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Crime: 28 February 2014 


Another Courier Fraud in Maidenhead yesterday – see below – fortunately it was only an attempt and the message is getting through – The warnings are front page of the Maidenhead Advertiser this week and the BBC are running continual news items.
We have had reports of strange signs appearing in roads.  I have attached a handout showing examples of the traditional road signs that have been used.  The various borough departments will be out and about repairing drains etc. the Borough / Water Companies uses spray paint in blue or yellow.
A white van was pushed on its side in Wraysbury and the catalytic converter stolen from the exhaust system.
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27/2 – 28/2  Thursday 8 p.m. / Friday 8 a.m.  Ray Mead Court, Boulter’s Lane.  Car rear windscreen smashed.  No attempt to search or remove anything.
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27/2  Thursday  11.30 a.m. / 12.30 p.m.  Shottesbrook, Waltham Road, White Waltham.  A petrol disc cutter stolen from the rear of a tipper truck. 
27/2  Thursday 4.15 p.m.  Farm Road. ATTEMPTED COURIER FRAUD.  The Aggrieved received a call to say there had been illegal usage of her credit cards.  Would she please cut them up, place them in an envelope and hand them to a courier, who would be sent shortly.  She was in the process of doing this, when fortunately a friend arrived at that moment, explained that this was a scam and the police were called.  The taxi driver, who had been called by the Scammer to deliver the envelope to a garage in London, also felt this was suspicious and thought it might be connected to the Courier Frauds, also called the police.  The police arranged to watch the drop off point, but the scammer became suspicious and did not show.  The Aggrieved cancelled her cards and confirmed with the bank that nothing had been taken from her accounts.
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THREE BURGLARIES IN COX GREEN LAST NIGHT !  The police are still attending and on scene, so I only have details of two.  The third is apparently a ‘Vamoose Burglary’.  A burglary during which the keys and car are stolen.  Did anyone see anything suspicious ?  not only last night but perhaps in the previous week ?
28/2  Friday 1 a.m. / 6.20 a.m.  Bedford Close, Cox Green.  Property entered BY UNKNOWN MEANS – possibly letterbox entry (for our new members - fishing with a long rod through the letterbox, to remove house keys from a hallway table).  The UVPC front door had not been double locked.  Tidy search, a handbag and another bag stolen.  The handbag was recovered on the front lawn minus the cash from inside.
28/2  Friday 3.50 a.m.  Lillibrooke Crescent, Cox Green.  Burglary via forced front door.  Tidy search.  Mixing deck, iPhone 4, laptops X 2 and Watches X 2 stolen.  The owner – being technologically literate, turned on the mobile tracker software and the phone was recovered nearby round the corner.
Whilst talking about Tracker Systems / Apps.  I now understand that as most new Smart TVs can connect to the internet, you can pump in your post code and details.  If we recover it, we can simply turn it on and it will show on screen your full details !  If the thieves have not re-set it to factory settings – which they may not know how to do.
New gaming devices – Xboxes / PlayStations etc all now work wirelessly via the Internet for multiple player gaming – and – they also contain tracking software !!!  If you have kids / grandkids with these devices, ask them to familiarise themselves with this new development.  If they are stolen it could help them to get them back – and – just as importantly, send the thief or the handler, down for a long time, if they are caught in possession !!!
26/2 – 27/2  Wednesday 11.30 p.m. / Thursday 8.10 a.m.  Fane Way.  Garage break – 2 locks forced – extensive search.  Welder and possibly other items stolen.
27/2  Thursday 1 a.m. – 7.30 a.m.  Norden Road.  Car left UNLOCKED on a driveway entered and searched.  iPhone adaptor, SAT NAV, loose change and cables stolen.
28/2  Friday 1.30 a.m.  Aysgarth Park.  An offender entered the front garden and pulled up solar lights.
26/2  - 27/2  Wednesday 8 p.m. / Thursday 8.30 a.m.  Holyport Street, Holyport.  Doormat stolen from outside a house.  There may have been more stolen, but only one reported so far.
24/2 – 27/2  Monday 9 a.m. / Thursday 10.10 p.m.  Windsor Road.  Communal bike area entered – bike stolen.  A gents white / black, Giant Rapid bike.
Hi Jeff
Add the following to your contact list, most of those unwanted emails will be blocked or sent to the junks box, which works well on Windows Live Mail.
First name            :AUTO SENDING STOP
Last name            :!!
Hope this helps.
Best Regards
Many thanks George, anything we can do will help !
Dear Jeff

I received a call from an Indian/Asian man, supposed to be calling from
BT Internet Tech Support.  He said that their system had been alerted them to the fact that my computer was running slow and had a serious virus.
He asked if I had noticed that my computer sometimes ran slowly and sometimes froze over. (whose doesn't ?)
He said that the virus on my computer, was causing problems at his Tech Department and could mess up their systems.  He said he would have to go through my computer with me on the telephone, to clean it up and make it run faster and cleaner.
I asked his name which he said was Danny.  In view of his strong accent, I doubted this.  I said I would call him back.  He said no - he would call me back.  I insisted on getting a number from him, making the excuse that I had someone with me.  I insisted on a telephone number.
I also said I wanted to verify he was who he claimed to be and that he was really calling from BT.  He laughed and said are you accusing me of being a scammer?  I said I had a right to check him out.  He gave me the telephone number 0121 822 7061.  I hung up and tried to call this number three times, but each time it was unobtainable.
I called BT immediately and they confirmed that no call had been made to me by them and that it was likely to be a scam.  I gave the full details and they checked my line to see if I had received any calls, but nothing was listed???
Which means these scammers must be able to conceal calls they make to householders ?  The BT Operator said she would report this to the Managers.

I have reported it to Thames Valley Police.

I have a daughter with learning difficulties who would have probably tried to go along with these people and given them access to our computer.  My father would also have gone along with it too.

I thought you might like to put this information on your Neighbour Hood Watch emails for everyone to be aware and warn their children and elderly relatives.
Kindest regards

Jan (Ears only on this occasion)

Many thanks Jan – you did exactly the right thing.  We are all expecting these calls to come from Windows / Microsoft – not BT Tech Support.  Now we know and can be aware !!
Are mobile banking apps safe?
James Lyne Global head of security research at Sophos
Around half of us now manage our money online,
according to the Office for National Statistics.
These days you don't even need to be at a computer to manage your accounts, you can do it through your smartphone.
Banking applications allow you to pay bills, transfer money and keep an eye on your finances. But are they safe ?
That really depends on the application. Most internet banking providers, invest heavily in the security of their mobile applications.
These apps often have limitations, on the amount of money they can transfer, to minimise the risks.
Alternatively, they might require a code from a token or card reader, to authorise larger transactions.
Often, doing your banking through your smartphone, may be more secure than on a standard computer, but there are some exceptions.
The most important thing, is to make sure you use the official application for your bank and that you keep it updated.
Check that your Bank's mobile app has been validated for its security. Firstly, you should look on the bank's website for their own published statement on how they have validated, the security of their app.
If you can't find anything there, look for views from other customers that have used the app. One way to do this, is to put the bank's name and 'mobile app' in an internet search engine such as Google, to see what views there are of the app.

Are the risks different to normal online banking?

Generally speaking, there is far less nasty stuff targeting smartphones than traditional computers, which in a way, makes them more safe.
That said, there are over 650,000 malicious Android applications out there. Many of them are fake banking applications that claim to be official.
Much like a phishing campaign, these applications are put onto various app stores, where they wait for users to hand over their banking information.
It is critical that you make sure you install the right banking application.
Check your Bank's official website, for the latest advice on how to safely download the latest version of their banking app, to suit your phone.

What can I do to minimise the dangers of mobile banking?

Once you start using the application, find the option ‘to be sent a message every time there is a transaction in your account’. If your bank sends you an SMS whenever money goes in or out of your account, you can quickly spot, if something is wrong.
More generally, switch on your phone's pass code, password or pin security lock, so that only you can unlock it every time you go to use your phone.
You should also keep the operating system and apps updated with the latest versions. You can do this in your phone settings.
Getting a phone-tracking app which allows you to erase your data if it gets lost, is also an excellent idea.

Are antiviruses needed for smartphones?

Depending on the smartphone operating system, antivirus technology could be a good idea.
Apple iOS for example operates a locked down or 'walled garden' model, where only trusted applications can be installed on the device.
There have been examples of malicious applications but they were quickly removed from devices (not just the store), by Apple.
The Android operating system requires appropriate security controls and best practice, to keep it safe.
Malware which poses as a legitimate application (or a free version of a commercial application) is very common and often relies on you to download and install it.
You can pick up free antivirus for Android, via an app store.

What should you do if you think you've been scammed?

Contact your Bank immediately.  You can also report your case to Action Fraud.

Stay safe on your mobile

  • Never leave your device unlocked
  • Keep the apps on your phone regularly updated
  • Try not to use unsecured wi-fi networks for banking, purchases, or checking your emails
  • Take care when downloading apps - if something looks too good to be true, it probably is
  • Encrypt your phone
  • Check the security settings in your device to ensure maximum protection
A question re the I am crying as I write this scam from someone you know to say they are abroad and been robbed !
Hi Jeff,
I received an e mail allegedly from a good friend who lives in Henley, saying that she was stuck in Ukraine, had been robbed and urgently required a loan of £2500.  It was obviously not from her, the language and spelling were not what she would have used.
I checked with her at her home address by phone and learnt that I was the third person to have reported back, and she deduced that her computer had been hacked.
She is taking the appropriate steps to report this and change her log in details etc.  Is there any possibility that knowing my e mail address, my computer could also be hacked.  I use an apple mac which I understand are not so easily hacked. Is there any safeguards that I should take ?
Yours Michael
We asked Paul Hay our IT Guru – who as always, was most helpful and reassuring:
Jeff, Michael,
No, you don't have to worry. Just because you received the email will not mean your computer will be infected.
This is a common scam. Just delete the email.
Emails that could cause problems, are ones that have an attached file that, once you have opened the file, will potentially release a virus and infect your PC .

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