Warning following thefts from vehicles

eCops Logo The Police
Message Type Icon Warning following thefts from vehicles
Dear Mandy, We are urging motorists across the county to be vigilant and take precautions following a recent spate of thefts from vehicles. So far this month there have been 43 reports of thefts or attempted thefts from vehicles across Cambridgeshire, 25 of which have been in Peterborough. Overnight on Friday (8 July) into Saturday (9 July), six vehicles were targeted in Balsham, South Cambridgeshire. A breakdown of the offences is below: ·  Peterborough – 25 ·  Fenland – 4 ·  Huntingdonshire – 0 ·  East Cambs – 1 ·  South Cambs – 11 ·  Cambridge City – 2 These figures do not include reports of catalytic converter thefts, of which there have been 27 since 1 July – two in Fenland, two in Huntingdonshire, 14 in East Cambs, three in South Cambs and six at Trumpington Park and Ride in Cambridge. Unfortunately we are seeing a mix of offences with some vehicles being left unlocked and offenders chancing their luck, while others are much more brazen and have taken to smashing windows to get what they want from inside. A range of items have been stolen from small amounts of loose change, through to more valuable items such as laptops, mobile phones, sat navs, power tools and larger amounts of cash. We are working hard to catch anyone responsible for these thefts, however, we are urging members of the public to remove items from within their vehicles where possible, and also double check their vehicle is locked before leaving it. We’ve had several reports of attempted thefts or where someone has been caught on video doorbell cameras trying door handles of cars – please continue to report these to us. Anyone with information about suspicious activity around vehicles should report online here, where video footage can also be passed on. If a crime is in action, always call 999. Advice on how to best protect your vehicle from thieves can be found on the force website here. Catalytic converter theft prevention advice can be found by clicking here. Kind regards,
Message Sent By
Lauren Alexander
(Police, Senior Communications Officer for Peterborough and Fenland, All of Cambridgeshire)

SCAMS IN FOCUS – COURIER FRAUD

Courier fraud is predominantly a telephone crime, where the victim receives a call from someone whom they believe to be in a position of authority, such as a Police Officer or bank official, and a courier is sent to the victim to collect cash, a bank card, or other items, as arranged. 

It will be started by the fraudster posing as the official and building up a relationship with the victim. This is done by offering information that the victim can see could have come from an official source, such as full name and address. The victim may have already given that information away themselves, or the fraudster will have obtained a database that contains their name and address, which is how they were targeted in the first place. The fraudster then asks for help.

Everyone wants to be helpful and if the fraudster is pretending to be from the Police, they might want your help to catch a criminal or, if a bank official, they might be trying to find corrupt staff. In that situation, everyone would want to help, it’s in our nature to be helpful, but this is how we get sucked in.

Remember this is all on the phone where you can’t see the body language of the other person and they are relying on tone of voice and their questions being enticing.

Research Google on how to make a good sales’ call and it will give you lots of ideas of tactics they might use, which you can then use as tell-tale signs.

Here are some specific examples of what fraudsters might say:

  • Bank card expiry: Fraudsters claim to be from the victim’s bank and say their card is no longer valid. They ask for the pin number and then send a “courier” to collect the card before using it for fraudulent purposes.
  • Purchasing high end items: The fraudsters pretend to be Police Officers and ask the victim to help with an undercover operation by purchasing expensive items like watches, jewellery and gold. Once the item is bought, the fraudster will send a courier to collect the items.
  • Counterfeit cash/bank investigation: A person claiming to be a Police or banking official informs the victim that they need to help with a banking corruption investigation. The victim is told to withdraw a large amount of money and the cash is picked up later by a courier to “check for fingerprints” or to “identify counterfeit bank notes”.
  • Computer takeover: The fraudster telephones the victim, purporting to be from their internet service provider, saying that they have had an issue with their internet connectivity, and they are due compensation. The victim is persuaded to download a remote access application, giving the suspects access to their home computers. The fraudster persuades the victims into thinking that they have been paid too much compensation and the victims then withdraw cash to pay the money back, which is later collected by a courier.

Things to look out for:

  • Courier fraud usually starts with an unsolicited telephone call to the victim.
  • Typically, the fraudster will pose as a bank official or Police Officer, but it could also be a computer or utility engineer.
  • Courier fraudsters will usually request the victim purchases high value items such as Rolex watch and gold bullion, withdraws cash or provides a bank card for collection all of which will be collected by a “courier”.
  • Fraudsters will instruct victims to not tell any family or friends about what they are doing.
  • When carrying out courier fraud, criminals will request the victim hangs up the phone to ring their bank for confirmation while keeping the line open. The fraudster then purports to be a bank official and provides false confirmation.
  • Fraudsters will also make arrangements for a courier to meet the victim to collect the item they have purchased.

Finally, just to recap.

There are some simple steps that we can remember, banks or the Police:

  • Will never call to verify personal details.
  • They will not call and ask you for your pin.
  • They will not send a courier to collect your bank card.
  • Do not hand your bank card over to anyone or tell anyone your pin.
  • They will not ask you to purchase items for them.
  • Won’t tell you not to tell anyone including friends and family.

If you do want to make a call to verify them, follow these simple steps:

  • Do not use a number they have provided for you, do your own research, use a number you already have for your bank or call 101 for the Police.
  • If they called in on a landline, wait 5 – 10 minutes before you make your call and make sure you have a dial tone on the landline phone.
  • Use another phone such as your mobile phone or use a partner mobile.

Amazon Prime Day scams: what to look out for

Casp View as a webpage scam warning Amazon Prime Day scams: what to look out for As Amazon Prime Day approaches on the 12th and 13th of July, Check Point Research (CPR) has warned of the danger of scams around the event. With Amazon among the top imitated brands, criminals are looking to use interest in Amazon Prime Day in order to create scams and lure in victims. According to the cybersecurity group, it has already witnessed a 37% increase in daily Amazon-related phishing attacks in the first week of July compared to the daily average in June. Follow the link below for more infomraiton. Amazon Prime Day scams: What to look out for (digit.fyi) Amazon prime day Follow us on Twitter| Facebook|Cambridgeshire.gov.uk/against-scams CCC PCC

Cambridgeshire Police Fraud Alert

Beware of calls claiming to be from Action Fraud

Action Fraud (www.actionfraud.police.uk) is the national Police reporting centre for all fraud and cyber-related crime and provides quality information and products to help protect yourself, family, and business.

I am aware of information that suggests fraudsters are making telephone calls to the public and impersonating Action Fraud.

Currently, none of these reports appear to originate from within Cambridgeshire.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be from Action Fraud, hang up immediately it is highly likely a scam.

Action Fraud will NOT cold call the public either by telephone, social media, text, or email. If you wish to communicate with Action Fraud, then visit their genuine website www.actionfraud.police.uk and use the contact details on the webpage.

If you suspect that you may have been a victim of a scam, then contact your Bank immediately and then report to Action Fraud.


Scam in Focus – Concert Ticket Scams

With lots of music concerts and sporting events taking place in summer for the first time in 3 years, we’d like to warn people to take extra care when buying tickets.

Ticket fraud is when you buy tickets from a website or agent for a music concert or festival, a sporting contest such as a football match or rugby tournament, or a live comedian or performer, but the tickets either aren’t delivered, or turn out to be fake and you can’t get a refund.

Action Fraud says victims lost around £1.5 million to online ticket scams in 2019 (the last time data was collected) – nearly 5,000 people reported being scammed at an average of £365 each.

How it happens: Spot the signs

You may find a website advertised via email or social media offering you the chance to buy tickets to a popular event.

But fraudsters can easily invent their own bogus ticket retail companies; their websites are easy to make and look genuine. Some even use a name or website address very similar to a legitimate ticket sales website.

Protect yourself: Tips to avoid ticket fraud

Only buy tickets from the venue’s box office, the promoter, an official ticket agent or a well-known and reputable ticket exchange site. Look at the artist’s website and see who they recommend you buy tickets from.

Fraudsters create fake websites that look similar to a genuine site, so people should double check the web address to make sure they’re on the correct website.

Is the vendor a member of Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR)? If they are, you’re buying from a company that has signed up to their strict governing standards. STAR also offers a service to help customers with outstanding complaints.

Check the contact details of the site you’re buying the tickets from. There should be a landline phone number and a full postal address. Avoid using the site if there is only a PO Box address and mobile phone number, as it could be difficult to get in touch after you buy tickets.

Before entering any payment details on a website, make sure the web address starts with https (the ‘s’ stands for secure). There should be a locked padlock icon in the browser’s address bar.

Should you choose to buy tickets from an individual (for example on eBay or on social media), never transfer the money directly into their bank account but use a secure payment site such as PayPal. See also PayPal warning: Paying someone you don’t know? DON’T use ‘friends and family’ (moneysavingexpert.com)

Paying for your tickets by credit card will offer increased protection over other payments methods, such as debit card, cash, or money transfer services for tickets over £100. Avoid making payments through bank transfer or money transfer services, as the payment may not be recoverable.

How to report it

Go to https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or call 0300 123 2040, the national reporting centre on cyber crime.


Creating a Safer Cambridgeshire – Priorities set for South Cambs

eCops Logo Cambridgeshire Constabulary
Dear Subscriber,

Thank you to the residents of South Cambridgeshire who joined us for our online meeting last night.

For those who were unable to join us this time around, we heard from the South Cambridgeshire team about what they have been doing to tackle drugs, anti-social behaviour and speeding in the area.

Speeding – Special Inspector Stephen Mudie and his team of volunteers have been focusing efforts across South Cambs while officers are working with local Speedwatch co-ordinators to help build capacity in the community.

Drugs – Following intelligence received from the community we have carried out six warrants and there will be more to come. We’ve carried out numerous stop searches for drugs with positive results.

Anti-Social Behaviour – We’ve seized four e-scooters in Cambourne, carried out patrols of our green spaces across villages, engaged with the community to develop intelligence and offer reassurance. We’ve also visited the parents of young people who have been involved in ASB. There has also been lots of partnership working with South Cambs District Council around households that are perpetrating the ASB.

We talked through the survey results (see below) before we opened up the floor to residents for further discussion where many of the points already captured were spoken about in more detail.

Results of the survey – a snap shot
We had 387 responses to our online survey, including people from each ward across South Cambs, enabling us to get a good understanding of what is happening in each area and what issues concern you the most.

Anti-social driving came out as the most critical issue followed closely by anti-social behaviour and drug dealing.

So what next?
At the end of the meeting we agreed to continue to focus efforts on the below. This will be alongside our daily priorities (which can be viewed here). Drugs Speeding Anti-Social Behaviour Our very genuine desire is to focus the team on the things that are of the highest risk and concern for you, our residents.

The South Cambs Neighbourhood Team will now provide regular updates to these priorities on the force Facebook and Twitter page over the coming weeks and months. We will then look to begin this process again with another meeting held on 9 August. You can register your attendance here.

Thank you for participating in this process. If you have any concerns in the meantime, visit our website.

Inspector Shane Fasey
South Cambridgeshire
 
Message Sent By
Tara Dundon (Police, Comms officer, Corp comms)
To lo

Cambridgeshire Police Fraud Alert- Remote access Scam

Casp View as a webpage scam warning Cambridgeshire Police Fraud Alert- Remote access Scam Scams involving the malicious use of remote access software continue to impact on local people. Remote access software is legitimate software that allows someone to remotely access a computer from anywhere in the world. I find it particularly useful when my mother complains that her computer is not doing what she wants it to, so I can login from afar and resolve things. However, and as always, criminals exploit technology to do things they were not designed or intended for. One example of the criminal use of remote access software would be a scammer making a telephone call purporting to be the bank, the police or an internet or telephone service provider. The scammer will ask or make an excuse to access the victim’s computer and deceive them to download and install software such as TeamViewer, AnyDesk, Chrome and Microsoft Remote Desktop. (There are many others.) Once the criminal has access, they can then search private folders and files and possibly access online banking/financial services and transfer money. They may demand payment for removing a virus that never existed. If you have concern for someone you feel is vulnerable to this type of scam, then, other than warning them, you could consider installing a ‘URL blocker’ on their browser. Such a blocker will prevent the user from accessing specific remote access software providers when instructed to do so by the scammer. For more information about the scam and advice on preventing it please visit: Remote Access Tool Scams | Action Fraud If you suspect you are a victim of a scam, contact your bank first and then report to Action Fraud. Follow us on Twitter| Facebook|Cambridgeshire.gov.uk/against-scams CCC PCC

Cambs Police – Have your say

eCops Logo Cambridgeshire Constabulary
Message Type Icon Please Have Your Say
Dear residents,

At the beginning of the year we invited you to take part in a new engagement model to allow greater opportunity for two-way communications between you as residents and police.

We had 165 residents across South Cambs fill in an online survey allowing us to understand what crime is happening in the area.

Then on 1 February we held our first online engagement meeting which saw residents from the area attend to ask questions of the team and have their say on policing priorities in the area.

Over the past few months we’ve been focusing locally on: Anti-social behaviour Speeding Anti-social driving Drug dealing We’re now getting ready to hold the engagement process again. We once again invite you to fill in our online survey so we can understand what’s happening in your area.

We’ll then meet again online, on 5 May, where we will have a presentation on recent policing activity from the team, we’ll listen to concerns, present the result of results of the survey and allow you to once again shape the police activity. Please register your attendance here.

After the meeting, your neighbourhood policing team will work on the matters we agree and update you with the progress over the coming weeks and months.

We hope you will get on board with this pilot once again so we can work together to create a Safer Cambridgeshire.

We look forward to hearing from you during the process.

Inspector Shane Fasey
South Cambs
 
Message Sent By
Tara Dundon (Police, Comms officer, Corp comms)
 

Warning As Vans Targeted By Thieves Across The County

eCops Logo Cambridgeshire Constabulary
Dear subscriber,

We have issued a warning and appeal for information following 26 instances where tools have been stolen from vans across Cambridgeshire.

The incidents have all taken place within the last two weeks since 21 February, mostly in Peterborough but spanning the whole county – March, Whittlesey, Somersham, Needingworth, St Ives, Buckden, Warboys, Grafham, Ely, Trumpington, Cambridge, Cottenham, Histon and Grantchester.

We understand the impact these thefts have on people’s livelihoods when tools they need to do their job are stolen, which is why we are working hard to identify those responsible.

Where possible, it is advised tools are not left in vehicles which are unoccupied or consider using a lockable cabinet within your van to store tools.

We’re asking our communities to report any suspicious activity to us, including any CCTV footage which captures potential offenders.

Advice on how to best protect your vehicle from thieves can be found on our website here, including specific advice around tool theft from vans.

Information can be passed to us online either through our reporting form or via our webchat function.

Those without internet access should call 101. Always dial 999 if a crime is in action.

Kind regards,
Message Sent By
Lauren Alexander (Police, Senior Communications Officer, Cambridgeshire Constabulary)
 
Scam Alert forwarded from Cambridgeshire Police
Casp View as a webpage scam warning Cambridgeshire Police Fraud Alert –
Fake Banking App Scam

Fake banking apps are available to download from both the Apple Store and Google Play, apps that fraudsters could use to scam people.
The link below relates to a Wiltshire media article and provides more detail of the scam in action, but I will provide a summary.
Fraudsters download a fake banking app and search local online marketplaces.

If you are selling something locally and you invite the buyer to visit your home, or an agreed meeting place, be alert if you agree to the sale when the buyer produces their mobile phone and asks for your bank account and sort code. You will be able to watch them enter the details into their fake banking app and then they will show you the screen of their phone which will display a message that the agreed amount has successfully been paid into your bank.

Please do not hand over the goods until you have checked and confirmed that the payment has been received into your own bank account, but this is where the criminal may try and distract you.

This type of scam could impact on any one of us potentially, but I am concerned for those who are vulnerable and feel intimidated, so they don’t check their bank account before handing over the goods.
Please take the time to read the media article and mention to family and friends. Watch out for fake bank app used by crooks in attempted £600 iPhone scam | This Is Wiltshire Follow us on Twitter| Facebook|Cambridgeshire.gov.uk/against-scams CCC PCC
Scam Alert forwarded from Cambridgeshire Police
Casp View as a webpage scam warning Advice from Cambs Police on Delivery room Scams UK consumers are being increasingly targeted by recovery room scams. This is where fraudsters approach those who have been scammed or had failed investments, offering to help them get their money back for an upfront fee. This scam is particularly effective in cases where the person does not get a refund from their bank. There is usually no explanation on how money will be recovered or, if an explanation is given, it is likely to be false or implausible. For example, falsely claiming to be the Financial Conduct Authority or working with the Government, Police, Action Fraud, to recover any monies which have been lost. Generally, recovery rooms insist on being paid a fee or transaction charge before carrying out any services to recover any losses.
How recovery room scams works
Recovery room scams usually follow on from the original scam where someone has lost money. The perpetrators of the original scam may operate the recovery room and contact the victim again pretending to be from a different firm or sell on their details to other recovery rooms. The scam tends to involve cold calling with high-pressure tactics and upfront charges described as a tax, solicitor, or administrative fees, which can result in losses that can be greater than the initial loss. The recovery rooms often have professional-looking websites to persuade visitors they are legitimate and claim to have a UK presence when they don’t. These websites often make false claims to have successfully recovered money for other consumers involved in scams. Recovery rooms generally use a web-based email address, such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, or Russian search engine, Yandex. The Police, FCA, HMRC, banks never use webmail providers to contact consumers, nor does the Government, law enforcement agencies or law firms.
Be aware of clone firms
Many bogus firms will use the name, firm registration number (FRN), and address of firms and individuals who are FCA authorised. This is called a clone firm. Scammers may even copy legitimate websites, making subtle changes such as changing the phone number.
How to protect yourself
Always be wary if you are contacted out of the blue about recovering money lost due to fraud or due to a failed investment, or if you feel pressured to hand over money quickly or are promised something that sound too good to be true.   Be wary of websites, phone calls, and online or social media adverts promising to recover any money you may have lost from investments or fraud. If you get a phone call offering to recover your losses, ask how the caller has information about your lost money. Any report of fraud can only be shared between other law enforcement agencies. It cannot be shared with a private business operating a recovery room. If you have been asked to pay a fee or provide your bank account, card, or other financial details, end all contact immediately and do not pay any money or provide any banking details. Recovery room scams claim to provide services usually offered by claims management companies. A firm must be authorised to advertise or undertake these services in the UK. Check the FCA website Financial Services Register to make sure the firm is authorised. www.fca.org.uk   Follow us on Twitter| Facebook|Cambridgeshire.gov.uk/against-scams CCC PCC

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Against Scams Partnership – update

Scam in Focus – Bogus trades people

This months Scam in focus and how to protect yourself.

A trade scam is where scammers are using legitimate sites in order to find victims. 

When winter passes, our thoughts soon turn to all those spring maintenance jobs we couldn’t do in the colder months. So how do you find good tradespeople to do work on your home and protect yourself from rogue traders who overcharge for poor quality goods and services, or demand money upfront and then don’t show up to do the job?

  • Recommendations from friends and family is a good starting point, but, with people moving around more often these days, it might not be possible to get a personal recommendation if you are new to an area. That’s why people are increasingly turning to the internet to find tradespeople and comparison and finder sites are springing up for this purpose. CAPASP recommends, however, sticking to the more well-established sites such as Safe Local Trades, https://www.safelocaltrades.com/  , Buy with Confidence https://www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk/ , Checkatrade  https://www.checkatrade.com/ or TrustATrader https://www.trustatrader.com/ which have robust vetting and reviewing procedures in place and which are therefore highly unlikely to list any rogue traders.
  • Stay within your comfort zone when interacting with potential tradespeople, if you feel that something isn’t right, trust your gut instincts and assume that it probably isn’t and break the contact. If a tradesperson then pesters you, it can be a further sign that they are not legitimate.
  • Tradespeople are usually sole traders or a very small team who are unlikely to have a receptionist or secretary.  They will be conducting their call-backs in the evenings and weekends when they have some time, so, if you are called back immediately, by a secretary or receptionist, or by the person himself, that could be a warning sign.
  • Good tradespeople are inundated with work and have a waiting list, so another warning sign could be If you are told they can start the work immediatly. Everyone gets cancellations, even genuine tradespeople, but they will generally move up the jobs in order. It is rare therefore that a good tradesperson will be able to come in the next week so be prepared to wait several weeks, it will be worth it in the long run.
  • Genuine tradespeople won’t ask for the invoice to be paid in full before the work commences. Now remembering that they are usually sole traders or small businesses, they may ask you to pay for the materials up front.  If this is the case they won’t be offended if you tell them to give you a list of what they need and you order it and pay for it and get it delivered to your house. 

More information about your consumer rights when dealing with tradespeople can be found here:  https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/getting-home-improvements-done/cancelling-building-or-decorating-work/

If you wish to report a tradesperson to Trading Standards you can do so via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline 0808 223 1133 or using the online form here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/ . If you have been intimidated by a tradesperson and wish to report it to the Police, call 101 or use the online form here:  https://www.cambs.police.uk/report/Report . In an emergency situation, always call 999.


Proposed Policing precept increase – online survey

Message Type Icon Commissioner Proposes Precept Increase To Support Record Officer Numbers For Cambridgeshire and Peterborough
Good  afternoon

Police and Crime Commissioner, Darryl Preston has today launched an online survey asking for people’s views on his proposed increase to the policing part of council tax. 

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey – a link is provided below or you will find it on the Commissioner’s website (cambridgeshire-pcc.gov.uk).

The Police & Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire | Consultations & Surveys (cambridgeshire-pcc.gov.uk)

Many thanks and a happy new year.


 

Keep Burglars Away This Christmas

eCops Logo Cambridgeshire Constabulary
Message Type Icon Keep Burglars Away This Christmas
Dear resident,

In the run up to Christmas, we’re urging homeowners to take steps to protect their property and reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime this festive season.

While many of us are looking forward to a break from work and catching up with friends and family, it’s not a time of rest and recuperation for criminals.

They too will be out doing their Christmas shopping and looking to gain advantage at your expense.

We’ll be working 24/7 throughout the Christmas period continuing to identify crime hotspots, short-term spikes and key offending patterns, as well as investigating offences and carrying out disruptive tactics against known burglars.

You can help too by not making it easy for them. Staying alert to your surroundings and reporting anything suspicious you see to police. By taking a few preventative tips too we can all wish for a happy Christmas;

Popping over the road to give Mrs Smith her Christmas card? Close and lock your doors and windows, even if you are only going out for a few minutes.
 
Heading out for a meal and drinks with friends? Leave a light on if it will be dark before you get home and consider security lights. A dark house could be an empty house.
 
Amazon orders arriving daily? Ensure your delivery driver has a safe place to leave them and that doesn’t mean the doorstep.
 
Presents are wrapped and under the tree? Keep valuables out of sight, don’t make it easy for a burglar to see and take your family’s gifts.
 
Going to spend Christmas with a loved one? Cancel deliveries and ask your neighbour to keep an eye on your property. We’ve got lots more tips and advice on our website .

We hope you don’t need us over the festive period but if you do, we’ll be here. If a crime is in progress please call us on 999. For everything else, call 101 or report to us online.

Kind regards
Message Sent By
Kirsty Inman (Police, Corporate Communications, Cambridgeshire)
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