Tuesday 31 January 2023

Make a FRESH start with your fundraising in 2023!


 

Win a whole YEAR of HelloFresh

It’s New Year, and we’re all making resolutions. Whether you want to save some money on your weekly shop, eat fresh and healthy, or just get the family together around the dinner table, this February 25th we’ve got the perfect prize to help you keep those New Year’s resolutions going all year long: a whole YEAR of HelloFresh! These fantastic boxes deliver fresh high-quality ingredients direct to your door – with everything you need to create delicious dinners from scratch. 

Don't miss out - get your tickets today!

https://www.bexleycommunitylottery.co.uk/support/bexley

Laughing gas could be banned from sale to tackle antisocial behaviour


This would certainly resolve many of the youth Antisocial behaviour (ASB) hot spots and littering issues across the country, and we know it is something all MP's have received complaints about. BBNWA and local residents are certainly fed up clearing them up and reporting them!
P.S. Don't stop complaining to your MP's, Councillors, Councils, and police teams. Use fixmystreet.com to report littering.

It's currently not an offence to sell them! However, Bexley has introduced a Public Space Protection Order directly aimed at gas canisters which provides more powers. See https://www.bexley.gov.uk/services/community-safety-and-environment/pspo/public-space-protection-order this is being enforced.

Here are the links of this news:





Delivery scams: fraudsters impersonate UPS

Scammers are impersonating the courier UPS to steal bank details from unsuspecting victims.

This scam involves fraudsters sending out ‘missed delivery’ emails which include UPS branding, albeit with one subtle difference.

Impersonating delivery companies is a common tactic used by scammers. Which? has previously warned about fake DPD emails, a phishing scam imitating Evri and a Royal Mail chatbot scam.

Read on to find out how the latest delivery scam works, and for advice on how to report a dodgy email.

‘IPS’ scam email: -

Fake delivery scam email

The email above appears to be from UPS, but on closer inspection the logo says ‘IPS’. This is the first giveaway that it’s a scam. The second telltale sign is the sender’s email address, which is made up of random letters.

The purpose of a scam email is often to get you to click a link. This will take you to a website which might download a virus to your computer, or steal passwords or other personal information. This is sometimes known as 'phishing'.

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it (as a screenshot) to report@phishing.gov.uk. Suspicious text messages (as a screenshot or screen recording) should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.

Needless to say do no click on links that turn out of the blue. Take time to research and check this blog for advice and further information on similar scams.

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

Monday 30 January 2023

Crime Statistics for England and Wales report launched 26 January 2023

The latest Crime Statistics for England and Wales by the ONS were released 26 January 2023. The survey shows crime to have decreased since the year leading up to the pandemic. You can find the results here.

“The decrease in ONS recorded figures is a good sign; however, we must remain cautious as we know many crimes, particularly those classified as antisocial behaviour or harassment, are not reported. It is clear the police are stretched to their limit. So we would like to see an increase in officers and PCSOs dedicated to neighbourhood policing to increase visible police presence in communities. This is proven to reduce antisocial behaviour, encourage reporting and help to restore trust and confidence in the police. But we can all take steps to reduce crime and do what we can to keep ourselves, our neighbours, family and friends safe. From raising awareness on simple prevention measures to safely intervening or reporting when we witness a crime.” John Hayward-Cripps, CEO of Neighbourhood Watch Network.

Also the Crime in England and Wales: year ending September 2022 report released 26 January 2023 as a pdf here.

e-bike safety warning after a flat fire on Arthur Street in Erith

Firefighters are issuing another warning e-bike safety warning after a flat fire on Arthur Street in Erith. 

Half of a flat on the third floor of a seven-storey block of flats was damaged by fire. A woman and three children left the flat before firefighters arrived. They were taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service crews suffering from smoke inhalation. 

The fire is believed to have been caused by a fault in an e-bike lithium battery. 

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “It’s incredibly concerning we are continuing to see a rise in incidents involving e-bikes and e-scooters. 

“When these batteries and chargers fail, they do so with ferocity and because the fires develop so rapidly the situation can quickly become incredibly serious. 

“Lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to failure if incorrect chargers are used and there is a significant risk posed by e-scooters which have been converted. 

"We are predominantly seeing fires in ones which have been purchased from online marketplaces and batteries which have been sourced on the internet, which may not meet the correct safety standards. 

“Our advice is to try and store and charge these items in a safe location if possible, such as in a shed or garage, and if they have to be stored inside, make sure there is smoke detection fitted and your means of escape is not obstructed. 

“However we know this won’t be possible for everyone, so if you are charging them indoors, please follow our advice on safe charging and ensure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire. 

“We would also suggest people try not to charge them when they are asleep, so that if there is an issue they can react quickly.” 

The Brigade was called at 2251 and the fire was under control by 0002. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters from Erith, Bexley, and Plumstead fire stations attended the scene.

Source: LFB (27/01/2023) and reported in New Shopper (with graphic image) [GDPR]


Do Not Open These SCAM SMS Messages

Plenty of phishing text messages (sms) getting sent to millions of people everyday, like banks, delivery, social media, entertainment and just about anything else you can think of. Don't click links. Don't fall for it. These scam messages are block sent to loads of people everyday.

The purpose of a scam email is often to get you to click a link. This will take you to a website which might download a virus to your computer, or steal passwords or other personal information. This is sometimes known as 'phishing'.

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it (as a screenshot) to report@phishing.gov.uk. Suspicious text messages (as a screenshot or screen recording) should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.

Needless to say do no click on links that turn out of the blue. Take time to research and check this blog for advice and further information on similar scams.

Spot and report scam emails, texts, websites and calls.

Saturday 28 January 2023

Beware fires involving e-scooters and e-bikes

London Fire Brigade attended over 70 fires involving e-scooters and e-bikes in 2021. *In 2021 Transport for London (TfL) banned e-scooters from London's transport network. This is due to a number of fires on the network involving these vehicles. 

Charging your e-bike or e-scooter

The majority of fires related to e-bikes and e-scooter have happened in homes. These fires are often caused when charging batteries.

Please pay special attention to bike conversion kits. Do not attempt to modify or tamper with the battery. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  

Reduce the risk of overheating

  • 🟥 Batteries can get warm during their use. Allow them to cool down before attempting to re-charge.
  • 🟥 Batteries should always be charged on hard flat surfaces where heat can dissipate.
  • 🟥 Batteries can also pose a risk if they have been damaged, so try to ensure they are not getting knocked around while in use or while being carried.
  • 🟥 Batteries should also never be exposed to extremes of temperature.

Follow the instructions

  • 🟥 Always follow manufacturers’ instructions when charging 
  • 🟥 Never leave it charging unattended or charge it while you are asleep.
  • 🟥 You should always make sure you unplug your charger once it’s finished charging.
  • 🟥 Always use the correct charger for your batteries and buy any replacements from a reputable seller.

Where to charge your batteries

  • 🟥 Never block your escape route with e-bikes or e-scooters
  • 🟥 Store and charge them somewhere away from a main through route or exit
  • 🟥 Make sure you and your family have an escape plan in place in the event of a fire. Always call 999, never try to fight the fire yourself

Using your e-bikes or e-scooter

*In 2021 Transport for London (TfL) banned e-scooters from London's transport network. This is due to a number of fires on the network involving these vehicles. This means you’re unable to take your electric personal vehicles on any TfL service. You can read TfL’s full guidance on e-scooters on their site.

Not all personal electric vehicles, such as e-scooters and e-unicycles are road legal in the UK. This means you can be fined by the police for using them on the road in the UK. Always check to see if you can use your vehicle on public roads.

Source: LFB

Thursday 26 January 2023

Trading Standards launch Don’t Deal At The Door Campaign booklet

 

Trading Standards If in doubt, keep them out!

Trading Standards If in doubt, keep them out! booklet (pdf), is packed filled with information and advice on doorstep crime and how to spot and avoid rogue traders at your front door and online.

Here's also the link to download the LTS doorstep crime campaign booklet (pdf).

IPS instead of UPS

Fraudsters are impersonating the courier UPS to steal bank details from unsuspecting victims. This scam involves fraudsters sending out ‘missed delivery’ emails that include UPS branding, albeit with one subtle difference.

Impersonating delivery companies is a common tactic used by scammers. Find out how this scam works, and get advice on how to report a dodgy email.

Delivery scams

Source: Which? (25 Jan 2023)

The psychology of scams

As part of our new report on the psychology of scams, we conducted in-depth interviews with 20 victims of bank transfer scams. We wanted to learn about the common tools and tricks that led people to be scammed. One of our findings was that scams often occur when victims are emotionally vulnerable, stressed, tired or distracted, leaving them more susceptible to fraud. 

Discover more about the psychology of scams and why we’re calling for a fairer reimbursement system for victims.

The psychology of scams

Source: Which? (20 Jan 2023)

Common HMRC scams to watch out for

The National Cyber Security Centre recently revealed that HMRC scams were the third most reported email impersonation scams. 

Some HMRC scams include emails telling you to update your details, or claiming your details have already been changed. We’ve also seen scammers impersonating HMRC caseworkers over the phone, luring victims into handing over personal information and bank details.

Here are some of the most common HMRC impersonation scams and how to report scam communications.

Be mindful of HMRC scams

Source: Which? (24 Jan 2023)

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Residential Burglary in Reddy Road, Erith - alert/appeal for information

Please be aware that on Sunday 21 January 2023 at approximately between 17.50 - 18.00pm offenders burgled a local borough resident's home in Reddy Road, Erith.

black car (pictured below from cctv) shows the suspect car which has one missing hub cap on the right hand side.  This car drove away from Reddy Road around 6pm towards Lydia Road and headed towards Manor road.   

Suspect black car involved in the burglary


It is alleged that in this brazen and callous act 4 offenders were involved, 3 of them entered the house from the front door.

This is an appeal to residents to check your CCTV or dash cam footage or If you think you may have seen or heard anything suspicious, or have any information related to this incident then please contact the local Safer Neighbourhood team for Slade Green & Northend Ward on 101, or 020 8721 2023, or via email at sladegreen.northend.snt@met.police.uk alternatively you can call them above or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 1111 or contact Bexley Neighbourhood Watch.

At Neighbourhood Watch, we also believe neighbours keeping an eye out for each other is key to reducing burglary, so we've extended the WIDE acronym to WIDE(N):
  • W: WINDOWS: Keep your windows locked
  • I: INTERIOR: Put inside lights on a timer/smart bulb
  • D: DOORS: Double or deadlock your doors
  • E: EXTERIOR: Put outside lights on a sensor
  • (N): NEIGHBOURS: Keep an eye out for your neighbours

Tuesday 24 January 2023

How to spot a fake QR code (and stop getting scammed)

Cybercriminals are increasingly using malicious QR codes to trick consumers.

QR (or Quick Response) codes are everywhere and we often scan them without thinking. But that little square barcode could be hiding something much more than a restaurant menu.

Here are 8 tips for spotting and avoiding malicious QR codes:-

 

Source: CNET (25 Jan 2022)

How To Spot a FAKE QR Code (AURA):-

 

Source: How To Spot a Fake QR Code Scam [9 New Examples] (AURA) (13 Dec 2022)

Review: secure QR codes for anti-counterfeiting, with examples (scantrust).

Which? (30 Sep 2020) - What are QR codes and are they safe to use?

Official Android apps:-

Monday 23 January 2023

Toyota Auris catalytic converter theft - appeal/alert for information

Please beware that on friday 20 January 2023 at 13:35pm at Bexley station car park, offenders stole a catalytic converter from a Toyota Auris parked there.

The local resident discovered the theft on her return from the train at approximately 16:30pm, reported the theft to British Transport Police (BTP) who gave her a crime reference number, and posted the alert on Nextdoor.

It appears this Bexley station car park is a target for such thefts despite the presence of onsight CCTV. Please be vigilant when parking there and take steps to make it harder for these brazen and callous thieves.

This is an appeal to residents to check your CCTV or dashcam footage or If you think you may have seen or heard anything suspicious, or have any information related to this incident then please contact stmarys.stjames.snt@met.police.uk or on 020 8721 2816 or call Police on 101 or alternatively you can call them above or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 1111.

To reduce the risk of having your catalytic converter stolen you could

  1. 1) Purchase anti-theft products such as Catloc - Sold Secure approved product (how to prevent catalytic convert theft here)
  2. 2) Park to restrict access to the underneath of the car
  3. 3) Ask your dealer to weld the catalytic converter to the car
  4. 4) Fit a tilt alarm
  5. 5) Register your converter and mark it with a forensic marker (e.g. SmartWater), which will make it harder for thieves to dispose of.
Check out this blog for further advice and information.

Visit Met Police on 'Keeping Vehicles Safe' and 'catalytic converter theft'.

Consider reporting using BTP 'Railway Guardian'.

Friday 20 January 2023

What’s up with WhatsApp scam messages?

From fake job opportunities to dodgy cryptocurrency schemes, fraudsters continue to use WhatsApp to coax victims into handing over their money and personal data. 

Unsolicited messages offering high-paid work are examples of advance fee fraud, where the scammer may eventually ask you to pay money for things like security checks or work equipment.

We’ve also seen fraudsters sending messages about dodgy cryptocurrency offers to convince people into joining groups under the guise of learning how to invest.

Discover how to avoid and report WhatsApp scams.

Avoiding WhatsApp scams

Source: Which? (19 Jan 2023)

Put to Rights – unresolved scams

Do you have an issue that you need to put right? Which? is here to assist you.

For our latest Put to Rights piece, we helped a couple who lost £81,000 to 'Friday afternoon fraud', where scammers hack email accounts and pose as solicitors to send fake bank account details to homebuyers. 

Fraudsters often do this on a Friday, taking advantage of having the weekend to cover their tracks out of office hours. Halifax initially reimbursed half the money, but it refunded the full amount on review after contact from Which?.

Discover how Friday afternoon fraud works and how to report scams to us.

Resolving your unresolved scams

Source:Which? (16 Jan 2023)

Volunteer Fair at Geddes URC

click to view enlarged

If you like to keep busy and care passionately about your local community, go along to the Volunteer Fair at Geddes Place United Reformed Church on Saturday 21st June. Lots of charities and organisations will be there, telling you about their voluntary roles and how you can give some of your free time to help them make a real difference helping the people of Bexley borough. Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch will be there looking to recruit residents to act as Neighbourhood Watch scheme co-ordinators in their own roads. We are also looking to recruit an Auditor. So, start the new year with a new challenge, pop along to find out more and say 'hello' to us!  

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Partner message regarding David Carrick

 Dear Partner,

 
I am writing to you today to ensure our condemnation of the appalling criminality of David Carrick, one of the most serious cases in the Met’s history, is as clear to you as it can be. I also want to explain how the Met is changing to ensure patterns of abusive and exploitative behaviour like his, cannot go unchecked again.
 
David Carrick, a police officer with our Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection command, appeared at Southwark Crown Court today and entered guilty pleas to false imprisonment, indecent assault and four counts of rape. At a previous hearing at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, 13 December he had pleaded guilty to 43 offences including 20 counts of rape, and further counts of controlling and coercive behaviour and sexual assault. He was remanded in custody and will be sentenced at a hearing to take place at Southwark Crown Court beginning on Monday, 6 February.
 
Assistant Commissioner Barbara Gray, the Met’s lead for Professionalism, said: “On behalf of the Metropolitan Police, I want to apologise to the women who have suffered at the hands of David Carrick. I commend their outstanding bravery in coming forward and reporting the horrific crimes they were victims of.
 
“Carrick is a prolific, serial sex offender who preyed on women over a period of many years, abusing his position as a police officer and committing the most horrific, degrading crimes. He has devastated women’s lives. He has had a devastating impact on the trust and confidence of women and girls that we are working so hard to earn. He has devastated colleagues.”
 
AC Gray added that Carrick had used the fact he was a police officer to control and coerce his victims and that they felt unable to come forward sooner because he told them they would not be believed. She also stated that the Met should have spotted his pattern of abusive behaviour and missed opportunities to remove him from the organisation.
 
After Carrick was charged with rape in October 2021, the Met began a thorough review of his service, his conduct and complaints record, any occasions on which he had come to the notice of the police and his vetting. It was established that he was on police systems in relation to a number of off duty incidents both before and after his employment as a police officer. These incidents were in the Met’s force area and in those of other forces.
 
With the exception of his arrest in October 2021, none of these incidents resulted in any criminal sanction at the time. However, when the overall case history is examined now in detail, it reveals a pattern of behaviour that should have raised concerns regardless of the outcome of individual incidents.
 
Further details of all the allegations against Carrick and his employment history can be found on our website
 
AC Gray added: “The duration and nature of Carrick’s offending is unprecedented in policing. But regrettably he is not the only Met officer to have been charged with serious sexual offences in the recent past.  Our work to identify and rid the Met of corrupt officers is determined and focussed.
 
“As the Commissioner has said, we will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of those who are engaged in corrupt or criminal behaviour using all the available tactics and techniques at our disposal.”
 
How we are strengthening our anti-corruption systems: Following the recent report by His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services and the interim findings of the Baroness Casey review, the Met has invested millions of pounds and brought in over 400 additional officers and staff to identify and investigate offenders within the police service. This work includes the following new steps.
 
  • A dedicated Domestic Abuse and Sexual Offending investigation team has been set up with over 50 experienced investigators targeting any officer or staff member who may be engaged in domestic abuse or sexual offences.
  • All current officers and staff who have previously been the subject of allegations of sexual offending or domestic abuse, where allegations couldn’t be proven and were not subject of misconduct hearings, are subject to an ongoing review.
  • A new Anti-Corruption and Abuse Command is proactively investigating and identifying officers and staff who abuse their positions of trust whether on duty or off duty, in person or online.
  • Significant investment in intelligence capabilities and in the skills of specialist investigators.
  • A thorough audit of national police databases, to identify intelligence and information about officers and staff that may not be known by the organisation, is under way.
  • An internal appeal is asking Met officers and staff to report corruption and abuse and for the first time in policing, an anti-corruption and abuse hotline has been launched, in partnership with Crimestoppers, where the public can anonymously report Met officers and staff who abuse their positions of power and trust.
We know that we have much work to do in order to earn the trust lost through the actions of officers like David Carrick. Work to raise standards and improve the culture of the Met are a key part of the Commissioner’s Turnaround Plan which he launched last week and which will be published in the coming days. We are determined to create a Met that can deliver More Trust, Less Crime and High Standards for London.
 
Kind regards
 
Chief Inspector Russ Joao
 
Chief Inspector Neighbourhoods | SE BCU

Beware Phishing TV License Scam email

 

Screenshot of scam email - click to view enlarged

Screenshot (click above to view enlarged) of the scam email received 17 January 2023 with a fake phishing 'Setup a new Direct Debit' link received by a borough resident and alerted us to warn others. Notice the sender appears to be from Japan? and the email is not you would expect from DVLA in UK.

The purpose of a scam email is often to get you to click a link. This will take you to a website which might download a virus to your computer, or steal passwords or other personal information. This is sometimes known as 'phishing'.

Suspicious text messages should be forwarded (as a screenshot or screen recording) to the number 7726 which is free of charge. Suspicious emails should be forwarded (as a screenshot) to report@phishing.gov.uk.

Needless to say do no click on links that turn out of the blue. Take time to research and check out this blog for advice and further information on similar scams.

Phishing: Spot and report scam emails, texts, websites and calls.

Further help is available as follows:-



Protecting Yourself from Street Scams

Here are some tips to help you stay safe: General Precautions Trust your instincts: If something feels off, it probably is. Don't hesit...