Marauding vehicles……!

There have been frequent reports about strange vehicles driving up and down various roads in the village.  The vehicles are generally pick-up trucks or ‘white vans’.  They normally carry no markings and often the rear number plate is obscured or is illegible.

The police are very keen to receive reports of such vehicle activity, as whilst individual events may not necessarily be investigated immediately, reports help to build up a picture of such activity in the area.  If a police vehicle happens to be in the vicinity when a report is received, they will try to stop the vehicle and question the driver regarding his activities.

Should you witness this sort of vehicle behaviour, try to record as much identifying information regarding the vehicle and its occupant(s), and pass the information to the police using the 101 non-emergency number.

How to spot a scam e-mail

Pretty well everyone who has an email account will at some time or other have received a scam e-mail – an undesirable activity referred to as ‘phishing’.  The message may appear to be innocuous and sometimes will be addressed to the recipient.  However, there is only one objective of ‘phishing’, and that is to cause the recipient distress, either by stealing personal,   financial information in order to access bank/card accounts, or to install malware on the recipients computer – to do the same thing or to threaten the recipient (ransomeware).

To combat this sort of activity, there are a number of things to look out for:

  1. The senders e-mail address may look like an address you recognise, but may contain inconspicuous additional characters, or have subtle changes to the format of the address.  Only put genuine e-mail addresses in your Address Book.
  2. The message may ask you to provide personal security information.  NO Bank, card provider or reputable organisation will ever ask for such information by e-mail.
  3. The contents of the message may be deliberately designed to make you panic, and do something that you later regret.  Stay in control at all times.
  4. Web links within the message may appear at first glance to be authentic, but on closer inspection, be anything but authentic.  On a PC, you can hover the mouse cursor over a web link and the true destination will be revealed.  Similar techniques are usually available on tablets and smart phones.
  5. The message may be poorly structured and written, with grammatical errors that are pretty obvious to most of us.  However, there is a suggestion that this is done deliberately, to catch the most vulnerable recipients!
  6. There may be an unexpected ‘attachment’ to the message.  NEVER open an attachment unless you are absolutely sure of its veracity.  Attachments can carry malware that will be installed on your device if you ‘Open’ it.

If in doubt – DELETE the message.  No-one has ever lost money by deleting a dubious e-mail.

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For further information about Neighbourhood Watch, contact:

David Gresswell – Scheme Co-ordinator, Flackwell Heath

(Tel: 525019   e-mail: flackwell-nhwatch@talktalk.net)