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.


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):

* Crime Prevention Agency:

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 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 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 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.

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 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

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.


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:


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 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.


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 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

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

Thief targeting homes in Brompton Drive

There is a thief operating in the Brompton Drive area of DA8 2LR. He is a young male who has been seen collecting shoes from doorsteps and breaking into houses. On October 25, 2023, between 1:10 and 1:20 AM, he stole a car after breaking into a house and taking the keys. This is the second time he has been seen in the area, the first time being on September 28, 2023, at 00:48 AM. See footage below.

Please be vigilant and keep your doors and windows locked at all times. If you see anything suspicious, please report it to the police immediately on or 020 8721 2023.

Here are some tips to help keep your home safe:

  • Make sure all doors and windows are locked, even when you are home.
  • Install a security system.
  • Trim bushes and trees around your home to eliminate hiding places for burglars.
  • Don't leave valuables in plain sight.
  • Get to know your neighbours and watch out for each other's homes.
  • Report any suspicious activity to the police.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Source: Nextdoor

Thursday 26 October 2023

Four energy scams that will chill you

With another winter of high energy bills ahead of us, many households have had to make do with colder homes, while others look for ways to improve energy efficiency.

From fake Ofgem offers for free boilers to dodgy dealers cloning prepayment meter keys, con artists are poised to capitalise on widespread money worries with a range of scams.

Check out the latest dodgy energy scams and keep yourself safe over the colder months.

Watch out

Source: Which? (25 Oct 2023)

The scams you need to know about

Which?'s scam tracker highlights the latest scams you need to know about this month, including Booking[dot]com scam warnings and hacked social media accounts. 

Which?'s goal is to help you stay ahead of fraudsters and outsmart them. Discover what the latest scams are.

Stay updated 

Source: Which? (17 Oct 2023)

Can you spot an email scam?

Email scams are a common type of ‘phishing’ scam. Scammers usually impersonate legitimate organisations, like HMRC, using convincing branding to deceive people.

These fake emails often contain fraudulent links asking for personal data or malicious software that can infect your device.

If you suspect an email might be a scam, follow our expert tips on email scams to avoid falling prey to scammers.

Email scams

Source: Which? (17 Oct 2023)

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Number Spoofing Scam

When somebody rings you, can you always trust the phone number that they are calling from? The answer is no, because scammers are increasingly using a technique called ‘number spoofing’, where they can mimic the number of a real company, and make it pop up on your phone screen when they call.

Nick Stapleton has been investigating number spoofing scams for BBC Morning Live, including a case where criminals spoofed the phone number of the UK Supreme Court to fool people into handing over their money.

Nick met with ethical hacker Doug Tognarelli, who works with businesses to increase their cyber security. In less than five minutes, he showed that he was able to spoof the phone number of the Supreme Court: the final court of appeal in the UK for all civil cases and most criminal ones.

Nick Stapleton met with Maia, a forensic scientist, who was scammed in May. She received a call saying she had been the victim of identity theft, and that someone from the Supreme Court would follow up directly. She was told to search for the court’s phone number online, and it did indeed match.

Maia told Morning Live: “They told me that they needed me to move my money to other safe accounts, because the investigation now will start, and then my bank accounts would be blocked. I was scared and I was like, hold on a second, Who am I transferring the money to? and the tone changed a bit; she was kind of threatening and told me that I had to cooperate”.

To make the scam more convincing, Maia was told the call was also being monitored by the Ministry of Justice, and that she would receive a further call from them. Again, the phone number tallied up with the official one for the government department, which oversees courts and prisons.

Maia felt pressured into cooperating with the caller, and she began to transfer money. After being on the phone for over two hours, she had transferred more than £10,000.

Maia started to feel suspicious; so she went to the Supreme Court’s website. There she discovered a warning about scammers cloning their phone number. She said: “I was in a state of shock, and then I said ‘you need to stop now, I know that you're a hacker. I'm going to call the police’. At that moment, she hung up.”

Maia reported the scam to her banks and luckily she was able to get most of her money back.

In response to the BBC investigation, a spokesperson from the UK Supreme Court said: “We know that scammers are cloning our phone number and logo and have advisory messages to the public on our website. We never call asking for money or threatening arrest and advise people receiving a call, letter, or email to follow the scams advice on our website.”

The Ministry of Justice told Morning Live: “We sympathise with anyone affected by these shameful scams. The Ministry of Justice will never contact you using an automated message. If you receive a call like this please hang up and report it to Action Fraud.”

The Do Not Originate list is designed to stop scammers using phone numbers to trick people. It’s run by communications watchdog Ofcom, and stops certain numbers from being spoofed before a call can connect. Companies, government agencies like HMRC, and other public bodies can add their phone numbers to the list (pdf).

Ofcom has told the BBC: “Scammers can cause huge distress and financial harm to their victims, and protecting people from harm is a priority for Ofcom. These criminals are becoming more sophisticated and tackling them requires efforts from a range of bodies. We’re working closely with the police, other regulators and industry to tackle the problem.

“One of our initiatives in countering scam calls is the Do Not Originate list. This has proved to be an effective tool, and we review and update the list regularly. We don’t make its contents public, to reduce the risk of scammers using this information to their advantage”.

Be Scam Safe. Remember:

• Never give out your personal information in response to an incoming call, or rely upon the Caller ID as the sole means of identification, particularly if the caller asks you to carry out an action which might have financial consequences. No legitimate organisation will ever ask you to transfer money over the phone.
• It’s OK to hang up on a caller if something doesn’t seem right. You could be stopping a scam from happening.
• If you want to check if it’s a genuine organisation that has called you, you can hang up and call them back. Call the phone number on the organisation’s website. Remember this scam only works with incoming calls, not outbound ones that you make.
• Wait for a few minutes before making the call - this ensures the line has cleared and you're not still speaking to the fraudster or an accomplice.
• If someone calls you saying they are from your bank, you can hang up and call 159 to be connected to most major UK banks.” 159 cannot be spoofed and will never call you.

Source: BBC Morning Live (23 October 2023)

Monday 23 October 2023

How Neighbourhood Watch Can Keep Your Community Safe at Christmas

Neighbourhood Watch can play an important role in helping to keep communities safe during the forthcoming Christmas period. By working together, neighbours can look out for each other's homes and property, and report any suspicious activity to the police.

Here are some tips for how Neighbourhood Watch can help to keep your community safe at Christmas:

Make sure your home is secure. This means locking all doors and windows, and installing good quality security locks. You should also consider installing CCTV and a burglar alarm system.

Keep your valuables out of sight. Don't leave presents under the Christmas tree or in other places visible to potential burglars. If you're going out for Christmas shopping, lock your presents in the car boot.

Be vigilant when you're out and about. Keep your handbag / wallet close to you and be aware of your surroundings. Don't flash your cash or credit cards in public. Keep your phone pocketed.

Look out for your neighbours. If you see anything suspicious, such as someone trying to break into a house or car, report it to the police immediately.

Neighbourhood Watch can also help to create a sense of community spirit and reduce loneliness and isolation at Christmas.

Thursday 19 October 2023

Borrowers targeted by dodgy £30-a-month ‘savings’ sites

People searching for loans online are unknowingly signing up for £29.95 a month subscriptions to websites they've never heard of.

We’ve received reports of 13 different 'savings' websites appearing on bank statements. These websites claim to offer daily discount codes, exclusive deals, cashback, and assistance with rebuilding bad credit.

If you suspect you've been a victim of these deceptive practices, read more about these ‘savings’ websites and how to stop recurring payments.

Dodgy subscriptions

Source: Which? (15 Oct 2023)

Can you stop someone from stealing your identity?

In the latest episode of the Which? Shorts podcast, we hear about the impact of identity fraud.

We explain how this crime happens and what we can do to stop it. And to help you, our experts, Faye Lipson and Lucia Ariano, tell you everything you need to know about identity fraud.

Can you stop someone from stealing your identity? Tune into our podcast to find out more.

Identity fraud

Source: Which? (18 Oct 2023)

Scammers posing as police officers

A Which? member was recently cold called by a scammer who pretended to be a police officer. The scammer claimed that the police had arrested someone who had used the member's bank card. When asked for further details, the scammer became aggressive and ended the call.

It's important to remember that the police will never ask for personal or financial information over unsolicited calls. Learn more about this scam and how to prevent nuisance calls.

Impersonation scams

Source: Which? (17 Oct 2023)

Monday 16 October 2023

Jazz Refunds Scam Alert

A Local borough resident received a text from Jazz Refunds:

"Hi (first name - and removed)

Your refund up to £5389 is unclaimed. Tax was taken from past PPI/Loans and is owed back. Click now:"

Yes, the text message received from Jazz Refunds is likely a scam or phishing attempt. There are several red flags that indicate this:

  • The text message is unsolicited, meaning you did not request it.
  • The sender's name is vague and could be easily associated with a legitimate company.
  • The text message claims that you are owed a large sum of money (£5389) in a refund. This is a common tactic used by scammers to lure people in.
  • The text message contains a link to a website that is not the official website. The domain name,, is suspicious and does not appear to be associated with any legitimate company.
  • The text message contains a shortened URL, Shortened URLs can be used to hide the true destination of a link, which can be dangerous if the link is malicious.

If you click on the link in the text message, you may be taken to a fake website. This website may ask you to enter your personal information, such as your name, address, and credit card number. Scammers can use this information to steal your identity or commit fraud.

Do not click on the link in the text message and do not reply to it. If you think you may have been scammed, contact your bank or credit card company immediately.

Here are some tips to avoid being scammed:

  • Be wary of unsolicited text messages, emails, and phone calls.
  • Never click on links in unsolicited messages. If you are unsure whether a message is legitimate, contact the company directly using the contact information on their official website.
  • Do not provide your personal information to anyone you do not know and trust.

If you think you have been scammed, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at

Sunday 15 October 2023

Royal Mail scam alert: Beware of text messages asking you to update your address

A local borough resident had a text message from 0776 3519067 saying it was from Royal Mail and that they could not deliver his package as it has an incomplete address. It then asks him to log onto http// Virustotal shows this url as malicious and getsafeonline says it is not safe. Of course he did not.

This is a scam message. Royal Mail will never send you a text message asking you to click on a link to update your address or pay a delivery fee. If you receive a text message like this, do not click on any links or reply to the message. Instead, forward it to 7726 to report it as spam.

The website address in the scam message,, is not a legitimate Royal Mail website. It is a fake website that has been set up by scammers to steal your personal information, such as your name, address, and credit card details.

If you have already clicked on the link in the scam message and entered your personal information, you should contact your bank immediately to cancel your credit or debit cards. You should also change your online passwords.

Please be aware of this scam and warn your friends and family.

Here are some tips to help you avoid being scammed:

  • Be wary of any unsolicited text messages or emails, especially those that ask you to click on links or provide personal information.
  • Never click on links in text messages or emails from unknown senders.
  • If you are unsure whether a text message or email is legitimate, contact the company directly using a known contact method, such as the phone number on their website.
  • Be careful about what information you share online. Only share your personal information with trusted websites and companies.

If you think you have been scammed, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at

Thursday 12 October 2023

Watch out for Jo Malone advent calendar scams

With Christmas fast approaching, advent calendars will soon be popping up everywhere. In September, scammers were quick to create fraudulent Facebook ads promoting the £350 Jo Malone advent calendar for just £30.

Always remember: if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Here are examples of these fake ads and scam websites that we've found to help you dodge this scam.

Bogus advent calendars

Source: Which? (11 Oct 2023)

Bank transfer fraud protections could be weakened

New laws were due to kick in next year to give fairer and more consistent redress for victims of bank transfer scams. However, this has now been delayed. What's worse, the regulator has also proposed that fraud victims should pay a £250 excess when they make a claim.

Learn more about what this could mean for future scam victims.

Fraud protection risk

Source: Which? (11 Oct 2023)

How to spot a text message scam

From scammers impersonating the government and offering non-existent discounts on energy bills to posing as your adult children asking for money, scam messages are designed to steal your personal details to con you now or in the future.

Fraudsters use identity-masking technology, also known as spoofing, to make it look like a legitimate organisation or someone you know is contacting you via text or a messaging app.

While these messages might appear legitimate at first, here are some tips to help you become more confident in spotting a scam.

Scam messages

Source: Which? (11 Oct 2023)

Wednesday 11 October 2023

Trust & the Internet - webinar Thursday 12th October, 14:00 – 15:00 BST

The internet’s unequalled choice, 24/7 convenience and flexibility are benefits that suit people of all ages, wherever they live or work and whatever their circumstances. Others, however, prefer to carry on doing things the traditional, offline way for many reasons, a major one being trust. We’ve all either experienced at first hand or heard about negative experiences including online fraud or abuse which are, unfortunately, all too commonplace.

In order to go online with safety and confidence, it’s important to get to know who and what you can trust … and who and what you can’t. And it’s vital that everybody who uses the internet can do so with safety and confidence – regardless of gender, ability, appearance, background or beliefs – by being able to trust others’ behaviour and behave responsibly themselves.  

For more information about the internet and trust please read our latest advice here:

And if you would like to learn more, then please feel free to join our hour-long webinar tomorrow afternoon at 2pm where Get Safe Online will be joined by Neighbourhood Watch, the British Polio Fellowship, and DeafBlindUk to talk about the internet, trust and inclusivity in more detail. 

To register visit: [Date:Thursday 12th October, 14:00 – 15:00 BST]

Source: Get Safe Online team

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 li...