Congratulations…. You’ve won the lottery!!!……Or have you?

A lottery scam takes place when criminals pretend that you have won a prize, often a lottery.  The people most likely to fall victim to this tend to be over the age of 60 (although younger people do fall victim too) – but we know that it is often close family members of victims who spot the tell-tale signs of the fraud.

Criminals will normally get in touch by letter or email and will try to engage you into dialogue with them.  Once they have convinced you that they are “genuine”, they will ask for a fee to be paid to release your winnings.  This fee could be to pay taxes or duty, or for a solicitor, banker or judge to authorise the transaction.  NO GENUINE LOTTERY WILL EVER ASK FOR ANY SORT OF FEE TO BE PAID.

Often this first fee will be small, but once they know you are willing to pay it they will ask for more and more money, with ever-changing excuses as to why they need it.  Victims can end up losing tens of thousands of pounds over the course of months or even years.

Many of you reading will be surprised that this type of crime takes place.  After all, why would anyone fall prey to scam like this when they never entered any such lottery in the first place?  Why would they have to pay money when they are supposed to have won millions of pounds?  The sad truth is that these criminals are incredibly persuasive and prey on people who are very trusting.  Therefore, even if you know that you would not get defrauded like this, please spread this message widely to friends, family and to people within your community.

Prevention:

  • If you have not entered a lottery or a prize draw, you have not won it.
  • Delete any emails which detail you winning money or being in a position to make a fortune
  • Spread the message amongst people you come into contact with, especially older people in your family, and look out for any unusual behaviour, for instance someone paying money via money service bureaux, like Western Union or MoneyGram, or buying Ukash vouchers.

 If you believe you have become the victim of a fraud or cyber crime, or have received a suspicious email, find out how to report it here:

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Residents of Hardingstone showed their delight when an application for a development of 1,000 new homes was refused on Tuesday night.

For an update on this application please go to this page on the Chronicle and Echo web-site

 

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Vehicle fraud drives us round the bend, costing victims £17.8 million in 2013

Online vehicle fraud is costing the nation a road-rage inducing £17.8 million each year, according to new figures released by Get Safe Online and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) today. This is the equivalent to 89 Aston Martin Vanquishes.

In 2013, more than 6,600 UK residents reported online vehicle fraud to the police, with an average loss of £4,078 per victim. The loss range is huge; from smaller losses of less than £50, which mainly related to holding deposits, to one unlucky victim who lost £300,000 where multiple vehicles were involved.

Fraudsters used the following methods to steal their victims’ cash:

  • Part or full payment for the vehicles and then loss of contact with the “seller” accounted for nearly half (49%) of frauds
  • More than a third (37%) of cases involved the payment of a deposit rather than the full amount
  • Bank transfers (58%), fake eBay Invoices (14%) and fake Google Payment Systems Invoices (12%) offering non-existent “buyer protection” for the transaction were the most commonly cited payment methods
  • Some victims paid funds to holding accounts on the basis that funds will be held until the buyer has received the goods and is satisfied with them
  • Other victims received texts from well-known websites requesting refundable fees for car inspections

Further statistics show that:

  • Nearly three quarters (71%) of victims were men
  • People in their forties reported a quarter (25%) of all online vehicle fraud
  • London was the most targeted city for online vehicle fraud, followed by Bristol and then Birmingham

For the full press release, please click here.

 

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Planning Application for planning permission for 1000 homes at Hardingstone

The planning application for 1000 new homes at Hardingstone can be found here  . The planning application no is N/2013/0338 and here is a letter we received from the borough council today.

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Tax Refund Scam

One of our members has drawn attention to yet another scam going round – promising people a tax refund. Here is a screen shot of the sort of e-mail you may receive. This could be convincing to some. All are strongly advised to just delete these sorts of messages. If in doubt ring the alleged sender, BUT do not open up any links in the message.

Taxscam

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Crime Prevention Advice available for download

The Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network (England & Wales) has just published a comprehensive collection of crime prevention and safety advice.  You can download a copy here   . At present, it is only available in electronic format. However, the network is looking into ways of producing it in hard copy (e.g. securing a sponsor), and will update us with further details if hard copies become available. 

Many thanks to the network’s  partners the Police Service, the Association of Chief Police Officers, Crimestoppers, Get Safe Online, the Master Locksmiths Association, Suzy Lamplugh Trust, the Fire & Rescue Service, Secured by Design, Action Fraud and Avocet Hardware Ltd, and of course to Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch members, who have provided valuable input into this document.

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Telephone Scams

Telephone ScamsPolice poster published 28.1.14.

Click on the image to see full view.

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