Sunday 31 December 2023

New Rules Roll Out for UK E-Scooters: Driving Licence Check Required

As of December 5th, 2023, there were some new rules introduced for e-scooters in the UK, specifically for those participating in the government-approved trials. Here's a breakdown of the key changes:

Driving Licence Verification:

  • Mandatory driving licence: All riders, both new and existing participants in the trials, must now provide their name, driving licence number, and a photo of the front of their licence to the rental operator.
  • Minimum verification standards: Operators must have robust systems in place to capture, store, and verify this information. This aims to ensure responsible use and deter unauthorised riding.

Other Regulations:

  • Speed limits: E-scooters in the trials are still capped at 15.5 mph (25 km/h).
  • Road restrictions: Riding is permitted on roads and cycle lanes/tracks, but not on pavements.
  • Safety recommendations: Helmets are strongly encouraged, although not mandatory. Riders must also avoid using mobile phones, carrying loose bags on handlebars, and riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Further Changes on the Horizon:

  • Technical standards: The government is working on setting technical standards for e-scooters, which could include specifications for maximum speed, power, lights, and registration. This aims to crack down on the private market and prevent the sale of non-compliant scooters.
  • Long-term regulations: While the December 5th changes focused on trial participants, the government is still developing broader regulations for e-scooter use in the UK. These are expected to be announced in the coming months.

It's important to note that these new rules only apply to e-scooters used in the government-approved trials. Privately owned e-scooters are still illegal to use on public roads in the UK.

Here are some additional resources you may find helpful:

Thursday 14 December 2023

What is ransomware and how to stop it

Online attacks, like ransomware, are constantly evolving. Ransomware is a virus that takes over your computer and files on it, usually demanding payment in exchange for access. But don’t worry; we’re here to help you protect your device from it. We share advice on the best free antivirus software you can use to secure your device without spending any money.

Reduce your risk

Source: Which? (13 Dec 2023)

Fake ads impersonate parking apps

Scammers abuse online advertising to trap drivers. We found ads on Google that are impersonating JustPark, PayByPhone, and RingGo – all of which appeared at the top of search results on mobile phones and above the genuine websites for these companies.

We’re warning drivers to avoid searching for parking apps online and instead download official apps through Apple or Google Play app stores. These sneaky scams are easy to fall for, take a look at some examples so you can avoid them.

Rogue parking ads

Source: Which? (11 Dec 2023)

Can you spot a fraudulent search ad?

You may see ads displayed within your search results when you use a search engine such as Google or Bing. Although they are intended to attract your attention and clicks, scammers often exploit this idea by creating fake ads that can jeopardise your data and money.

It can be challenging to differentiate a genuine search ad from a fraudulent one, but we are here to help you. Check out our three tips for spotting a fake search ad.

Our three tips

Source: Which? (11 Dec 2023)

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Secure Your Digital Life with a Password Manager

In today's increasingly connected world, safeguarding your online security is crucial. Password managers have emerged as indispensable tools for protecting your digital life, generating and storing strong, unique passwords for your various accounts.

Why Password Managers Are Essential

While the idea of keeping all your passwords in one place may seem daunting, password managers offer a multitude of benefits:

  1. Strength: Password managers create complex, unique passwords for each of your accounts, making it incredibly difficult for hackers to crack them.

  2. Ease of Use: Password managers eliminate the need to remember numerous, complex passwords, saving you time and hassle.

  3. Convenience: Password managers seamlessly autofill login credentials, ensuring one-click access to your online accounts.

  4. Security: Password managers employ robust encryption techniques to protect your passwords from unauthorised access.

Choosing the Right Password Manager

With numerous password manager options available, selecting the right one is essential for optimal security. Reputable password managers like 1Password, Bitwarden, and Dashlane offer a comprehensive range of features:

  1. Password Generation: Automated password generation ensures strong, unique passwords for every account.

  2. Secure Storage: Passwords are encrypted and stored securely in the password manager's vault.

  3. Multi-factor Authentication: Additional layers of security, like biometrics or security codes, enhance protection.

  4. Password Audits: Regularly scans for weak or reused passwords, prompting password changes when necessary.

Securing Your Password Vault

To safeguard your password vault, prioritise these essential measures:

  1. Strong Master Password: Choose a strong, unique master password that serves as the gateway to your password vault.

  2. Two-factor Authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA for added security, requiring a code from your phone or email for access.

  3. Regular Password Changes: Change your master password regularly, especially if you suspect any breaches.

  4. Trusted Devices and Networks: Access your password vault only from trusted devices and secure networks.

Embrace Password Managers for Enhanced Security

Integrating a password manager into your digital security practices significantly enhances the protection of your online accounts. By embracing the power of password managers, you can safeguard your digital life with peace of mind, knowing your sensitive information is securely locked away from prying eyes.




Thursday 7 December 2023

Copycat Royal Mail websites flog phoney stamps

The price of stamps has risen again this year, and with the holiday season approaching you might be looking for ways to save when sending cards and gifts. However, scammers are unsurprisingly taking the opportunity to impersonate Royal Mail with fake offers for stamps at bargain prices.

Dodgy ads on Facebook for these phoney offers lead to phishing websites designed to steal your personal and financial information. See what these scams look like and learn how to spot a dodgy post and website.

Stamp scams

Source: Which? (5 Dec 2023)

'A scammer tried to sell me Taylor Swift tickets'

A Which? member got in touch after a scammer targeted her on Facebook with fake Taylor Swift tickets for £100.

The victim was on a budget and asked their local community Facebook group if anyone had tickets they’d like to sell. The scammer sent a fake Ticketmaster email to convince the victim the tickets were real. They then asked for payment via bank transfer, and when the victim confronted the scammer, their Facebook page disappeared.

We explain how to buy tickets safely and what to do if you’ve handed over personal information to a scammer.

Get our help

Source: Which? (2 Dec 2023)

Can you spot postal scams?

From fake lotteries and prize draws to investment scams and pyramid schemes, postal scams are letters sent to obtain money through deception or fraud. Learn how to spot postal scams and how to avoid falling victim to them.

Dodge postal scams

Source: Which? (5 Dec 2023)

Tuesday 5 December 2023

Five Golden Tips to protect against online shopping scams this Christmas

Avast have shared Five Golden Tips for how you can shop online safely, and protect yourself from scams and fraud this Christmas!

Check who you’re buying from!

If you’ve found an unbelievable deal on a website you’ve never heard of, chances are it is too good to be true. Scammers are getting better at presenting themselves as legitimate organisations, but a good way to check to see if a business is genuine is to find the company’s details. If you can’t find any information about them, it’s likely the deal you’ve found isn’t genuine.

Avoid sites that only accept bank transfers

Although the money is still coming from your bank account, paying with a credit card is the safest option. Even if you use a debit card, you could get your money back if you never receive the goods you paid for, subject to your bank’s terms and conditions.

Avoid giving sellers any gift card numbers

Be wary of any online seller who will only accept payments in gift cards. Fraudulent sellers on eBay for example may list an item for sale and ask you for eBay gift card numbers instead of regular payment. You should only enter gift card numbers at the checkout and never share them with anyone else.

Look out for stock images on eBay, Etsy, and Amazon Marketplace

Buying stuff online can be cheap, but be aware of when you’re buying from an individual or a marketplace seller and not, say, Amazon itself. If you are buying from eBay, Etsy or Amazon Marketplace, watch out for any that use stock photos for their products as this could be a red flag. Perhaps the product doesn’t really exist!

Beware of the ‘photo only’ and ‘box only’ tricks

The idea of the ‘photo only’ eBay scam’ is to trick buyers so desperate for a deal that they fail to fully read the listing. As the listing is correct you, the buyer, were informed up front that you would receive a photo only, meaning eBay – or any online marketplace – will likely not be able to intervene and refund you.

🎄🎅 Read more on safe online shopping!🎄🎅

Source:National Dec 2023 Newsletter (pdf)

Fire Kills - let’s prevent it

The Home Office has developed the Fire Kills campaign to raise awareness of how deadly fires can be easily prevented at home, and the importance of checking your smoke alarms. People are 10 times more likely to die from a fire if they don’t have working smoke alarms on every floor of the home. 

Visit their website for more guidance at https://firekills.campaign.gov.uk 

Source:National Dec 2023 Newsletter (pdf)

Christmas Home Security Tips

Source: National Dec 2023 Newsletter (pdf)
[Click image to view enlarged]

Access our exclusive Neighbourhood Watch 50% discount here!

Sunday 3 December 2023

What is SIM SWAP FRAUD?

Here's a summary of the scam and how to protect yourself:

What is SIM SWAP FRAUD?

SIM SWAP FRAUD is a type of scam where criminals trick your mobile phone provider into transferring your phone number to a SIM card under their control. This allows them to intercept your text messages, including those used for two-factor authentication (2FA), and access your online accounts, including your bank account.

How does it work?

The criminals will call you and pretend to be from your mobile phone company.

They will tell you that there is a problem with your network and that you need to press 1 to fix it.

If you press 1, the criminals will be able to take control of your SIM card.

Once they have control of your SIM card, they will be able to intercept your text messages and access your online accounts.

How to protect yourself:

  • Be cautious about sharing personal information. Don't share your phone number, Social Security number, or other personal information with people you don't know and trust.
  • Set up strong passwords for your online accounts. Use a different password for each account, and make sure your passwords are strong and complex.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for your online accounts. 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring you to enter a code from your phone, in addition to your password, when you log in.
  • Be careful about clicking on links or opening attachments in emails or text messages. These could be phishing attempts that are designed to trick you into revealing your personal information or clicking on a malicious link.
  • Be aware of the warning signs of SIM SWAP FRAUD. If you suddenly lose service on your phone, or if you receive a text message that says your SIM card has been changed, contact your mobile phone provider immediately.
For more information, visit Sim-swap fraud by Which?


Also at https://www.instagram.com/reel/C0kIQ5FIdrB/?igshid=MTc4MmM1YmI2Ng==

Thursday 30 November 2023

7 ways to spot a scam website

In the first half of 2023, purchase scams rose by 43% year on year, and as we enter the peak shopping period of the year, the numbers are likely to grow further. But the good news is that many scam sites can be avoided if you know what to look for. Here are our seven tips on how to stay safe when shopping online.

Stay safe online

Source: Which? (29 Nov 2023)

Are you donating to a scammer?

In the last year, 501 charity fraud cases have been reported to Action Fraud, with losses totalling £2.7m. Typically, scammers impersonate well-known charities or claim to be fundraising for a charitable cause by creating fake websites, sending phishing emails or making social media accounts asking for money.

If you're planning to donate to charitable causes during the festive period, follow our steps to ensure you're not sending your money to a scammer.

Charity scams

Source: Which? (28 Nov 2023)

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Cold Blow Crescent Residents Group Xmas Newsletter

Cold Blow Crescent Residents Group Xmas Newsletter

Click to View in PDF

In Memoriam: Peter Faulkner, Champion of Community and Crime Fighter

The Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association (BBNWA) is deeply saddened by the passing of Peter Faulkner, a staunch advocate for community well-being and a tireless champion of justice. For many years, Peter served as the editor of the online newsletters "Kent Community Magazine" and "London Community Magazine," both of which provided invaluable resources and support to our members.

Peter's unwavering commitment to community safety shone through his relentless efforts to expose fraudsters, inform the public about current scams, and celebrate the contributions of volunteers and voluntary groups like Neighbourhood Watch. His dedication to upholding the law was evident in his coverage of police arrests and the publication of culprits' sentences, ensuring that perpetrators were held accountable for their actions.

Peter was a staunch supporter of numerous Neighbourhood Watches across Kent and London, providing them with invaluable guidance and encouragement. His passion for community empowerment and his unwavering belief in the power of collective action made him a true pillar of strength for countless individuals and organisations.

Peter's passing leaves a void that will be difficult to fill. His infectious enthusiasm, unwavering dedication, and unwavering commitment to community betterment were an inspiration to all who knew him. He will be deeply missed by the BBNWA, the communities he served, and all those who had the privilege of knowing him.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to Peter's son, Scott, and his family during this difficult time. May his legacy of community service and unwavering commitment to justice continue to inspire us all.

Monday 27 November 2023

Vehicle Crime in the UK and how to protect your car from theft

Vehicle crime is a serious problem in the UK. It costs the country billions of pounds each year and can have a devastating impact on victims.

Types of Vehicle Crime

There are many different types of vehicle crime, including:

* Vehicle theft: This is the most common type of vehicle crime. In 2022, there were 130,521 vehicle thefts in England and Wales.

* Theft from vehicles: This is when personal belongings are stolen from a vehicle. In 2022, there were 212,900 thefts from vehicles in England and Wales.

* Criminal damage to vehicles: This is when a vehicle is damaged deliberately. In 2022, there were 407,521 incidents of criminal damage to vehicles in England and Wales.

Impact of Vehicle Crime

Vehicle crime can have a significant impact on victims. It can cause financial hardship, inconvenience, and emotional distress. In some cases, it can also lead to physical injury or even death.

Factors that Contribute to Vehicle Crime

There are a number of factors that contribute to vehicle crime, including:

* Opportunity: Vehicles that are left unlocked or unattended are more likely to be targeted by criminals.

* Location: Vehicles that are parked in areas with high crime rates are more likely to be targeted.

* The type of vehicle: Some types of vehicles are more popular targets for criminals than others. For example, SUVs and vans are more likely to be stolen than cars.

Preventing Vehicle Crime (*also see below)

There are a number of things that can be done to prevent vehicle crime, including:

* Locking your vehicle: This is the simplest and most effective way to prevent vehicle crime.

* Parking your vehicle in a well-lit area: This will make it more difficult for criminals to target your vehicle.

* Removing valuables from your vehicle: If you leave valuables in your vehicle, you are making it an easy target for criminals.

* Using a security device: There are a number of security devices available that can help to deter criminals, such as alarms, immobilizers, and steering wheel locks.

Reporting Vehicle Crime

If you are a victim of vehicle crime, it is important to report it to the police. This will help them to investigate the crime and apprehend the offenders. You can report vehicle crime online, by phone, or in person at a police station.

Conclusion

Vehicle crime is a serious problem, but it can be prevented. By taking simple precautions, you can help to protect your vehicle from harm.

Additional Resources (gdpr)

* Office for National Statistics (ONS): https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice

* Crime Prevention Agency: https://crimepreventionservices.co.uk/

How to Protect Your Car from Thieves

Urgent Appeal for Assistance: Stolen Range Rover Sport - LV16TYY



A local borough resident is reaching out to the community for assistance in recovering his beloved a black Range Rover Sport, year 2016, which was stolen from his driveway on Gipsy Road, Bexleyheath on Wednesday, November 22nd, at 22:47 pm. The car's registration number is LV16TYY.

The last known location of his vehicle was on Sydney Road, Bexleyheath, where the tracker was mysteriously removed. This suggests that the perpetrators may have ditched the tracker in this area. However, the tracker's signal still leads to this location, offering a glimmer of hope for its recovery.

Here's a summary of the details:

  • Date of theft: Wednesday, November 22nd
  • Time of theft: 22:47 pm
  • Location of theft: Gipsy Road, Bexleyheath, DA16 1JA
  • Registration number: LV16TYY
  • Last known location: Sydney Road, Bexleyheath

Residents are urged to check CCTV footage and surveillance devices for information. Contact the owner or West Heath Police at westheath.snt@met.police.uk or on 101 or 020 8721 2885 with any leads.

Anonymous tips can be reported to Crimestoppers at 0800 555 1111. Police are already involved, but community cooperation is vital.

He has provided attached the only picture he has of his car, taken when it was vandalised. He understood it's not the most ideal image, but he hopes it can still aid in the recovery process.

Stolen Range Rover Sport - LV16TYY

Thank you for your assistance in recovering the stolen car.

Source: Nextdoor

Thursday 23 November 2023

Watch out for Black Friday scams

It's Black Friday weekend when shoppers eagerly anticipate the best deals, primarily online. But it's also prime time for fraudsters. Between November 2022 and January 2023, a total of £10.6m was lost to online shopping scams.

If you come across deals that seem too good to be true, think twice before making a purchase. Learn how to dodge scam deals and stay safe while shopping online.

Black Friday scams

Source: Which? (22 Nov 2023)

Vehicle-buying scams are on the rise

Vehicle-buying scams are on the rise

Vehicle-buying scams shot up by 74% in the first half of this year, with most of them starting on Facebook. While we know these scams can be difficult to spot, find out how these scams work and which vehicles fraudsters target most.

Fake vehicles for sale

Source: Which? (22 Nov 2023)

Monday 20 November 2023

Urgent Appeal for Assistance: Stolen Lexus 450RXH Sport - LY18VLA

Stolen Lexus 450RXH Sport - LY18VLA

A Silver colour Lexus 450RXH Sport, LY18VLA, was stolen on Heath Road, off Chastilian Road, Crayford, on Sunday 19th November 2023 between 9:40 pm and 12:30 am. Residents are urged to check CCTV footage and surveillance devices for information. Contact the owner or Crayford Police at crayford.snt@met.police.uk or on 101 or 020 8721 2584 with any leads.

Anonymous tips can be reported to Crimestoppers at 0800 555 1111. Police are already involved, but community cooperation is vital.

Thank you for your assistance in recovering the stolen car.

Source: Nextdoor

Thursday 16 November 2023

Crypto scams are on the rise

Crypto scams are up 23% this year, and victims are losing an average of £10k. Typically, these scams convince people to set up a digital wallet on a legitimate trading platform like Coinbase or Binance, then later they’re tricked into transferring money directly to the fraudster or giving the scammer control of their account.

Read more on investment scams, and see examples of crypto scams to watch out for.

Crypto scams

Source: Which? (10 Nov 2023)

Scam texts and fake websites target Halifax customers

Halifax customers are being targeted by a new scam that sends convincing text messages impersonating the bank, directing recipients to a copycat website.

Never confirm sensitive information, such as login details, via text or links in a message. Learn more about how this scam works so you don’t fall victim to it.

Fake Halifax texts

Source: Which? (14 Nov 2023)

Can you spot a social media scam?

From impersonating your friends to imitating trusted brands, scammers use social media to trick you into sharing your personal information through private messages or by clicking on a suspicious link.

While these scams may seem convincing at first glance, they are not. Stay one step ahead of the scammers by following our six top tips for spotting a social media scam.

Our six tips

Source: Which? (15 Nov 2023)

Monday 13 November 2023

Beware of Sky Yahoo Mail upgrade scam

POST ALERT: Emails from Sky Yahoo Mail asking to click on link marked "Upgrade Now to Newest Version" are a scam!

Sky Yahoo Mail will never send you an email asking you to click on a link to upgrade to the newest version. If you receive an email like this, it is a scam.

Do not click on the link in the email. If you do, you may be taken to a fake Sky Yahoo Mail website that looks like the real one. This website may try to steal your personal information, such as your username, password, and credit card number.

To protect yourself from this scam:

  • Do not click on any links in emails from unknown senders.
  • If you are unsure whether an email is legitimate, contact Sky Yahoo Mail directly. You can find their contact information on their website.
  • Keep your Sky Yahoo Mail account software up to date. Sky Yahoo Mail will automatically update your software, but you can also check for updates manually.

If you think you may have fallen victim to this scam:

  • Change your Sky Yahoo Mail password immediately.
  • Contact your bank or credit card company to let them know that you may have been compromised.
  • Monitor your financial statements for any unauthorized activity.

Please help spread the word about this scam to protect your friends and family.

Beware of Sky Yahoo Mail upgrade scam

Source: Nextdoor

Thursday 9 November 2023

Online scams increase ahead of Black Friday and Christmas

Purchase fraud, where you are deceived into paying for an item or service that doesn't exist, is up by 35%, according to data from TSB. Scammers create fake social media listings and websites that offer fake bargain deals to defraud unsuspecting online shoppers.

Stay vigilant when shopping online ahead of the Black Friday sales. Follow our tips to help you dodge these scams.

Purchase fraud

Source: Which? (8 Nov 2023)

Fake Currys websites con bargain hunters

In anticipation of Black Friday, a time when we all hope to find great deals, scammers have been using Facebook to promote fake Currys websites with attractive but unrealistic offers.

If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. We have examples of these fake websites, so you can avoid falling prey to them.

Dodgy deals

Source: Which? (7 Nov 2023)

‘A fake film reviewer job has lost me nearly £8k’

Which? helped a scam victim who had been offered a fake Cineworld film reviewer job.

The victim initially received small payments, but was soon persuaded to make payments themselves, including taking a loan out to release their earnings. Santander only reimbursed the victim £919 and a further £900 after Which? intervened, but there’s still a way to go for the victim to recover all the money they lost.

If you have lost money to a scam, seek our expert advice on the appropriate steps to take next.

Get our help

Source: Which? (8 Nov 2023)

Thursday 2 November 2023

Twelve tips for Christmas and after

With Christmas rapidly approaching here are a few seasonal tips to help keep you safe at home, shopping, visiting, and after Christmas too:

1. If you need to store Christmas food and drink, presents and other goodies within garages and outbuildings, ensure what you are storing is out of sight and that the building is securely locked with good quality well fitted locks. Treat your shed to a shed alarm.

2. Avoid tempting window shopping burglars; don’t leave presents and valuables on full view in front of a window. Having parcels delivered, may be out, make sure that you make suitable secure delivery arrangements to reduce the risk of theft.

3. Whenever leaving the house always ensure that your windows and doors are closed and locked (remember your face covering). Don’t attract burglars to your home by leaving it in darkness; leave lights on timers, perhaps treat yourself to a TV simulator too.

4. Lock gates to keep unwanted visitors from getting to the rear of your home.

5. When you go to leave the house and find that your car is all iced up, don’t leave it unattended with the engine running to de-ice it. It only takes a second to steal your car and it would invalidate any insurance claim.

6. Park safely; look for a Parkmark accredited car park www.parkmark.co.uk/car-park-finder Check that your car is locked before you leave it and don’t leave valuables and gifts on display in your car.

7. Whether an evening out or Christmas shopping keep your bags, handbags, wallets and mobile safe. Busy places make it easier for the sneak thief, so be alert at all times.

8. A Christmas get together – make sure that you have considered how you are getting home in advance and avoid using unlicensed taxis. Ensure you drink responsible, social distance and are aware of your surroundings, whilst keeping your drink and belongings safe.

www.suzylamplugh.org/Pages/FAQs/Category/personal-safety

9. Watch what you put on social media; check your settings to ensure that you are not broadcasting when you are not at home and the lovely gifts you may have received.

10. After Christmas don’t advertise your nice gifts to the thieves by putting the empty boxes out for collection, disguise them, fold them up inside out or put them inside another non-descript box.

11. Record your new property free on www.immobilise.com install tracking and security apps on relevant electrical and computer products.

12. Have a Great Christmas and New Year!!

For further crime prevention advice contact Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association at bexleynw@outlook.com

What is a wildlife crime?

  • Poaching
  • Coursing.
  • persecution of badgers, birds, and bats.
  • egg theft and collection.
  • collection of or trade in protected species and animal products.
  • not registering animals which require a licence.
  • taking protected plants.
  • use of poisons, snares, or explosives, to kill or injure animals.
  • animal cruelty.
  • hunting with dogs.
  • introducing invasive species.
  • killing or capturing, damaging, or destroying the habitat of any protected animal.

Report it: If you think a wildlife crime is being committed then contact Bexley Police, lets protect our wildlife and the green spaces we have left.

With thanks to Colin Freeman Brentwood NW Member.

Summary:

Christmas Safety Tips

Christmas is a time for celebration and joy, but it's also important to be safe. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe at home, while shopping, visiting, and after Christmas:

Home

  • Secure your home and outbuildings. Make sure all windows and doors are locked, and that any valuables are out of sight. Consider installing a shed alarm.
  • Don't leave presents on display in front of windows. If you're having parcels delivered, make sure someone is home to receive them.
  • Use timers to turn on lights when you're away, so that your home doesn't look empty.
  • Lock gates to keep unwanted visitors from getting to the rear of your home.

Shopping

  • Be aware of your surroundings and keep your bags and belongings close to you.
  • Don't carry large amounts of cash.
  • Park safely and don't leave valuables in your car.

Visiting

  • If you're visiting friends or family, let them know when you expect to arrive and depart.
  • If you're staying overnight, make sure you know where the exits are and how to use the fire extinguishers.
  • Be careful about drinking too much alcohol.

After Christmas

  • Don't advertise your new gifts to thieves by leaving empty boxes outside. Disguise them by folding them up or putting them inside another box.
  • Consider recording your new property on Immobilise.com and installing tracking and security apps on relevant electrical and computer products.

Wildlife crime

Wildlife crime is a serious problem, and it's important to be aware of it. If you see a wildlife crime being committed, report it to Bexley Police.

Conclusion

By following these tips, you can help to keep yourself and your loved ones safe during the Christmas season.

Are AI chatbots risking a new wave of convincing scams?

AI-powered chatbots, such as ChatGPT and Bard, can produce well-written text, which could arm cybercriminals with the tools to send convincing phishing messages. Find out whether ChatGPT and Bard are doing enough to protect you from scammers.

AI chatbots scams

Source: Which? (27 Oct 2023)

How good is your bank at refunding scam victims?

Fraud victims often face a frustrating and unpredictable process when trying to recover their losses. Some banks reimburse almost every penny, while others barely cover a fraction of the losses.

The regulator has released a ranking of the 14 largest UK banking groups based on the amount of money they refunded to victims in 2022. So, find out where your bank ranks.

Your bank’s ranking

Source: Which? (31 Oct 2023)

Tuesday 31 October 2023

Alert: Van break-ins and damage at Sidcup station car park

On Monday, 30 October 2023, a number of vans were broken into and/or damaged in the Sidcup station car park. Five vans were targeted, and four of them had signs of damage from an angle grinder. The break-ins occurred in the morning, but no witnesses have come forward.

Police are checking CCTV footage from the car park, but they are appealing for anyone with information to come forward. If you saw anything suspicious on Monday morning, please contact the police on 101.

Advice to van owners
  • Be vigilant and aware of your surroundings when parking your van.
  • If possible, park in a well-lit area.
  • Consider using a security device, such as an alarm or tracker.
  • Remove any valuable items from your van when you are not using it.
If you do find that your van has been broken into, report it to the police immediately.

Source: Nextdoor

Social media and email hacking on the rise: How to protect yourself

Social media and email hacking are on the rise, with 18,011 reports made to Action Fraud between August 2022 and July 2023. Of these, 4,092 victims reported being extorted for money or having their accounts used to commit fraud.

There are two main types of account takeovers: on-platform takeovers and email compromise and phishing. In on-platform takeovers, the scammer will trick a victim into sharing or altering crucial account details through the messaging element of the service. In email compromise and phishing, the scammer will send a fake email that appears to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or social media company. The email will contain a link that, when clicked, will take the victim to a fake website that looks identical to the real website. If the victim enters their login details on the fake website, the scammer will be able to steal them. There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from social media and email hacking:

  • Use strong and different passwords for all of your online accounts.
  • Turn on 2-factor authentication for all of your online accounts.
  • Be careful about what links you click on in emails. If you are unsure whether an email is legitimate, do not click on any links in the email. Instead, go to the website directly by typing the address into your web browser.
  • Keep your software up to date. Software updates often include security patches that can help to protect your devices from malware and other threats. If you think that your social media or email account has been hacked, you should change your password immediately and report the incident to the relevant authorities.
If you live in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it  at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. In Scotland, victims of fraud and cybercrime should report to Police Scotland on 101.

Suspicious emails should also be sent to SERS at report@phishing.gov.uk.

Source: Action Fraud (25-10-2023)

Action Fraud warns of social media account and email takeover scams


Sunday 29 October 2023

Appeal for Stolen White Mercedes Car from Falconwood & Welling


A White Mercedes-benz car was stolen from a driveway on Yorkland Avenue DA16 2LN on Thursday 26th October at 3:17am. The car is a white Mercedes Model GLE with the registration number DEZ1009, year 2018.

The owner is requesting all residents in the area to check their CCTV footage or any other surveillance devices that they may have installed, especially if you live in the vicinity of Yorkland Avenue, Welling. Any information, no matter how small, could be vital in recovering the stolen car.

If you have seen this car or have any information regarding its whereabouts, please contact the owner directly or report it to Falconwood & Welling Police on 101 or 020 8721 2022. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 1111.

Thank you for your cooperation and assistance.

Stolen White Mercedes Car from Falconwood & Welling - click image to view enlarged

For more information search this blog.

Source: Nextdoor

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