Winter Security – a few tips from the police

  • As the nights get darker earlier, leave a light on inside your home.
  • Timer switches are a great way to make your home look occupied even if you are out. Change the times that the lights come on to make it seem like people are home.
  • Make sure your front door is well lit. Use dusk to dawn lighting that automatically comes on as it gets dark and/or when someone approaches your home.
  • Make sure you keep your doors and windows locked at all times. Most burglaries that are opportunistic come in through unlocked doors. Always remember to lock your doors!

Cons, Scams and Cybercrime

These types of crime are currently the most commonly reported of all crimes affecting individuals.

At the meeting held at Bourne End Community Centre in mid-November, the audience was treated to a comprehensive review of the way in which the criminals attempt to relieve us of our money.  Geoff Pegg described the many types of scams that come into our lives via the post, telephone and at the doorstep, as he has been doing across the Wycombe policing area for over a year now.  As reported in November, this programme has earned him the title of ‘ScamBassador’ for the Wycombe area.  Of special note was the reference to the ‘Think Jessica’ campaign, to raise awareness of the risks associated with postal scams.  Jessica spent a fortune responding to junk mail promising large winnings BUT requiring upfront payment of ‘Administration Charges’.  She even attempted to sell her home to support this fixation, and on her death over 30,000 items of junk mail were found in her house!  Watch out for signs of this with elderly and vulnerable family and friends.

Yours truly then gave a presentation about ‘Cybercrime’. The tremendous technological growth in computers of all shapes and sizes, smartphones, the Internet, Broadband connectivity, etc. has seen an exponential growth in Cybercrime of all sorts.  As with Cons and Scams, the usual objective is to relieve us of our money, but there is also a raft of more serious forms of cybercrime including cyber-bullying/trolling, Ransomware, Denial of Service (DoS) attacks on major infrastructure networks, etc. down to the Deep Web – described as ‘the new internet, decentralised, encrypted, dangerous and beyond the law’.  The Dark Web is a small part of this massive unseen network.  It is estimated that the ‘normal’ search engines only scan approx. 4% of the entire Internet!  Example of the main types of cybercrime that individuals are most likely to experience – Phishing, Pharming, Vishing and Smishing – were described, and the things that we need to be aware of and precautions to take to avoid becoming a ‘victim’ were described.  In conclusion, remember A – B – C:

AAssume nothing.  Just because an email or web address looks genuine, make sure it is genuine.

BBelieve nobody.  Is the voice on the end of the phone really who he/she says they are?

CCheck everything.  Always use email addresses, phone numbers and web addresses that YOU know are genuine.

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 I wish you all a very Happy and safe Christmas – best wishes for 2019

For further information about any of these topics or about Neighbourhood Watch, contact:

David Gresswell – Scheme Co-ordinator, Flackwell Heath

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

 Police General & Non-emergency number: 101

Community Safety Team (Anti-social behaviour): 01494 421 087

Crimestoppers (Anonymous): 0800 555 111

Trading Standards (Consumer Direct): 0345 4 04 05 06

Cyberaware – http://cyberaware.gov.uk

ACTION FRAUD: 0300 123 2040 (http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/)

The Information Commissioner’s Office: 0303 123 1113

NHS: 111