Scam Warning

Cambridgeshire Police Fraud Alert- Cold Calling regarding government energy rebate

National media reports state that fraudsters are cold-calling people and posing as government representatives and then requesting bank details to receive the government’s £150 energy rebate. Currently, I am unaware of any such reports within Cambridgeshire.

The one-off rebate is available to most properties in bands A-D, around four-fifths of homes in England.

Key message:

All households with properties in the above bands which pay council tax by direct debit will receive the rebate directly into their bank account, while others will be sent a letter with details of how to claim.

Please DO NOT give out any of your bank details in response to a cold call including telephone, text, email, or Social Media platforms.

If you want genuine information and guidance on the rebate, visit the official government website www.gov.uk.

For the media article about the scam visit New scam warning as cold-callers pretend to offer £150 energy bill rebate | UK News | Sky News.

If you suspect you are a victim of a scam, contact your bank first and then report to Action Fraud.

Scams in Focus – Ukrainian War Scams

There is always someone out to exploit a situation and the Ukrainian War is no exception.  There are currently 3 specific scams doing the rounds with the fraudsters hoping to exploit people’s generosity and desire to help. 

Most of the scams are the same in principle and it is just the cause that changes, and this is no exception.  So the general types of scams are:-

  1. Businessman trying to get cash out of the county
  2. Donations to charity
  3. Give me money directly as I am poor

Now let’s go into them in more detail.

The first one is the Businessman trying to get his money out of the country.  This works by you thinking you are helping someone stuck in the Ukraine who has built their business up from scratch and now, due to this war, which they can do nothing about, they are going to lose everything.  Is it tugging at your heart strings yet?  It is mine, and it is meant to, as we all want to help, and it is difficult not to get sucked in. How does this scam work then?  While you think you are helping them get their money out of the Ukraine into a bank account in a different country, the scammers are, in fact, working to get as much information about you and your bank account as possible so they can drain your account. How can you spot this? This will usually be via email, and it will be a Phishing email, sent out to thousands of people to see who responds.  A question for you to think about: How would a Ukrainian Businessman have my email address?

We all donate to charities, and we generally donate to charities we know such as Age UK, Cancer Research UK or Air Ambulance, and we all know these are legitimate or know how to check they are.  But, due to the unexpected crisis in the Ukraine, charities are popping up all over the place and we want to get involved and help and are keen to donate items or money to help the Ukraine in any way we can. However, some of these charities are not charities and the money is going into the scammer’s pocket.  How can we protect ourselves?  There are great charities out there doing great work and of course we want to support them, but we can do this best by making sure our money is going to where it is needed. Ask what you can do to help at your local library or food bank as they will know who is collecting what and what is needed.  There is no point in having a stockpile of perishables if the next shipment isn’t for a week.  Ask what is needed and donate that.  Items that are donated that the charity can’t use must be disposed of as waste, and that is at the charity’s cost.

And the last one, is “I am in the Ukraine, I can’t feed my family, will you help?” You want to, but, unfortunately, they are still in the Ukraine, so you must send them money directly.  You don’t know who you are sending the money to.  Donate to a charity like, The British Red Cross, UNICEF or Christian Aid, who are likely to be on the ground in the country helping those who need it.  Donate to a charity which is known to you or you can check their legitimacy by Searching the Charity Commission register .

As with the Businessman scam, contact will usually be via email and it will be a Phishing email, sent out to thousands of people to see who responds.  And you also need to think about the same question: How would a person in Ukraine have my email address?

We all want to help, but please be safe doing so.  You can always check the Action Fraud website for advice, but in the meantime, here are a few of their tips.

  • Never click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails or respond to unsolicited messages asking for personal or financial details – even if they are in the name of a charity. 
  • To donate online, type in the address of the charity website rather than clicking on a link. 
  • Be cautious when donating to an online fundraising page – fake ones are often badly written or contain spelling mistakes. 
  • A representative said: “The links in the emails lead to malicious websites that are designed to steal your money and personal information.”. 
  • When donating, check the charity’s name and registration number on the Charity Commission website. 
  • Most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered.
  • According to the Charity Commission, the most efficient and helpful way to support those in need is to give money to established, registered charities with experience delivering humanitarian aid.

For mail scams please contact Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133 or on their website Contact the consumer helpline – Citizens Advice  .

If you, or any of your friends, has been a victim of a phone or online scam, please report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or Contact Action Fraud .

A14 C2H Closures week commencing 4th April 2022

A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire: major improvements

We are currently carrying out finishing works for which we need to close lanes or carriageways on the A1, A14 and some local roads at times, usually overnight between 9pm and 6am, unless otherwise stated. A clearly signed diversion route will always be in place for closures.

For this week, the planned closures are:

Full closures
Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 April 8am to 5pm
• B1514 Brampton Road between Scholars Avenue and Edison Bell Way
Vehicles on the Huntingdon town centre side will be diverted onto the ring road, St Peters Road to A141 west to Brampton / Brampton Racecourse junction and into Brampton via B1514.
Vehicles on the Brampton side of the closure will follow this diversion in reverse.
Pedestrian access will be maintained via the footpath.


For more information about this scheme, visit https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-work/a14-cambridge-to-huntingdon/

Further updates on scheme progress can be found on our website.

Active Travel and The Return of Reach Ride

Government news of the month Chris Boardman says Active Travel England will be ready in ‘weeks’ Giving evidence to the government’s Environment and Climate Change Committee last week, Chris Boardman said Active Travel England should be ‘up and running in a matter of weeks’ and available to help local authorities with design advice on cycling and walking schemes. It’s worth watching this webinar Chris and Interim Head of Inspection Brian Deegan gave to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling & Walking at the end of last month which explains more about what the new funding body and inspectorate aims to do. Chris Whitty champions cycling as a way to improve health Speaking yesterday at the annual conference of the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Public Health, the government’s chief medical officer for England highlighted active travel as a way to build exercise into people’s daily routines. He said that data on cycling levels from the 1950s and 60s showed that ‘the idea that the UK is a country you can’t actually do cycling is clearly incorrect’ and praised local authorities for the imaginative ways they made it easier for people to walk and cycle during the pandemic.
Camcycle news Spring issue of Camcycle features people who are ‘staying active’ Cover of Camcycle magazine - Spring 2022The latest issue of our magazine is packed with content from a wide range of contributors – take a look: Rosie Tween shares her experience as a wheelchair user, handcyclist and disabled driver Nigel Woodcock writes about how an e-bike has enabled him to keep cycling as he gets older Four people involved in local groups offer a warm welcome to new riders Mike’s Bread and Kinnerz Coaching use cargo bikes for their businesses We look to London for inspiration on winning hearts and minds, trialling low-traffic neighbourhoods and collecting decisive data. Three more local groups working for Zero Carbon Streets tell us about their work: St Ives Eco Action, Mill Road For People and Cambridge Living Streets. Save the date for the Reach Ride on Monday 2 May With just over a month to go before our favourite ride of the year returns, we will be busy promoting the Reach Ride over the coming weeks. The ride to the historic Bank Holiday fair in Reach village is free and open to all: Camcycle offer a guided ride from Cambridge, Ely Cycling Campaign will be leading a ride from Ely, and we welcome groups from other destinations joining us along the way. Please help us spread the word!
Local cycling issues People walking, cycling and enjoying a cafe on Mill Road A14 bridge barriers removed at last! Thank you to all who helped us work for the removal of the exclusionary barriers near the A14 bridges at Bar Hill and Swavesey. It’s good to see that these paths are fully accessible for all ages and abilities once more. Do get in touch if you have any queries about barriers on routes near you. Too many people are being hurt or killed on our rural roads On 11 March, we placed another ‘ghost bike’ memorial at the site of a fatal collision, this time at the junction of Little Wilbraham Road and the A1303. Deaths and serious injuries of cyclists have been rising locally, and rural deaths have been increasing nationally. It’s time to take action and prevent others being hurt. Mill Road: a place to go TO, not THROUGH Last week, we joined Mill Road For People, Mill Road Traders Association and Cambridge City Licensed Taxis Ltd in presenting our vision for the future of Mill Road a few days before the Greater Cambridge Partnership closed their public consultation. View our presentation on YouTube and read our consultation response here.
That’s all for this month. Thank you for all the work you do for more, better and safer active travel. Kind Regards,

Roxanne De Beaux
Executive Director                 Cyclescape    CyclestreetsCyclestreets

Warning of loan shark dangers in Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire County Council is lending its support to a national campaign aimed at tackling loan sharks and raising awareness of where people can seek help.

The campaign is being led by the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) – a national team that investigates and prosecutes loan sharks. They also provide specialist support for people affected by this crime.

A loan shark is someone who lends money without authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They often tend to initially appear friendly and helpful but can then turn to violent and aggressive behaviour to force victims to repay the loans with huge interest and extortionate penalties.

It’s not always easy to spot a loan shark as they come in many different guises and will at first appear friendly, just part of the community. It’s when you can’t pay that they will turn on you. They could be a regular from the local pub, a parent in the school playground or a friend of a friend.

Loan sharks prey on people at their most vulnerable. Borrowing from a loan shark can seem like an easy option but often it will lead to a vicious cycle of threats, intimidation and spiralling debts.

You will usually find these predators lurking in communities, but they also operate on social media, using dating sites and online groups to find, threaten and control people in debt.

Here are some of the warning signs to watch out for that a lender is acting illegally:

  • Giving you no paperwork or agreement on a loan
  • Refusing to give you information about the loan
  • Keeping items such as your passport and bank card until the debt is paid
  • Taking things from you if you don’t pay on time
  • Adding more interest or charges so the debt never goes down
  • Using intimidation or violence if you don’t pay
  • Starting off by being your friend but quickly turning nasty

If you have borrowed money from a loan shark, it is important to remember that you have done nothing wrong and there is no shame in seeking help.

It may seem like a difficult step to take, but there is support available from the England Illegal Money Lending Team.

Credit unions are a safe and legal alternative than borrowing from a loan shark, find out more about the services on offer locally by going to www.findyourcreditunion.co.uk.

Why join a credit union?

✔️ Credit unions are not-for-profit organisations, existing primarily to serve the needs of their members and the communities in which they operate.

✔️ It’s easy to find a credit union that you’re eligible to join. To become a member of the Eastern Savings and Loans Credit Union, you need to live or work in Norfolk, Suffolk or Cambridgeshire.

✔️ Credit unions help members save and manage their money ethically and responsibly. They offer savings and loans at affordable rates, and just like with banks and building societies, your savings are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

✔️ Credit unions may be more willing to offer you a small loan if you have poor or no credit rating. Banks, along with other loan providers, may be reluctant to lend you money for this reason.

It’s easy to check that a lender is authorised before considering a loan by visiting the Financial Services Register online at https://register.fca.org.uk/s/

Residents who believe they may be involved with a loan shark or suspect that one is operating in their area can report it to the Illegal Money Lending Team by calling 0300 555 2222, emailing reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk or filling out an online form at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.


Medical Practice

The Parish Council is aware of concerns regarding the capacity of the Medical Practice and the ability to obtain appointments in a timely manner. It has invited the Medical Practice to its Council meeting on the 6th April so that they can provide an update on the issues being faced by the Practice.

The Council will report back it’s findings but if anyone wishes to attend the meeting, please make the Clerk aware ahead of the meeting date, as for safety reasons, numbers may need to be managed.