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Crime: 8 May 2014

Open Weekend 2014
Try sailing at Datchet Water Sailing Club
17th & 18th May
A two day celebration of dinghy and catamaran sailing is being held at Datchet Water Sailing Club, Horton Road, on Saturday and Sunday 17th and 18th May. Complete beginners aged 8 - 80 are invited along for advice and instruction, or simply to have a go for the first time on Queen Mother Reservoir.
The event runs from 10am - 4pm both days and you can try dinghies and cats, take part in taster sailing sessions or try some fun racing.
Datchet, Horton and Wraysbury PCSO (Police Community Support Officer) Les Bradfield will be offering crime prevention advice in the club house throughout
Many thanks for your help and support
Hi Jeff,
I received one of those bogus phone calls today from a woman, who said she represented ‘Verifying Visa’.
She said there had been some possibly bogus transactions on my debit account.  She then asked if I had made any transactions with Tescos, PC World and Argos.
The lady then said that I should immediately ring the number on the back of my Debit Card, to sort this out.
As I have seen on a number of occasions in your emails that they pick up on your phone call, I rang the number, but used a different phone.
As I was speaking to someone at my bank, my landline rang again.
My husband answered - it was the same woman asking where I was !!
My husband told her it was none of her business and that I gone to the bank to sort out the problem.
Her retort was ‘why didn’t you say so for Christ sake’  Hardly a real response from a bank security department !
I want to thank you and your team for alerting us about this scam.  These people do sound very plausible.
Being forearmed, is so helpful.
I did go down to my bank, and was told that under no circumstances would they call anyone in this way and certainly not say they were from ‘Verifying Visa’.
Thank you once again,
My grateful thanks Mary.  During the first 3 or 4 months of this year it was London and us, in RBWM that were the main targets for this scam.  Now that everyone here is so well informed,  they have to concentrate their efforts elsewhere.  Reading has been in contact with us, as has Nottingham Police !  We are considered to be the ‘Trailblazers’ in fighting this terrible scam.  I have had to send all my messages and the literature we have produced to Nottingham for them to use !  Trailblazing is what we do before breakfast here !
Good Morning Jeffrey,
We would like to express our concern re our Bank’s Customer Service.  On several occasions now, when they phone you, they ask you your personal security questions.  They do this before they will talk to you regarding what the call is about. (Once it was only about their investments and we had not contacted them previously).
We are very unhappy about this policy and have told them so, but it makes no difference.
Bearing in mind, you have no way of identifying who is on the other end of the phone, we wondered if pressure from Police can make them improve their system ?
For example, you do not speak to the same person who you spoke to if you call them back.  They do not give you a ref number.  You, cannot ask what it is about when they call you and it is often many days after you contacted them when they phone you back. Our Bank also leaves messages, and texts for you to phone them on a number they give, but again, who can say if this is genuine or not, particularly due to the huge number of scams there are.
This time, it turned out to be over our debit card being stolen at a cash machine, so it made us very worried as you can imagine about giving whoever was calling more personal security information, before we knew what it was about.
I absolutely agree Donald !  Obviously the banks themselves are unaware of the number of scams we – the public suffer.  The simple remedy is always to call them back on a number you are sure of.  As Donald has said that has problems of its own if they won’t tell you why they have called until you give the answers to the security questions – but it is better than nothing.
NEXT: can I thank all of you that forward details of cars thought to be abandoned in your areas.  This is really useful information and vital for us.  A car may have been stolen from the MET POL or Surrey and dumped here, we would not know about those crimes as they occurred out of our patch.  Often a car has been parked up in an odd location while someone goes on holiday – absolutely fine.  We do a PNC (Police National Computer) check on any car index you send us.  We can then check if it has been stolen / used in crime / is suspicious etc.  No harm will be done, if we find out the car belongs to a neighbour / someone local / their family.  If in doubt phone it through on the PEC number 101 – for intelligence to pass onto the Local Neighbourhood Team.
I have just had this in from Gerry – it is very simple !
Morning Jeff,
I would like to report what appears to be an abandoned car on our patch.
A Saab convertible, blue, with black roll top roof. The Registration number is *** *****.  The car does not appear to have a Tax disc.
It appears to have been abandoned about six to eight weeks ago, in the car park to the rear of Guards Court.  I would normally notify it on 101, but I am never to sure whether this is effective, as I have never had any follow-up.
Regards Gerry
You can of course use the 101 number, but specifically ask for a member of the Neighbourhood Team to make contact with you so that you know it has been followed up and you know the outcome.  If ever you need to know what has happened in an area – often the helicopter is up or you have seen a bunch of police cars in an area – simply email the neighbourhood Team on their group email below.  They may not be able to tell you much for operational reasons, but they will be as helpful as they can to reassure you.
These seem to be becoming more of a problem across the area:
Hi Jeff
We are experiencing a most bizarre occurrence at present.
My car is parked on our driveway and my wife's car is parked behind mine in a garage, i.e. in line astern with garage door between.  We have two remote controllers for each car.  All four remotes have ceased to work properly since yesterday.  We have changed the batteries in three of them without solving the problem.
Do you think this could be something to do with criminal activity of villains driving past in a car, disabling the locking systems ?
Any comments would be welcome and has anyone else had a similar experience ?
I am taking my car to the garage tomorrow.
What is happening there is probably a jammer being used in the area.  The only area I am aware of that is having this problem over a wide area is Old Windsor.  The problem generally only persists for a few minutes, as a car operating one of these devices drives past.  Generally these ‘jammers’ are not being used to block our key fobs from locking / unlocking cars but to block the signal from Tracker systems in stolen cars.
This link shows you what they look like – in case you see an odd bit of electronic kit:
I have a police report of jammers recovered from an offender last week.  They are white plastic and look like Wii gaming handsets – hardly noticeable !
Mrs. Chalmers our Crime Reduction Advisor says:- If you have a high value car which is likely to be stolen, Saabs, silver BMW 5 series, Porsches etc, you may have to consider additional security in the car such as the old fashioned steering lock devices !!
A useful website is the Thatcham Research Centre – the car examination centre, used by the Car Industry.  Their website is always worth a look !
Have a look at these – they will act as a deterrent for those stealing cars to order:
Hi Viz yellow steering and gear lever locking devices - Click here:
John has just sent me this reply:
Hi Jeff
You mention that this phenomenon occurs in car parks etc. and that the blocking usually only last up to 20 mins.
It looks to me as if we may have a new situation here, as the problem still exists over 48 hours later.  My remote does work occasionally with difficulty, about once in 10.
Checking with my neighbour he found his car unlocked, although he was sure he had locked it.  His car is kept on his front drive too. Where we live in Maidenhead, there are dozens of cars parked outside over night. My car is an old Honda Civic, not a Saab or a Porsche !
In passing, my car has the system where if you unlock the driver's door with key, the alarm sounds.  Yesterday I was unable to turn it off !  I returned home from the shops and found the car with flashing lights and a screaming alarm.
Most embarrassing !  I was expecting to be picked up by the police any moment !!
Best regards.
John is taking the car to his local Garage.  If they have any further information / advice – he will pass it on.
FINALLY BEFORE THE CRIME SUMMARY:  I received a call from a concerned elderly resident yesterday.  She had received a very badly hand written envelope addressed to her.  The letter inside was from the Office of National Statistics  It said:
‘Dear Resident(s)
Further to the recent letter and leaflet sent to you by this office, I would like to introduce myself as the interviewer who will call to conduct this study.  I expect to visit you next week.
Under that is two sets of dots and someone has written in teir name – again badly with an ’authority number’’.
I have to say – it does not look very professional.  The recipient and the neighbours were very concerned.  I sent the request onto the local neighbourhood Team and the RBWM Community Wardens.  Both have been brilliant.
Jamie White the RBWM Community Warden has just emailed me:
Hello Jeff,
I have just telephoned the O.N.S .using their official phone number from their website.  They have told me, letter is genuine and it is not a scam.
The recipients were randomly selected, to complete a survey by an ONS interviewer and there is nothing sinister about it.
However I explained the situation and having given the couple’s address and interviewer’s name, the interview has been cancelled.
I will let the residents and the neighbour know, this afternoon.
Kind Regards
Jamie White
Community Warden
Clewer and Oakley Green
PCSO Dan Colyer from Windsor West and Dedworth, has also been to see the person who received the letter and done his own checks.  He reassured them it was genuine.  He was aware the interview had been cancelled and said that if anyone did arrive, they should not answer the door.
What brilliant service !
If you get one of these letters, you can phone and verify, or simply, not answer the door if anyone attends.  They will just find someone else to interview.
These are still being sent out – a Notice to appear in Court – often the High Court in London.  The threat is the court costs, if you do not appear.  The only way to find out what it is all about is to open the attachment –
These are like the NICE scam letters informing you that the results of a recent blood test shows cancerous results – print out the results in the attachment and take it to your doctor !  Again a terribly worrying scam
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
6/5 – 7/5  Tuesday 7 p.m. / Wednesday 1.40 a.m.  Hotel Car Park, Ray Mead Road.  Rear window smashed – iPAD, Lenova XI Carbon LAPTOP, Konomi leather laptop bag, mobile phone, Leica Digital camera, 6 packets of 20 Marlborough cigarettes and paperwork stolen.
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
7/5  Wednesday 7 a.m. / 8 p.m.  Winter Hill, Cookham.  Shed break.  Door forced - Stihl strimmer stolen.
Your Neighbourhood Page on TVP's Website - Click Here
6/5  Tuesday 8 a.m. / 1.30 p.m.  Lillibrooke Crescent.  Burglary.  Entry via forced rear patio doors.  Untidy search of the whole house.  Safe discovered in wardrobe and ripped out.  8 World War I war medals inscribed with the name Charles E Boore, cutlery inscribed with the name James Jones – possibly the designer (?), paperwork, two sets of spare car keys and the safe stolen.  The Yale safe measuring 18’’ X 10’’ may have been abandoned somewhere, if you see it, please report it to us.
Dear Jeff,
I have attached an email from Nationwide Bank which I feel is obviously a scam.
I do have an account with them, so could easily have been fooled.  It was not addressed to me by name, and just doesn't smell right (thanks to what I've learned from your regular email alerts). I have forwarded it to Nationwide, for their awareness.
I also receive fairly regular emails from 'Natwest' with an invitation to click on some link or other.  As I don't have a Natwest account, that's more easily identified as a scam.
As a recipient of your regular alerts, I thought that this recent/new-to-me banking scam may be worth sharing (
Kind regards.
Dear Jeff,
There seems to be a plethora of attachment scams at the moment. Paypal, Amazon, Invoice No xxxx, BT, DHL and many more.
I think a good rule of thumb is - if your name is not mentioned on the email - the chances are, it is a scam.
Exactly right Liz !  Your Bank knows who you are !  If it is something to be delivered – they also know from the address label – who you are !
As our criminals abandon traditional crime – burglaries and breaking into cars – in favour of Fraud – much less chance of getting caught and if they do, very limited penalties, we will see a huge increase in this area.
The other factor – mainly the victims who actually fall for it, are elderly and vulnerable and do not understand that they have been scammed.  When they do find out, they feel very foolish and do not report it !
Hi Jeff,

Now that the sun has come out, it is time for us all to look to our gardens.  I have just discovered that a large earthenware dish, used to place underneath one of the two flower pots in my front garden, has been stolen. I live in Windsor town centre, so perhaps you can once again warn people to be on their guard and report anyone driving around suspiciously to the police ?
Absolutely right Joan – dishes underneath pots may be difficult – but garden ornaments and statues must be cemented down please !  It also prevents them, from being used to smash patio doors !!  We have a lot of very valuable bronze garden statues in this area – they need to be protected.
Hi Jeff,
We have also had a 'VSO' door caller, who wanted £2 per week. I e-mailed VSO to check if the caller was genuine. They replied saying they would check and let me know. We are still waiting after two weeks.
It is only a standing order for £2 per month, but you cannot complete the paperwork and hand it to a complete stranger – even though they will be wearing an ID.  None of us has any idea what a genuine VSO or any other charity ID should look like, so we cannot look at them and know they are genuine.  In this day and age when Ids are very easily available via the internet in any form you want, they cannot be relied upon.  When I was recently in Istanbul I was in a very local market.  A man was walking up and down with a laptop on a trolley offering IDs of any kind, including driving licenses and National ID cards from anywhere in the world – that was a street market in Istanbul, where they looked really good but only cost a few pence !!!
Hi Jeff,
We have had VSO collectors in Sunningdale.
One of them told me they are on commission from an organisation - with a less than ideal reputation that specialises in door-to-door collections.
The collectors had no history, association or previous connection, with VSO itself!
There was a knock on my front door last night at about 8.10 p.m.  When I answered it, there was what seemed to be an 'official collector' from the RSPCA.  The man was wearing a blue tabard, with the letters RSPCA on the front.  He was also carrying a few papers in his hand.
He was smiling broadly and said he hoped I could help. I was assuming, it was to sign up to a regular donation. I said ‘No’.  At which point, he turned abruptly and marched down the path.  He did not even respond to my - "Don't you want to know why ?", which I called out after him.
The RSPCA say they do not use 'door-to-door' collectors.  They thought it was bogus collector.
If so, what was he up to ?  Would he be trying to establish if the house is empty ?  Perhaps hoping to get people to sign up ?  That way he gets their bank details and can take what he likes !
We all have to be on our guard, the risks involved in simply completing and handing back the documents are just too much of a risk.
I absolutely agree and could not have put it better myself !
Jeff – I have had an email from Virgin saying that if I wish to access Google, I can no longer do it through my Virgin email address. Ii have to transfer Google access to another email address, or open a new gmail account.
It seems genuine enough and I have done what they requested. I hope this is not another scam?
The only one to answer a question like this is Paul Hay our IT Guru:
Hi Jeff and D
This is a valid message from Virgin.
This doesn’t stop you using Google.  It just means if you normally sign-in to Google for some of their apps such as YouTube and Maps, you won’t be able to use your email, as your login name.
If you do want to sign into Google (so you can save Youtube favourites, or store your own maps, for example) you will have to use another email address.  You may have or create yourself a Google account and use that. The instructions are in the message.
You still access your Virgin account and email just as you always have done.
Here is a page with a very useful video:
I hope this helps.

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