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Seer Green Alert 

Ringmaster Messages - Archive 2009

03 December 2009

Keeping Safe

Personal attack alarms and Smartwater (forensic marking fluid) can now be purchased from the Association. For further information please open the attached word documents:

[Amersham_TVNHWASmartwater.doc]

[Amersham_TVNWAALARMS.doc]

Thank you.



19 November 2009

Scam Alert - Council Tax Refund

Chiltern District Council wish to make you aware of a current scam where residents have been receiving telephone calls informing them they qualified for a Council Tax refund. The caller then asked for bank account details to enable the payment to be processed.

Similar types of attempted fraud have been reported involving other public bodies and private sector firms, in the form of e-mails. Occasionally the caller requests a fee for the service.

Chiltern District Council wish to make it clear they would never use telephone or e-mail to request details of bank accounts to refund overpayments of Council Tax. Neither would it charge for such a service.

If you are entitled to a council tax refund, the council will send you a letter showing how much you are owed and offering the option of either deducting the amount from your next council tax bill or providing a refund.

If you are unsure if a caller is genuine, ask them for their name, job title and extension number and then call the Revenue and Benefits Department at Chiltern District Council 01494 732078 on 01494 732079.

Thank you.



29 October 2009

Scam Alert - ATM Machines

Police are warning people to be on the alert when withdrawing cash from ATM machines. There have been several incidents recently in Beaconsfield, Chesham and Amersham.

In Beaconsfield on Tuesday evening suspects had attached a mobile phone in a blue box directly above the keypad, and a false grey card slot had been placed over the genuine card slot. At least one member of the public had attempted to withdraw money and had lost their card to the device.

This sort of skimming device is often referred to as a Lebanese loop. The perpetrators will target ATM's that are not covered by CCTV, generally those outside the banks or in other public places. They are usually set up when the banks are closed to avoid detection and prevent customers alerting the bank immediately.

By this method they obtain both the card and the PIN number, allowing them to withdraw the maximum amount of cash the bank will allow in seconds. They will make as many withdrawals as they can until the card is stopped. Offenders will move around an area, targeting banks on consecutive days in neighbouring towns, so people across the whole of Bucks and Berks need to be aware.

Do be vigilant when using any ATM. If anything looks unusual, or parts do not seem to be properly attached, do NOT use the machine. If the bank is closed, move away from the area and phone the police immediately dialing 999, as this is a crime in progress. Often the offenders will be hanging around in the vicinity and a quick response from police can result in significant arrests.

DO NOT TRY TO REMOVE THE DEVICE or approach anyone acting suspiciously around an ATM. The devices are very valuable to the scammers and they have previously used violence to retain them. The police are also keen to preserve any forensic evidence that may lead us to a suspect.

Thank you.



29 October 2009

Scam Alert - Rogue Traders / Called Callers

We have been informed by a resident in Chalfont St Peter that a company called SAS Fire and Security is cold-calling residents and offering to install 'free' security systems with a 'small' ongoing monitoring and maintenance cost.

The company is also saying that the security systems are being offered in conjunction with Chiltern District Council's wintertime burglary events that are currently being run at local train stations and town centres. This is untrue, Chiltern District Council is not linked in any way with this company.

If you are approached by SAS Fire and Security or indeed any organisation you are unsure about, please do not allow them into your home or give them any of your personal details. Contact our community safety team on 01494 732089, or call Consumer Direct on 0845 4040506 or call the police on 0845 8 505 505.

Thank you.



28 September 2009

Scam Alert - Unsolicited Phone Calls

There have been a number of reports of unsolicited phone calls in recent weeks, usually offering home security surveys. Some of these companies infer a relationship with the police during the call.

Please note, the police do not endorse companies nor products. They will of course advise anyone fitting home security devices to use Home Office approved 'items' which bear the kite mark.

You may be asked what level of security you presently have? Do you have an alarm? Do you have window locks etc - alarm bells should be ringing. At the end of such calls they normally ask for your name and address in order to make an appointment !!!

If you get one of these calls, don't feel intimidated into continuing the call out of courtesy. Simply decline the invitation or advice on offer and replace the handset. Part of the issue is not only hard sell techniques which in the past have sometimes been disturbing, but whether or not they are genuine.

Police advice is to give no personal information about yourself, your bank / building society accounts nor even your home, to anyone over the phone. You have no idea who they are, what their motives may be or what they may intend to do with that information. It is only too easy to be helpful and polite and answer any question they ask.

To reduce the amount of unwanted telephone sales calls you can register with the Telephone Preference service on 0845 070 0707 or 020 7291 3320 or online at www.tpsonline.org.uk

Thank you.

PS. There is also a Mailing Preference Service to reduce dramatically (if not eliminate) unsolicited junk mail. You can register on 0845 703 4599 or 020 7291 3310 or online www.mpsonline.org.uk



24 September 2009

Scam Alert - Telephone

Watch Members are being warned of a recent telephone scam, where callers pose as BT representatives.

People have been targeted by the unscrupulous callers, who ask for a payment to be immediately made to clear arrears on their telephone account.

People are told that if they don't pay straight away, they will be cut off, and the caller is then asked for their bank or credit card details.

Sometimes, the scammer terminates the call mid-way to demonstrate that they are able to cut off the phone line.

Anyone receiving similar calls is reminded not to divulge their banking details, and to report the call to Trading Standards on 0845 4 04 05 06.

Thank you.



14 September 2009

Scam Alert - Door-to-Door Salesmen

A Manor farm resident has just emailed me to let me know of someone going door-to-door, last week, offering to sell gravel or clean a drive. Here is advice from the Thames Valley Police website about what to do if someone knocks on your door:

1. It is always advisable to use a chain or peephole before answering the door to anyone that you do not know.

2. If there is a person claiming to be from the electricity/gas/water company then they will have official ID. If they are genuine they will have no problems with you looking at it and telephoning the company to verify it. Look the telephone number up yourself, do not use a telephone number they give you as you cannot be sure that it is genuine.

3. If you have any doubts whatsoever then do not let them in, it is better to be safe than sorry. You can always then telephone the company and make an arrangement for another day.

4. If it is a person who wants to carry out some work on your garden/drive/roof and they make a cold call to your house then be very wary. Before having any major work done on the house you need at least two or three quotes from different reputable companies.

5. If the person gives you a price that is too good to be true then it will be. Be careful - there have been cases of people carrying out the job and then demanding more money.

6. There are also cases of the workman offering to drive the person down to the bank to get the money, which is often at a massively inflated price.

7. Some people who offer to carry out such tasks are genuine but there are those that are not and will take advantage of people, mainly the vulnerable and the elderly. It is advisable not to allow any workmen to carry out any tasks in your home unless they have been personally recommended to you.

8. If the person keeps contacting you about the work then be very careful as reputable companies tend to be very busy and do not need to chase work.

9. See the website for related information for more help and advice or contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.

Thank you.



18 June 2009

Scam Alert - Parcels

Police have issued a warning after fraudsters have been using people's personal details to have good delivered to their homes, which they later collect.

Elderly residents have been receiving parcels, in their names, delivered from various catalogue companies which they never ordered. They later receive a call from an unknown person, who says the parcel had been delivered to them by mistake and that they will come and collect it.

The packages mostly contain items of significant value such as mobile phones, video cameras, shoes and clothing.

Anyone who receives a package which they did not order and a phone call from someone saying they want to pick it up should contact Detective Constable Sharon Vann at Aylesbury CID via the police non emergency number 0845 8 505 505.

Thank you.



12 March 2009

Recruiting Volunteers

Thames Valley Police is recruiting volunteers from the community to join the Police Volunteer Support Team.

Volunteering with the police provides individuals with a unique opportunity to work alongside police officers and staff, using their skills, experience, knowledge and enthusiasm to help the Force to reduce crime, disorder and the fear of crime.

As a member of the Thames Valley Police Volunteer Support Team you will be part of an exciting program of community involvement and play an important part in making your community safer.

Volunteers undertake a wide range of roles for Thames Valley Police, which are designed to enhance and complement the roles of Police Officers and Police Staff. These include Administration, CCTV Support, Community Safety, Front Counter, Neighbourhood Policing, Roads Policing Administration, Neighbourhood Watch, Horsewatch and many more!

If you have some time to spare and are interested in supporting your local police service, please telephone Sandra Cook, Volunteers Co-ordinator, for Bucks on 0845 8 505 505 or email sandra.cook@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk

Thank you.


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