End of Summertime – summertime ended on the last Sunday in October.  Don’t forget to reset your various security timers controlling lights, radio, etc. to accommodate the darker evenings and longer nights. 

Recent scams reported

An e-mail from BTYahoo threatening to close the residents account unless security settings were updated. The message was NOT from BTYahoo and the link was directed to a very dubious location, nothing to do with BTYahoo.

MoralNEVER respond to unexpected emails that land in your Inbox and NEVER click on any links in messages unless you are absolutely confident in their veracity.

A phone call from a ‘BT Engineer’ claiming there was a problem with the resident’s computer – the resident was NOT a BT customer which should have rung alarm bells. Although the resident gave the caller ‘Remote Access’ to the computer, they narrowly avoided being scammed out of a considerable sum of money.

MoralNEVER give an unknown caller ‘Remote Access’ to your PC

Cons, Scams and Cybercrime

Latest crime figures suggest that these types of crime are by far and away the major issues affecting the majority of residents in one form or another.  Whether it is cold callers on the doorstep, unwanted phone calls or one of the many forms of cybercrime, we are all being subjected to these threats.  Over the last year, WDNHWA has held a number of public meetings around the area to promote awareness of the problems, the last one being in the Booker area at the end of September.  Geoff Pegg has been made a ‘ScamBassador’ recognising his work in this area.  Well done, Geoff!

However, there is some good news to report:

The banks are being put under some pressure to treat cases of financial fraud more sympathetically when it comes to reimbursement of money lost as a result of fraud. Figures suggest that £240million has been lost by individuals due to financial fraud, but only £2.4million has been reimbursed.  Up until now, the banks have been very reluctant to reimburse/compensate customers, claiming that they – the customer – were responsible for the loss of personal data that resulted in the fraud, and that the banks accepted no liability.

The Government has introduced new rules to control cold-calling by direct marketing companies, for things like PPI, accident claims, etc. In the past there was a requirement for customers to opt-out of such calls by registering with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), but as many of us will know from experience, this was only ever partly successful.  Many companies found ways to bypass the TPS, and it did not extend to calls from outside the UK.  Under the new rules, companies will have to ensure that the people they are planning to call have opted-in to receive such calls.  Only time will tell whether the new system is any better!

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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