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Rochford District Neighbourhood Watch
Further Neighbourhood Watch information. Scam Alerts - Page 1 (Most Recent) (Scroll down to see all recent alerts) (Return to Neighbourhood Watch Front Page)
School Absences – Fraud Alert (Received from NW 28/2/13) Essex County Council is warning parents and schools to be aware of a fraud scam around unauthorised absences. The Counter Fraud Team at Essex County Council were alerted today (7th February) of a parent of a pupil at an Essex school who received a phone call purporting to be from the Education Welfare Service stating that their child had not attended school that day and as a result they had to pay a fine of £340. The parent was asked to provide her credit/debit card details so that a payment could be made over the phone. The Education Welfare Service do not phone parents demanding payment immediately over the phone. Invoices and penalty notices are sent via the post by the Education Welfare Service and parents are then given the option to pay by phone. Although payments can be accepted over the phone, at no time would the Education Welfare Service phone a parent demanding payment immediately over the phone. Any parent who receives such calls should inform their school and the Essex County Council’s Trading Standards team on 0845 404 0506. COMIC RELIEF AND OTHER CHARITABLE ACTIVITIES.(Received from NW 28/2/13) Be careful of a possible scam. A young child knocked on my door asking for sponsorship. The child was so young, I dialled 101 and called the police, thinking it was a child protection issue. They responded immediately, and a PCSO was at my door within minutes. Thankfully we are a Neighbourhood Watch road. I was able to phone various neighbours and found out that another child had been working the other side of the road, telling an entirely different story. If a child comes to your door asking for sponsorship, say no! (unless you know them, and are happy to support them as neighbours children etc)., Note: Under normal circumstances, it is an offence to ask for donations or sponsorship if contributions are requested to be paid at the time of calling, unless the caller is in possession of a House to House Collection Permit requested by a registered charity and issued by the local authority( e.g: EFDC ,BBC or Harlow) or a National exemption granted by the Home Office. (Minimum age in each case is 16 years). Received from NW 7th February 2013 Detectives have renewed an appeal to beware of bogus police officers following another incident in west Essex. A woman aged in her 80s was tricked into giving her bank details after receiving a phone call from a man claiming to be a detective chief inspector from the Metropolitan Police. The caller, who claimed he was DCI Charlston told the woman that she had been the victim of a fraud and that he needed all her bank details, which she provided. The woman, who is from Chigwell, was then told that the officer would need to see her bank cards and that a courier would be sent to collect them. A man turned up 30 minutes later and took the cards. It is not yet known how much has been taken from the woman’s savings. Detectives are carrying out an investigation into the incident which was reported on Tuesday morning. The latest warning follows an alert issued on Monday about a bogus caller claiming to be a police officer, who attempts to use the Police non-emergency telephone number 101 to obtain bank details. That suspect is known to call people and tell them their bank details had been found in possession of arrested suspects. In an attempt to verify that he was a genuine officer he gave the name of Sgt James Hackett (no such officer exists) and invited his intended victim to call him back urgently, within five minutes, on the police 101 number. One victim did call him back to find out more but became suspicious because there was no dialling tone and no extension number was given. He hung up immediately. Another victim was tricked into giving details. Inspector Paul Wells said: “We have no evidence that the three incidents are connected because the methods are not the same in all three cases. However, in each case the caller claimed to be a police officer and claimed to be investigating an alleged theft or fraud against the victim. “It is absolutely vital that people are on their guard if they receive a call of this kind. Genuine police officers will never ask for bank details over the telephone. It is possible that one man or a group of criminals working together is using different names and different stories to trick the elderly or vulnerable. One simple rule will prevent you from falling for this kind of con and that is to never give bank details to anyone who has called you. “The same is true of people who knock at your door. If an individual is legitimate, they should not mind your asking for them to prove who they are.” Anyone who is contacted by a caller claiming to be police investigating a bank card fraud should contact police on 101. Anyone with information about suspicious callers claiming to be police should call detectives at Loughton CID, also on 101. Received from NW 6th December 2012 'Residents in the north of Essex are experiencing "cold call" telephone enquiries offering to install house alarms for a substantial discount, £1200 being a figure most commonly quoted.The concern is the practice will move to the south of the county. It is not against the law to make these sales calls, however may I remind your members that: 1. Alarms are very effective when they are designed to meet your individual needs. This is not more expensive!!! 2. Your local crime reduction officer, Mick Armstrong, is available on 01702 423187 and will provide FREE, IMPARTIAL advice on the system best for you. 3. Many local companies will install very effective alarms for substantially less than £1200. Best wishes Mick Michael Armstrong Ad.Cert.ED&CP Crime Reduction & Architectural Liaison Officer Southend Police District & Rochford Police District' Received from NW 15th November 2012 Christmas is coming and so are the SCAMS Nothing new but some old favouites back on the streets:- Nottingham Knockers - Trying to sell you overpriced goods ( dusters/car cleaning kit etc) on your doorstep Delivery Companies - Delivering gifts you did not order or winnings from a competion you did not enter Security Companies - Providing a 'free' security assessment, getting you to sign a contract, then charging thousands to install the system and monitor it Be on your guard - Do not buy at the door or over the phone anything you did not order in the first place Continue to FURTHER ALERTS