Sunday, 24 July 2022

Landlines being upgraded to digital

The technology that we currently use to make landline phone calls is being upgraded over the next few years. Here's what this means for you as a customer.

"Changes to landline telephones | Age UK" https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/money-legal/consumer-issues/changes-to-landline-telephones/

"Moving landline phones to digital technology: what you need to know - Ofcom" https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/future-of-landline-calls

The changeover needs to happen by December 2025, as this is when the old technology will stop working. Phone providers have already started work on switching over the network, but you don’t need to do anything until they get in touch with you.

Make sure this is by your official provider not someone who contacts you out of the blue, so be wary of scammers.

 

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Surprise, surprise – scammers taking advantage of surging costs

At this difficult time, we’re all looking for the best financial advice and any cheeky discount we can get our hands on, but please remain vigilant. Fraudsters are trying to capitalise on this, from supermarket giveaways to petrol gift cards – make sure you know what to look out for.

Cost of living scams

*Sound the klaxon* another round of Covid scams incoming

A spike in cases of the Omicron variant has led to scammers sending out text messages asking you to order a test. The text includes a link that could download adware or spyware onto your device.

All official Covid guidance can be found on the government [Gov.uk] and NHS [NHS.uk] websites. Find out more about the dodgy URL to look out for.

New Covid text scams

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

‘Friend in need’ scams costs Whatsapp users £1.5 million


A convincing WhatsApp scam where criminals pose as a friend or family member in need has cost victims over £1.5 million this year.

New data from Action Fraud, the national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, reveals the continued threat posed by a scam that involves criminals contacting victims on WhatsApp and pretending to be their friend or a family member.

The scam has been reported to Action Fraud 1,235 times between 3 February and 21 June this year, and has cost users a total of £1.5m.

Criminals will typically claim to be a family member and will usually begin the conversation with “Hello Mum” or “Hello Dad”.

They will say that they are texting from a new mobile number as their phone was lost or damaged and will go on to ask for money to purchase a new phone, or claim that they need money urgently to pay a bill.

The criminal will supply their bank details for payment, with some coming back on multiple occasions until the victim realises they’ve been scammed.

More on the above at Action Fraud (18-07-2022).

Warehouse and grassland alight - Erith 🔥

Twenty fire engines and around 125 firefighters were called to a fire involving grassland and buildings on Ray Lamb Way in Erith.

Two commercial warehouses were destroyed by the fire and a further warehouse was damaged. An area of grassland and bushes of around five hectares was also involved in the blaze. Firefighters rescued 15 people using fire escape hoods and another 13 people were led to safety by crews. There were no reports of any injuries.

The Brigade's 999 Control Officers took 22 calls to the fire.

The Brigade was called at 1833 and the fire was under control by 0127. Fire crews from Sutton, Addington, Bexley, Sidcup and surrounding fire stations were at the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Source: LFB

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Tips to help prevent keyless entry thefts

In addition to other similar posts on this blog, one useful crime prevention scenario* was covered at https://bexleywatch.blogspot.com/2021/11/tips-to-prevent-car-thefts-on-rise.html.

Aside the obvious measure to lock your car* and leaving key fobs secure in a RFID Faraday wallet away from the car and from the front of your property to avoid being cloned, the following very useful videos also help to prevent this crime and to make it harder for the car to be stolen as follows:-



Check with your manufacturer* on advice to prevent car theft.

Sunday, 17 July 2022

URGENT HEAT WARNING

Met Office (twitter warning)

As you will know, the MET office has now issued a level four warning for Extreme Heat. Level 4 extreme heat warning for Monday and Tuesday next week.

What does Level 4 mean?

A Level 4 (red) Heatwave Alert means the "heatwave is so severe and/or prolonged" that "illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy; not just in high-risk groups.

Particular concerns and risks:

  • Increased adverse health impacts. Already seeing increased attendance at hospitals due to direct impacts
  • Increased fatality risk. Last year excess deaths of 900 last year’s heatwave, expected to be even higher this year
  • Increase in 999 calls in relation to heat, combined with current Covid surge
  • Risk of flash floods (60% chance) Some rain is forecast after the heatwave, however it is too soon to forecast the severity of this in relation to potential flooding
  • Increase risk of people getting into difficulty in bodies of water
  • Increased risk of wild fires
 

Further advice from the Met Office includes:

  • Look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies, and those with underlying health conditions
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol, dress appropriately for the weather, and slow down when it is hot.
Met Office (twitter warning)

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Santander impersonation text message scam exposed

Watch the Which? exclusive video to find out how the Santander bank scam unfolds and how to avoid it.



Fake Dragon's Den Scams

A useful video by Which? on how to spot and avoid them.



How to spot and avoid a scam website

Don’t lose your money to online con artists. Watch the Which? video to find out eight tips to identify and avoid a fake, fraudulent or scam website.



Romance fraud losses soar by 73%

Romance fraud is when a criminal lures you into a fake relationship before convincing you to send them money, or gathering enough personal information to steal your identity. They tend to groom victims for many months or even years.

Which? heard from one person who lost £55,000 to a crypto fraudster they met online. Do what you can to protect yourself with our six warning signs of romance fraud and please share with any friends or family you know who are online dating.

Romance fraud

Many victims are reluctant to report a dating scam because they feel too embarrassed to share their experiences. But they shouldn’t be – scammers are professional criminals and reporting scams can help us warn others.

The latest PayPal email scams

From ‘Confirm your email’ to ‘Your account has been suspended’, these scammers carefully use PayPal’s logo, branding and other crafty tactics to try to catch you out. See Which?'s latest evidence and what to watch out for.

PayPal email scams

Beware scam devices on ATM's recovered in Sidcup High St.

Three lebanese loops recovered from ATM's in Sidcup High St. Please be aware when using any ATM's Use the machines inside the bank if you can, failing that, always cancel your card immediately. Note the telephone number on the back of your card and save it.

https://twitter.com/MPSSidcup/status/1547199211023785987?cxt=HHwWhoCznYXf4PgqAAAA

The devices shown cover the cash dispenser of the machine and capture monies being withdrawn. The machines are being targeted out of working hours and over weekends. If your cash has not dispensed please report to your Bank and always check the card and dispensers before use.

This scam was reported previously as posted here. How to spot a scam ATM scam.

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Scammers cash in on the energy crisis

Which? latest podcast looks at how a 57% increase in energy bills since 2019 has led to scammers trying to exploit our desire to cut costs. From pretending to offer energy bill refunds to providing fake government grants, we look at how you can spot and avoid them.

Energy scams

Phoney job ads

Which? have found a number of text messages and emails all offering you sham work-from-home job opportunities. One of the most obvious signs this text is a scam is that it's a text in the first place. Hiring managers will never send out random texts to find employees.

Find out more about sham job offers and how to spot the red flags.🚩🚩

Sham job offers

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Win a £1,000 Currys eGift Card

Shout About Your Big Prize! 

click image to view enlarged

Summer is here, and we've got a new prize for supporters of our lottery! In the national draw on 27th August supporters will have the chance to win a fantastic prize – a £1,000 Currys Voucher. Thats on top of the weekly guaranteed cash prize, AND their chance to win the £25,000 jackpot!

If you are an existing supporter to buy a separate ticket - you will automatically be entered into the special draw, but of course you could buy extra tickets, the more tickets you have, the more chances to WIN!

Here is how to upgrade and WIN!

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

BCSP VAWG Strategy Survey

click image to view flyer (pdf)

Bexley Community Safety Partnership are developing a local strategy and action plan to tackle VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls). So we want to hear from you; your views, concerns, experiences and priorities for making women and girls safe in Bexley.

The Survey runs from June 27th – July 10th and takes around 5 minutes to complete. All responses will be analysed anonymously.

 

Monday, 4 July 2022

Scam watch: phoney fuel-saving device

click image to view enlarged

 

This is a device that claims it can cut fuel consumption for your car too good to be true? Sadly, yes it is.

A member was playing a word puzzle mobile app when they saw an advert for a device claiming it could drastically cut fuel consumption in their car.

Sadly, it certainly is too good to be true. This is a fake advert appearing under a non-existent publication called ‘TechTrends,’ and it’s hosted on getecodriver.com – the same website that sells the ‘EcoDriver’ device.

It’s described as a ‘chip tuning box’ that plugs into the on-board diagnostics port of your car. At the cost of £39.99, it’s claimed to reduce fuel consumption ‘by up to 55%’.

Sounds plausible? It isn’t:  The EcoDriver allegedly ‘adjusts the boost pressure, the quantity of fuel, injection timing, and pressure to increase the performance of your car.’ Sounds plausible? It isn’t. Which? car researcher Adrian Porter explains:

“It’s understandable that people would be drawn to such a device. The cost of running a mid-sized petrol hatchback has risen £400 in a year, or from 14p per mile to 17.9p per mile – which is clearly a massive increase. But don’t be taken in by scam devices such as this one.

Car manufacturers are sinking untold millions to produce economical cars with subsequently low CO2 emissions. Failure to maintain low averages across the cars they sell could result in massive fines being levied against them.

It’s really not as simple as just popping on a third-party device that ‘re-maps’ your engine, which is what the Ecodriver proposes to do. Done incorrectly, re-mapping your engine can be dangerous to you and damaging to your car. It could also increase fuel consumption rather than decrease it, and invalidate both the manufacturer’s warranty, and your insurance as it could be counted as a car modification.

There’s another risk: that the device could access the personal data that’s stored in your car’s computer. We used the on-board diagnostics port to hack a car as part of an investigation carried out in 2020.”

The company selling the device is Lithuanian firm UAB Commerce Core. In 2021 it was excoriated by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over an ad which showed an Apple Watch while flogging a different £49 smart watch.

UAB Commerce Core failed to respond to the ASA and also did not reply to our request for comment.

Source: Which? (29 June 2022)

Beware phone calls from 'your bank' after receiving fake texts

Scammers will initially cast their nets wide, sending thousands of fake text messages seemingly from legitimate companies. But for some, tha...