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.
Good afternoon subscribers
Please find below the South Cambridgeshire weekly updates, providing information on local crime trends, antisocial behaviour, success stories and upcoming events.
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.
Visit Action Fraud www.actionfraud.police.uk the national reporting centre for fraud and computer crime
News from the Police and Crime Commissioner
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership have put together advice on how to stay safe from criminals taking advantage of these challenging times.
As Covid-19 spreads rapidly across the work, a number of reports have emerged about fraudsters seizing the opportunity to defraud.
To find out how to protect yourself, your family and friends, click on the link below:
Communications and Engagement Manager
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Message Sent By
Catherine Kimberley (Police, OPCC Communications Officer, Cambridgeshire)
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 demands.
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 the consultation:
Website: We 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.
Telephone and email: Members of the public will be able to call our consultation team on 01223 827 124 or email email@example.com.
Social media: 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:
If you have any questions or comments on our consultation, please contact the consultation team via firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Superintendent, Cambridgeshire Constabulary
You may recall earlier this month we warned of ‘courier fraud’ scams where fraudsters pose as a police officer or bank official to persuade their often elderly and vulnerable victims to hand over large amounts of cash.
We have been made aware of seven separate instances where people across Cambridgeshire have lost almost £88,000 to courier fraud this month alone.
In six out of the seven instances this month, the fraudster has cold-called the victim by telephone posing as a police officer claiming they had someone in custody as part of a fraud investigation.
The bogus officer told the victim there was an issue with their bank account or requested their assistance with an ongoing investigation. The ultimate aim of the call being to lure the victim into withdrawing cash from their bank and later handing over money to a courier.
On the other occasion the fraudster has claimed to be from the tax office, claiming the victim owed in excess of £10,000 and would be arrested if they didn’t pay the outstanding balance. In this instance the victim was told to hand over cash and also purchase thousands of pounds worth of Amazon vouchers from a supermarket.
Criminals are increasingly turning to vouchers as a method of obtaining funds since these are much more difficult to trace than banking transactions.
Between 18 and 26 January five victims in the East Cambs area lost a total of £78,500 and on two occasions in Peterborough, on 8 and 24 January, two people lost a combined £9,000.
This recent spate of courier fraud is appalling and must be stopped. Not only is the financial detriment significant, these crimes often have a devastating impact on the health and wellbeing of the victims and their families.
Whilst the latest reported incidents are all in the same two areas, it is likely the scammers are working through a list organised by postcode and therefore there is a strong chance this scam will appear in other areas too. We urge residents to please be vigilant to this and pass the message on so others can be vigilant too.
Please remember your bank and the police would:
• Never ask for your bank account details or PIN over the phone
• Never ask you to withdraw money and send it to them
• Never ask you to send them your bank cards or any other personal property
Further information about courier fraud can be found on our website here http://bit.ly/35W0NYB.
If you are suspicious about a telephone conversation you should end the call and contact us via our non-emergency number, 101. Ideally use a mobile phone or a friend’s phone or wait at least five minutes before calling to ensure you aren’t reconnected to the offender.
To report an incident in action or if you are in immediate danger always call 999.
Community groups and individuals are invited to become a registered supporter of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Against Scams Partnership. Supporters receive information about the latest scams and funding or training opportunities and are provided with resources to increase scams awareness in their local community. For more information visit www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/against-scams or contact Charlotte Homent on 01954 284635.
Our Cyber Security Advisor is available to present to different community groups on how to protect themselves from scams. Enquiries should be made via email to CyberProtectCambs@cambs.pnn.police.uk.
Please help us spread this message as far and wide as possible to prevent further losses to those in our community.
Message Sent By
Lauren Alexander (Police, Senior Communications Officer, Cambridgeshire Constabulary)
Road Safety Partnership are undertaking a review of local Road Safety
governance, strategy and delivery. To this end they have commissioned a
survey to gain an insight in to the concerns, needs and desires of the people
of the county. The survey is open for a relatively short period of time and
they would like as many people as possible to complete it. To help with this,
can you please:|
* Complete the survey yourself
* Promote the survey as widely and as often as possible within the county
The link to the survey, which closes on 6th February, is https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/33PW2/
Many thanks for your help in this matter,
The Cambridgeshire Road Safety Partnership
More than 45 pubs and venues across Cambridgeshire have signed up to support our campaign to crackdown on drink drivers this month.
As part of the campaign we’re promoting the ‘I’m DES’ scheme where participating venues give free draught soft drinks to designated drivers.
The initiative, led by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership (CPRSP), will aim to reduce the number of road traffic collisions caused by drink driving during the festive period.
A total of 46 venues have signed up to the scheme this year – more than triple the number of venues compared to last year.
To participate in the scheme, which runs throughout December, people need to let staff in participating venues know they are the designated driver and ask for an ‘I’m DES’ wristband from a member of staff.
Jon Morris, casualty reduction officer at Cambridgeshire Constabulary, said: “We’re pleased to see so many pubs and venues supporting the ‘I’m DES’ campaign this year.
“We would encourage people to take advantage of the scheme and help us make the roads of Cambridgeshire safer for everyone.
“Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving ability. We advise if you’re drinking, even if you have just one drink, arrange another way of getting home.”
Jon added that it takes a lot longer than most people think for alcohol to pass through the body and because of this, there is a real risk people who would not dream of driving after drinking may still be unknowingly over the limit the morning after.
He said: “This includes people going about their everyday activities such as driving to work, doing the school run, popping to the shops or going to see friends.
“Please do not gamble with your life and be aware of the danger you pose by getting behind the wheel while under the influence. It’s really not worth the risk.”
To enforce the campaign, officers across the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit (RPU) will be conducting additional stop-checks throughout December to combat drink and drug drivers.
Ray Bisby, acting Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire and chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership, said: “Christmas is a very important and busy time of year where we all get together to catch up and celebrate the festive season.
“We want to ensure people across the county are able to enjoy their festive celebrations safely and think about how they are getting home without putting themselves or others at risk.
“Be sure to choose a designated driver and, if you are that designated driver, let the bar staff know to claim a wristband and free draught soft drinks.
“These simple actions can help keep Cambridgeshire’s roads safe during the festive season.”
Officers are also urging members of the public to report drink or drug driving via the dedicated, confidential hotline.
The hotline: 0800 032 0845 is available 24/7, and gives people the chance to supply the police with information to help reduce the number of drink or drug drivers on our roads.
For more information about drink or drug driving, the law and the dangers it can cause, visit www.cambs.police.uk/drinkdrugdriving
A full list of participating venues is below:
• Ballare, Cambridge
• Hidden Rooms, Cambridge
• La Raza, Cambridge
• Tabouche, Cambridge
• Revolution, Cambridge
• Lola Lo, Cambridge
• The Anchor, Cambridge
• The Granta, Cambridge
• Fez Club, Cambridge
• Vinyl, Cambridge
• Novi, Cambridge
• Sir Isaac Newton, Cambridge
• The Alexandra Arms, Cambridge
• The Portland Arms, Cambridge
• The Hub Community Centre, Great Cambourne
• Willingham Social Club, Willingham
• The Chequers, Pampisford
• The Fox, Burwell
• The Shed, Lode
• The Beeches Community Centre, Isleham, Ely
• Habis Café Bar and Restaurant, Littleport
• Ely City Golf Club, Ely
• Ye Olde School Bell, Little Downham
• The Bell, Kennett, Newmarket
• The Greystones, Sawtry, Huntingdon
• The Pig N Falcon, St Neots
• The Eltisley, Eltisley, St Neots
• The Axe and Compass, Hemingford Abbots, Huntingdon
• Samuel Pepys pub, Huntingdon
• The Lounge, St Ives
• Cromwells, Huntingdon
• GER Sports Club, March
• The Angel Inn, Wisbech
• The King’s Head, Wisbech
• The Three Tuns, Wisbech
• The Red Lion, March
• The Ship Inn, March
• Cassanos, March
• The Admiral Wells, Peterborough
• The Solstice, Peterborough
• Embassy Flares Red Room, Peterborough
• Great Northern Hotel, Peterborough
• Samms, Peterborough
• Lightbox, Peterborough
• Brewery Tap, Peterborough
• Angels, Peterborough
Lost And Found – Police Role Changes
We’ve joined police forces nationwide by ceasing to take reports of lost property and accepting only certain types of found item.
The changes took effect nationally from 1 February after the Chief Constables’ Council agreed it as a way of reducing non-essential demand and the associated costs and bureaucracy generated for call centres and front counters.
The police service has traditionally accepted the responsibility of recording lost and found property, despite there being no statutory duty to maintain a system of recording non-evidential property.
Found items dealt with by police have reduced and a consistent approach adopted across the country. This will help reduce call volumes and remove an unnecessary burden on policing.
If you have lost or found an item, visit the force website for guidance on what to do. Further detail on our lost and found policy is below.
Inspector Keren Pope
Any loss can be reported online at sites including:
www.reportmyloss.com (for an insurance report)
For bicycles, register and report at www.bikeregister.com
Report UK Passports at https://www.gov.uk/report-a-lost-or-stolen-passport
Details of losses reported via these methods are made available to police forces across the UK.
If you have lost property in a public place/premises or on public transport, contact the location or service provider directly.
The following categories have been created for found items:
· Items capable of containing data e.g mobile phones and computers.
· Cash and wallets that are identifiable
· Unidentifiable cash
· Identity and personal documents
We do not accept
· Personal but unidentifiable items
For non-accepted items, with some exceptions, the finder can retain the property. They are under no legal obligation to hand in the property providing they have made a reasonable attempt to return it to the owner.
The next meeting has been scheduled for:
1st December 2018
Venue: Ploughman Hall, West Fen Road, Willingham