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Cold Callers And Doorstep Rogue Traders

Warning to residents about Cold Callers and Doorstep Rogue Traders

This is the time of year when we traditionally see an increase in offences that start with a 'cold call' knock at your door, from someone claiming to be a tradesman working in the area. They will call unexpectedly, offering services or goods that you hadn't asked for. Those who accept work find the price increases or work is left unfinished.

The usual type of work offered includes pressure washing driveways, garden clearance, chimney repairs, replacing loose tiles, repairing leaking roofs or guttering and driveway work.

If you accept work from a doorstep trader you're very likely to pay much more than the price initially agreed for very poor, unnecessary and sometimes dangerous work and you are likely to be targeted by them again in the future. They generally target the older generation, who are sometimes more trusting and more vulnerable to falling victims to these offences.

Doorstep traders rarely provide paperwork so they can't be traced once they've left your home. Names, addresses and business details are often false and telephone numbers don't get answered. They have no interest in doing work properly, their only concern is getting the cash and disappearing before Trading Standards or the Police can catch up with them.

Cold Calling can also be a cover for persons planning more serious offences, such as burglaries, to see if houses are occupied. Cold Callers might also commit 'Bogus Official' offences where they gain entry to the house by deception in order to steal, whilst the occupant is distracted.

Please be aware of cold callers in the area and pass on this advice to friends and neighbours who might not receive the neighbourhood alert emails. Genuine reputable local tradesmen do not need to find work in this way.

You shouldn't feel pressured to accept any work or service you don't want. It's your home and your right to say 'No'. If you suspect a crime is in progress, or about to occur please note descriptions and contact police on 999.

Message received via Thames Valley Alert.

World Autism Awareness Day Conference

Location: The Curve, Slough
Date: 02 Apr 2019 - 09:45 to 14:30

World Autism Awareness Day takes place every year on 2nd April. To mark the occasion this year, Autism Berkshire is holding an All About Autism conference at The Curve library and cultural hub in Slough.

Parents and carers living in the East of Berkshire – the Bracknell Forest, Slough and Windsor & Maidenhead council areas - and professionals and students with an interest in autism are invited to come along to get plenty of practical advice from autism advocates, experts from the NHS and the University of Reading, and parenting specialists.

Visit Autism Berkshire website for more information.

Courier Fraud

Thames Valley Police have received reports of elderly and vulnerable residents being targeted by courier fraudsters.

Courier fraudsters phone and trick victims into handing over their bank cards and associated PIN (number) to a courier that arrives at their home.

Thames Valley Police is calling on friends and family to help tackle the problem by talking to elderly or vulnerable friends and relatives.

The talk should cover;

  • Never deal with cold callers on the phone or in person, no matter how polite or friendly they are. Saying "No thank you" and shutting the door or hanging up the phone is not rude.
  • Your bank, the police or anyone legitimate will never send a courier to your home to collect your bank cards or your money and they will never ask for your PIN number. Close the door, lock it and call 101 to speak to the police.
  • Keep a mobile phone next to your landline, and if you want to make a phone call immediately after hanging up the landline, always use the other phone.
    If you do hand over your bank details or card, don't panic. Call your bank immediately using another phone, such as a mobile phone, explain what's happened and cancel your cards.
  • Legitimate callers will never try to rush you, scare you or force you into anything. If you feel scared or pressured at any point, hang up or shut the door and tell someone you trust, what's happened.

There are many variations of the Courier Scam, but it usually follows this method;

  • A fraudster will cold call the victim on a landline, often claiming to be from the victim's bank, the police or to be a fraud investigator.
  • The fraudster states their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment in the victim's account or that they need the victim's help in investigating fraudulent activity at the bank.
  • In order to reassure the victim that they are genuine they suggest that the victim hangs up and rings the bank / police back straight away. However, they don't hang up at their end to disconnect the call from the landline so even when the genuine bank / police number is dialled the victim is still talking to the fraudster.

Finally, the fraudsters will send a courier to collect the card and PIN, cash or in some cases take the victim to a bank to withdraw cash. If you receive this type of call, report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website. In an emergency dial 999.

Scam Warning - Fake Tv Licensing Emails

An ongoing TV Licensing phishing campaign, first identified by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) in September 2018, continues to be reported to Action Fraud in high numbers. Fraudsters are sending the public fake TV Licensing emails that are designed to steal their personal and financial information. Since April 2018, Action Fraud has received over 900 crime reports with victim losses totalling more than £830,000.

How you can protect yourself:

  • Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.
  • Don’t assume a phone call or email is authentic, even if someone knows your basic details (such as your name or address). Remember, criminals can spoof phone numbers and email addresses to appear as companies you know and trust, such as TV Licensing.
  • Your bank will never call and ask you for your PIN, full banking password, or ask you to transfer money out of your account.

What to do if you’ve fallen victim:

  • Let your bank know as soon as possible and monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.
  • If you suspect your identity may have been stolen you can check your credit file quickly and easily online. Use a reputable service provider and follow up on any unexpected or suspicious results.
  • If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Action Fraud at actionfraud.police.uk, or by calling 0300 123 2040.


Message from Action Fraud.

Survey on Coercive Control

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) would like to hear from you.

The OPCC is launching a campaign to raise awareness of relationship abuse so that people who are experiencing it, identify with it and potentially seek help.

It will be launched under the branding of Victims First. Victims First supports victims and witnesses of crime across the Thames Valley and is managed by the OPCC.

Relationship abuse is not solely physical abuse but emotional and controlling abusive behaviours. It is also called coercive control.

The OPCC have developed a survey to gather experiences of relationship abuse. The data gathered from the survey will support the campaign. All responses are anonymous.

If you would like to complete the survey, you can do so at https://www.surveygizmo.eu/s3/90120270/Coercive-Control-survey.

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