Undelivered Parcel Scams Continue Whilst we have warned about undelivered parcel scams several times in the past few months and there have been a number of recent arrests for these crimes (see our July newsletter), these scams continue to be commonplace and take many different guises which could easily dupe someone who isn’t in the know. So please be on your guard and warn others to be so too. These scams involve a (smishing) text message or (phishing) e-mail claiming to be from a parcel delivery company such as Royal Mail, DPD, Hermes, Post Office, Parcel Force or others. (Please note that this list is not exhaustive and that fraudsters assume many different identities in an attempt to trick someone out of their money). The message will state that a parcel delivery was unsuccessful or that the postage paid was insufficient and therefore you must pay a redelivery fee or the original shipping fee in order to receive the package. In each case there is a link provided to input payment details – and that link is designed to steal your bank or card information. We can share lots of examples of different version of these messages below to give you an idea of the sort of thing that you might receive. But remember, these are just examples and that these scams constantly emerge and evolve with slightly different wording. In some cases the scam involves an exorbitant fee being taken at the point someone provides their payment details (and not just the small fee claimed in the original message). In other cases a phone call will follow, purporting to be the victim’s bank (after all, in the case of a fake text, the scammer already has their victim’s number and, if they input payment details in the hyperlink, the scammer gains their banking details too). The caller will sound very official, explaining that they can see payment details were provided to a fraudulent web link and therefore the person needs to transfer their money to a ‘safe’ account. Some victims have lost all their savings by being conned into making a bank transfer (push payment) this way. These scams have been particularly prevalent due to the increase in online shopping in recent times – a perfect illustration of how fraudsters take advantage of any situation or trend to exploit people for their money. In most cases these scam texts come from a mobile number which should be a red flag that it might not be genuine – but don’t forget that scammers can ‘spoof’ numbers to appear the same as the number of the organisation they are copying. So if you have a genuine message from Hermes in your phone messages and a new message comes in and appears in the same conversation ‘thread’ on your phone, this doesn’t mean it’s a genuine Hermes message as the scammer could have spoofed Hermes’s number. Our simple message is a parcel delivery company would not ask you to pay a redelivery or unpaid shipping fee online so do not click on any links inviting or instructing you to do so. In the case of e-mails it is often helpful to hover over or click on the sender’s name to see their true e-mail address which usually shows that they are nothing to do with the courier they are mimicking. But in any case, the same simple message applies as above – a parcel delivery company would not ask you to pay a redelivery or unpaid shipping fee online so do not click on any links inviting or instructing you to do so. Forward scam texts to 7726 and phishing e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org . Report scams to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website www.actionfraud.police.uk . Please take care and warn others – many people are still confused by different versions of this same basic scam. Thank you. Equipment used to send smishing texts on a large scale. Follow us on Twitter| Facebook|Cambridgeshire.gov.uk/against-scams
Warning After Attempted Dog Thefts In Cambridgeshire
We are sending out an important message following a national rise in dog thefts and a number of attempted burglaries across the north of Cambridgeshire.
Between 16 and 23 February, there were several reports of attempted burglaries and concerns around these being a precursor to dog thefts.
Nationally there has been an increase in reports of dog thefts, however we have been made aware of incidents and concerns regarding potential attempted dog thefts across north Cambridgeshire, in particular the Thorney and Whittlesey areas.
We are urging residents across the whole county to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to us. Social media can be a great platform for providing information but it is extremely important this information is passed to us and not just shared on the internet.
At least five reports have included seeing a blue Audi A3 in the area of the attempted burglaries and suspicious activity, therefore we are asking members of the public to be on the lookout and report any concerns to us.
Advice on how to best protect your pet from thieves: Keep an ID tag on your dog at all times Lock gates using bolts at the top and bottom, along with a heavy-duty padlock Ensure there are no places where dogs or other animals can escape or be pulled through, if they are left in a back garden Never leave your pet in the garden unattended Fit a bell or gate alarm so it makes a sound when someone opens it Purchase a driveway alarm so you are alerted to any visitors, these can also be used in rear gardens Make sure your dog is microchipped and their details are updated so that they can be returned if they are stolen and subsequently found Avoid leaving a dog tied up outside a shop or left alone in a car, even for a few minutes Take lots of photographs of your dog to prove ownership if it’s stolen and then found Report dog theft to police straight away If you have information about a stolen dog or suspicious behaviour, you can report it via our webchat service or by calling 101 if you do not have internet access.
Sadly, scammers continue to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to commit fraud on unsuspecting victims.
We’ve had reports of fraudsters sending fake text messages, which claim you are entitled to a dose of the newly-approved vaccine.
The bogus message states that you are entitled to a vaccine and to receive more information you should click on the link.
Unfortunately, these texts are fake. Once you click on the link, you are taken to a webpage, which is branded to look like a genuine NHS page, which requests to see ‘proof of ownership of address’ in the form of your bank account, sort code and a full bank card number.
Do not give your bank or card details to make payment for a vaccine or to prove your residential address.
Coronavirus vaccines are free and the NHS will never ask for any money or your bank details.
Due to coronavirus, more people will be doing their festive shopping online this year.
This means more opportunities for hackers to carry out cyber attacks. They often do this by targeting people and businesses using:
* email and website scams * malware – software that can damage your device or let a hacker in * If hackers get into your device or accounts, they could access your money, your personal information, or information about your business.
You can improve your cyber security by taking six actions:
1 – Use a strong and separate password for your email
If a hacker gets into your email, they could:
* reset your other account passwords * access information you have saved about yourself or your business * Your email password should be strong and different to all your other passwords. This will make it harder to crack or guess.
2 – Create strong passwords using 3 random words
When you use different passwords for your important accounts, it can be hard to remember them all.
A good way to create strong, memorable passwords is by using 3 random words.
Do not use words that can be guessed (like your pet’s name). You can include numbers and symbols if you need to. For example, “RedPantsTree4!”
3 – Save your passwords in your browser
Saving your password in your browser means letting your web browser (such as Chrome, Safari or Edge) remember your password for you.
This can help: * make sure you do not lose or forget your passwords * protect you against some cyber crime, such as fake websites
It is safer than using weak passwords, or using the same password in more than one place.
4 – Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA)
Two-factor authentication (2FA) helps to stop hackers from getting into your accounts, even if they have your password.
5 – Update your devices
Out-of-date software, apps, and operating systems contain weaknesses. This makes them easier to hack.
Companies fix the weaknesses by releasing updates. When you update your devices and software, this helps to keep hackers out.
6 – Back up your data
Backing up means creating a copy of your information and saving it to another device or to cloud storage (online).
Backing up regularly means you will always have a recent version of your information saved. This will help you recover quicker if your data is lost or stolen.
For more information, and step-by-step instructions, please visit cyberaware.gov.uk
Help Us Understand How Covid-19 Has Impacted Crime and Other Activities
COVID-19 and crime survey
We are delighted to be working with University College London to understand how COVID-19 has impacted upon people’s routine and online activities, crime and their perceptions of it.
To help with this work, we are encouraging our supporters to participate in a short survey (surveymonkey.co.uk/r/9LGPHDL) which closes on 23rd December.
As well as understanding how the pandemic has affected things to date, the aim of the survey is to understand how it might do so in the future. Your participation will be really valuable and help us understand things that other data cannot.
We estimate that it will take about 15-20 minutes to complete. Your responses will be stored securely and you will not be asked for any information that would identify you as an individual.
As many of you will be aware, unfortunately some selfish individuals decided to pour an unknown but possibly corrosive liquid onto many cars around the village last night causing a lot of distress to residents and potential damage to numerous vehicles.
Our Police Liaison Councillor, James Hutchcraft was around the village as soon as he was aware of the incidents last night speaking to residents and collecting photos etc to pass onto the police.
The Council have contacted the community policing team regarding the incidents and to express their concerns over this despicable behaviour.
The best course of action for residents in the face of such incidents is always to contact the police, directly and immediately.
We would encourage anyone who has any photographic evidence to either forward it directly to the police or if you prefer, to the Council at:
The Council are deeply troubled by recent incidents in the village, especially as these have come at a time when the Police are planning to cut 40 of the County’s PCSOs. Following the announcement, we wrote to Lucy Frazer MP, the Crime Commissioner, and the Chief Constable to implore them to reconsider their decision. Residents in rural communities deserve to live peacefully knowing that there are sufficient police resources on hand to both prevent and action crimes in our village.
Council Officer Impersonation Scam We’ve had a report that some residents in Fenland have recently been visited by rogue traders purporting to be Council officers offering loft insulation. Please be aware that Fenland District Council are not carrying out such work, nor do they endorse any companies offering loft insulation, or supply details of residents to such companies. It is likely that these traders are using the Council’s name to access properties in order to steal or to try to get customers to agree to work, whether it is needed or not. Whilst this matter has been brought to our attention in Fenland, don’t forget that criminals know no boundaries and will try their luck over a wide area. Please share this warning far and wide. If you are visited by a cold caller on the doorstep please remember you do not have to answer the door, it is not impolite to not answer to people you are not expecting. However if you do decide to answer the door remember to: Ensure back doors and windows are locked Use your door chain to answer the door Ask for proof of ID Check the ID has not been tampered with e.g. new photo stuck over Contact the organisation to check the visitor is genuine – using a number you know to be correct such as from their official website, social media page or a bill (i.e. not a number on the ID card) Refuse to engage with anyone who does not offer reliable proof of ID A genuine caller will not mind waiting for you to make these checks. Report rogue traders to the police on 999 (if still present) or 101 after the event. For a free ‘Please leave and do not return’ door sticker please email email@example.com. Protect Your Passwords Neighbourhood Watch are currently running a campaign to help you to protect your passwords find out more at https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/passwords.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) also advises people to use three random words to create a strong and memorable password e.g. kneepastahopscotch. By adding numbers and punctuation characters to your password this makes it stronger still e.g. kn33p@st@h0p5c0tch!
NCSC also advise the following to keep your online accounts secure: Use a unique and separate password for your email. Store your passwords somewhere safe: save to your browser or use a password manager. Add extra security to important online accounts: turn on two-factor authentication. If your account has been hacked please see NCSC’s useful guide to recovering a hacked account and this handy infographic .
Police in Cambridgeshire will be taking part in a national operation to tackle knife crime this week.
The week-long operation aims to reduce knife related crime and tackle violence across the county.
In Cambridgeshire, offences involving knives or sharp instruments rose 58 per cent from 908 incidents in 2018 to 1,436 incidents in 2019. Between January and October this year there have been 1,178 offences.
On average, officers are arresting three people a week in Cambridgeshire for knife related offences (168 in 2018, 199 in 2019 and 168 between Jan-Oct 2020).
During the crackdown the force will be conducting knife sweeps, talking to retailers about selling to young people and educating school children through virtual presentations about the dangers of carrying knives.
Superintendent Robin Sissons said: “While offences involving knives have risen, Cambridgeshire’s figures are still below the national average and in line with a rise in offences across the country.
“It’s simple; knives ruin lives.
“People carrying knives, particularly young people, do so without understanding the real consequences of using them, the devastation it can cause to those who are seriously injured or fatally wounded, nor the impact on the families who have lost loved ones.
“We’d like to urge the family and friends of people who carry knives to encourage them to stop. That one conversation could be life changing and that one small action could be enough to save a life.”
It is illegal to: Sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old Carry a knife in a public place without good reason – unless it’s a knife with a folding blade three inches long or less eg a Swiss Army knife Carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife Use any knife in a threatening way The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.
Action Fraud is warning people selling items online to be on the lookout for criminals sending fake PayPal emails. Between January 2020 and September 2020, 21,349 crime reports were made to Action Fraud about fake PayPal emails. Victims reported losing a total of £7,891,077.44 during this time. Those targeted included people selling jewellery, furniture and electronics via online marketplaces. Reports of fake PayPal emails to Action Fraud made up a third of all reports of online shopping and auction fraud during this period. How does it happen?
Criminals have been targeting people selling items online, by sending them emails purporting to be from PayPal. The emails trick victims into believing they have received payment for the items they’re selling on the platform.
Typically, after receiving these emails, victims will ship the item to the criminal. This leaves them at a further disadvantage having not received any payment for the item and also no longer being in possession of it.
How can you protect yourself?Sellers beware: If you’re selling items on an online marketplace, be aware of the warning signs that your buyer is a scammer. Scammers may have negative feedback history, or may have recently set up a new account to avoid getting poor feedback. Don’t be persuaded into sending anything until you can verify you’ve received the payment. Scam messages: Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details. How to spot the difference: A PayPal email will address you by your first and last name, or your business name, and will never ask you for your full password, bank account, or credit card details in a message.
If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Message Sent By Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)
Coronavirus-Related Scams – How To Protect Yourself
Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.
How you can protect yourself from Coronavirus-related scams:
There are some simple steps you can take that will protect you from the most common Coronavirus-related scams. Here’s what need to do:
1 – Watch out for scam messages Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): firstname.lastname@example.org
2 – Shopping online If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.
3 – Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.
NHS Test and Trace scams:
The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.
What you need to know:
Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.
All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.
The NHS Test and Trace service will never: ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087) ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind ask for any details about your bank account ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS
If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you live in Scotland, please report directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.
Please find below the South Cambridgeshire weekly updates, providing
information on local crime trends, antisocial behaviour, success stories and
We have recently been carrying out community patrols making everyone is abiding
by the new rules set in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus. If you
believe people aren’t adhering to the stay at home instruction then please
report via sCambscops.pnn.police.uk. If you would like see what we are up to
then please follow us on Policing South Cambridgeshire on Facebook.
Recently there has been an increase in criminal damage being caused to vehicles
a place that has been targeted in particular is Caldecote with vehicles being
scratched and wing mirrors being broken. We have increased our patrols in
relation to this. If you suspect something please report it.
I would like to make you aware of a scam
An email or text message that sates it’s from HMRC.GOV.UK
The government has taken urgent action to list coronavirus as a notifiable disease
in law as a result of this they are issuing a new tax refund programme. You are
eligible for a refund of…….
Access your fund now.
Emails, text messages, instant messages such as the one below are a scam. Do
not click on blue or any colour links within electronic messages unless you
have verified who the sender is.
If in doubt, don’t click.
Links are just a shortcut to a website.
Instead, you could consider logging into your account the message refers to,
using your tried, tested and trusted way.
So, if the message appears to be from HMRC and you do actually have a HMRC
account, then come out of your email account and visit www.gov.uk and login that way rather than clicking
on a link.
If you don’t have a HMRC account then be very suspicious and ignore it.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary are consulting the public on proposals to enhance
our service for the south of Cambridgeshire.
As you will know, the nature of policing and crime in Cambridgeshire is
changing. Our population is growing, and many of you will be aware that our
current police facilities at Parkside in Cambridge city centre do not provide
our officers and staff with the tools they need to fully respond to today’s
New facilities are needed to improve our response and service to the public –
without them, tackling crime will become more difficult. We are therefore
consulting on the principle of proposals to replace the outdated facilities
at Parkside with both a new city centre police station and a police hub on
the outskirts of Cambridge to meet the area’s growth and to respond to the
challenges of modern-day policing.
It is important we secure as much feedback from the public and wider
stakeholders as possible. For your information and should you receive any
enquiries, I have outlined below the ways in which people can get involved in
have launched a consultation website which includes a
video, FAQs and more information about why we’re making this proposal. An
electronic version of the questionnaire is
also available for comments to be submitted.
Public drop-in events:
We have two remaining public drop-in events to let people know what we are
proposing and to ask questions. We have chosen public places in order to be
able to catch passing members of the public who might not otherwise choose to
engage with the consultation process. We will be handing out flyers, taking
feedback, and providing hard copies of the questionnaire at the events.
Dates, times and locations of the drop-ins are as follows:
Wednesday 12th February 2020 – 4pm to 7pm
Sainsbury’s Superstore, Huntingdon
Saturday 22nd February 2020 – 10am to 2pm
The Lion Yard Shopping Centre, Cambridge
Hard copy questionnaire:
Hard copies of the questionnaire will be available in
Parkside, Histon, Sawston, St Neots, Cambourne or Ely police stations until
Saturday 29th February.
We will be publishing information and details about our consultation, and how
the public can find out more, via our social media accounts. Feel free to
share any of these details via your own channels if you would like. These can
be found at: