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Seer Green Alert 

Ringmaster Messages - Archive 2003

03 December 2003

Scam Alert

We have received reports of two men attempting to sell electrical goods and DVDs, at the Chiltern Hospital in Great Missenden this morning Tuesday 2 December. A Silver Ford Transit Van, registration D*Z 8**6 or similar is believed to be involved. URN 827 dated 2 December refers.

Please contact the Police on 08458 505505 or Crimestopper on 0800 555 111 if you have any information.

Thank you.



19 November 2003

Scam Alert

There has been a report of an Italian male wearing a dark suit and driving a small black saloon car offering clothes for sale from a Trade Show.

This occurred at around 10am in Gregory Road, Hedgerley yesterday Tuesday 18 November.

Be aware that these items are not always what they seem and any further sightings should be reported to the police on 08458 505505 quoting URN 1073 dated 18 November.

Thank you.



19 November 2003

General Burglaries Alert

Now that the seasonal clock change has taken place and you may be coming home from work or late-night shoping in the dark, stop and think how your home may appear to the opportunist burglar.

It may be welll worth investing in a couple of time clocks in order to turn on at least one light and maybe a radio in your home.

When buying Christmas presents, keep a note of the make and serial numbers - you could even postcode them with a UV pen which would prove the crime and could ensure you get your goods back if a burglary takes place.

A recent survey of burglars in prison revealed that they would target Neighbourhood Watch areas which appear inactive. A tell-tale sign would be if your street signs are looking dated, damaged or dirty. Are your door stickers up to date and easy to spot?

We aim to encourage neighbours to look out for each other and would suggest that kerbside recycling boxes should be put away before dark as this could be another sign to the burglar that homes are unoccupied.

If you need any crime prevention advice, please contact the Crime Reduction officer on 01494 736643.

Thank you.



17 November 2003

Scam Alert

There have been many reports in the area of doorstep callers/pedlars referred to as the Nottingham Knockers, usually young men with large holdalls selling kitchenwares.

There would also appear to have been an increase in burglaries and the police would ask that you report all sightings of these people by phoning 08458 505505 immediately.

Thank you.



17 November 2003

Scam Alert

Trading Standards would like to warn you of a company called J & D Paving who have recently been working in the Princes Risborough area but are known to travel around.

As with all doorstop sellers follow these simple rules:

1. Do NOT agree that they can start work immediately. Make sure there is a 7-day right to cancel clause included.
2. Insist on a written quote for any work offered.
3. Always get at least 3 quotes for the work required.

As NHW members keep an eye out for elderly, vulnerable neighbours who may fall prey to unscrupulous salesmen/traders. If door stop salesmen call at your door, warn your neighbours and recommend they do not answer the door.

If you have any questions or concerns about doorstop salesmen call Trading Standards on 01296 383212 or the police if they are seen in your neighbourhood on 08458 505505.

Thank you.



6 November 2003

Bogus - Protection Registration Services

As part of the SAFER HOMES operation currently in force Thames Valley police are asking us to keep a close watch on our elderly neighbours and to support them in keeping their home security up to date.

Although the police and media are constantly giving out warnings about distraction burglaries, as do our Ringmaster messages, elderly and vulnerable people still continue to fall prey to these criminals.

Distraction burglars 'cruise' and target homes which they believe are occupied by the elderly. They look out for signs of neglect, handrails and ramps outside front and/or back doors and they have even been known to sniff through letterboxes. Rogue tradesmen who offer driveway, tree or other repair work on spec, share information with distraction burglars about potential targets.

Perhaps you could consider implementing an 'early warning' system in your scheme to alert your neighbours when you receive suspicious or unwanted callers at your door. Also offer elderly neighbours contact telephone numbers they can call if they are being harassed.

Please be vigilant and proactive by recording full descriptions of suspicious callers and vehicles at the time they are in the area and notify the police immediately on 08458 505505 or if an emergency 999. Such reports are taken seriously by the police who will check these people out and move them on if necessary. It will also increase police intelligence about the movements of these potential criminals.

The HANDY VAN scheme is available to fit safety and security products - free of charge - to people who are over 60 years and with less than £16,000 in savings. Contact 01255 473999 for further information.

For people who do not meet this criteria, a new scheme called ANCHOR is being introduced in December. Clients will be asked to pay a nominal fee of about £10 plus the cost of materials. Further information is available on 0800 587 0465.

The Help The Aged website at www.helptheaged.org.uk gives information about these and other schemes available to the public.

Thank you.



10 October 2003

4 Scam Schemes

1) We have had reports that Tesco's car park in Loudwater is being used by unregistered salesmen with Italian accents offering "leather" jackets. These jackets are in fact plastic and the salesmen usually say they are on their way back to Italy from a trade show. Any sightings should be reported to Trading Standards on 01296 383212.

2) Again in supermarket car parks there have been reports of shoppers being distracted whilst loading their shopping into cars and handbags being stolen. Males with foreign accents have engaged the shopper by asking for directions whilst an accomplice steals their bag which has been placed in the car. Keep your valuables in sight and secure at all times. URN 814 dated 8 October refers.

3) If you use the local Recycling Centres we advise you not to leave the keys in your car as there have been reports of cars being stolen from these sites whilst the owner is out of their vehicle.

4) There have also been reports of a Bogus Official from Aylesbury Vale District Council saying the council have received complaints about the bad state of the property or garden and he has been given permission to carry out maintenance work but at very inflated charges. The man has a bogus ID and there is the possibility that this may occur in other areas. Please check any such person's credentials before authorising work or entry to your home.

Any suspicious persons should be reported to the police on 08458 505505 with as much detailed description as possible.

Thank you.



10 October 2003

Scam Alerts

1) Last week it was reported that two young girls aged approximately 15-16 years were calling door-to-door in the Totteridge area claiming to be home carers. They stated that 'Barbara' had sent them. They were unable to provide identification but were still able to gain entry into properties.

2) We have had a number of reports regarding the 'Nottingham Knockers'. On Friday, 26 September an incident took place in Wallington Road, Chesham. Two males were selling household items, ie cloths, dusters, etc. and gained entry to the home of an elderly gentleman. He agreed to buy a sponge, 2 pairs of gloves and a calendar, then told the callers he only had 40 pounds, which they accepted and said they would return later for the balance of 110 pounds. The males are said to be driving a white Transit van, with a registration similar to L811 LKV.

3) Also on Friday in Blind Lane, Bourne End a male barged into the home of an elderly lady and stole 100 pounds from her handbag after claiming he was selling household items. He is described as white, aged between 20-30 years, approximately 5'2" tall with dark curly hair and either an irish or scottish accent. He was wearing a navy anorak and jeans.

Thames Valley Police would ask that you pass the following information to your friends and family, especially the elderly.

* Official visitors should always arrange an appointment with you beforehand.
* Always use a door bar or chain when answering the door.
* Check your callers credentials before allowing them into your home.
* Never agree to have work carried out by 'passers by'.
* If you believe a bogus caller is at your door, report it to the police immediately, dial 999. Tell the police what has happened and try to give a description of the caller.

If you require further information, please contact us and request a copy of the Home Office pamphlet 'HOW TO BEAT THE BOGUS CALLER', issued January 2003. Our telephone number is 01494 736642 or by e-mail at
chilternvale.ringmaster@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk


Thank you.



18 September 2003

Graffiti
Abandoned Vehicles
Fly-Tipping

Graffiti can be reported online on www.chiltern.gov.uk - reporting forms. There are also forms for reporting abandoned vehicles and fly-tipping or you can contact Jamel Oueslati on 01494 732177.

Utility boxes (usually green), electricity substations, bridges (including railway bridges), train stations are NOT covered as they all have their own team for the removal of graffiti.

Chiltern District Council will remove graffiti for businesses free for the first time but will ask that they look at a proactive way of ensuring they reduce the risk of it happening again. A disclaimer needs to be signed before removal can take place and we aim to remove the graffiti within 28 days once this has been signed, unless it is racial or distressing in any way.

Thank you.



18 September 2003

2 Scam Schemes

Trading Standards have received information from members of the public about unscrupulous traders in the area.

1) The first is a report of a lady cold calling telephone sales wanting to visit to check householder's security arrangements, supposedly following new EU legislation about Home Security. Whilst this may be a legitimate company, please be aware of your doorstep / cold calling rights. There is a website which is of interest: www.buckscc.gov.uk/trading_standards

2) Also reports have been received of a gang of men who started work on a driveway, without permission, after quoting £300. This quickly rose up to £4,200. The police were called to deal with this incident. This type of gang often preys on the vulnerable people living in isolated houses in rural locations, so again, be aware of your rights.

Thank you.



9 July 2003

Cash Machine Scam

There have been reports of bank card fraud at HSBC Bank in Penn Road, Beaconsfield.

On Saturday 5th July between 4pm and 5pm a victim unknowingly had details of his bank card read by a device placed in the card door entry system of the exterior doors. Once inside at the cashpoint machine the fraudster was able to overlook the transaction obtaining the victim's PIN number. This information was passed on to criminals in London who were able to produce a card which enabled them to withdraw funds from the victim's account.

Please be extra vigilant when using this automatic door entry system which will only be in use outside of normal banking hours. Check that there is nobody hanging around when carrying out your transaction.

So far this has only been used at HSBC branches.

If you have any information or know of any other incidents, please contact PC Chadd at Beaconsfield police station on 01494 431133.

Thank you.



9 July 2003

Car Crime

This is a message from Chief Inspector David Colchester warning car owners to hide their car keys, This warning follows a spate of burglaries where car keys have been taken and then the vehicle stolen.

This trend is developing because improved vehicle security these days makes it much harder for thieves to steal a car by other means. There is no point locking and setting immobilisers and alarms if the keys are left in obvious places where they can be easily found and taken. Keep them out of sight and somewhere secure.

Since April this year 35 cars have been stolen in this way across the Chiltern Vale and South Bucks Police Areas. Any vehicle can be the target, but so far the majority have been BMWs, Mercedes and Volkswagens.

Further advice can be obtained from Mike Levine in the Crime Reduction Office on 01494 736622.

Thank you.



9 July 2003

Fuel Scam

HM Customs & Excise have asked for your help in dealing with fuel laundering whereby cheaper agricultural fuel is illegally processed for re-sale to the public.

They need information on where people are operating out of such as lock-ups in business areas or remote agricultural sites.

The process would involve road tankers regularly visiting such sites, dumped tanks, acid sludge which is a by-product of the process, and diesel/acid fumes particularly noticeable on a hot day.

If you see cheap fuel for sale, in unusual places or out-of-hours deliveries to petrol stations or vehicles taking in fuel directly from lorries or tankers, please note down all possible information including descriptions of people and vehicles, notably registration numbers, dates and times, etc.

Do not become involved, do not buy goods or think that any information is trivial. Please call the Customs Confidential Hotline on 0800 595000 if you can help.

Thank you.



19 June 2003

Bogus - Protection Registration Services

We would like to notify you that a bogus company is sending out forms to register with the Data Protection Registration Services. They may in some cases call at business premises and have been known to produce identification cards and receipt books.

Other than paying the annual statutory notification fee of £35 on which no VAT is payable, there is no charge made by this Office to any data controller wishing to notify.

However, this company is charging £95 plus VAT. The Commissioner advises those approached in this way not to make any payment and to notify the local police.

Please contact the Trading Standards Office on 01296 383212 to report any incident.

Further information about this scam is available on the Data Protection website - www.dpr.gov.uk or by phone on 01625 545740.

Thank you.



12 June 2003

Bogus Callers - Water Board

Sadly, distraction burglaries are on the increase and the criminal element are finding varied and plausible methods of gaining entry to peoples' homes in order to commit crime. A common method used is for the offender to say they are Water Board officials.

The police have a list of vehicles currently being used by a known group of criminals who are thought to be active in this area. They are as follows:

Red Toyota Van K*Z 4**2
Red Proton saloon LK** F*B
Blue Transit Van 03 KE 2**4
Maroon Nissan Patrol 4x4 LN** U*O
Red Ford Transit 01 D 1**7
White Ford Transit 03 TS 6*6

If you see any of these vehicles, please phone the Burglary Team at High Wycombe police station immediately on 01494 465888.

Thames Water has produced a new guide to advise customers of the dangers of bogus callers and to give peace of mind to customers who may feel vulnerable when answering the door. The pack includes a Password scheme registration form and a reminder of what to do when receiving a door caller.

If you are a Thames Water customer, please call 0845 9200 800 for your free pack.

If you are a Three Valleys customer, they operate a similar scheme called Safeguard and information can be received from them by calling 0845 782 3333.

Don't forget the services of the Handy Van scheme - they can fit door chains and/or door-viewers for residents over 60 years old. Their telephone number is 01255 473999.

You may be interested to note that BBC1 are showing a series of programmes on Rogue Traders commencing this Thursday, 12th June from 8pm to 8.30pm. These programmes will offer sensible advice when dealing with potentially fraudulent companies.

Thank you.


6 May 2003

Several Scams

1) ATM Scam
An employee from Tesco Stores in Old Amersham reported that her cashcard had been swallowed by the Cashpoint machine outside the store. On closer inspection it was ascertained that the machine had been tampered with and a metal loop installed which caused the failure of the withdrawal. When the loop was removed the card was found.

This is a known method of criminals in obtaining money illegally from Cashpoints. They watch the victim try their PIN number again and when they go into the store to report the machine malfunction, the criminal steps in and using the PIN number, withdraws cash.

If you have had any similar experience or have any information, please contact the police at Amersham on 01494 431133 quoting URN 489 dated 23rd April.

This scam has been reported previously, eg with regard to NatWest Bank, Beaconsfield

2) Bogus Caller
We have received a report of a bogus caller in Arbour View, Little Chalfont. The incident occurred around 4 pm on Thursday 1 May, when a man, claiming to be from the Waterboard tried to gain access to a neighbours house. When he was challenged he ran to his car and drove off.
The man is described as being white, in his mid 20's and wearing a yellow fluorescent jacket, trainers and dark trousers. The vehicle was a small black car, - Focus type with registration starting K52.

If anyone has any information about this incident please contact Amersham Police Station on 01494 431133 quoting URN 975 dated 1 May.

Thank you.



5 March 2003

Several Scams

Number 1:
Beware of unsolicited telephone calls and DO NOT PRESS 90 on your key pad if requested by the caller. This enables them to make calls which will be charged to your account.

Number 2:
Beware of replying to unsolicited faxes starting with 090 numbers. These are premium rate fax machines, programmed to transmit slowly and which will cost you £1.50 per minute.

Number 3:
Beware of bogus invoices from a company called Universal Books, Post Office Box no 36907. This company is sending bogus invoices in an attempt to defraud.
If you receive one of these invoices please telephone Sergeant Tim Cox on 01494 881915.

Thank you.



13 February 2003

Gift Voucher and Phone Scam

We have been informed of the following scam, which is targeting females in particular. They receive a phone call from the Post Office asking them to confirm their postcode. When this is given, they are told that they have become eligible for some gift vouchers for their co-operation and are asked to provide their home address and postcode in order to receive the vouchers.
So far 90% of the women who have provided this information have been burgled, as it is assumed that their homes are empty during office working hours. The police are aware of this scam and the Post Office have confirmed that they are NOT conducting any postcode surveys.

Also, it has been reported if you receive a telephone call from an individual who identifies him/herself as being an AT & T service technician who is conducting a test on that line, or if anyone else asks you to do the following DO NOT. They will state that to complete the test the recipient should dial nine, zero (90) then the hash key and then hang up. This will give them full access to your phone line, which allows them to place long distance, international or chat-line calls. These are then billed to your account.
The information which the police have, suggested that many of these calls are emanating from local prisons. The information has been checked out by the police and is correct.
DO NOT PRESS 90 FOR ANYONE.

Would anyone reading this please pass it on to friends and colleagues etc. - otherwise it could cost someone a lot of money.

Thank you.



13 January 2003

Water Scam

Police would like to warn you of a possible bogus official reported today in the Chesham area.
The male, described as white, tall, with dark hair, in his 30s and wearing a black top and trousers tried to gain entry by asking the elderly occupant for access to turn off her water supply. He was unable to provide ID.

Thames Valley Police would advise that you take the following action for doorstep callers:

  • If you have a door chain, please ensure this is used before opening the door. The Handy Van scheme (01255 473999) will fit these free of charge for senior citizens.
  • Do not be afraid to inconvenience the caller - genuine officials will be willing to wait while their identification is verified.
  • Where possible, make use of the Password safety system with Public Utility Companies.
  • If you feel the caller is suspicious, or you feel threatened, please do not hesitate to contact the police.

If you have any information regarding the above incident, please call 01494 736736 quoting URN no 413 of 13th January.

Thank you.



13 January 2003

Por-nographic Letter

A resident of Seer Green has recently received a hand-written por-nographic letter. If anyone else has been sent such a letter it is important that they contact Sgt Tim Cox on 01753-881915

Thank you.


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