Monday, 30 November 2020

DPD phishing fraud scam alert

The following has been reported by a number people in West Heath, Bexley.

“DPD Phishing E mails. Hi we received a e mail this afternoon purportedly sent by DPD Parcels.

The e mail claimed that they had tried to deliver a parcel to us today and they were unable to deliver it.

The e mail quoted a parcel reference number and asked that we log into their website and re arrange a delivery date for which there was a charge and also a charge for a shipping fee.

This was all totally fictitious and a Phishing scam.

The e mail bore the DPD logo and looked authentic but was in fact a phishing e mail

The senders e mail address originated in Belgium ie  be.”

DPD are aware of this scam and that these messages do not come from DPD and if you have been a victim or paid money please contact Action Fraud or call them on 0300 123 2040.

For more information visit DPD (UK) or DPD Local regarding this parcel delivery phishing scam.

A handy leaflet on Cyber Crime and Staying Safe Online has very useful information and tips on how to avoid cyber crime and stay safe.

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Covid-19 Dashboard - Public Health London Borough of Bexley - Case Rate by Wards


Covid-19 Dashboard (PDF)

Public Health London Borough of Bexley

Date – 26 November 2020 Time - 16:30

Official COVID-19 UK interactive map

Bexley - What are the restrictions in Tier 2?

 


As you will have probably seen in the news, Bexley has been placed in the second highest level – Tier 2 high – of the new government coronavirus restrictions which apply from next Wednesday, 2 December.   

From this date please remember - 

  • You cannot socialise indoors with anyone you do not live with, or who is not in your support bubble. 
  • You can meet in a group of up to six outside - including in a garden, or a public place. 
  • Shops, gyms and personal care services (such as hairdressing) can re-open provided they are  Covid-secure. 
  • Pubs and bars can only open if they serve substantial meals. Alcohol can be served with that meal. Last orders are at 10pm and they must close at 11pm. 
  • Sports can resume with up to 2,000 spectators, or at 50% capacity (whichever is smaller). 
  • Collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume (with restrictions).  

Friday, 27 November 2020

About Isolation Help Bexley


IHB are a group of volunteers in the London Borough of Bexley. The group was launched on 17 March 2020 in response to the looming COVID-19 Pandemic. Our concern was that the elderly and vulnerable of Bexley, particularly those with no digital footprint, would find the necessity to isolate a significant challenge. Concerns became a reality and for many the everyday possible became simply IMPOSSIBLE.
Simple tasks like collecting a prescription, buying a newspaper or walking a dog, suddenly attracted a degree of risk. Thankfully the fine people of Bexley quickly rose to the challenge and in the space of just over 2 months, every household in Bexley had received one of IHB’s flyers. Over 800 Bexley residents had joined IHB’s ranks and voluntarily provided practical help to many hundreds of elderly or vulnerable neighbours. One of the saddest discoveries, was just how many people were ‘isolated’ before there was a need to self isolate and so Bexley’s COVID legacy will be the birth of IHB.
We are a local community group dedicated to working together and with our partners to ensure that elderly and vulnerable members of our communities know that they will always have a lifeline in a time of crisis. 
Put simply, our ethos is that we are committed to ensuring that ‘NOBODY in Bexley feels isolated’.
IHB aim to make Bexley ‘London’s Friendliest Borough’.

Bexley placed in ‘High Alert’ tier 2



The Government has announced the new tier system that will come into force from 2 December. London has been placed in ‘High Alert’ tier 2.

Leader of the London Borough of Council, Cllr Teresa O'Neill OBE;

I welcome the fact that Bexley and the rest of London will be moving into tier 2 when the current national restrictions end next Wednesday. It is important that we continue to follow the guidance that is currently in place until then.

The change will be welcome news for some of our hard-pressed local businesses, but it also puts a responsibility on all of us to follow the public health advice that will keep everyone safe.

The sooner the number of cases comes down, the less risk of a return to more restrictions.

We should all avoid travelling to, or staying overnight, in tier 3 areas unless it is really necessary. We think that the different tiers applying in Bexley and Dartford back in November caused an increase in cases in both our areas when people travelled between them to socialise. With Kent moving to tier 3, we need to do everything we can to stop this happening again.

With the hope of an early start to a national vaccination programme, we all need to keep doing the right things.

The best Christmas present we can give is for everyone to be safe as we move into 2021, when we can start to look to a brighter future."

Restrictions will be relaxed for five days over the Christmas period.

Find out more about the tier 2 restrictions and information on socialising over Christmas.

Please take note of the key public health messages designed to protect us particularly on hands, space, face, the need to get a test if you have Covid symptoms and the need to self-isolate if you or someone you have been in contact with tests positive.

We now have three testing centres in the borough.

We will continue to share Covid information through our Community Championsemail newsletters and local papers.

If you have a neighbour, friend or relative who may not have online access please share the latest information with them.

Latest national and local updates.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Bexley Community Lottery


Bexley Community Lottery is a weekly lottery that directly supports local good causes and community initiatives.

Lotteries are a fun and effective way for causes to raise much-needed funds in these difficult times. By getting more people on board, they don’t just raise funds, they also raise awareness.

When you play Bexley Community Lottery you know that 60% of your ticket price goes to good causes (more than DOUBLE what the National Lottery gives) AND the money raised is going to good causes that benefit your local community.

Proceeds generated from this page go into a general good cause fund, administered by London Borough of Bexley, which will be spent on providing vital support to a wide range of local organisations and community initiatives which have a beneficial impact on the local community.

#Giveback2020on Giving Tuesday, 1st December 2020, is a chance to take something positive from 2020 and make a difference at the same time.

Thank you for your support and good luck! 

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Black Friday / Cyber Monday - Online Shopping Fraud

As it’s Black Friday weekend coming up, Action Fraud have launched their Safer online shopping campaign.

Online Shopping Fraud has surged by 30% over the pandemic period and now accounts for 20% of all reported fraud!

Last Christmas, over 17,400 people reported falling victim to online shopping fraud with losses totalling £13.5m.

As we near Black Friday and the start of the 2020 Christmas shopping season, we’re expecting to see more people buying online this year as a result of Coronavirus and national lockdowns.

Action Fraud will be launching a national campaign about shopping online safely from Monday 23rd November, and we would like to invite you all to support the campaign and help spread awareness of some simple and practical steps people can take to help them shop online securely;


1. Be selective about where you shop
You need to decide whether you trust an online store enough to purchase from them.

Seeing a padlock in the address bar is a good thing, as it means the connection and your information is secured, but it's not a guarantee that the shop itself is legitimate.

To help you decide if you’re happy to purchase from a site, you could do some research, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was.

2. Only provide necessary information
The padlock sign means that your connection is encrypted, so your information will reach the site without anyone else being able to read it.
That's important if you're sending things like payment details or personal information, but it doesn't tell you who is at the other end of the connection or how they look after your information.

There’s some obvious details that an online store will need, such as your delivery information and your payment details, but be cautious if they ask for details that are not required for your purchase. You shouldn't need to give out your mother’s maiden name, or the name of your primary school, in order to buy something.

You only need to fill in the mandatory details of forms when making a purchase. These are usually marked with an asterisk*. Only create an account if necessary or to save you effort if you’re going to use that site a lot in the future. You can usually checkout as a guest, or using a third-party account (e.g. your existing Apple, Google or Microsoft account), to make your purchase.

3. Use secure protected payment
If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, ensure that the section where you enter your payment details is secure – this means that your payment details will reach the site without anyone else being able to read them.

Different browsers display sites as secure slightly differently, but addresses should start “https://” in the address bar.

Your browser may mark an address as insecure – this means the site is not encrypted, so avoid entering payment details or any personal information as anyone could access this information.

It is also a good idea to use a credit card to pay for things online if you have one. Most major credit and debit card providers insure purchases, and are obliged to refund you in certain circumstances (i.e. under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974).

Using a credit card to pay online also means that should the worst happen and your payment details are compromised, your main bank account won’t be directly affected.

You may also wish to consider using a third-party payment medium (such as PayPal, Apple Pay or Google Pay), so that the store you purchase from doesn’t even see your payment details as these are contained within the third-party site who you authorise the payment through. These mediums also often provide their own dispute resolution should anything go wrong, however, may not be obliged to provide the same protection as a card provider; check their Terms and Conditions for exact details.

4. Keep your accounts secure
Create a strong password made up of 3 random words for each of your online accounts. Longer passwords that would be difficult for others to work out are more secure but these can be hard to think of and remember, so using three random words can help you make passwords that are both long and strong. E.g. “GrinningSkydivingOtters”. You can add numbers and symbols to make it harder for hackers to crack as well, for example “GrinningSkydivingOtters£33”.

It’s also good practice to use a separate password for each account, that way should one password be lost or stolen your other accounts won’t be affected. But, it’s especially difficult to create and remember lots of different passwords, so saving your passwords in your browser can help you create and securely save a different password for each account without having to remember them all!

Guidance on how to save passwords in your browser is available in the NCSC advice: Save your passwords in your browser

For additional security, it’s a good idea to set-up two-factor authentication (also called 2FA, two-step verification or multi-factor authentication) for important accounts (like your email, accounts with payment details, and those with personal or sensitive information) where available. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a free service that stops hackers from getting into your accounts, even if they have your password, by asking you to confirm it’s you in a second way (like sending a one-time code to your phone).

Guidance on how to turn-on 2FA for email, social media and banking is available in the NCSC advice: Turn on two-factor authentication

For further guidance on staying secure online follow the NCSC’s Cyber Aware advice.

5. Take care with unexpected communications
You may receive communications purporting to be from an online store, or come across online adverts with enticing offers. Some of these may legitimately be from stores you have agreed to receive communications from or who would like to attract your custom, but some may be set-up by fraudsters and contain links to fake websites designed to steal your money and personal details.

If you are unsure, or if you think something is suspicious and you’ve already responded, follow the NCSC guidance on Dealing with suspicious emails, phone calls and text messages.

6. If things go wrong
Anyone can fall victim to fraud. If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

For more information visit;

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/shoponlinesafely
#FraudFreeXmas

Bitcoin Scam Text

 


I received this Bitcoin Scam Text today 24 November 2020. It is obviously a screenshot to avoid clicking on the link. It shows the urgency to respond to click on it so that the hacker can obtain by phishing your personal details to obtain your finance.

It takes you to a fake Bitcoin related site with a bizarre domain name with famous names and fake testimonials to sound convincing and realistic. It is not.

Do not click on links or attachments in unexpected or suspicious texts or emails.

Reported to Action Fraud.

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Keep your home safe from burglars at Christmas

 


A burglary happens every 40 seconds in the UK, and there are over 1 million burglaries and attempted burglaries every year. You wouldn’t want your Christmas ruined due to stolen presents, so here are some tips on how to keep your home safe during the Christmas period:-
  • * Christmas is a key time for burglaries, with many houses full of new & valuable presents. Don’t alert burglars by leaving present packaging outside - put it out of sight.
  • * If you can, fit burglar alarms with flashing lights & sounders at the front & back of your property.
  • * Even if you’re only going out for a few minutes, check that all doors & windows are properly closed and locked.
  • * Don’t leave garden tools outside, keep ladders out of sight & ensure sheds, garages and outbuildings are locked.
  • * If you’re going away on holiday, ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your home, take in any milk & newspaper deliveries, & maybe park on your drive.
Don’t let yourself become a victim of a Distraction Burglary, where more than one person calls at your door, trying to dupe you into letting one caller in to burgle you whilst you are distracted by another one.
 

Don't leave notes

Don't leave notes for couriers saying no one's in. Make sure you've sent instructions about where to leave parcels if you're out.
 

Keep trees and presents away from windows

Don’t openly display your Christmas tree and gifts in the front window so it’s easily visible from the street. It may tempt burglars to target your home.
 

Who to contact

Your can contact your local police on 101, or in an emergency call 999.

You can report crime 100% anonymously to us on 0800 555 111 or via our online form.

In the case of fraud,  you can also contact Action Fraud.

*Stay safe this festive season*

Tackling doorstep crime during the lockdown

 


Remember: Stop, Challenge, Check and Protect.

Stop Wildlife Crime

Wildlife crime is often thought to occur in exotic places with people killing and trading in endangered species. 

However, it does happen in the UK and includes offences such as killing or disturbing protected species, damaging breeding and resting places and poaching. The problem is not limited to rural areas either.

When you see a crime...

• Don’t disturb the scene.
• Don’t touch or remove dead animals or birds - you could be committing an offence.
• Record as many details as you can - date, time, location, details of anyone involved.
• If possible, take photos or record video.
• Note any vehicle registration numbers.
• Don’t put yourself at risk and don’t approach anyone.

Read the Crimestoppers WildLife Alert leaflet for further information. 

Contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.

It’s 100% anonymous. Always.

Warning over M&S giveaway scam that steals your bank details

DON’T BE FOOLED:Currently, there are also scam emails circulating, purporting to come from Mark’s and Spencer’s, claiming that their boss Steve Rowe, had launched a prize draw to give customers a £35 gift card to celebrate M & S’s 135th Birthday.  You are told to click on a link then enter your details including your bank information.  Do not do this unless you want to fill the pockets of criminals!

We are living in difficult times, and Covid 19 appears to have brought out the worst from the members of the criminal fraternity, exploiting people when they are most a risk.   In my mind, people who prey on other people for person gain, are the low life members of our society and the sooner they are arrested the better.

This has been circulating in the news at here, here and here.

Needless to say please be aware of such phishing scams or report to report@phishing.gov.uk. 

Do not click on links or attachments in unexpected or suspicious texts or emails.

You can also report the scam to Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting centre.

Credit Card Fraud by the Safer Neighbourhood Team of South Richmond

Credit Card Fraud is everywhere. Please watch this video for more details. Created by the Safer Neighbourhood Team of South Richmond.



Saturday, 21 November 2020

DOORSTEP SCAMMERS

A reminder to be aware of DOORSTEP SCAMMERS. There has been an increase in scammers knocking on doors and claiming to be doing work in the local area. They seem completely genuine and believable. 

However they are NOT genuine and will appear to be nice and friendly and very reasonable at first.

Please always say NO to people knocking on your door touting for business. And if you have any work done make sure they have references and you can always check with Trading Standards.

Please share this information with your neighbours and family and friends.

Display a NO COLD CALLING STICKER on your door.

Safe Online Christmas Shopping

This Christmas more of us than ever before will be shopping online for our presents

Attached is a useful guide (PDF) to provide helpful tips on how to avoid being a victim of online fraud whilst online shopping. 

We hope this is useful - for more useful tips on staying safe online simply visit getsafeonline.org.

Thursday, 19 November 2020

Rise in Covid cases in Bexley - Volunteers required

Bexley has now been reported to be the second highest borough in the capital with Covid infections per 100,000 population.  

Blackfen and Lamorbey Ward has seen a spike in cases.  

Bexley council are looking for volunteers to come forward from Blackfen and Lamorbey Ward to help deliver Covid information leaflets to homes in that area.  

If you can help with this, please email communitypartnership@bexley.gov.uk with your name, address, telephone number and email address.

The Community Partnership are also looking for ideas of how to get Covid information out to residents who are isolated, vulnerable and who do not have access to the internet.  Are you a faith group, U3A group, residents association, hobby group, sports club, doctors, care home, business. WI group, youth club, nursery etc. who have a communication network? Suggestions should be sent to the above email address.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Latest testing site in Bexley to open at Abbey Wood

Bexley’s next NHS coronavirus testing site is due to start operating this week.
The Abbey Wood site at the Felixstowe Road Car Park, SE2 9RZ will be open from 8am to 8pm by appointment only.
Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of or change in their normal sense of smell or taste, should book a test online or by calling 119. It is vital that only people with symptoms get a test.

To use this service:

  • please book a test before attending a site
  • note - parking is not available at any of the sites
  • observe social distance guidelines at the site
Source: LBB News Updates for further information.
Bexley now has three testing centres in the borough.

Local Outbreak Prevention and Control Plan (LOCP) online sessions

Local Outbreak Prevention and Control Plan (LOCP) - Q and A sessions hosted by the Director of Public Health                                      

What? You are invited to a series of Q and A session hosted by Dr Anjan Ghosh, the Director of Public Health, and supported by BVSC and the Community Partnership team. Our aim is to provide a space that will facilitate positive and engaging discussion of how we can best support you and your communities.

Why? The purpose is to keep you updated with what LBB are doing to communicate and engage with residents and to hear feedback from you about how things are going in your local networks and organisations. 

Who? The session is aimed at Community Champions and the Voluntary and Community sector organisations.

Click here to book Wednesday 11th Nov 10:30-11:30 via Zoom

Click here to book Wednesday 25th Nov 11:30-12:30 via Zoom

Click here to book Wednesday 9th Dec    12:00-13:00 via Zoom


Please note: Joining details will be sent to participants upon registration. This session will be recorded and shared through our agreed Community Champions communications channels (Facebook, Whatsapp, Bexey Together email newsletter.) It will be available for viewing online for a (set period of time.) By registering, you are consenting to take part in this recording).

Please contact Jacqueline Bobb, jbobb@bvsc.co.uk if you have any queries. 

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Some tips about how we can all fact check information

By looking on official websites, such as the WHO, we can verify if a claim is true before we pass it on to someone else.

If the information is said to come from a named source, try searching to check if they’ve actually said it. (For example, if it’s claimed that a news organisation reported a fact, try searching for the name of the organisation and a few keywords from the claim.)
If you don’t recognise the source of the information, try and find out. If it’s from a named organisation look them up, examine the ‘about’ page on their website, or search for information about them on Google.

A trusted source is your best option. Check if it is a hoax or fake or scam news. Check Full Fact for fact checks.



Self Assessment customers warned about scammers posing as HMRC


Self Assessment customers should be alert to criminals claiming to be from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) (PDF).

As the department issues thousands of SMS messages and emails as part of its annual Self Assessment tax return push, HMRC is warning customers completing their returns to take care to avoid being caught out by scammers. The annual tax return deadline is on 31 January 2021.

The department knows that fraudsters use calls, emails or texts to contact customers. In the last 12 months, HMRC has responded to more than 846,000 referrals of suspicious HMRC contact from the public and reported over 15,500malicious web pages to internet service providers to be taken down. Almost 500,000 of the referrals from the public offered bogus tax rebates.

Many scams target customers to inform them of a fake ‘tax rebate’ or ‘tax refund’ they are due. The imposters use language intended to convince them to hand over personal information, including bank details, in order to claim the ‘refund’. Criminals will use this information to access customers’ bank accounts, trick them into paying fictitious tax bills, or sell on their personal information to other criminals.

HMRC’s Interim Director General for Customer Services, Karl Khan, said:

“We know that criminals take advantage of the Self Assessment deadline to panic customers into sharing their personal or financial details and even paying bogus ‘tax due’.

“If someone calls, emails or texts claiming to be from HMRC, offering financial help or asking for money, it might be a scam. Please take a moment to think before parting with any private information or money.”

Pauline Smith, Head of Action Fraud, said:

“Criminals are experts at impersonating organisations that we know and trust. We work closely with HMRC to raise awareness of current scams and encourage people to report any suspicious calls or messages they receive, even if they haven’t acted on them, to the relevant channels. This information is crucial in disrupting criminal activity and is already helping HMRC take down fraudulent websites being used to facilitate fraud.

“It’s important to remember if you’re contacted out the blue by someone purporting to be from HMRC asking for your personal or financial details, or offering you a tax rebate, grant or refund, this could be a scam. Do not respond, hang up the phone, and take care not to click on any links in unexpected emails or text messages. You should contact HMRC directly using a phone number you’ve used before to check if the communication you have received is genuine.

“If you’ve been the victim of fraud, contact your bank immediately and please report it to Action Fraud online at actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.”

Customers can report suspicious activity to HMRC at phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599. They can also report phone scams online on GOV.UK.

HMRC is also warning the public to be aware of websites that charge for government services – such as call connection sites – that are in fact free or charged at local call rates. Other companies charge people for help getting ‘tax refunds’. One way to safely claim a tax refund for free is to log into your Personal Tax Account.

HMRC has a dedicated Customer Protection team that identifies and closes down scams but asks the public to recognise the signs to avoid becoming a victim. HMRC regularly publishes examples of new scams on GOV.UK to help customers recognise phishing emails and bogus contact by email, text or phone.

Ways to spot a tax scam

It could be a scam if it:

  • is unexpected
  • offers a refund, tax rebate or grant
  • asks for personal information like bank details
  • is threatening
  • tells you to transfer money.

Self Assessment customers can complete their tax return online and help and support is available on GOV.UK.

To protect against identity fraud customers must verify their identity when accessing HMRC’s online services. They must have two sources of information including:

  • credit reference agency data
  • tax credits
  • P60/payslip
  • UK Passport

If you’re concerned about falling victim to a potential scam, remember:

Stop:

  • Take a moment to think before parting with your information or money.
  • Don’t give out private information or reply to text messages, and don’t download attachments or click on links in texts or emails you weren’t expecting.

Challenge:

  • It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests - only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Search ‘scams’ on GOV.UK for information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report scams.

Protect:

  • Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599.
  • Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam, and report it to Action Fraud.
See Images of HMRC Scams below:














Warning after phone scammers pose as police

A local resident received the scam call and this is how it worked:-
 
"Is that Mrs. James?"  
"Yes"
"This is the police at Hammersmith station. Do you have a relation named Jonathon James?"
"No" 
We don't have a Jonathon in our family.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes"
"We are holding him in custody because he has a cloned debit card and he has used it to take out £1,180 from your account. He says he has your permission to use it."
At this point, being suspicious, my wife told them that her son was a policeman.
"Well, this has got nothing to do with him."
He sounded agitated.
My wife asked for the caller's name and number. He didn't give them.
"Well, if you want to check, I'll put the phone down and you can call 999."
She knew about the line-open trick.
She told them the best thing to do was to visit her in uniform to go through the issues.
The caller got aggressive.
"We certainly will call on you and bring armed policemen as well!"
My wife put the phone down.
She checked her account online and nothing is remiss.

I am assuming she would have been asked to provide the card number and pin number to verify it was the correct card, but he never got that far.

Police will NEVER ask for your PIN number or personal details.
 
If you are not happy with a phone call and are suspicious of the conversation you have with the caller then please end the call. If you think you or someone you know has been defrauded, you can report it to Action Fraud online or by calling 0300 123 2040.


Ruff time for animal lovers as scale of pandemic pet fraud unleashed by Action Fraud

  Data from Action Fraud,  the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime , reveals that £2,638,323 was lost by prospective pet own...