Seer Green Alert
Ringmaster Messages - Archive 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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
12 March 2009
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 firstname.lastname@example.org