Neighbourhood Watch Information
Latest Alerts and Updates
Posted on 23 February 2021
We’re warning the public to be vigilant about unsolicited emails promoting cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) investment opportunities. We’ve received over 750 reports this week about Bitcoin-related phishing emails that use fake celebrity endorsements to try and lure victims into investment scams. The links in the emails lead to fraudulent websites that are designed to steal your money, as well as personal and financial information.
How you can protect yourself:
• Investment opportunities: Don’t be rushed into making an investment. Remember, legitimate organisations will never pressure you into making a transaction on the spot.
• Seek advice first: Speak with a trusted friend or family members, and seek independent professional advice before making significant financial decisions.
• FCA register: Use the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) register to check if the company is regulated by the FCA. If you deal with a firm (or individual) that isn’t regulated, you may not be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if things go wrong and you lose your money.
• For more information about how to invest safely, please visit www.fca.org.uk/scamsmart
• Report suspicious emails: If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, you can report it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service by forwarding the email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on 18 February 2021
We want to alert residents to a scam where someone pretending to be a police officer calls your home and tells you your account is subject to fraud. They say that you must withdraw money immediately and move it to protect it from being stolen from your account. They then send someone to your house to collect the cash in person. Alternatively, they may ask you to transfer your money to another account that they will give you the details for.
Sadly, this happens all over the country. But yesterday on 17 February 2021 two elderly people living in Monxton, Andover, were targeted. An 83-year-old woman and an 86-year-old man were both phoned and told their accounts were subject to fraud. The fraudsters said they had been working with their bank and asked them to transfer money. Luckily, neither victim parted with any money and reported the calls to police.
The scammers often say they are from a police station in London, that they are working undercover and that there is fraudulent activity on your account, when in fact it is them scamming you. They ask for your help to stop it from happening, and are very convincing. They may even tell you that your bank is involved, or know your full name and address.
In the Monxton incidents, one of the victims was told they would be arrested for interfering with the investigation when they refused to transfer their money.
We want to remind you that a police officer would never call you and ask you for your money. No one, not even someone from your bank, would call and ask for your financial details or ask you to withdraw cash. Look out for elderly relatives and friends, and remember:
• Police officers will never call people in this way and ask you to withdraw money or disclose personal or financial information. If someone does do this, please hang up – it will be a scam.
• Consider contacting your telephone provider to get a free call-blocking service if you are getting unsolicited calls.
• If you are a friend, relative or carer of someone you think might be vulnerable to this type of scam, please speak to them about this advice. You might be the only person who can stop them from being scammed.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, report it to us by calling 101. If a crime is in progress, dial 999. You can make yourself aware of this type of scam and how to protect yourself by visiting the Action Fraud website www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling them on 0300 123 2040.
Posted on 10 February 2021
Hampshire Constabulary is working together with all UK police forces and a range of partners, to tackle romance fraud in the lead up to Valentine’s Day on Sunday 14 February 2021.
The multi-agency campaign, co-ordinated by the City of London Police (CoLP) is aiming to raise awareness of romance fraud and provide clear and unambiguous protection advice to the public, following a 26 percent rise nationally in reports to Action Fraud in the last year.
Detective Sargeant Marcus Mills of Hampshire Constabulary’s Economic Crime Unit, said:
“Romance fraud occurs when you think you’ve met the perfect partner online but they are using a fake profile to form a relationship with you. You can meet them via an online dating website or app, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, or gaming sites. They gain your trust over a number of weeks or months and have you believe you are in a loving and caring relationship. However, the criminal’s end goal is only ever to get your money or personal information.”
Between August 2019 and August 2020, 222 reports of romance fraud were made to Action Fraud by residents of Hampshire. The total reported loss in the same time period was £2 million, equating to an average loss per victim of just over £9,000.
While there was a rise in reported incidents of romance fraud within Hampshire (33) in July 2020 – a 175 percent increase on the previous month. This indicates that local residents may have met, and begun talking to, romance fraudsters during the national lockdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
It appears as if residents in the 40 – 59 age bracket were the most at risk of romance fraud, accounting for over two fifths (42 percent) of reported incidents in Hampshire during this time period. Residents aged 60-69 were the next age group at risk, while those aged 70 – 89 seemed to be quite low risk, only accounting for 13 percent of all reports.
DS Marcus Mills, continued:
“We appreciate that the majority of open communications via online dating and other platforms are genuine and shouldn’t arouse suspicion, it is always worth taking a moment to stop and think if the person could be someone that they are not. Think before parting with any money or information which could keep you safe. If in doubt, challenge that person – is this person really who they say they are? It’s OK to reject, refuse or ignore any requests for your financial or personal details. Only criminals will try to rush or pressure you into making a decision.”
If you think you’ve been a victim of romance fraud or a romance-based scam contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via www.actionfraud.police.uk
Appleshaw is a village and
parish in the English county
of Hampshire. It lies directly
on the border with Wiltshire
Contact the Editor
Appleshaw Village Hall Appleshaw, Andover
Hampshire, SP11 9BS
Village mobile: 07902 989797