Crime Alerts

12JUN17 - Beware - Hard Water Softening Scam

Croydon Trading Standards have received a report of a bogus caller operating in Purley. The male suspect called on the door of a resident and said the house had a hard water problem and it needed softening.

Being wary of the caller, the resident phoned Thames Water and they said they didn't have anyone in the area or know of any water problems. The resident then realised it was a scam and reported it to the police on 101.

The suspect is described as male, 5ft 9, slim/medium build, blonde hair, eastern European accent, wearing a shirt and jeans, with a badge around his neck. The suspect was walking door to door and did not give a company name.

Please remain vigilant of any cold callers advising that there are problems with your property. Report any suspicious callers to the Police on 101 or to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

19MAY17 - Male cold caller, white, aged 60-70, 6 foot plus

Trading Standards have received information from a Purley resident concerning a male cold caller who had knocked on their door earlier this week. The man said he was from 'Pure Water' but appeared to be touting for roofing work.

The informant states that he was very persistent in attempting to gain entry to the property.

The man is described as being white, aged 60-70, 6 foot plus, dressed in dark smart casual clothing with a London accent, he was carrying a zip up folder and had grey medium length hair. No name was given and no ID was produced.

Do NOT do business at the door. IF IN DOUBT KEEP THEM OUT.

19MAY17 - Cold callers claim urgent works are needed to either theirs or their neighbour's property

Croydon Police and Trading Standards Officers are warning residents to be on their guard against cold callers who claim urgent works are needed to either theirs or their neighbour's property and that they need to pay immediately in order for the works to be carried out. This week one lady in Fairfield ward paid over a large amount of cash to would be builders only to realise that she had been the victim of fraud - that the work didn't need doing and that she had lost the money.

NEVER do business at the door. If you receive an unexpected visit from someone regarding urgent works needed to your home, don't deal with them. Report the matter to Police or Trading standards on 03454 04 05 06.

19MAY17 - Recent Ransomware Cyber- Attack- how to protect yourself

We urge you to share the following information from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) with your networks.

Home users and small businesses can take the following steps to protect themselves:

  • Run Windows Update
  • Make sure your antivirus product is up to date and run a scan - if you don't have one then install one of the free trial versions from a reputable vendor
  • If you have not done so before, this is a good time to think about backing important data up - you can't be held to ransom if you've got the data somewhere else. We recommend that you don't store backups on the same computer, or any other device within your home network. Home users should consider using cloud services to back up their important files. Many service providers (for example, email providers) offer a small amount of cloud storage space for free.
If persons have been infected please ask them to report it to Action Fraud : 0300 123 2040

For further information see the National Cyber Security Centre latest advice on its website.
www.ncsc.gov.uk/

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19MAY17 - London Regional Counter Terrorism Newsletter

Their latest newsletter update can be found on our website under 'crime prevention updates'. Please click on the link :
http://cbnwa.com/wp/index.php/nhw-croydon-updates/

Ten simple steps you can take to protect yourself from Fraud

  1. Do not give any personal information (name, address, bank details, email or phone number) to organisations or people before verifying their credentials.
  2. Many frauds start with a phishing email. Remember that banks and financial institutions will not send you an email asking you to click on a link and confirm your bank details. Do not trust such emails, even if they look genuine. You can always call your bank using the phone number on a genuine piece of correspondence, website (typed directly into the address bar) or the phone book to check if you're not sure.
  3. Destroy and preferably shred receipts with your card details on and post with your name and address on. Identity fraudsters don't need much information in order to be able to clone your identity.
  4. Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software and a firewall installed. Ensure your browser is set to the highest level of security notification and monitoring to prevent malware issues and computer crimes.
  5. Sign-up to 'Verified by Visa' or 'MasterCard Secure Code' whenever you are given the option while shopping online. This involves you registering a password with your card company and adds an additional layer of security to online transactions with signed-up retailers.
  6. If you receive bills, invoices or receipts for things you haven't bought, or financial institutions you don't normally deal with contact you about outstanding debts, take action. Your identity may have been stolen.
  7. You should regularly get a copy of your credit file and check it for entries you don't recognise. Callcredit, Equifax, Experian, ClearScore and Noddle can all provide your credit file. An identity protection service such as ProtectMyID monitors your Experian credit report and alerts you by email or SMS to potential fraudulent activity. If it's fraud, a dedicated caseworker will help you resolve everything.
  8. Be extremely wary of post, phone calls or emails offering your business deals out of the blue. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always question it.
  9. If you have been a victim of fraud, be aware of fraud recovery fraud. This is when fraudsters pretend to be a lawyer or a law enforcement officer and tell you they can help you recover the money you've already lost.
  10. If you need advice about fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to discuss your situation with one of their specialist fraud advisers. To report a fraud, you can either use their online fraud reporting form or make your report by calling 0300 123 2040.

The website www.getsafeonline.org also provides some excellent advice on keeping safe whilst using the internet and email.

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15MAY17 - Bogus pest control company is cold calling residents

Be aware that a bogus pest control company is cold calling residents and offering a free survey of their property.

The company are giving the name of a genuine pest control company who do not offer free surveys.

Do not deal with cold callers either at the door or by phone.

Report your concerns to Trading standards 03454 04 05 06 or Police on 101 unless it's an emergency - in which case call 999

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12MAY17 - Warning to summer holidaymakers as more victims are falling to holiday fraud

The average amount lost per person to holiday fraud last year was approximately £1,200, but losses are not just financial; they can also have an impact on health. Over a quarter (26%) of victims say that the fraud had also had a significant impact on their health or financial well-being. The most common types of holiday fraud relate to the sale of airline tickets, booking accommodation online as well as timeshare sales.

Types of holiday booking fraud
In 2016, 5,826 cases of holiday booking fraud were reported to Action Fraud. The most common types of fraud related to:

  • Holiday accommodation: Fraudsters are making full use of the internet to con holidaymakers by setting up fake websites, hacking into legitimate accounts and posting fake adverts on websites and social media.
  • Airline tickets: where a customer believes they are booking a flight and receives a fake ticket or pays for a ticket that never turns up. In 2016, flights to Africa and the Indian sub-continent were particularly targeted, suggesting that fraudsters are targeting the visiting friends and family market and may well be making use of lack of knowledge of the strict regulations in place for the legitimate UK based travel industry.
  • Sports and religious trips: a popular target for fraud due to limited availability of tickets and consequently higher prices.
  • Timeshares and holiday clubs: The sums involved with this form of fraud are particularly high with victims often losing tens of thousands of pounds each.

How victims lose out to holiday booking fraud
In common with previous years, the numbers of people reporting travel fraud to the police jumps in the summer and in December. This is a very clear indication that fraudsters are targeting the most popular travel periods. Customers may be particularly vulnerable in 2017 as the overseas travel industry is reporting good early booking levels with accommodation and flights at a premium. Fraudsters could take advantage of this by offering 'good deals' over the summer. These will then fail to materialise, leaving people out of pocket and with either no flights or nowhere to stay.

Bank transfer bookings
The two age groups most commonly targeted are those aged 20-29 and 30-39, with older generations less likely to fall victim, particularly those over 50 who are perhaps more wary of 'too good to be true' offers. The majority of those who are defrauded pay by methods such as bank transfer or cash with no means of getting their money back. Some fraudsters now actively encourage these payment methods by claiming that only these payment methods are protected by their own bogus insurance schemes.

Deputy Head of Action Fraud, Steve Proffitt, said: 'Action Fraud has seen a consistent rise in the number of holiday fraud reports made over the past five years. We recommend that people are thorough when researching their travel arrangements and book directly with an airline or hotel, or through a reputable agent. When deciding to deal directly with a property owner or letting agent, ask them questions about the booking, room, location and area.
From fraudulent flights to non-existent accommodation, the impact of falling victim to holiday fraud can be far greater than the financial loss and we hope that by raising awareness, people will feel better able to protect themselves from being a victim of fraud. We urge anyone who believes they have been a victim of fraud to visit www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud and report the incident.'

Top tips to avoid becoming a travel fraud victim

  • Stay safe online: Check the web address is legitimate and has not been altered by slight changes to a domain name - such as going from .co.uk to .org
  • Do your research: Don't just rely on one review - do a thorough online search to check the company's credentials. If a company is defrauding people there is a good chance that consumers will post details of their experiences, and warnings about the company.
  • Look for the logo: Check whether the company is a member of a recognised trade body such as ABTA. If you have any doubts, you can verify membership of ABTA online, at www.abta.com.
  • 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.
  • Check paperwork: You should study receipts, invoices as well as terms and conditions. Be very wary of any companies that don't provide any at all. When booking through a Holiday Club or Timeshare, get the contract thoroughly vetted by a solicitor before signing up.
  • Use your instincts: If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Get free expert advice: For further advice on how to stay safe when booking or researching travel online, go to Get Safe Online.

12MAY17 - Fake Lottery Scam

An email is circulating which states you have won the 'UK INTERNATIONAL EMAIL DRAW' . You have a large prize to claim but you need to send a list of personal details first. This is a scam to get your personal details - please do not reply to this email report it to action fraud.

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06MAY17 - Tourists Targeted by Fake Police Officers

There has been a series of recent incidents reported to Action Fraud where a lone fraudster has approached victims whom they believe to be unfamiliar with the local area. They make an excuse to talk to the victims such as enquiring about directions or offering a recommendation for a good hotel.

After this interaction, several other fraudsters will intervene purporting to be police officers in plain clothes and will sometimes present false identification as proof. The fake officers will then give a reason to examine the victims' wallet, purse or personal items. They may also examine the first fraudster's items or try to tell victims that the first fraudster is suspicious in order to gain victim trust and appear more realistic in their guise.

After all the fake police 'checks' are finished, victims have then reported being handed back their personal items only to later realise that a quantity of money or valuables were missing.

How to protect yourself:

  • If an individual claims to be a police officer ask for their name and rank, force, and examine any identification presented; this is always good practice but especially important if they are not wearing a uniform.
  • The Police will never ask for your passwords or PIN details. Do not give this information to anyone.
  • The Police will never request that you withdraw/transfer any money to them or to a 'safe' account.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting
    www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

06MAY17 - MPS Crime prevention Advice

The Metropolitan Police Service have a crime prevention initiative running around using plants as a natural way to help secure your home, as well as tips for securing the outside of your property. The document can be downloaded from our website.
Please click the image
or click on the following link :
Protect Your Home

06MAY17 - PayPal Scam Email

As mentioned before if you look at the email address of the sender and it is not a PayPal email address or there are spelling mistakes in the email. This is a scam, please do not click on the link. If you receive this email please report it to Action Fraud:
www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

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24APR17 - Speeding offences - increased fines

As you may have seen in the press the fine you can be issued for serious speeding offences has increased and this has come into force today.
read the full article

24APR17 - M25 Cat Killer

Please see the poster, I know we have circulated this before but we wanted to let you know this is still being investigated by the Police. If you have any information please contact the Police directly.
Click on the image to download the poster

24APR17 - Email scam

There is a scam email that is circulating claiming to be from 02 regarding your monthly bill. The email looks like it has come from an 02 email address but when you hover over the address in the header you can see it has come from another email address. It asks that you click on a link to see you bill, which is likely to put malware/virus on your PC.

In order to protect yourself from malware, having up-to-date virus protection is essential; however it will not always prevent you from becoming infected.

    Protect yourself
  • Don't click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages. Remember that fraudsters can 'spoof' an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication.
  • Do not enable macros in downloads, enabling the macro will allow the Trojan/malware to be installed onto your device
  • Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It's important that the device you back up to isn't left connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that too.
  • If you think your bank details have been compromised, you should immediately contact your bank.

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18APR17 - HMRC EMAIL SCAM

There is another HMRC scam that is currently circulating, there are a couple of different versions, both are scam emails claiming you have a tax refund but HMRC requires your details to pay it. There is a link that you are encouraged to click on.

Guidance from the official HMRC website is:

    HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will never use texts or emails to:
  • tell you about a tax rebate or penalty
  • ask for personal or payment information
If you are not sure if it is a scam then check HMRC's guidance on recognising scams .You can forward suspicious text messages to 60599. Text messages will be charged at your network rate.
You can forward suspicious emails to HMRC's phishing team: phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Please also report it to: www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

As with many scam emails clues that it is not a genuine email are: spelling mistakes, poor grammar and an email address that does not match the message content. Be suspicious of any unsolicited calls, emails or texts, even if it appears to be from a company you know of. Don't open the attachments or click on links within unsolicited emails, and never disclose any personal or financial details during a cold call.

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27FEB15 - TELEPHONE SCAMs

March 2014 Fraud prompts UK phone firms to tweak networks

Fraudsters are abusing "call clearing" systems that keep a line open even if the person being called has hung up.
BT, Sky and Virgin Media all outlined plans in 2014 to cut call clearing times from minutes to seconds to thwart thieves.
TalkTalk said it reduced its call clearing times "a good few months ago". One year-on this is still an issue.
The sad thing is that it is so simple that it will certainly fool many. This is all about getting your credit card details which include the security number to make fraudulent purchases.

Talk Talk Help - Scam phone calls

09Dec14 - MESSAGE FROM CBNWA

An old scam email warning of a card from Parcel Delivery Services being put through your letterbox asking you to ring a 0906 premium number to arrange delivery of a parcel. This is an old scam dating from December 2005 and if you receive this warning please delete it and do not circulate it.

Another phishing email claiming to be from BT email service warning that they are closing down your email service. This leads to a scam site in Italy and should be deleted, they are trying to get your personal details so that they can take over your email account!

Many reports of various emails asking you to look at the remittance advice attached usually claiming a large sum will be deducted from your account. Do not open the attachment as it contains a virus, just delete the entire message.

Also the mobile phone delivery fraud has been reported in the area again. A delivery man brings a parcel addressed to you and asks for a signature. Shortly afterwards you receive a phone call saying that the delivery was an error and they will send another van to collect the parcel. The parcel will contain a new and expensive mobile phone which has been ordered in your name and you will be billed for the entire cost of the phone. DO NOT hand the parcel back to anyone who calls at your door, contact the phone company concerned and warn them that a fraud is being carried out, you did not order the phone and they will tell you what to do next.

Reports of a French sounding male calling at houses in the Sanderstead area collecting for Diabeties UK. Not sure yet if this is genuine but all collectors should have an ID card with their details and a contact number that you can ring to confirm who they are if you are unsure.

Also, there have been reports of some silly tricksters working in the roads off London Road, especially in the Scott's Estate area. Their 'game' involves putting a large wheelie-bin in the middle of the road, which forces cars to stop in front of it. When the driver gets out of their car to move the bin, a man (described as 25 - 30 years old, black and with gold teeth), suddenly pops up out of the bin and scares the driver. He says 'I just slept in a bin'. This is all filmed on a mobile phone by a female accomplice (described as 18 - 20 years old, black and smartly dressed), who has been standing on the pavement nearby. After scaring the poor driver, the tricksters find this all very amusing, and then move the bin and let the driver go on their way. While this may perhaps seem harmless fun to the 2 tricksters, it is not at all fun for the poor driver, especially if they are on their own. Luckily, so far, no serious damage had been done. But Police have known of incidents where similar games are played, and when the driver gets out of their car, a thief then hops in and steals it. Should such an incident happen to you, and especially if you are on your own, the police advise you to do the following:-
Stay in the car and lock the doors. Do not put yourself at risk. Call 101. Sound the horn & put on the warning lights to attract help. Hopefully this will frighten the tricksters off.

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29Oct14 - MESSAGE FROM CROYDON BOROUGH POLICE COMMANDER

Please remember to secure your sheds, as we are seeing an increase in the number broken into and please secure your vans and mopeds as more of these are also being stolen.

Top ten tips for securing your home:

  • 1 Don't leave your keys or ID documents within easy reach of doors, letterboxes or windows.
  • 2 Close and lock all doors and windows. If you have multi-locking door handles, lift the handle, lock it with the key and remove it. Remember - LIFT - LOCK - REMOVE. Put the key in a safe place out of sight in case of fire.
  • 3 Lock garages and sheds so garden tools and ladders can't be used to break into your home.
  • 4 Keep side gates locked and wheelie bins stored behind them.
  • 5 Use timer switches linked to lights and a radio so it appears that someone is at home.
  • 6 Invest in a safe for valuables and sentimental items and securely fix it to a solid surface.
  • 7 Install a visible intruder alarm system - burglars don't want to be seen or heard.
  • 8 Install low level 'dusk till dawn' lighting to increase visibility and deter burglars.
  • 9 Keep side and rear boundaries high to restrict access and front boundaries low to remove hiding places.
  • 10 Photograph and mark valuables and sentimental items with your postcode and house number/name. Register items with serial numbers at: www.immobilise.com

For more help and advice visit www.metbumblebee.org

21Oct14 - SCAM EMAILS

Scam emails circulating from 'Microsoft account team' warning of unauthorized log in attempts to your Microsoft Account and giving a link for you to click on the verify your mail account. An important giveaway that this is a scam is that it is not addressed to your personally, Microsoft would use your name in a genuine email. This is a scam to obtain your login details and use your mail account.

Also scam emails from PayPal warning that your account has been limited and you should click on the link, this again is an attempt to obtain a PayPal log in details, the message is addressed to dear client and does not use your name.

A member has reported a telephone call from a lady offering to provide a service to block unwanted sales calls, she mentioned the Telephone Preference Service and said it would cost £66 for a year's subscription; this is a scam as the TPS is a free service and you can register yourself on this link www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/number_type.html unfortunately this does not block calls from overseas but will reduce the number of sales calls from uk businesses.

The Monks Orchard RA has also sent details of a similar phone scam:
"I would like to make you aware of a recent phone SCAM which I received: Caller Displayed number was 08452 411 525.
A caller from "STOP THESE CALLS" rings and refers to a scheme to stop nuisance calls. He introduces himself as Carl and sounds very convincing.
He gives a telephone number 08452 411 525 (rather stupidly) and says he can arrange to stop all National and International nuisance telephone calls. He then says the charges to do this are a minimal of £1.50 per month. I then said I will call the number and set it up (playing along - realising it was a scam). He then says "no, we can set it up over the phone, give me your card details and I can start blocking the calls immediately." When I refused the caller hung up, confirming it was a scam just to get my card details".

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10Jun14 - COURIER FRAUD UPDATE

Elderly and vulnerable Londoners were warned against falling victim to courier fraud on Thursday, 4 June, Courier Fraud Awareness Day, despite significant progress made in the last year in tackling the offence.

As part of this operation, officers from Operation Sterling, the Metropolitan Police's fraud prevention team, are working together with Ofcom, the DCPCU (Dedicated Cheque and Plastic Crime Unit), Trading Standards and high street banks, including Natwest, Barclays and Santander, to advise on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud. They are also distributing an updated edition of the MPS publication The Little Book of Big Scams, which can downloaded from the MPS website.

Courier fraud is a sophisticated fraud where scammers telephone the victim purporting to be someone from their bank, the police or other law enforcement agency. They then dupe the person into revealing their PIN and handing over their credit or debit card to a courier or taxi driver, who may not know they are being used as part of the scam. The victim may be asked to ring the number on the back of their card, thereby further convincing the victim that the call is genuine, however the scammer keeps the line open so that the victim unknowingly talks to another member of the gang, posing as a bank employee.

In the last year, the percentage of unsuccessful offences (where a call is made but a credit/debit card is not handed over) has increased to from 40% to 76% of all courier fraud calls reported to police. Officers believe this success is due to a combination of intensive efforts by Ofcom and the telecommunications industry to cut the amount of time taken to disconnect a call, and increased public awareness of the scam.

Despite these advances, police are warning people to be on their guard as criminals work ever harder to defraud their victims. 2556 courier fraud offences were reported to the MPS between April 2013 and March 2014 and the crime continues to evolve.

  • Bromley 142 offences
  • Bexley 73 offences
  • Croydon 178 offences
  • Lambeth 63 offences
  • Greenwich 72 offences
  • Lewisham 80 offences
  • Southwark 64 offences

Variations of the crime include:

  • asking the victim to assist in a police investigation. The victim is requested to withdraw a large sum of cash and take it home, where a courier then collects it.
  • being told there is a corrupt member of staff within the bank and asking for help in identifying them. The victim is told to withdraw a large sum of money, which will be 'marked', with the purpose of it being placed back into the banking system. A taxi driver is sent round to collect the cash.

Officers are advising the elderly and vulnerable to be aware of the following:

  • Police and banks will never ask for your PIN or bankcard
  • Never give your PIN or bankcard to anyone
  • If you are contacted by someone who asks for these, hang up
  • Use a different line to report the call to police on 101 or allow at least five minutes for the line to automatically clear
  • Call 999 if the crime is in progress.

    Courier fraudsters put a huge amount of time and effort into being convincing because the pay-off is immense. This is a massive part of what makes them so successful. We want people to question even truly genuine sounding calls and, most importantly, remember police and banks will never ask for your PIN or bank card, so you should never give these away.

    Since the start of 2014, the following boroughs have been hardest hit by courier fraud:

    • Barnet - 115 offences
    • Ealing - 83 offences
    • Kensington & Chelsea - 50 offences
    • Bromley - 47 offences
    • Croydon - 47 offences

    Between April 2012 and March 2013, the average age of a victim was 54 years old and nearly two thirds of victims were female. The average loss in 'complete' offences was approximately £2600 per offence. In addition, police seized nearly £48,000 in relation to courier fraud, under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

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    04Feb14 - NATIONAL CRIME AGENCY ALERT - MASS RANSOMWARE SPAMMING STILL TARGETING UK COMPUTER USERS

    The NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit are aware of a mass email spamming event that is ongoing, where people are receiving emails that appear to be from banks and other financial institutions.

    The emails carry an attachment that appears to be correspondence linked to the email message (for example, a voicemail, fax, and details of a suspicious transaction or invoices for payment). This file is in fact a malware that can install Cryptolocker - which is a piece of ransomware.

    04Feb14 - BOGUS EMAIL TRIES TO INSTALL ZEUS TROJAN ON YOUR COMPUTER

    Have you received an email from WhatsApp? No? That's because the company usually sends their users messages directly via the app itself, typically notifying them of updates. If you have received an email from WhatsApp recently, do not open it and to delete it immediately. The email is a hoax that contains malware.

    04Feb14 - AN OLD SCAM RETURNS

    An Old scam we reported some time ago appears to have returned to the London area and has been reported to the Met Police. A member of the public received a call from a company called 'Express Couriers' asking if they were going to be home because there was a package to be delivered to the owners address.

    About an hour later a delivery man turned up at the door with a lovely basket of flowers and a bottle of wine. The home owner was not expecting anything as there was no special occasion due. The customer enquired if there was a card and was told by the courier that it would arrive separately. The courier then explained that as the gift basket contained alcohol there was a £3.50 delivery charge as proof that he had actually delivered the package over 18 and not just left on the doorstep where it could be stolen.

    The home owner felt this sounded logical and offered to pay in cash but the courier said they could not take cash only credit card. The home owner paid by card on a small hand held machine which had a small screen and a keypad. A receipt was printed and given to the home owners. To the homeowners horror the following week they noticed that over £4000 had been taken from the account from various cash point machines.

    04Feb14 - TRADING STANDARDS WARNING ABOUT ROGUE TREE SURGEONS

    Recent bad weather has seen rogue tree surgeons taking advantage of vulnerable customers worried that high winds could bring down trees, causing injury and damage to property.

    Croydon's trading standards team, after learning of an elderly victim who fell foul of one company's sharp practice, is warning residents to be aware of the possibility of contractors acting unscrupulously.

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    Keeping your home safe in winter and the festive periods

      As the days become shorter and nights longer it is important to look at your home security especially during the festive period when there is a general rise in burglary crime across the whole of the country. Operation Bumblebee is set up to help tackle burglary crime across the Metropolitan Police boroughs below are the top ten tips from this operation.
    1. Mark or etch your property with your postcode, house or flat number or the first three letters of your house name.
    2. Register items with a serial number at: www.immobilise.com (such as mobile phones)
    3. Do not leave your car keys or ID documents near doors, letterbox or windows.
    4. Always check who's at the door and don't open it if you feel anxious.
    5. Close and lock all your doors and windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
    6. Keep your valuables out of sight.
    7. Leave some lights on if it will be dark before you get home.
    8. Install a visible burglar alarm.
    9. Always keep sheds and outbuildings locked.
    10. Cancel milk or other deliveries if you will be away for days or weeks at a time.

    For further crime prevention advice on home security and personal safety please visit the Metropolitan Police website
    www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention or contact your local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

    FRAUD SCAM    09Nov13

    There has been a recent increase in fraud occurring on Croydon borough whereby elderly residents are contacted on the telephone by a person pretending to be a police officer informing them that their cards have been used in fraud. The suspect then asks the victim for their bank details and pin number and state that a courier car will be with them shortly to collect the cards. On several occasions a car has arrived at the address and the cards have been taken. Please can this scam be shared throughout your community to prevent further incidents occurring.

    Should anyone had seen anything suspicious please encourage them to contact Police on 101 or
    Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111

    As a police service are investigating the offence and enquiries are ongoing. As part of our service we will be in contact with Neighbour Hood Watch schemes to encourage intelligence sharing and appeal for witnesses.

    Thank you for your on going support.    PC Gilchrist    Grip and Pace Centre   
    Croydon Police Station    Park Lane       Croydon    CR9 1BP

    COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS LOTTERY SCAM    22Oct13

    Police are warning of a Lottery scam which started in Scotland but may well spead south it asks people to send on their bank details in order for them to receive their cash.
    Households in Scotland have been receiving letters informing them they have won hundreds of thousands of pounds in a Commonwealth of Nations Lottery and asking them to send on their bank details in order for the cash to be transferred.
    Once a victim hands over their bank details, the fraudsters will use them to empty the entire account.
    Always remember if you haven't entered a lottery then you can't have won it.

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    SCAMMERS MAKE $33,000 A DAY THROUGH RANSOMWARE    22Oct13

    Ransomware sees criminals infect their victims with a piece of malware that locks the machine down, leaving behind a blackmail message offering to unlock the machine in return for money.
    The scams often involve a certain amount of social engineering, masquerading as a legitimate organisation or law enforcement body to make the user feel the fine is legal. Over the last three months ransomware scams pretending to be the Metropolitan Police, FBI and German Police have been discovered.
    If your computer is infected with this ransomware, do not pay any money to the scammers, if you have access to another computer you can find instructions on how to remove the locked screen on the internet using a programme such as Malware Bytes or you can get a local computer repair shop to remove the ransomware for you at a much lower charge.

    newsflash                  Bank Card Scam                 newsflash

    Call from 'your' bank, caller rings several times during the same day, each time needing to "check with my manager" before calling back.
    Each time you trust the caller more, as you know them!. Over the course of the conversations, it is made clear that there is a problem with your bank card, and that a courier will be sent round to collect the card, with a return the next day. In the meantime, each conversation has allowed you to reveal more confidential details, often including various numbers from your PIN. Over the total calls, they now know your complete PIN number.

    When the courier arrives, surprise surprise there is a call at the same time from the caller, just checking that "Kevin" has arrived. "Kevin" of course can confirm that this is he at the door.

    Your card is placed by you in a secure envelope, and the back signed by you.
    They now have the card, your signature, and the PIN obtained earlier!
    This, of course, is the last you see of the courier, your card, and no more calls.
    The card will be used within minutes to withdraw cash from a cash machine, and then used for shop transactions.

    Addiscombe banks are aware of this, they have had several customers in relating to this, and have a 'hot list' of the current targeted postcodes (Croydon and Shirley currently).

    newsflash              High Alert - Scaffolders About             newsflash

    Scam traders have been targeting older and elderly residents in the Addiscombe and Ashburton area. Residents are cold called by a man claiming to be erecting scaffolding for building work to be carried out on their neighbour's property. The man asks the resident for their name and telephone number so that their boss/the builder can call them regarding the scaffolding and work. The resident then receives a telephone call from a man stating that he will be working in the neighbour's loft and needs to fit a brace to support the roof while he removes the beams which are sodden with water. The man claims that he must use expensive machinery to fit the brace and tells the resident that they must pay a deposit, for the equipment being used, he asked one resident for £2,000. When challenged about what he had said, the man became agitated/aggressive and told the resident that if he did not use the brace water from the neighbour's loft would pour into their house and bring their ceilings down.

    These traders may still be operating in the Addiscombe/Ashburton area, or they may now be targeting another local area.

    Croydon Trading Standards warn : do not give your details to these people.
    If you are, or have been called on, by these traders please contact us on 0208 407 1311 or Trading.Standards@croydon.gov.uk

    newsflash      Female scammer in Ashburton/Addiscombe     newsflash

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    Late at night and sometimes in the very early hours a young female is knocking on addresses in a panicked state.

    She claims to be a neighbour, and that her partner/cousin etc has been stabbed, and that she needs to get to hospital urgently but has no money to get a taxi.

    She also claims that she has a number of children and they need to go with her in the taxi.

    When offered a lift she says that she just needs about £20 for a taxi to get to hospital.

    Because people are being neighbourly the generally give her £20 and she says she will pay them back, but this is the last they see of her.

    Reported active again in July 2013 in Northampton Road - THIS IS ALL A SCAM.

    The same female was doing the same thing around Ashburton/Addiscombe, a year ago, but had done this about 6 times we know of in the last couple of weeks. (no doubt there are many more which are unreported.)

    If any of your neighbours have been taken in by this female, can you get them to e-mail me on john.nunn@met.police.uk

    In the meantime if you could let residents know about this scam, and advise them that if she calls to call 999.

    If there are any genuine females in need out there, they will be helped by police who attend.

    The female is described as mixed race, aged in her late 20s/early 30s.