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Crime: 17 April 2014


Last night we held a NHW Open meeting in Ascot.  Our Guest Speaker was Greg Nelson from the Borough’s Trading Standards Team.  The work carried out by his team is very extensive.  It covers all aspects of Doorstep Selling, shops, businesses and scams, which overlaps with the work of the police and of course, yourselves.  Greg is a brilliant raconteur and his presentations, are always immensely entertaining as well as informative.
Greg confirmed my advice, when dealing scammers by letter, phone or email.
You must not respond in any way.
If it is a phone call, just put down the receiver.  If you enter into conversation of any kind – even to say you are not interested - you will be recorded by them, as a ‘responder’ – a live phone number, a possible ‘mark’, who could be persuaded, at a later date.  Even if you are curious and want to know more about how the scam works, you will be recorded as a live phone number and your contact details, will be sold to other scammers as a live number is worth much more than an untested number, so you will thereby increase the number of scammers, who will make contact with you.
Same for emails.  If you even have an inkling, it might be a scam, perhaps you do not recognise the sender - bin it without opening.  By opening / reading it, your computer sends a message back to the scammer that yours is a genuine email address and that it is a live / active email.  Emails for scams are computer generated, using letters and symbols randomly.  Millions of course, will be gibberish and fail, the live ones, are recorded and again sold on.
Letters - exactly the same principal.  It is a numbers game.  If a scammer sends 100,000 and gets a response from even 1% - the rewards are worth the effort.
I have attached the handouts produced by Paul Westgarth from Home Instead once again.  Just reading about the Jessica Project, whereby someone responded to one of these letters and their details were sold on to hundreds of companies, resulting in thousands upon thousands of scam letters arriving each month, completely overwhelming her and affecting the balance of her mind, to such an extent that she would not listen to the concerns of her family, but became obsessed with answering and sending money to them.  This is a serious business.
Another very real example of how the list system works
We have had 2 more Courier Scams.
One was discussed with me by chance, at a drinks party.  As soon as the person knew I worked for the police, she told me that funnily enough, she had had a call from a police officer at Hammersmith Police Station that very day !   She went through the story, about 3 black lads arrested in the Westfield Shopping Centre, using her credit cards.  They said they were her grandchildren and she had let them use the card.  I was unable to convince her, that it was a scam.  She felt I was over reacting, the nice policeman in Hammersmith, had it all under control.  He did sound a bit ‘rough’, and he had a funny accent, but he was very kind and very helpful.  He had even asked her to immediately phone her bank, to cancel her cards, which she had done - so all was well.  I could not convince her otherwise and she has not yet, reported it to us.
How many others are there out there, in the same predicament, giving the fraudsters plenty of time to completely empty their bank accounts  ?
Until they receive and check their statements, which could be some time – they aren’t even aware, they have been scammed.
The second, in Ditton Road, Datchet, not only involved the Courier Scam, but by pure coincidence – as the address had been sold on, bogus gardeners – both events occurred on the same day, but were unconnected.
On the Monday 14th April an elderly victim, received a phone call from a man purporting to be a ‘police officer’ at Hammersmith Police Station.  He had some lads in custody, who had been arrested, using her credit cards.  If she would give him all the card details, he would arrange for them to be cancelled immediately.  She did this and even gave him her PIN numbers.  He then said he would send a courier for them.  She was given three passwords, so that she would be sure, the courier that arrives, was legitimate.  A few minutes later, an Asian teenager arrived at the door and took her cards.  As a result of a call to us relating to the second incident at her home – the bogus gardeners – the Fraud was discovered, her bank notified and money that had been removed, was tracked and replaced.
The second unconnected, but coincidental incident.
On Monday 14th April a man knocked at her door and offered to trim the bushes in her rear garden.  They agreed a price of £140.  A second man then appeared.  They had no tools or equipment, so she let them use hers, from her garage.  They started to cut a conifer in the garden, but stopped and said they needed paying at that time – the bill though had now risen to £5,000.  She handed them two cheques made out for £2,500 each.  They left saying they needed to get more equipment .............You know the rest.  They have not been seen since.
You can imagine how she feels today
A warning from one of our members re applications to fake Internet sites:
Hi Jeff
My husband recently lost his wallet in Ireland.  Amongst other things, it contained his driver’s licence.
I went on line to order a replacement.  I went to the DVLA website and followed the links.  I ordered a replacement licence, which cost £39.
To do this, I also had to complete all his personal details DOB, Address Passport Number etc. etc. etc..
After 8 weeks, no licence had arrived in the post.  I suggested, my husband phone the DVLA to find out what was going on.
They confirmed that the website I had visited, was not theirs !  I was quite shocked, as it really did look like the DVLA and it had a ‘’ suffix.
If you lose your Driver’s Licence, the DVLA charge £20 for a replacement, not £39 !
I have actually used a scam website quite unknowingly and lost £39.  Not only that - I have given the scammers all of my husband’s details - and - my Credit Card details  !!!
Feeling very Stupid !
I have to say I have looked at the website and it looks perfectly genuine, it did though crash my computer – obviously the virus protection was working.  Also it did not change the colour of the toolbar to green, to show it was a secure site !  Thanks for the warning Teresa
Bike Security Grading Scheme puts the brakes on bike theft
The Royal Borough’s Community Safety Partnership, has teamed up with local bike shops, to tackle bike theft.
A bike grading card, which enables RBWM Community Wardens and Police Community Support Officers to assess how well a bike has been secured, will be left on the bike showing the grade.
The card also offers advice on locking up a bike more securely, as well as discounts from:- The Bike Company, 700, Stows (all in Windsor), DNA Cycles, Maidenhead, and Wellington Trek in Ascot which are all giving 10 per cent off certain locks, if the card is presented at time of purchase.
A series of events has been organised where free bike marking will be available. The two confirmed so far are:
  • Tuesday 22 April, Maidenhead Train Station, between 4 and 6pm
  • Wednesday 23 April, Eton and Riverside Train Station, between 4 and 6pm.
Cllr Carwyn Cox, Cabinet member for Community Safety, said: “With spring here, many residents and visitors will be out and about on their bikes, so now is an opportune time to offer bike security advice.  There is a double benefit as not only do bike owners get advice on securing their bikes more effectively, but they can also get discounts from a number of bike shops in the borough that are working with us to reduce bike crime.
“The events are an excellent way to engage with residents to promote cycle security and safety, and local businesses can benefit from increased trade.”
Cllr Geoff Hill, Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, said: “The Royal Borough has a well-developed and established cycle network and also excellent facilities throughout the area for residents to store their bike.
“Cycle facilities, are important to the Royal Borough and we are constantly working to provide safe and convenient cycle routes, for everyone to use. Unfortunately, in the Borough we also have people who are on the look-out, to steal bikes.  I would like to encourage as many people as possible, to take advantage of these events, to find out how to make their bike less appealing, to a would-be thief.”
Chief Insp Lee Townsend, Deputy Local Area Commander, said: “Initiatives such as this play a key role in reducing crime and I would like to thank the bike shops for coming on board. A bike can be a very costly item and therefore having the correct lock is critical to prevent it from being stolen.
“According to our latest crime figures, bicycle theft is down by 2 per cent this year compared to the same period last year. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, I would like to see a bigger reduction over the coming year with there being even fewer incidents and victims. It is therefore important that the relevant crime prevention advice is followed at all times.”
The Community Safety Partnership has updated its website and more information on bike security can be found at
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
15/4  Tuesday 4 p.m. / 6 p.m.  Australia Avenue.  Burglary.  Entry via INSECURE side door – untidy search – cash and gold jewellery stolen.
14/4 – 15/4  Monday 7 p.m. / Tuesday 10 a.m.  St. Mark’s Road.  Car badly keyed.  The offender left 2 stickers on the windscreen with an offensive message.
15/4  Tuesday 9.35 p.m.  Restaurant Car Park, Windsor Road.  Thieves were seen jumping over a small wall, smashing a car window and making off down Gas Lane.  iPAD stolen.  This will of course be trackeable.
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
14/4 – 16/4  Tuesday 6 p.m. / Wednesday 2.30 p.m.  School, Altwood Road.  Bike left on the Astroturf overnight, damaged and left in pieces.
14/4  Monday 6.15 p.m.  Grenfell Park, Grenfell Road.  Small rubbish fire set in the park.  No damage caused.
13/4 – 14/4  Sunday 3 p.m. / Monday 2.30 p.m.  Grenfell Avenue.  Both wing mirrors removed from a blue, Skoda Octavia
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
16/4  Wednesday Sadler’s Mews.  Car badly keyed – ongoing issues.
13/4 – 14/4  Sunday 7 p.m. / Monday 8 a.m.  Badger Close.  Car entered BY UNKNOWN MEANS – car searched, nothing stolen.
15/4  Tuesday 8.15 p.m.  Brayfield Road, Bray.  The owner saw 2 men approach his car.  They are described as both wearing Motor cycle helmets – one white, one black, both in black bike leathers.  He heard the car alarm sound and they made off.  He found his rear windscreen had been smashed – headphones, mini keyboard, LAPTOP, cables, paperwork and luggage stolen.

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