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Crime: 20 March 2014 


We have had two and a half Courier Fraud incidents over the weekend.  There is a new twist
Before I discuss it – OFCOM have released a statement relating to the length of time a line stays open if the initiator of the call fails to replace the handset:
BT have confirmed the imminent change (10 April) is to 10 seconds and not to 2 seconds.
They claim the reason for the mixed media messaging is that the ‘You and Yours’ programme was on the morning of the 26th Feb which ran the 2 seconds story and they only discovered on the afternoon of the 26th that the timer could only be set to 10 seconds minimum.  They are working with Ericssons, their vendor, to establish how quickly a lower value could be achieved.
02, EE and Vodafone all have committed to cut the timers on their networks to 2 seconds from the end of this month (and H3G to follow shortly afterwards). This will significantly disrupt the way this fraud is currently carried out (through PAYG phones) and mean that criminals will no longer be able to use mobile handsets, to defraud in this way and will be driven to landline and VoIP technology if they want to continue (all of which is more easily traceable).
A real step forward.  We must all be aware these changes do not come into effect for some weeks and the Fraudsters, may increase the number, knowing the scam is doomed to terminate, in early April.

First one in Eton Wick:
The person making the scam calls - is now a woman – ‘Amy Hamilton’, from Nat West Bank.  She informs you that your cards have been cloned and two men are in custody at Holborn Police Station.  They maintained they had their Grandparents authority to use the card.  She includes snippets of detail, to make it sound more plausibleAmy asks the aggrieved to phone the number on the back of their card – immediately - When they do, they speak to another woman – Rosie Smith, from the Fraud Department at Nat West.  You are then asked for your card details and to please key in your PIN number, on the phone keypad.  In the Eton Wick case, the aggrieved was suspicious and typed in an incorrect PIN number.
Rosie goes on to tell you she needs your cards, to have them forensically examined and will send a courier to collect them.  He will identify himself, as ‘Michael Singh’.  He will answer a series of pre agreed security questions, so that you are reassured he is genuine.  In this case Michael arrived, answered the questions correctly, took the cards and left on foot.  The Couriers hide their transport some distance away, so that you cannot see an index number.  You are kept on the line the whole time to monitor progress  - up to 4 hours - to make sure you cannot call anyone else – and no-one else can phone you !
Then one of the potential aggrieveds, got another call, from PC Imad Ickhead, from Holborn Police Station, to say that the two in custody had associates.  Could she please parcel up any valuables such as any expensive jewellery and again a courier would be sent to take them to the police station, for safekeeping.
At that point the aggrieved became very suspicious and questioned PC Ickhead, who put the phone down.
They have now correctly cancelled all their cards with their bank, who confirm nothing has been removed.
2nd one in Dedworth:
14/3  Friday 3 p.m. / 6 p.m.  Mansell CloseCOURIER FRAUD.  The aggrieved received a phone call at about 3 p.m..  It was a woman, saying she was a PC Amy Hamilton, a Metropolitan Police Officer and there had been illegal usage of credit cards.  The cards had been used in the Apple shop in the Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford.  Two men had been detained and arrested.  The aggrieved was instructed to phone the number on the back of their card – immediately – to inform their bank.  She would arrange for the cards to be collected shortly and gave the aggrieved a password the Courier would say.  They did as instructed and phoned their ‘bank’ immediately.  They spoke to a man who was well spoken, possibly Asian.  They were asked for the card details and to speak the 4 digit PIN code down the line, into a recording device after a beep.  The cards were then to be placed into an envelope which would be collected by the courier.  The courier arrived at 4.15 p.m., gave the password and the cards were handed over.  He is described as Asian, early 20s, 5’2’’, slim build, clean shaven, black hair, braces on his teeth.  He was smartly dressed with a white shirt, black trousers and black bomber jacket.  No vehicle seen.  .  45 minutes later, they became suspicious and phoned the police, who confirmed it had been a scam.  They then phoned the bank and cancelled all the cards.  ‘PC Amy Hamilton’ phone again at 6.30 p.m. to confirm she had received the cards phone. She was told by the aggrieved that they now knew it was a scam, had phoned the police and cancelled the cards.  Amy then said good, keeping up the pretence that she was a real police officer.
3. The one half:
I have had an email from one of our members in Old Windsor.
Dear Jeff,
At 7.30 p.m. on 14th March, we received a phone call from PC Amy Hamilton to report they had arrested two African boys using my wife's credit card.  They claimed that they were my wife's grandsons (my wife is white) and had her permission.  I refused to answer any more questions and asked for her phone number and crime number.  The phone number given was 020 726 158 739 and the crime number was KPST7147.  I said I would check with the police and phone her back.  I phoned 101 and told Thames Valley police and they told me it was a scam - do not phone back.
Kind regards,
Many thanks Mike, a lucky escape.  They are making dozens of calls – we must all be aware.
Hi Jeff
I thought it be worth reminding your readers of Crime Alert that Windows XP will reach end of support on 8th April 2014 and alert them that malicious individuals, may inappropriately use this ‘end of service’, as the basis for hoax calls.
The ‘end of support’ basically means there will be no security, or technical updates, which could leave people’s PCs open to malware and other viruses. It is recommended that users upgrade their software as soon as possible.
There is more info here, on the type of scams.
Please can you urge people to speak to friends and family and advise them Microsoft does not send unsolicited email messages, or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal, or financial information nor fix your computer.  If you receive an unsolicited email message, or phone call that purports to be from Microsoft and requests that you send personal information, or click links, delete the message or hang up the phone.
Please note that:
Microsoft does not send unsolicited communications about security updates.
When we release information about a security software update, or a security incident, we send email messages only to subscribers of our security communications program.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals have exploited this program by sending fake security communications that appear to be from Microsoft.  Some messages lure recipients to websites to download spyware or other malicious software.  Others include a file attachment that contains a virus. Delete the message. Do not open the attachment.
Legitimate security communications from Microsoft
  • Legitimate communications do not include software updates as attachments. We never attach software updates to our security communications. Rather, we refer customers to our website for complete information about the software update or security incident.
  • Legitimate communications are also on our websites. If we provide any information about a security update, you can also find that information on our websites.
Microsoft does not make unsolicited phone calls to help you fix your computer
In this scam cybercriminals call you and claim to be from Microsoft Tech Support. They offer to help solve your computer problems. Once the crooks have gained your trust, they attempt to steal from you and damage your computer with malicious software including viruses and spyware.
Although law enforcement can trace phone numbers, perpetrators often use pay phones, disposable cellular phones, or stolen cellular phone numbers.  It's better to avoid being conned, rather than try to repair the damage afterwards.
Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism. Do not provide any personal information.
If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support, hang up. We do not make these kinds of calls.
If you think you might be a victim of fraud, you can report it. For more information, see: What to do if you think you have been a victim of a scam.
Sarah Guy  Windows Enterprise Product Marketing Manager
Many thanks Sarah.  If ever you have advice for us – please feel free to circulate it via the Alert system.
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
16/3  Sunday 8 p.m.  Business, Ray Mill Road East.  Access via hole cut in the wire perimeter fence.  Diesel – 60 litres - siphoned from vehicles into tubs.  The offender was disturbed and made off, leaving the fuel behind.
12/3 – 15/3  Wednesday noon / Saturday 2.30 p.m.  Grafton Close, Furze Platt.  Garage break.  Lock forced and broken.  Tidy search, 2 bikes stolen.  1.  A Unisex, white, GT Transeo 1.0 bike (WITH FRAME NUMBER !)  2.  A UNISEX, RED Kona Hahanna bike.
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
13/3 – 15/3  Thursday / Saturday  Alleyns Lane, Cookham Dean.  Shed break.  Shed door unscrewed from its hinges.  Honda 21’’red Lawn mower stolen.
14/3  Friday 1 a.m.  Coffee shop, Lower Road, Cookham Rise.  Offenders forced entry at the rear, by smashing glass door.  Searched the interior, nothing taken.  As there have been previous break-ins along this road, the staff clear everything every night.
14/3  Friday 2 a.m. / 2.30 a.m.  Farm outbuildings, Upper Culham Road, Cockpole Green.  Isolated Landrover specialist workshop entered, via forced side door.  Various tools stolen.  2. 
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
8/3 – 14/3  Saturday / Friday 8.20 p.m.  Laburnham Road.  Car keyed.
16/3  Sunday noon / 3.15 p.m.  Ross Road.  Window damaged by possibly a pellet.
15/3 – 16/3  Saturday 12.30 p.m. / Sunday 12.30 p.m.  White Hart Cottages, Moneyrow Green, Holyport.  Shed break – screws removed from the padlock – nothing taken.
I have been asked to remind everyone that there are teams of BOGUS BUILDERS out there, cold calling offering to do roofwork etc.  PLEASE, DO NOT EMPLOY ANYONE WHO CALLS AT YOUR DOOR.
If you think you need building work done and are of pensionable age, contact Louise Tyson at Repair with care in the first instance:
If we uncover one instance of Bogus Builders reported to us – there will be several others we know nothing about charging someone a fortune for virtually nothing or very substandard work !!!
If you see builders working at the house of an elderly neighbour, email your Neighbourhood team on the Group email above.  They will organise a discrete walk past to see what is happening.

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