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)

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...