The Fight Against Crime







“My number one priority is the safety of each of our residents with a commitment to build a visible and effective frontline service that protects our communities by taking the fight to criminals.” – Andrew Snowden.

To read the full report then go to

https://www.lancashire-pcc.gov.uk/the-police-and-crime-plan/police-and-crime-plan-21-25/

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Hundreds Fall Victim To Lottery Scams In Just Seven Months
What is lottery fraud?
Criminals will contact unsuspecting victims informing them they have won a lottery or prize draw. The victim is then informed that they will need to pay an advance fee in order to receive their winnings. In reality, the winnings are non-existent and it is an attempt to steal the victims money, personal or financial information.
Between April and October 2021, Action Fraud received 629 reports of lottery fraud, with 89 per cent of reports mentioning well-known prize draws. Impersonation of People’s Postcode Lottery accounted for almost half (49 per cent) of all reports. Almost three quarters of victims (70 per cent) were aged over 50, with those aged over 65 accounting for 40 per cent of reports.
Fraudsters use gift cards as a form of payment as they can be easily redeemed and sold on. The criminals don’t need the physical card to redeem the value as they ask the victims to share the serial code on the back of the card with them. In other instances, victims reported being asked for personal and financial information in order to obtain their alleged winnings. Some victims reported providing their bank details thinking they would be sent a small payment to verify the account. In reality, criminals will use these details to steal the victim’s money.


How to protect yourself

Stop: Unsolicited offers of large sums of money in return for a small upfront payment should always raise a red flag. Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
Challenge: Could it be fake? Remember, you can’t win a prize in a competition you didn’t enter. It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
Protect: If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
You can find further protection advice around lotteries and competition on the Gambling Commission’s website.

For more of the government’s latest advice on how to stay secure online, visit the Cyber Aware website: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware

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Your Voice Matters

Today, I launch the Your Voice Matters survey asking women and girls about their thoughts on personal safety.

You can take part in the survey here:- https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Your_Voice_Matters_2021

I’d also encourage you to share this message across social media and with your family and friends to give as many women and girls the opportunity to make their voice heard.
The survey aims to understand the experiences of women and girls across the county. The responses will then be anonymously analysed by UCLAN to inform Lancashire’s policing response to violence against women and girls.
Violence against women and girls is unacceptable and I echo the Government’s commitment to tackling the many and varied crimes of violence against women and girls.
To inform our response to the Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, I want to understand the thoughts and feelings of women and girls in Lancashire about their safety.
I am committed to listening to and acting upon the results of the survey. Some of the results may make for uncomfortable reading for us and our partners, but I personally want to ensure we are doing the best we can to keep people safe, support victims and survivors and make changes where they are needed”.
Although feeling unsafe is not exclusive to women, sexual violence and harassment offences are overwhelmingly committed by males against females.
However, I would like to reassure male victims and survivors that we take all reports of crime seriously. Anybody who has experienced this type of crime (whether recently or in the past) is encouraged to come forward to report it, safe in the knowledge they will always be treated sensitively and professionally.
The Your Voice Matters survey, which is completely anonymous, is available now until Friday 10th December. It can be completed by visiting: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Your_Voice_Matters_2021
If you or somebody you know has been the victim of a crime, you can receive free and confidential support from Lancashire Victims Services. Visit their website at https://lancashirevictimservices.org/


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Commissioner Begins Landmark Investment In Lancashire Constabulary

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden outlined his priorities and budget proposals for a new era in policing which gained unanimous cross-party backing at a meeting with Lancashire's Police and Crime Panel this week, 1 February 2022.
This follows cross-party support of Andrew's 'Leading the Fight Against Crime plan' for Lancashire. His plans will ensure victims are at the heart of policing, bolstering neighbourhood policing, investigation teams, improving critical police infrastructure and taking the fight to criminals.
The Panel meeting followed news that Lancashire Constabulary are on target to have recruited an extra 509 officers by the end of March 2023, through the Government's ambitious uplift programme, boosting the number of resources available to fight crime and keep communities safe.
In addition to this, the Commissioner and the Chief Constable have identified a number of areas which are set to see the benefit of an extra £4.7m investment to deliver against the priorities outlined in Mr Snowden's new Police and Crime Plan.
The budget proposal includes a small rise in council tax precept, the equivalent of 19p a week for a band D property, every penny of which the Commissioner has pledged to spend on fighting crime.
This includes the establishment of a specialist rape and serious sexual offences team which will bring together existing staff and officers working in this area along with 20 additional officers to help improve positive outcomes and get justice for victims.
There will also be 17 extra officers joining neighbourhood policing teams across the county, together with four more rural taskforce officers, led by three extra sergeants and an inspector to bolster proactive policing and tackle antisocial behaviour.
In addition to these 45 police officers, Andrew Snowden told Panel members that Lancashire residents can expect to see positive changes across the county with investment into essential technology and equipment, including new vehicles, to ensure that officers have the tools needed to tackle crime efficiently and effectively and stay one step ahead of criminals.
Mr Snowden said: "This year marks the beginning of the biggest investment in policing in Lancashire in living memory. There is real change happening and these investments will ensure that the force is in the best possible position to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in our county.
"The priorities I have set out, in my Police and Crime Plan and the actions to deliver them, are bold – they are deliberately ambitious. And so, to deliver against them, the investments needed also have to be bold and ambitious.
"I took on this role to bring about positive change for the people of Lancashire and for the Constabulary that serves them. I have worked closely with the Chief Constable and colleagues across the Constabulary to understand the challenges they face and where investment is needed to overcome them and to deliver the best possible policing service.
"I have also consulted the public on where they want to see investment and 86% of Lancashire residents agree with a council tax precept increase being invested in front line policing and associated support.
"It is essential that Lancashire Constabulary have the right infrastructure to enable them to be as efficient and effective as they can be in providing services to the public. From the right digital and cyber capabilities through to the right training facilities, through to a future proofed fleet infrastructure and police stations that are fit for purpose.
"This investment will ensure that the Constabulary can deliver on my priorities and residents will see a positive impact in their neighbourhoods and across the county."
Chief Constable Chris Rowley said; “I appreciate the support of the panel and the community in enabling the Constabulary to invest in areas of policing that will make the most difference to our communities. Our aim is to keep the good people of Lancashire safe by tackling criminality, and this extra investment will enable us to do just that.”
The Police and Crime Panel unanimously backed the Commissioner's budget plans for 2022/23 and a formal written decision will follow.


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Protect Your Pooch - A New Dog Theft Campaign Launched By Neighbourhood Watch











In response to the increased fear of pet theft, Neighbourhood Watch has launched our PROTECT YOUR POOCH campaign.
The campaign will run on social media from 17th – 30th May but those who do not use social media can support the campaign by displaying this poster, available on https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/2021-05/Protect%20your%20pooch%20poster.png in their community, or attending our online Dog Theft webinar on the 27th May at 5pm.  The webinar will be led by Neighbourhood Watch Network with speakers from the Met Police and Crimestoppers, as well as special guest speaker Katy Bourne, PCC for Sussex. To book your place, go to https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/webinars
The PROTECT YOUR POOCH campaign encourages people to keep their pets SECURE, IN SIGHT and SEARCHABLE, and to HELP MAKE PET THEFT A SPECIFIC CRIMINAL OFFENCE.  The Met Police and Crimestoppers are backing our SECURE, IN SIGHT and SEARCHABLE message.  More information on the campaign can be found on www.ourwatch.org.uk/protectyourpooch.
You can support the campaign by acting on our advice and sharing our messages in the following ways:
Follow us on Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn and share our campaign posts
Print the poster and display it in your community
Share this poster image on your local Whatsapp groups
Help make pet theft a specific criminal offence by signing a petition or writing to your MP. Find out more on www.ourwatch.org.uk/protectyourpooch
Attend our online Dog Theft webinar on 27th May, 5pm. Book your place here.
About guest speaker Katy Bourne, PCC for Sussex
Katy Bourne is in her third term as Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Sussex. She was first elected in 2012, re-elected in 2016 and again in 2021.  The PCC’s role is to hold the Chief Constable to account for the performance of the Force; effectively making the police answerable to the communities they serve.
Katy is responsible for setting the strategic direction and priorities for Sussex Police through the Police & Crime Plan. This includes setting the police budget and local police precept – the amount residents pay for policing in their council tax. She also has a statutory duty to deliver community safety initiatives including Restorative Justice and crime reduction grants, along with commissioning support services for victims of crime.
Her genuine passion and commitment to making a difference has won her praise from successive Home Secretaries and Prime Ministers and in June 2019 she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
For anybody who wishes to have a PROTECT YOUR POOCH campaign pack, please email Deborah.waller@ourwatch.org.uk.
Keep safe,
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH NETWORK, Central Support Team
Follow us.. ourwatch.org.uk / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / LinkedIn
Neighbourhoood Watch Network is a charity registered in England & Wales, CIO no: 1173349

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Over 15,000 hacked email and social media accounts reported in one year.

If a hacker got into your email or social media account, what would they find? Health and banking information? Names and contact details for your friends and family? Private photos and messages? For most people, it’s at least one of those.
Your email and social media accounts contain a wealth of personal information about you, which makes them a lucrative target for cyber criminals. Between February 2020 and February 2021, Action Fraud received 15,214 reports about email and social media account hacking. The majority of reports (88%) were made by individuals, with 12% of reports being made by businesses. Analysis of the crime reports revealed that Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat were the most affected social media accounts, with phishing messages being the most common tactic used by cyber criminals to lure unsuspecting victims.
The motivation behind the hacks are varied and can range from financial gain, to revenge or personal amusement. Some victims are extorted for money, whilst others have their accounts used to send malicious links to their contacts. One victim who had multiple email and social media accounts hacked paid over £2,000 to regain access to them. Another victim reported that her hacked Facebook account was used to trick her friends into sending money into a PayPal account they thought belonged to her.

Secure your email and social media accounts in just a few minutes. Here's what you need to do:

1: Use a strong and separate password for your email, as well as other important accounts, such as  your banking or social media accounts.

2: Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). It will help to stop hackers from getting into your online accounts, even if they have your password.

3: If you can't access your account, search the company's online support or help pages. You'll find information about how to recover your account.

For detailed instructions on how to reset your password or enable 2FA on your accounts, visit: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/secureyouraccounts

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New Rural Task Force Teams Launched In Lancashire










We’ve got good news for our rural communities – new, dedicated rural task force teams have now been set up across Lancashire to target the issues that matter most to residents, including machinery theft, rural, wildlife and heritage crime.
A total of 20 officers – funded through the police officer uplift programme – will form part of the local policing teams that already cover the rural communities and will based at Morecambe, Garstang, Ormskirk, Clitheroe and Waterfoot.
The new officers are intended to provide extra resources to target, disrupt and address crime in rural communities and their launch follows the investment in 40 task force officers located in our towns and cities last year.
With 74 per cent of Lancashire classed as rural, these officers will be a great asset in preventing crime and supporting our rural communities.
Talking to our residents in rural areas is key to the success of these teams. We want to know what your issues and concerns are so we can actively work to address them. If you haven’t already done so, you can provide feedback about the issues that matter most to you by completing our survey at stayintheknow.co.uk/lancashiretalking.

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Police and Crime Commissioner Launches Policing Survey

I am asking residents for their views on policing priorities and the work of Lancashire Police. It's really important to me that residents have the opportunity to share their thoughts and this survey will give people the chance to do so.
It is more important than ever that my Police and Crime Plan and priorities reflect the priorities of the people of Lancashire and meet operational needs.
Over the last year, thanks to support from the public, we have been able to make investments for the first time since 2010.
Based on previous feedback and with the public's support, a dedicated task force of officers was rolled out across the county to tackle the issues that matter most to people including drug dealing, anti-social behaviour and burglary, alongside disrupting organised crime group activity and targeting outstanding offenders.
We all want to build on this and see more bobbies on the beat and over the last year I have continued to challenge Government to make sure we get our fair share here in Lancashire. Government inspectors rated us as outstanding earlier this year in the way with efficiently use the resources we do have and the way we use these to keep people safe.
I want feedback from as many Lancashire residents as possible to get a clear picture about their priorities at the current time and how safe and confident they feel where they live.
The online survey will run until the 6th of September and is available at www.letstalkpolicing.co.uk

Corona virus scam

We wanted to make you aware that although there remains a lot of uncertainty around Covid-19, fraudsters are as relentless as ever in their attempts to exploit the public. We have received a number of reports that door-to-door sellers are using Coronavirus as an opportunity to exploit the public at this difficult time.
Please be advised that 'Home Coronavirus testing kits' that are being sold by door-to-door salespeople are in fact fake and no such testing facility is currently available to the public in the UK.
The police have also received reports of vendors selling hand sanitiser, masks and rubber gloves and whilst this may not be a scam, they would urge you against purchasing these items from anyone other than recognised retailers. Whilst the intentions of those selling these items may not be disingenuous, you cannot be sure of the quality of items bought, that you are getting good value for money or that they actually work.
You can be confident that the police are doing all they can to protect the public, but it's more important than ever that the community supports each other. Please share this message with your friends and family, particularly if elderly or vulnerable.


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Transit Van Thefts

We wanted to let you know about a number of vehicle thefts that have recently occurred across Chorley and South Ribble. The thefts specifically relate to all variants of Ford Transit Vans - including passenger vans, flat beds, tippers etc. Offenders gain access and drive the vehicle away without using any keys.

Please take note of the following crime prevention advice, which if taken will reduce the risk of you becoming a victim of crime:

If possible please park in a locked garage or secure site.

Block the van in with another vehicle if parked on a drive.

Park in a well lit area, covered by CCTV if possible.

Consider the use of a steering wheel lock or other manual security or immobilisation device.


Please pass this information on to anybody who may not already be aware.
Report any suspicious activity to the Police immediately through Lancashire.police.uk/reportonline or call 101, or if an offence is occurring please call 999.

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 A Message from the Chief Constable

Publication of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue latest inspection report of Lancashire Constabulary.
I am delighted to share with you the outcome of the recent Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) inspection of the Force.
We have been rated as outstanding for efficiency and good at reducing crime, keeping people safe, protecting vulnerable people and treating our staff and communities with fairness.
HMICFRS inspects all Police Forces and Fire and Rescue Services in England and Wales to assess efficiency and effectiveness. Their 2018/19 report praises our approach to:
• Planning based on evidence and insight
• Making investment in critical service areas to meet the changing nature of demand and;
• Aligning resources to meet the expectations of the public.
This robust approach to planning has enabled us to focus on our core services - answering calls from the public, responding to the public’s needs and investigating crime.
The report endorses that we are focusing our resources in the right place, at the right time, and importantly, that we are getting it right - listening to our staff and communities, tackling the issues that are important to them and investing where we need to.
Whilst the last few years have been incredibly difficult due to the impact of austerity and budget cuts, we have made significant investment to ensure that the most vulnerable people in our county are protected from harm, and, that we deliver on our purpose of keeping people safe.
To support this, we have invested in the key services people need and provided officers and staff with the tools they need to do their job:
• £3m has been invested in Neighbourhood Task Forces who tackle the issues that are important in their area and strengthened specialist target teams thanks to local people supporting an increase in their council tax precept
• The number of response officers has been increased to ensure that our officers are there for people when they are needed the most
• Invested £8million in investigations to protect vulnerable people, over the last three years
• Increased the number of Control Room Operators, in line with growing demand into the Force Control Room, to enable people to get through to us as soon as possible
• Maximising evidential opportunities from the growing demand for digital forensic examination by investing £3m in digital technology to aid investigations and solve crime
• Rolled out of over 4,000 new digital devices to officers to improve efficiency and effectiveness, meaning officers can be responsive in real time, complete relevant reports on the move and away from the police station, be contacted directly by members of the public
• Financed a £5.5 million investment in information communication technology, including rolling out new body worn video to protect officers and members of the public
• Committed to spending on refurbishing existing police buildings to ensure they remain fit for purpose and retain a visible presence in our communities
• Looking after the physical and mental welfare of Officers and Staff by significantly investing in Occupational Health and Wellbeing Services so they can continue to serve and protect the county
We know there is still work to do, but by focusing on getting our core services right over the past couple of years, we are now in a good position to meet the challenge of growing the organisation in the future, as a result of new funding into policing.
In conclusion, it is important to note the significant contributions made by Officers and Staff to our inspection outcomes. We are very proud of the work they do on a daily basis to continue to keep our county a safe place to live, work and visit.
For more information about the HMIC Inspection, please visit www.justiceinspectorates.gov.uk/hmicfrs/
For more information about Neighbourhood Policing in your area, visit www.lancashire.police.uk

Andy Rhodes
Chief Constable

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Would You Know What To Do In An Emergency?

In the unlikely event of an emergency in Lancashire, would you know what to do? Whatever the answer, we'd recommend you download, and have a look at, the Lancashire Resilience Forum's new 'Preparing for Emergencies' booklet here https://www.stayintheknow.co.uk/Documents/PreparingForEmergenciesBooklet.pdf
There's lots of practical tips and advice on how to protect yourself and prepare for a range of scenarios from bad weather and flooding to a loss of essential services or an industrial accident.

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We are, once again, getting reports from across the county of scammers calling people by phone and pretending to be from the Tax Office (HMRC) or even the police. These calls are sometimes made in person and sometimes an automated message. Both will claim you owe money due to non-payment of taxes or there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest. They all end up with people being asked to pay cash to stop further action being taken.
The different thing about some of these recent calls is the scammers appear to have been able to clone genuine numbers, so, if you call 1471, the call seems to have come from a legitimate source. However, whatever the number, our advice is clear – no government organisation or police force will ever call you saying there is warrant for your arrest and you have to pay money over the phone. If anyone does, it’s a scam! If you are ever unsure, put the phone down, make sure the line has fully cleared and then call the genuine organisation back and check.
If you want to report any scam call you can contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or go online at the website.
We've had reports from across the county recently including Blackpool, Blackburn and Appley Bridge in West Lancs. If you know anyone older or vulnerable, make sure they know to never give personal details over the phone, including bank details, and never to be persuaded to make payments of this nature.

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We have received 63 reports about a scam in which fraudsters target people with offers of “low cost” loans or “free” government grants. What the victims aren’t told is that the money they will receive is actually an advance payment for Universal Credit. The criminals use the personal information they’ve obtain under false pretences to make an application in the victim’s name. After the fraudsters have taken their “fee” from the advance payment, the victim is then left to pay back the total amount once their repayments begin.

How you can protect yourself:
Never share your personal or financial information with someone you don’t know and trust, especially if it’s in response to an offer of “free money” or a “free grant”.
Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) staff will never approach you in the street or ask for your personal/financial details over social media.
If you have concerns about your benefits, you should visit www.gov.uk/contact-jobcentre-plus
If you suspect your identity may have been stolen, you can check your credit rating quickly and easily online. You should do this every few months anyway, using a reputable service provider and following up on any unexpected or suspicious results.


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Landmark Neighbourhood Watch Cybercrime Survey Launched

Help us understand the impact of cybercrime

Neighbourhood Watch has recently launched a landmark new survey to understand the impact of cybercrime on communities across England and Wales.
Traditionally Neighbourhood Watch has been focused on keeping people safe in the places they live but with the advent of new technology, it’s clear people can be at their most vulnerable when they occupy online spaces.
Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting centre run by the City of London Police, revealed that last year cybercrime victims lost £28m to online criminals. It reports more than 12,000 cases of cybercrime every six months.
With the threat from online criminals only ever increasing, it is essential we understand the impact this type of crime has on members as well as their understanding and perception of cybercrime.
The survey, designed in conjunction with cybersecurity company Avast, takes just 10 minutes to complete. The survey can be completed via the following link:  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/nw_cybercrime

It would be great if you could share the survey with others, particularly those who have been victims of cybercrime.

This news story can be shared with friends, family and neighbours on  https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/landmark-cybercrime-survey-launched/

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Neighbourhood Watch E-Newsletter

See below for the latest, bumper edition of our popular e-newsletter 'Our News' from Neighbourhood Watch.
Read about our new report on what makes a good neighbour in modern Britain and find lots of fantastic advice on keeping you safe!

To read the report, just go to:-

www.ourwatch.org.uk/new-issue-of-our-news-out-now/ 


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HM Revenue and Customs Alert- What you need to know
An ongoing TV Licensing phishing campaign, first identified by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) in September 2018, continues to be reported to Action Fraud in high numbers. Fraudsters are sending the public fake TV Licensing emails that are designed to steal their personal and financial information. Since April 2018, Action Fraud has received over 900 crime reports with victim losses totalling more than £830,000.

How you can protect yourself:

Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.
Don’t assume a phone call or email is authentic, even if someone knows your basic details (such as your name or address). Remember, criminals can spoof phone numbers and email addresses to appear as companies you know and trust, such as TV Licensing.
Your bank will never call and ask you for your PIN, full banking password, or ask you to transfer money out of your account.

What to do if you’ve fallen victim:

Let your bank know as soon as possible and monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity. 
If you suspect your identity may have been stolen you can check your credit file quickly and easily online. Use a reputable service provider and follow up on any unexpected or suspicious results. 
If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.


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Courier Fraud, Bogus Police and Bank Officials Alert

What you need to know.
Individuals have been receiving phone calls from people claiming to be a police officer or banking official. The suspect will say either:
There has been fraudulent activity at the victims’ bank and the staff at the bank are involved, the victim is then asked to withdraw money to either keep it safe or assist the police with their investigation
A business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is fraudulent and they require the victims’ assistance to help secure evidence by purchasing jewellery or exchange a large amount of currency to hand over to the police
The victims’ card has been compromised and used to purchase goods by a suspect, the victim is requested to withdraw their money to keep it safe or hand over their bank card to the police

What you need to do.
Occasionally the victim will be told to dial a non-emergency extension of ‘161’ to receive confirmation of the individual’s bogus identity, the bogus official will advise the victim to lie about the reason for the withdrawal or purchase if challenged by staff, as the staff member is involved in the fraud. A courier attends the victim’s home address to collect the goods the same day Often the victim is given a code word for the courier as a way of authentication.

Your bank or the police will never
 * Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password
 * Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping
 * Ask you to transfer money out of your account
 * Send someone to your home to collect cash, PINs, cards to cheque books


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*SCAM ALERT - PLEASE SHARE*

We've had several reports which have all been from older people saying they have been receiving phone calls from number 0203 290 0016. These calls state ‘There is a warrant out for your arrest due to tax. You need to call this number back to pay’.
It looks like calls like this have been received in a number of areas. This is a scam. HMRC and all other genuine organisations will never contact people in this way to demand money and would never say there is a warrant out for someone's arrest. Please make sure friends and relatives are aware of this and if you look after any older person, please encourage them to never give out personal or bank details over the phone and reassure them that if they ever get a call like this it's OK to put the phone straight down and not call back.
A Trading Standards Approved solution to blocking unwanted phone calls is TrueCall - This can be purchased from https://www.truecall.co.uk/
Let's help to look after each other and make sure scammers like this are wasting their time.


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Bogus Builders And Rogue Traders

We want to alert you and let you know that we continue to get reports of rogue traders and bogus builders targeting people in Lancashire, particularly those in our communities who are the most elderly and vulnerable.
Examples of their criminal behaviour can include convincing people they need building or maintenance work doing then charging extortionate prices, through to exploiting the elderly to convince them they owe money and need to hand over cash.
Please be wary if anyone comes to your door offering this type of work and have a look at our website here https://www.lancashire.police.uk/help-advice/property-safety/doorstep-crime-bogus-callers/ for tips and advice to keep you safe. As the summer holidays are almost upon us, we also know that lots of you will either be going away or looking after children. If you can, we'd urge you to take some time to check on elderly relatives or friends, make sure they are OK and encourage them to never agree to work on the doorstep without speaking to someone they trust first.
If you see anyone you don't recognise offering building or other work door to door or acting suspiciously then please report it to us, either using our online form here https://reportitonline.lancashire.police.uk/NdsPublicEngagementUi/index?force=lancashireconstabulary or by calling 101. We do take all reports of this nature really seriously.

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Watch out for these FAKE TalkTalk emails about a refund

Action Fraud has received over 100 reports recently about fake emails purporting to be from TalkTalk. The emails state that the recipient’s TalkTalk account is in credit and that they’re owed a refund. The links in the emails lead to malicious websites.
Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.


Teenagers Are Being Exploited By County Lines Drugs Gangs In Lancashire

Have you heard of ‘county lines’?
It’s been in the national news lately as it’s affecting families and communities up and down the country.
‘County lines’ is when urban gangs use children and vulnerable adults to expand their illegal drugs businesses into other towns.
In Lancashire we see pockets of county lines gangs coming in from Manchester, Merseyside, London, and West Yorkshire. We’re working proactively to dismantle these gangs from the top and protect the young and the vulnerable.
You might know someone who needs your help.
They might be a family member, neighbour, or someone else in your community.
Gangs recruit and force vulnerable adults and children to work as couriers, transporting drugs and cash for them. They often set up a base in towns in other counties, taking over the home of a vulnerable person and sending runners to stay there. These are ways gangs distance themselves from criminal activity so that their victims carry the risk.
Look out for children and teens who are:
Going missing from home/school without explanation
Mixing with new friends their parents don’t know
Using more than one mobile phone
Appearing nervous, scared, evasive, and/or secretive
Suffering injuries they can’t explain
Holding tickets for train or coach travel.
Look out for vulnerable adults who:
Have withdrawn from family, the community or social services support
Have lots of different visitors at unusual hours
Are in a relationship with someone controlling
Have their curtains or blinds closed most of the time
Have more anti-social behaviour close to their home.
Report any concerns anonymously to Crimestoppers
It can be hard to report concerns about someone as they may have committed offences. We’re working with Crimestoppers to make it easier.
Whether you phone them on 0800 555 111 or report your concerns online Crimestoppers won’t pass on who you are, or give any information that might suggest who you could be. We simply receive the information we need to stop these gangs and protect vulnerable people.

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How To Shop Online Safely
This is the time of the year when the online scammers are the most active. To ensure that your transaction results in the safe delivery of your purchase and not in the scammers bank account then just follow these basic rules.

Check the web address
Always check you’re on the correct website. Criminals can set up fake websites that have a similar design and web address to the genuine site.
Is it a secure connection?
Web pages you enter personal or financial details into should display a locked padlock sign and have a web address that starts with https. This means your connection to the website is secure.
Phishing
Don't click on links or attachments within unsolicited emails. The number of online shopping related phishing emails increases significantly during the holiday period.
Bank transfers
65% of Action Fraud reports during the 2016 Christmas period were linked to online auction sites. Don’t pay for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person.        Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud. 
     

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Beware of the 'Smishing' scam

Smishing – the term used for SMS phishing – is an activity which enables criminals to steal victims’ money or identity, or both, as a result of a response to a text message. Smishing uses your mobile phone (either a smartphone or traditional non-internet connected handset) to manipulate innocent people into taking various actions which can lead to being defrauded.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received information that fraudsters are targeting victims via text message, purporting to be from their credit card provider, stating a transaction has been approved on their credit card.
The text message further states to confirm if the transaction is genuine by replying ‘Y’ for Yes or ‘N’ for No.
Through this method the fraudster would receive confirmation of the victim’s active telephone number and would be able to engage further by asking for the victim’s credit card details, CVV number (the three digits on the back of your bank card) and/or other personal information.
 
Protect yourself:

Always check the validity of the text message by contacting your credit card provider through the number provided at the back of the card or on the credit card/bank statement.
Beware of cold calls purporting to be from banks and/or credit card providers.
If the phone call from the bank seems suspicious, hang up the phone and wait for 10 minutes before calling the bank back. Again, refer to the number at the back of the card or on the bank statement in order to contact your bank.
If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or alternatively by calling 0300 123 2040


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Be careful which emails you open!

Extremely URGENT - PLEASE READ AND TELL ALL YOUR CONTACTS.

Anyone-using Internet mail such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL and so on.. This information arrived recently, direct from both Microsoft and Norton. Please forward it to everybody you know who has access to the Internet. You may receive an apparently harmless e-mail titled 'Mail Server Report' If you open the file, a message will appear on your screen saying: 'It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful.' Subsequently you will LOSE EVERYTHING IN YOUR PC, And the person who sent it to you will gain access to your name, e-mail and password and possibly your bank account details. This is a new virus which started to circulate earlier this month.. AOL has already confirmed the severity, and the antivirus softwares are not capable of destroying it yet. The virus has been created by a hacker who calls himself 'life owner'.. PLEASE SEND A COPY OF THIS E-MAIL TO ALL YOUR CONTACTS, and ask them to PASS IT ON IMMEDIATELY!

Beware of the fake bank letters!

Lloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters.
The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative.  
The letter tells recipients that there have been some 'unusual transactions' on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine. 
When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth.Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number.
The fraud was spotted by the Daily Telegraph who was alerted to it by a reader who had three identical letters sent to an office address. On separate occasions the Daily Telegraph ran some tests using fake details and were passed to fraudsters who claimed to be from a Lloyds contact centre. The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake. 
The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks.
If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card. 
To report a fraud and cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud
 

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Are You Looking for A Reputable Trader?













The Safe Trader Scheme is operated by Lancashire County Council Trading Standards Service to assist residents of Lancashire to find reputable local traders for property repairs, home improvements, gardening services, mobility aids and other services around the home.
Traders on the Scheme have all demonstrated their commitment to fair and honest trading by signing up to the Scheme's Code of Practice, and have agreed to work with Trading Standards should any dispute arise.
You can search for a local registered trader via the Safe Trader website www.safetrader.org.uk or by phone on 0303 333 1111.  All you need to provide are your postcode and the type of trade you are looking for and a list of relevant businesses will be produced in an order relevant to your postcode. If searching via the website you can compare businesses by checking out their profile pages and the customer reviews they have received.  
If you do have any work carried out please leave feedback for the trader on the website. This will assist both the Scheme and will help businesses to ensure that they are providing the best service possible to their customers.

For more information, visit page 1h of the BBB

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Scam Warning - Fake Virgin Media Emails

Fraudsters send fake Virgin Media emails threatening 'automatic disconnection'
Action Fraud has received over 100 reports about fake emails that purport to be from Virgin Media. The emails threaten the recipient with 'automatic disconnection' due to 'invalid billing information'. The links in the emails lead to genuine-looking phishing websites that are designed to steal your Virgin Media account login details.
Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.

For more information on how to stay secure online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk 

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Drivers Targeted With Fake Fines

What you need to know

Action Fraud have received an increase in reports and intelligence where elderly victims are being targeted by individuals purporting to be police officers or traffic wardens. The victims are being approached whilst parked in a car park and are told by the suspect that they have parked illegally or broken a speed limit and a photo has been taken of their car for ‘evidence’.
Victims are advised that they will face a substantial penalty fine unless they pay a smaller upfront fee immediately. Victims, who opt for paying the smaller penalty, will be directed to a parking meter and asked to enter their card and PIN. These parking meters have been tampered with by the suspect in order to retain the card.
Once the victim inserts their card and are asked for their PIN, the victims are shoulder surfed for their PIN by the suspect. Once victims input their PIN, the card is retained by the machine and victims are told by the suspect to seek help from the company who operates the parking meter or their bank.

What you need to do

If you are suspicious about the authenticity of the fine, do not pay it until you have verified it with your local council.
Always shield your PIN from view when using an ATM machine, and never share your PIN with anyone.
If your bank card is retained by an ATM machine, contact your bank immediately to inform them.