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Crime: 3 January 2014 

I have managed to read through a fair number of your emails and they contain some really good advice for me to share with everyone.  The most important is the Courier Scam – someone calls and says your credit cards have been cloned, they will send a courier round to collect them.  Please don’t fall for it.  There have been several attempts in the last few days in this area.
I have had a request in from Roddie:
Hello Jeff
To most home owners the prospect of your house being burgled is very concerning.  When you report these burglaries, it would be interesting if you could possibly also let us know whether security alarms had been fitted to the property ( and /or set! )
Very interesting to hear about your exploits abroad too.
We, in this area, are very grateful for your fantastic work with NW over any years.
Best Wishes and Happy New Year
What a good idea !  I will do my best, where this information is recorded in the police computers.  What I would say immediately, is that we did some research a few years ago, out of 100 burglaries, only 7 houses had alarms fitted.  That tells you something immediately.  Of those 7 - 5 were not set – due to a family pet / children in the house.  Of the remaining 2 – the thieves broke a window to establish if the alarm was set.  Once it sounded, they immediately made off.  Message sent and understood ???  Alarms are now much cheaper than they were and as they are wireless, there is no damage to your decorations as they are fitted.  If you walk down your road and you see a lot of your neighbours are now ‘alarmed’,  take note !  An opportunist thief, will do the same and ignore those alarmed houses, looking for those that are not !  AN ALARM, DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU HAVE SOMETHING WORTH STEALING.  It is your best protection, if you remember to set it !  All new alarms are now pet sensitive.  If you live in a built up area a street sounding alarm is fine.  If you live in a more remote location, where a sounding alarm would cause no interest or may not be heard – you will need a monitored alarm.  Alarms now don’t sound outside a house to alert neighbours, they sound inside and are deafening.  The purpose ?  To make sure anyone inside has to leave !!
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1/1 – 3/1  Wednesday midnight / Friday 11.30 a.m.  Ray Park Avenue.  Copper immersion heater stolen from outside a house.  It had been taken out and the owner was going to take it to sell to a scrap yard
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2/1  Thursday 10.45 p.m.  Courthouse Road.  The owner received a telephone call supposedly from the Met Pol in Paddington Green.  The ‘policeman’ stated that he had 2 people in custody with the aggrieved’s bank details on them.  They should phone their bank immediately and have the cards ready for a courier to collect.  The aggrieved then immediately phoned the police back and gave them all their card details, including the security code on the back.  They believed they were speaking to a DCI at Maidenhead Police Station.  A short while later a courier arrived and they handed over the cards !!!  The courier is described as black, early 20s, not too bright, wearing a yellow and red crash helmet.
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Courier fraud is on the increase and we have just had another here – in Maidenhead.  It often targets the elderly and vulnerable.  The victim receives a phone call from fraudsters, who say they are their bank or the police.  They tell the victim that they are calling, because there has been suspicious activity on their account.  They advise them to call the bank using the number on the back of their card.  This helps the victim believe the call is genuine.
The victim puts the phone down, then picks it back up believing it has been disconnected and dials their bank or police.  What they don’t know is that the fraudster has not put the phone down their end.  This keeps the phone line connected, so even though a number is dialed, nothing will happen and the original fraudster can now answer in the new persona.  They then gain their trust and asks them to either say or key in their pin.  Then they tell them their card will be collected and a replacement delivered.
Once the fraudster has all the information they need, a courier is sent to collect the card from the victim – this is often an innocent taxi driver.  If a new card is delivered at the same time, it will not be a genuine bank card.
If you get one of these calls, you must phone your bank / the police on another phone.  I used to say, when you pick up the phone after the call to phone the bank, make sure there is a dial tone.  The fraudsters are onto this and play a recording of a dial tone down the line – so only a second phone will do.
If the fraud is working, they will keep you on the phone the whole time you are waiting for the card to be collected, to prevent you phoning anyone else and to withdraw as much as they can from your account, before you can do anything about it..
To date, TVP has received 17 reports of fraud of this type across the Force, however neighbouring forces are experiencing a large number of reports, so please be aware, make sure it does not happen to you or anyone you know.
I have had this in from Melanie , who was a potential victim of this type of Fraud, but did exactly the right thing !
Hi Jeff,
Perhaps, my experience will help others and remind them, it could happen to them – as it has just happened to me !
I got a call from a Withheld number from the ‘Police’ at ‘Paddington Green station’.  this made me very shaky and nervous.  The caller said it was to discuss an incident in the last hour.  I was put on my guard, as he asked for ‘ Mr or Mrs ****’ (he knew our surname!!!!).  As we are ex directory, most callers know me or my husband by our first names and they expect us to answer.
I said I would not continue the conversation, until I could verify who he was- he gave me his name (Dt Cons Rogers) and badge number (EK453).
He said I could reach him on 101 (the genuine number for the police)
Before I rang 101, I tried ringing my husband on his mobile.  The line was crackly, so I dropped the call.  I then rang him using my mobile.  I got through to him straightaway- he had no idea what the call may be about and said it was nothing to do with him.
I then rang 101 from my home line - which was no longer crackly - and spoke to the PEC at Thames Valley Police.  Apparently, I was the 8th person to call, re the same situation (they were surprised I had had a call, as I’m ex directory). As the caller had given me his name/badge number etc., they put me through to the Met, just to be sure- the lady there, said I was 5th person with same details !!!  She said she was pleased I had terminated the call and not responded.
Now the scary thing is, had I rung 101 straightaway, I would have been speaking to the same caller, as he would not have disconnected the call.  That was probably, why the line sounded so crackly!  The Met Police, told me that he would then have explained it was something to do with a credit / Debit card and ask to confirm bank details etc…..
So can you alert everyone, to be on their guard, and especially make sure elderly relatives know about this.  I was shaken, even though I thought it was weird.
The police said they NEVER do any of this – if they send someone round to your house, they would be in uniform or have a Warrant card.  They would not send a courier to collect a card !
Many thanks Melanie.  It means so much more if people hear this from someone who has had a call rather than me just banging on about it.  This makes it real – it can happen to anyone – and does – every day.
A warning about attachments from scam Amazon emails from Joyce:
Hi Jeff
I am have receiving e-mails from a source calling themselves ‘Amazon’. They are asking me to open an attachment, to view an invoice.
Amazon never do this and it is a scam.  Amazon always display your order, on the actual email.  Other than this, you can only view on your orders after putting in your passwords etc.
Please pass this onto other neighbourhood members.
Thanks Joyce
The Windows Scam calls are still happening:
Hi jeff,
I have received quite a few calls from Microsoft about my computer ‘sending error messages’.  
i give a simple reply each time.
Funny how can that happen I do not have any computers.
Phone call goes away.

(I do have computers but that’s my standing answer)
Hello Jeff,
I received an email this morning from BT saying that a bill was outstanding, If I click on the link I can see it.
As it happens, I received my actual bill yesterday.  As my account in credit, I know this is a scam.
Can you warn everybody please as it could worry many others.
BT, told me to forward it to them at  which I've done
Scam Phone Calls:
Hello to all of you who receive unsolicited telephone calls. We have been ex directory for about 30 years and never receive the type of calls that I read about in the reports on Thames Valley Alert.

Regards Jeremy
Scam email from ‘Barclays Bank’:
Hi Jeff,
I have a problem email, telling me it is a receipt from Barclays Bank for £1,401 with a zip file receipt attached. It says:  "Transaction details - Transaction is completed, £1401 has been successfully transferred............
If the transaction was made by mistake please contact our customer service.

Payment receipt is attached..........

I don’t have an account with Barclays Bank, but I do have a Barclaycard. I don’t think I have sent anyone money. I assume it is a scam. What do I need to do about it ?
The answer is bin it, but do not open the attachment !
Hi Jeff,
One of my neighbours, gave me a very good piece of advice when not expecting visitors and the doorbell goes. Go up to an upstairs window and shout down. If you don’t want to continue the conversation you can say good by and shut the window.  The caller cannot push their way in or put their foot in the door. If you do not wish to do this, just put the chain on and have a panic alarm by the door just in case.

Mrs U

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