Thursday, 30 September 2021

Bexley Crime Survey 2021

The Bexley Crime Survey is back!

With the launch of the latest annual Bexley Crime Survey on September 30th, local people once more have the chance to tell the Bexley Community Safety Partnership (BCSP) about local crime and disorder issues which concern them most.  The partnership will use the responses, alongside other data, to help decide its priorities for 2022/23.

 

We’re keen to hear from as wide a cross-section of the community as possible, especially those in the north of the borough and those in the 10 - 25 age group who have historically not responded in great numbers to the survey.

 

The link for the survey is www.bexley.gov.uk/crimesurvey

Paper copies are available upon request, details in the link above.

 

The survey starts Thursday 30 September and ends on Friday 31 December.

SMS Best Practice by Which?

Smishing (fraudulent text) is the fraudulent practice of sending text messages purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.

  1. "police say they have busted a gang in Maitland suspected of smishing"

The lowdown on text scams, aka ‘smishing’

Text message scams are a big problem for consumers and it’s often hard to know which texts you can trust. Even genuine messages from businesses end up looking suspicious because sometimes they use language that panics you into taking a specific action.

This is why we’re asking businesses to adopt our SMS best practice guide, so you can spot scam texts and have more trust in business messaging. We also show you examples of legitimate text messages that could be mistaken for scams.

Smishing tactics

Source: Which?


Wednesday, 29 September 2021

⚠️ Warning about bailiff email scam

⚠️ Scammers are posing as County Court bailiffs and targeting users via email.

If you’re unsure whether communication from a bailiff is genuine, you can check guidance here:


If you think you've been scammed, report it to Action Fraud: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk

Monday, 27 September 2021

Don’t get scammed by this fake Wetherspoon meal voucher competition

Fake meal vouchers for Wetherspoon pubs are being promoted on Facebook, despite the chain shutting all its social media accounts in 2018.

Facebook users who comment on the posts published by the fake Wetherspoon pages are told they will win meal vouchers if they receive comments from Wetherspoon. But these comments come from scammers who have set up the pages.

The posts read ‘Congratulations for those of you who have received comments from us, you have the opportunity to win them’. You are then asked to like and share the post with your friends.

Sadly, it’s bogus.

The link leads to an unrelated page.

How to report a scam

If you think you’ve spotted a social media scam, follow these steps to protect yourself:

Is the deal ‘too good to be true’? – If the deal or competition looks too good to be true, it probably is. A quick Google search will tell you if the legitimate company is promoting the giveaway.

  • Check the URL – If you’ve followed a link, does the URL look suspicious? If it does, leave the site.
  • Check your social timeline – Is there a high number of people posting or sharing the same thing? They may have been scammed.
  • Check the branding – scammers are becoming more and more sophisticated but there might be giveaways such as inconsistencies in the branding that could give them away.
  • Send a message – if someone you know has posted or shared something suspicious, ask them. Send them a message to make sure – it may have been intentional.
  • Contact the company directly – Reach out to the company on social media, via email or over the phone to check whether the competition or giveaway is real.

Scammers try to exploit the credibility of social media advertising but our  how to spot a social media scam advice can help you stay one step ahead.

Source: Which?

Maypole's Community Fayre - see posters

 



Sunday, 26 September 2021

Faith Watch - join us now

 


Did you know Bexley Neighbourhood Watch runs a scheme called Faith Watch, this scheme is aiming to try to prevent crime in and around places of worship. 

If you join you will receive emails and our bi-weekly report you will be also contacted if there is any crime reported where places of worship have been targeted, in return we ask that you let us know of any similar crime so we can make others aware of what has happened.

Fed up with crime in your area?

 


Are you fed up with crime in your area, vehicle damage, theft or burglary or damage to property.


Message to dog walkers in Bexley

 


If you walk your dogs in Bexley why not join Bexley Neighbourhood Watch's  - Houndwatch Scheme, once signed up you will receive emails warning of attempted dog theft, dog attacks etc in the Borough, in return we ask that you keep us informed of anything you see while walking your Hound. This could be a suspicious person or vehicle, drug taking, fly tipping or criminal damage. We can then pass this information onto either the police or the council.

To join the scheme, Click and complete the Hound Watch online form OR Scan the QR code below to join Hound Watch and submit the form. It is FREE to join!   

Scan QR code for Hound Watch Registration

For more information about this new initiative on dog theft Safety advice, reporting and alerts, visit our Facebook page.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

ULEZ expansion - Check if your vehicle meets the standards



The Ultra Low Emission Zone.  The Ultra Low Emission Zone is expanding from 25 October 2021. Have you checked your vehicle? 



The ULEZ will create a single, larger zone up to the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205). The North and South Circular Roads themselves are not in the zone.  

Four out of five cars already meet the ULEZ emissions standards, but owners of older cars, motorcycles, lighter vans and minibuses need to take action. 

Cars, motorcycles, vans and other specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes) and minibuses (up to and including 5 tonnes) will need to meet the required ULEZ emissions standards when driving within and into the expanded zone or pay a £12.50 daily charge.  

The ULEZ will continue to operate 24 hours a day, every day of the year, except Christmas Day.  

To check that your vehicle meets the ULEZ emissions standards - visit https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone/ulez-expansion 

Discounts and exemptions

Penalty charges for ULEZ

Guide for information (pdf)

Overview detailed map of the ULEZ expansion zone (pdf)

ULEZ expanded boundary description

ULEZ road signs

Cars

Motorcycles, mopeds and more

Ultra Low Emission Zone (tfl)

Warning about new craze of 'edible drugs'

 


Bexley parents are being warned about the new craze of Edible drugs.   The fun packaging of these 'sweets' features, the wording that they contain CBD or THC, suggesting that the products are infused with Cannabis oil.  

The edible drugs are being promoted on social media platforms, such as Snapchat and Instagram.  Thirteen youths in Camden have already been admitted to hospital suffering from the effects of consuming these 'sweets'.   

Cannabis is easily added to food products, such as tea, yoghurt and cakes.  The amount of cannabis in these products can vary greatly and sometimes other drugs are added too. The effects of consuming edibles are unpredictable, so it can be very easy to accidentally take a larger dose.

Edibles take between 1-3 hours to have an effect because food is absorbed into the bloodstream through the liver.   As this process takes longer, it's easier to eat larger amounts of the product, while thinking the drug isn't working. So, overdosing can pose more of a risk.  

Parents are asked to watch out for unusual behaviour in their child, and to study any discarded sweet wrappers.  

Police are encouraging parents to report any online advertising of these products to them, the school, or Crime Stoppers (Tel. no. 0800 555 111).  

For further information about drugs, visit  https://www.talktofrank.com/ 

Credit to Claire Tack, BBNWA office.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Courier Fraud warning from Action Fraud



Action Fraud is warning the public to protect their loved ones as criminals cheat older and vulnerable victims out of cash and high value items through courier fraud.

What is courier fraud?

Courier fraud is when victims receive a phone call from a criminal who is pretending to be a police officer or bank official. Typically, victims are told to withdraw a sum of money and someone is sent to their home address to collect it.

Criminals may also convince the victim to transfer money to a ‘secure’ bank account, hand over their bank cards or give the criminals high value items, such as jewellery, watches and gold (coins or bullion).

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Craig Mullish, from the City of London Police, said:

“This is a dreadful crime in which fraudsters specifically target older and vulnerable people, by exploiting their trust. Courier fraud can have devastating consequences on victims, both financially and emotionally, which is why we’re asking the public to remain vigilant and follow some simple steps to help protect themselves and their loved ones.

“Remember, just because someone claims to know a few basic details about you, such as your name and your address, it does not mean they are genuine.”

Since the start of this year, Action Fraud has received 2,060 reports of courier fraud, with an average loss per victim of just over £5,000.

Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of victims were aged 70 to 89 years old, and over three quarters (84 per cent) of victims were aged 60 to 99 years old. 

One common tactic used is where victims are contacted by a suspect who attempts to persuade them to purchase gold as part of a ‘police investigation’ that is later collected by a courier on behalf of the criminals.

In some cases, the suspects have invited themselves into the victim’s home and collected other valuables, saying that the victim’s possessions are no longer safe and they, ‘as the police’, can safeguard them.

Another common tactic used is called “open phone” where the victim is persuaded to stay on the phone to the criminal whilst they go to withdraw money or go to a jewellers. This stops the victim interacting with anyone else, or having the chance to think about what is really happening. 

How to protect yourself and your loved ones:

  • Your bank or the police will never call you to ask you to verify your personal details or PIN by phone, or offer to pick up your bank card by courier. Hang up immediately if you receive a call like this.
  • If you need to contact your bank to check the call was legitimate, wait five minutes as fraudsters may stay on the line after you hang up. Alternatively, use a different line altogether to contact your bank and ensure you call them back on a number listed on the bank’s website, or on the back of your debit or credit card.
  • Your debit or credit card is yours: don’t let a stranger take it from you. You should only ever have to hand it over at your bank. If it’s cancelled or expired, you should destroy it yourself.

Tell-tale signs of attempted courier fraud:

  • Someone claiming to be from your bank or local police force calls you to tell you about fraudulent activity, but is asking you for personal information, or even your PIN, to verify who you are.
  • They are suggesting that you call them back, so you can be sure they are genuine, but when you try to return the call, there’s no dial tone.
  • They say they are trying to offer you peace of mind by having somebody pick up the card for you, to save you the trouble of having to go to your bank or local police station.

Action Fraud also advises that the public follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign to keep themselves safe from fraud.

  • Stop: taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
  • Challenge: could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • Protect: 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.
Source: Action Fraud [20-09-2021]

Sunday, 19 September 2021

Kent Community Watch September 2021 Magazine

  • Opens as a PDF
  • Opens in a flip page view

  • Go to page:- 

    • 2. Scammers get away with 699 crimes
    • 3. Domestic violence
    • 4. Spotlight on Crimestoppers
    • 6. Trading Standards Advice on fireworks safety
    • 9. Parcels shocker
    • 10. A-plan insurance advice
    • 13. Beating fraudsters
    • 14. Car tax alert
    • 16. ACG awards
    • 17. Cryptocurrency warning
    • 18. Diistraction thefts - be vigilant
    • 19. Whatsapp scam
    • 20. Ticket fraud - spot the signs

    Saturday, 18 September 2021

    Beware of NHS COVID pass fraud

     



    Criminals are using the NHS COVID Pass as a way to target the public by convincing them to hand over money, financial details and personal information.

    They are sending imitation text messages, emails and making phone calls pretending to be from the NHS, and offering fake vaccine certificates for sale online and through social media.

    If you are contacted about your NHS COVID Pass:

    1. Be alert to links and attachments in unexpected text messages or emails
    2. Do not respond to requests for money, passwords or financial details
    3. Challenge: Could it be fake?
    4. Use the official NHS COVID Pass website (see below)

    The NHS COVID Pass is available to demonstrate your COVID-19 status either in a digital or paper format via the NHS App, the NHS website or by calling 119.

    For information on how to get your free NHS COVID Pass, visit www.nhs.uk/nhscovidpass.

    What to do if you suspect you have been a victim of an NHS COVID Pass scam

    If you receive a call and suspect it to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk. If you are suspicious about a text message, forward it to the number 7726, which is free-of-charge.

    If you believe you are the victim of a fraud, please report this to Action Fraud as soon as possible by visiting actionfraud.police.uk or calling 0300 123 2040.

    If you have any information relating to NHS COVID Pass or vaccine certificate fraud you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting Crimestoppers online at covidfraudhotline.org or phone on 0800 587 5030.

    Poster: Beware of COVID Pass FRAUD (pdf)

    Source: Action Fraud [17-09-2021]

    Tuesday, 14 September 2021

    Public Seminar on planned Silvertown Tunnel - 7 October 2021

     


    Public Seminar: Is the Silvertown Tunnel, a four-lane road tunnel across the Thames, compatible with London's climate commitments?

    About this event

    Overview

    The Silvertown Tunnel is a proposed four-lane road tunnel across the Thames, to be built a few metres east of the Blackwall Tunnel. It has been commissioned by the Greater London Authority from the Riverlinx consortium and is scheduled for completion in 2025. The GLA says that the cost, which it estimates at £1.2 billion but opponents say is £2.2 billion, will be met by road tolling.

    Climate and transport researchers have argued that the project is incompatible with London’s own climate targets, which require a substantial overall decrease in traffic volumes in the next decade. It will also exacerbate local air pollution problems, and community campaigners and doctors have called for its cancellation for that reason.

    The tunnel project raises wider questions about London’s transport system and urban planning. Opponents, including the Labour party’s own London regional conference, are calling for alternative approaches with more investment in public transport and non-motor modes.

    Speakers

    Rachel Aldred, Professor of Transport and Director of the Active Travel Academy, University of Westminster.


    Date and time

    Location

    Hamilton House, University of Greenwich

    15 Park Vista

    London

    SE10 9LZ

    View Map


    Visit Source to book your tickets for FREE to attend in person or view via a live stream at COP26 : is the Silvertown tunnel compatible with London's climate agenda?

    Saturday, 11 September 2021

    Fake bank card use scam caller

    Another local resident alerted us to say they had an automated call (Dubai code) on landline to terminate the call to say bank card used this morning for 2 payments including an international money order. 

    "Press 1 to talk to someone."  They put the phone down.

    The above message was sent to alert us and others to remain vigilant.

    If it is out-of-the-blue needless to say do not respond to such scam calls.

    Find out more and how to report to Action Fraud at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/reporting-a-scam/

    Friday, 10 September 2021

    Do you trust online ads?

    It’s so easy to pick up your phone and search online for whatever it is that you need – and algorithms will keep on developing based on these searches and your online interactions to deliver ads specifically targeted and tailored towards you. The dark side is that the internet can be a scammer’s paradise. So can you tell whether an online ad is genuine or not?

    According to insurance company Aviva’s fraud report, consumer trust in online adverts is pretty low. But we want to know your thoughts: how much do you trust the ads you see on the internet? 

    Fake competitions on social media

    Watch out for convincing copycat social media accounts contacting you to claim that you’ve won a prize. Many of these accounts are created by fraudsters who target you based on your social media activity and interests – they can catch you out with offers that could feasibly be genuine.

    Here’s why it’s important to check who’s really sending you private messages before you engage with them.

    Sadly a new vaccine scam caller

     



    A local resident's friend received a call from 912250041117 asking him to press 1 if he had vaccinated.  

    He pressed 1. Immediately the phone was blocked 🚫 and his phone has been hacked. So be careful when you get similar calls. Put this in your group chat.

    The above message was sent to alert us and others to remain vigilant.

    If it is out-of-the-blue needless to say do not respond to such scam calls.

    This number has come up as 'Negative' and dangerous as it points to a Vaccine scam at https://who-called.co.uk/Number/912250041117

    Find out more and how to report to Action Fraud at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/reporting-a-scam/

    Thursday, 9 September 2021

    HMRC warns students of scams

    HMRC is warning university students to be wary of potential scams, especially if they have a part-time job and are new to interacting with the department.


    University students taking part-time jobs are at increased risk of falling victim to scams, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is warning.

    Higher numbers of students going to university this year means more young people may choose to take on part-time work. Being new to interacting with HMRC and unfamiliar with genuine contact from the department could make them vulnerable to scams.

    Further information

    More information on how to recognise genuine HMRC contact and how to avoid and report scams.

    Forward suspicious emails claiming to be from HMRC to phishing@hmrc.gov.uk and texts to 60599. Report scam phone calls via GOV.UK.

    Source: Action Fraud [09-09-2021]

    Locked out: Digitally excluded people’s experiences of remote GP appointments


    They are working with NHS England to improve patient’s experience of and access to digital care. 

    The move to more digitally-led healthcare has worked well for some but excluded others over the past year. Our report explores how people have been excluded and what needs to happen to get the care they need.

    Background

    The move to remote GP appointments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic happened very quickly. NHS England advised GP practices to triage patients by a telephone or online consultation system before providing them with an appointment and only providing face-to-face appointments where clinically necessary. 

    We know that while this has worked well for some, it has created barriers for others. We spoke to people traditionally more likely to experience digital exclusion to understand why and how this can impact their healthcare experiences, especially during the pandemic. These groups included older people, people with disabilities, and people with limited English.


    Key findings

    Our new report investigates why people have been excluded, including lack of digital skills, language barriers and lack of interest in using technology to go online. 

    We identified five principles for post-COVID-19 care to ensure everyone has access to the appointments they need.

    Five principles for post-COVID digital healthcare

    1. Maintain traditional models of care alongside remote methods and support people to choose the most appropriate appointment type to meet their needs. 
    2. Invest in support programmes to give as many people as possible the skills to access remote care.
    3. Clarify patients' rights regarding remote care, ensuring people with support or access needs are not disadvantaged when accessing care remotely. 
    4. Enable practices to be proactive about inclusion by recording people's support needs.
    5. Commit to digital inclusion by treating the internet as a universal right.

    Source: HealthWatch

    Keeping Bexley Safe

    The Bexley Community Safety team works with partners to tackle anti-social behaviour that presents a high level of threat, risk, or harm to individuals and/or the community.

    Community Safety is not responsible for noise nuisance, civil neighbour disputes, parking, waste and recycling, CCTV or graffiti. You can report these issues and more at www.bexley.gov.uk/directory.

    You can report any anti-social behaviour or incidents at www.bexley.gov.uk/communitysafety.

    You should always call 999 in emergency situations when you need immediate help, for example, if a crime is in progress or if someone is in immediate danger. You should also report to the police immediately for assaults, criminal damage, hate crime, vandalism, drug use, drug cultivation or drug dealing. The police will lead on these issues.

    If you don’t need immediate help, you can call 101 or report online at www.met.police.uk/report.

    You can also report to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111.

    Advice on domestic abuse is available at www.bexleydomesticabuseservices.org.uk.

    Please sign up to our e-newsletter to get regular community safety news at www.bexley.gov.uk/newsupdates OR by scanning the QR code below:-


    It is a partnership newsletter so will be including messages from statutory BCSP members at key times throughout the year on a whole range of topics such as DA, Modern Slavery, Bexley Crime Survey, Hate Crime, Prevent, Serious Violence, ASB etc..


    Beware scam Hermes email doing its rounds

     



    [Click each screenshot to view enlarged]

    How the scam is evolving (was covered by Which?)

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

    Reporting cyber crime, fraud or phishing attempt to Action Fraud.

    Report suspicious emails: If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, you can report it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service by forwarding the email to - report@phishing.gov.uk.

    Don't fall victim to Cryptocurrency fraud

    Action Fraud is warning the public to remain vigilant when making investments, as criminals cheat hundreds of millions of pounds out of vict...