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Seer Green Alert 

Ringmaster Messages - Archive 2006

20 December 2006

Seer Green - Dog Fowling

Dog fowling continues to be an issue which local residents feel should stop right now. Despite of numerous appeals in our estate's newsletter Manorism, dog walkers continue to allow their dogs to drop their loads on the estate's:

* green areas
* flower beds
* verges
* footpaths

Please clean up after your dog, be a good neighbour and avoid heavy fines from the Council.

Thank you.


18 November 2006

Scam Alert - Mobile Phones


If you receive a call on your mobile phone from someone calling themselves the "company engineer" saying he is checking the system and asks you to enter either #90 or 09# - END THE CALL IMMEDIATELY without pressing these numbers. A fraudulent company have obtained equipment that can access your SIM CARD, if you follow their instructions they are then able to make calls from your SIM CARD at your expense.

NB. This message also features on our website dated 6 May 2002

Thank you.


16 November 2006

Royal Mail Postal Scam

Trading Standards Office are warning about the following scam:

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel
Delivery Service)
suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911 (a premium rate number!).
DO NOT call this number, it is a mail scam originating from Belize. If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £15 for the phone call. If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 7239 6655 or ICSTIS (the premium rate service regulator) at www.icstis.org.uk.

Thank you.


17 October 2006

Visa/Master Card Scam

This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. It's currently making the rounds in the US but may spill over to us as well.

NOTE - the callers do not ask for your card nu-mber. They ALREADY HAVE IT! By understanding how the VISA (and MasterCard) telephone credit card scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself.

The scam works like this:

Person calling says, "This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My Badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify.

This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank). Did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for $497.99 from a marketing company based in Arizona?"

When you say "No", the caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from $297 to $497, just under the $500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?" You reply "Yes".

The caller continues, "I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 1- 800 number listed on the back of your card (1-800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number." The caller then gives you a 6-digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"

NOW HERE'S THE IMPORTANT PART of how the scam works. The caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card". He will ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers." There are 7 numbers -- the first 4 are part of your card nu-mber, but the next 3 are the security numbers' that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to READ THE 3 NUMBERS TO HIM.

After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he will say, "That is correct. I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?" After you say "No," the caller then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up.

You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the card nu-mber. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA & Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of $497.99 was charged to our card.

Long story made short ... we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them.

Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or MasterCard directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card!

If you give the scammers your 3-Digit PIN Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost to late and more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a "Jason Richardson of MasterCard" with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily. They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening.

Please pass this on to all your family and friends. By informing each other, we protect each other.

Thank you.


13 October 2006

Internet Safety

Increasingly the internet is being targeted by criminals with increasing numbers of people suffering virus attacks on their computers, receiving unwanted emails or becoming the victim of online fraud.

Information is now available for everyone, via a joint initiative between the Government, The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) and leading businesses, with the aim of helping individuals secure themselves against internet threats.

The Get Safe Online site: www.getsafeonline.org
contains nearly 100 articles, providing simple, reliable and practical security advice on a range of topics including, How to install anti-virus software, Make backups, protect your privacy, set ground rules for children, how to shop, bank and use online auctions safely.

The articles have been written for everyone, not just personal computer experts, and because the site has nothing to sell, the advice is objective and balanced.

Thank you.



14 September 2006

Free Home Fire Risk Check / Fire Alarm

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is currently supporting a national initiative to offer free Home Fire Risk Checks to anyone that would like one. What are they?
A Home Fire Risk Check is a basic assessment of the fire risks in your home, carried out by our staff. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the house. We will need you to be present to answer a few questions for us. What happens when the check is completed?
Our staff will offer you fire safety advice, based on any potential fire risks that they may have identified during the check. You may also ask them any fire safety questions you may have. If they think you need them, our staff will also fit as many smoke alarms as they think necessary. We currently provide British Standard smoke alarms with a sealed battery that should last 10 years in normal use.
As an option in certain premises, we may fit heat detectors. Our staff will ask you to sign an indemnity form for any alarms that they fit. By signing this you accept the responsibility for maintaining the alarms we have provided.

How much does this all cost?
The Home Fire Risk Check, and any alarms we provide and fit during that check, are entirely FREE.

How do I request a Home Fire Risk Check?
* By telephone - contact the Community Safety Team Administrator on 01296 744477

* By e-mail - cs@bucksfire.gov.uk Or look out for our Home Fire Risk Check leaflet coming through your door!

Free Fire Safety Check

Thank you.



08 September 2006

Mobile Phone Protection

Click here to download the Thames Valley Police Fact Sheet as pdf  (size 13kb).

Thank you.


21 July 2006

Scam Alert

This is a message from the Buckinghamshire Trading Standards. They wish to inform people that unsolicited flyers are being distributed in Bucks by a building company.

These flyers claim the company is licensed by the Office of Fair Trading. This is a false claim as the Office of Fair Trading does not license building companies to carry out building work.

At the moment we are carrying out investigations into the business.

We once again urge the public only to deal with traders/builders who are known to their local communities.

www.buckscc.gov.uk/trading_standards provides help in choosing the right trades person.

If you are responding to unsolicitous flyers or telephone calls you should be very cautious. It is not something we recommend.

If you have any information you are willing to share with us about this business please email gpreston@buckscc.gov.uk or telephone Graeme 01296 387009.

Thank you.



21 July 2006

3 Scam Alerts

1) An elderly occupant in Layters Close, Chalfont St Peter was called on this morning by a young blond male offering gardening services. A BMW car was seen with a driver waiting outside the property. The caller was sent away and no crime committed.

2) Bucks Trading Standards have advised us of another scam being perpetrated on the elderly and vulnerable. A widowed pensioner in Aylesbury was targeted by a conman who knocked on the door with an official looking form asking for the pension account ID number. This was refused and was reported by the daughter to the post office who said they always made pre-arranged appointments and would not turn up unannounced.

3) Another scam recently attempted was after a conman had picked up a car for sale advert in a motoring magazine and made contact with the owner, offering to buy the car. He said he lived in the Netherlands and would send a bankers draft but a cheque was needed to be sent to him first to cover shipment costs. A mobile phone number was given but no contact was able to be made.

Please be aware of all such scams, no matter how plausible they may first appear. Passing on this information to your members, friends and family will hopefully prevent someone you know from becoming a victim.

Thank you.



22 June 2006

Scam Alert

We have been advised by the Highway Maintenance Team that contractors working in the Wycombe area are aware that gangs of travellers have been approaching householders touting for work - driveway repairs, maintenance etc. under the guise that they are working for Buckinghamshire County Council. This is not the case.

If anyone is approached please ask for identification but we also urge you to contact "Highways on Call" on 0845 230 2882 or contact the police on 08458 505 505.

Thank you.



22 June 2006

Trading Standards - Consumer Direct

Buckinghamshire Trading Standards no longer give general consumer advice at first point of contact over the telephone for people in Bucks.

Consumer advice is now provided by
Consumer Direct 08454 04 05 06.

This system has now been in operation for over a year and has worked extremely well.

The general public have been transferred over to this number for the past year; in many cases the public have been completely unaware that this has happened.

When consumers contact Consumer Direct, all of the information is collated and sent back to Trading Standards, where consumers need further advice, help or support this is given by Trading Standards Officers.

The benefits are, that the officers are able to spend more time helping the vulnerable consumers when they get into difficulties and are able to spend more time dealing with complicated cases.

All of the information that consumers have given is fed into a national database, allowing Trading Standards to get a better picture of what the problems are across the country.

Consumers can receive consumer advice by contacting Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.

Thank you.



12 May 2006

Car Scam

We have heard reports of leaflets being delivered to householders in NHW areas, offering an etching service of a vehicle's registration onto the windows at a discount price.

Insufficient company details have been supplied and are given with only a mobile phone number. Whilst this is not a crime the leaflet implies that this is a police initiative.

Neither the police or Neighbourhood Watch endorse any company and if you are considering car security measures we would recommend you seek advice from a reputable company and obtain two or three quotations.

Should you have any further concerns in the future relating to these leaflets of this nature please contact Trading Standards on 01296 383212. Any suspicious incidents should be reported the police on 08458 505 505.

Thank you.



12 April 2006

Parcel Scam

If you receive a card through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) saying that they have a parcel awaiting delivery instructions and can you contact them on 0906 6611911.

DO NOT call the number as this is a mail scam originating from Belize. If you call the number and you start to hear a recorded message you will already have been billed £15 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 020 72396 655 or ICTIS at www.icstis.org.uk or your local trading standards office. This is a genuine scam.

ICTIS have the following information about this number. This is a card posted through your letter box from PDS Parcel Delivery suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and to call the premium rate number in question. This service costs £1.50 per minute.

This service is under investigation by ICSTIS. Please be aware of this scam and forward this information to as many as possible.

Thank you.



12 April 2006

Mobile Phone Scam

There have been a number of reports of correspondence being received from mobile phone companies addressed to people not known at their homes. This is a mobile phone scam.

Initially, offenders apply over the internet to open a bank account then using a print-out of the confirmation details, they are able to purchase expensive mobile phone tariffs (including phones). They sign up to pay by direct debit and give a false address. By the time the phone companies are aware of the error the offender may have had a month's free phone usage and they then sell the phone. Police are recommending that if you receive this type of correspondence, it should be returned to the sender stating "This person is not known and does not live at this address".

Sometimes new mobile phones have been delivered to houses. This is fine if the occupant is in and can refuse delivery but, if the courier leaves the package either on the doorstep or with a neighbour, then police are recommending you contact the phone company to ask for a prepaid label to return the product. Alternatively you could contact the courier to collect it, in which case we recommend that if and when someone calls to collect the package, you ensure they have adequate ID.

It is not necessary to notify the police, unless you have specific intelligence such as descriptions of suspicious people or vehicles.

Thank you.



24 March 2006

Scam Alert - Bank & Mobile Phone

1) We have previously advised you of Bank Scams where you are asked to provide sensitive information by unsolicited emails. Trading Standards advise that they have been sent many emails from the public in this regard. They advise that they should be deleted without opening them, and your internet provider should provide protection and advice. Ensure your protection is kept up to date.

2) We have been informed that similar scam emails are now originating from O2, the mobile phone network. The email says your bill is available to view online and requests you log in and supply your username and password. DO NOT respond to these requests and only use bona fide links you know to be correct. As with the bank scams, no doubt, there will be other scams in the name of the other mobile phone networks.

You can help to reduce the value of a stolen phone by registering with MEND (Mobile Equipment National Database), {which has now been fully integrated with Immobilise.com the UK's largest database of property ownership details and associated crime reports; The Editor}. This is a free online service which enables officers to quickly check the database, searching registered, stolen or lost phones. This may result in the phone being returned to its owner but also provides evidence that someone is in possession of a stolen phone. This database also registers other items of equipment like laptops, electronic organisers or PDAs, gaming devices, MP3 players and cameras. To register your phone details visit www.menduk.org or direct www.immobilise.com.

If your phone is stolen the handset can be barred on all networks and become useless to criminals. Phone 08701 123 123 which has a recorded message giving callers a number to phone for their particular network. Even if the SIM card is changed, the phone will no longer work on any UK network.

Thank you.


20 February 2006

Fishy Scam Alert

Trading Standards have asked us to warn people that fish sellers are currently operating in Buckinghamshire. Unless you have a regular known fish trader, we would advise you not to purchase goods from these people who come cold calling at your door.

Complaints concerning labeling issues, weights and freshness of the fish are often reported. Unfortunately it is always impossible to trace these people as there is no paperwork, the gang is very clever at operating and not usually in one place for very long.

If they are operating in your area do call the police on 08458 505 505 or Trading Standards on 01296 383212.

Thank you.



20 February 2006

Scam Alert Against Elderly

There are some unscrupulous villains in our society who deliberately prey on elderly vulnerable people who have no next of kin. They may gain the confidence of the victim by claiming to be an old friend or relative that they met several years ago. They start by offering home help free of charge and gradually gaining the confidence of the victim in the hope that they will leave or transfer property deeds over to their names.

A recent case has been reported in Chesham but on this occasion social services have been able to intervene before it was too late. Although these people are known to the police but it is very difficult to prosecute them as they have not broken the law by befriending and helping someone.

Once again we are appealing to Watch members to keep an eye out for anyone who is vulnerable and to notify the Police or Trading Standards if you have any concerns.

Thank you.



31 January 2006

'Car-Jacking' Scheme Alert

You walk across the car park, unlock your car and get inside, lock the doors, start the engine and select reverse. You look into the rear-view mirror to back out of your parking space and notice a piece of paper stuck to middle of the rear window. So, you shift back into park or neutral, unlock the doors and get out to remove the obstruction. When
you reach the back of the car the 'car-jackers' appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off. Your engine was running and you are likely to have left your handbag or briefcase in the car. Apart from taking anything of value, they might find your address and they already have your keys!
Remember if you see your rear view blocked like this, just drive away and remove the paper later.

This scam is happening in London right now and may spread to other areas. Keep this warning in mind and forward it to your friends and family.

Thank you.

Source: Newsletter of the Chiltern U3A (University of the Third Age), Issue No. 26, February 2006


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