Seer Green Alert
Ringmaster Messages - Archive 2011
Mail / Identity Theft
There have been a number of incidents of mail theft
in the area. Financial mail and utility bills are
being taken and identities are being used to open fraudulent
credit cards / loans or to take control of the victims bank accounts
and withdraw funds. Large detached dwellings with mail
boxes on the gate post and blocks of flats with mail boxes in communal
hallways are being targeted. Offenders are possibly using keys or
their hands to steal mail.
A silver Audi A3 was seen in South Park, Gerrards Cross, on the
21/10/11between 1200 – 1230 hrs.
A West Indian (black) female described as 5’2” tall, petite build,
tight curls very close to her head which gave the appearance of
a cropped hair style, wearing dark clothing was seen with two males
(one Asian, one white possibly East European) on 21/10/11 standing
close to this vehicle.
The two males were seen a short time later the same day acting suspiciously
next to the mail boxes in the communal hallway of Crompton Hall,
South Park, Gerrards Cross. These two males are described as;
1) East European male, white skinned with a sallow complexion, medium
build, brown eyes, 5’10”-6’ tall, dark brown hair swept back off
his face, spoke with an accent of some kind.
2) Large Asian male, 5’10-6’ tall, broad large-ish build, black
hair swept back off his face, no facial hair.
If you see anyone fitting the descriptions or vehicle above, please
contact Thames Valley Police IMMEDIATELY on the emergency 999 number
quoting URN 968 of the 24/11/11. If you have any further information
please call Thames Valley Police on the non-emergency 101 number.
Alternatively if you do not wish to give your name you can call
Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Single Non-Emergency Phone Number 101
Having received a number of calls regarding the introduction
of the new 101 non-emergency number, hopefully the following information
will provide answers to the frequently asked questions:
101 is a national single non-emergency number that all police
forces are going to be using by 2012 and will replace the Thames
Valley Police 0845 8 505 505 (non emergency) number.
Thames Valley Police went live with 101 on 14 November 2011,
alongside South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Kent,
Sussex, Humberside, Greater Manchesterand West Yorkshire.
When to call 101?
You should call 101 to report less urgent crime and disorder or
to speak to your local officers.
For example, you should call 101 if:
* your car has been stolen
* your property has been damaged
* you suspect drug use or dealing in your neighbourhood
* report a minor traffic collision
* give the police information about crime in your area
* speak to the police about a general enquiry
101 is being introduced as part of the Government's wider work to
improve access to the police, ease pressure on 999, and help to
efficiently and effectively tackle crime and disorder.
What is the difference between 101 and 999?
You should continue to call 999 when it is an emergency,
such as when a crime is in progress, when there is danger to life
or when violence is being used or threatened.
How much will it cost the caller?
Calls to 101 (from both landlines and mobile networks) cost 15
pence per call, no matter what time of day the call is
made, or the duration of the call. Everyone calling the police for
non-emergency matters will now know exactly how much a call will
cost them, and can be assured of equal access whether they are on
a pay-as-you-go mobile or a home landline.
How does the routeing of the call work?
The routeing will be based on the same system as 999 calls which
links a caller’s dialling code to the police force that covers that
geographic area. Calls from a landline will be routed to the nearest
police force that covers the area’s dialling code. If the caller
is using a mobile, the call will be routed using the location of
the mast that the phone is transmitting from.
Who will answer my 101 call?
Calls to 101 are answered by police call handlers in the control
room of the local police force. This ensures that staff with local
knowledge can answer and deal with the calls and respond appropriately.
You will not be put through to a large national call centre. When
you call 101, the system will determine your location and connect
you to the police force covering that area. You will hear a recorded
message announcing the police force you are being connected to.
If you are on a boundary between two or more forces, the recorded
message will give you a choice of which force to be connected to.
I am deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, can I call
Yes, you can textphone 18001 101.
What if English is not my first language?
Your local police have access to professional interpreters so they
can quickly translate your call if you have difficulty speaking
What about reporting general nuisance or environmental
You should continue to call your local council for things like:
* reporting graffiti
* dog fouling
* abandoned vehicles
* dumping and fly tipping
What should I do if the 101 number is currently blocked
on the phone at my workplace / college / business premises?
As 101 is a new number, some business phone systems and switchboards
may not yet be programmed to recognise 101. Please contact the person
who administers your phone system to request that access is opened
to the 101 number.
Distraction Burglaries - Water Board
Two distraction burglaries were reported on Wednesday
23rd November, one in Chalfont St Peter and one
in Amersham. In both incidences the offenders claimed
to be from the Water Board.
Thames Valley Police would like to remind people to:
• Beware of cold callers and never let people into your property
• Always check callers ID
• Ensure back doors are locked at all times
• Call a relative or neighbour
If you are in any doubt callThames Valley Police on
the non emergency number 101 and state that you are responding to
this Ringmaster message.
Thames Valley Police Mounted Section will be patrolling Chesham
and the wider Chiltern area over the coming weeks. If you see the
Mounted Section please feel free to come and have a chat.
If you have information about crime but do not want to speak to
the police, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Doorstep Crime & Distraction Burglary
Buckinghamshire Trading Standards is alerting the community
following an incident relating to doorstep crime and distraction
A Buckinghamshire resident has reported that he received a telephone
call from a man claiming to work for Buckinghamshire County
Council. The caller stated that as a result of major road
works in the vicinity of the resident's home, the resident would
soon need to vacate his house for 3 weeks, the duration of the alleged
works, for health and safety reasons.
Furthermore, the resident was advised that Buckinghamshire County
Council had made arrangements for him to be accommodated in a local
motel. When the resident started to ask questions to clarify the
situation the caller became abusive and terminated the call.
The resident then contacted Buckinghamshire County Council who were
able to confirm that there were no plans to carry out work in the
area and in any event the council were in no position to provide
Thames Valley Goes Live with 101 on 14 November
Thames Valley Police is due to go live with 101, the
new national single non-emergency number on 14
November 2011, which will replace the 0845 8 505 505 number. Both
numbers will run side by side until the end of March, but if demand
for the 0845 8 505 505 number drops it may be discontinued earlier.
Calls to 101 (from both landlines and mobile networks) cost
15 pence per call, no matter what time of day the call
is made, or the duration of the call.
Everyone calling the police for non-emergency matters will now know
exactly how much a call will cost them, and can be assured of equal
access whether they are on a pay-as-you-go mobile or a home landline
The routing will be based on the same system as 999 calls. If a
caller is using a landline the routing will be based on the caller’s
postcode and the call will be directed to the same area’s force.
If a caller is using a mobile, the call will route using the mast
that the phone is transmitting from.
If a call is made to 101 within a force area that has not yet ‘gone
live’, the caller will hear a recorded message telling them to redial
using the relevant non emergency number.
Roofing & Guttering Scam
Buckinghamshire Trading Standards are warning residents
to be on their guard against a company called MMR of 155
Station Road, London offering roofing and guttering work.
A person calling themselves Jake or James Carter
has been cold-calling and advising residents that their guttering
and roof needs repair. The eventual payment requested is considerably
more than was quoted. The company also appears not to give cancellation
rights in writing, which is now a legal obligation.
Trading Standards approved building contractors can be found by
visiting the Buy With Confidence website.
Companies offering services in your home must give cancellation
rights in writing. Where possible get written quotations before
agreeing to have the work done.
We advise people not to deal with cold calling
If you have any information on this company or would like advice
on your rights please call Consumer Direct on 0808 156 2259.
Visit the Trading Standards Service Website.
Microsoft Windows Scam
A gentleman from Amersham received a phone call from someone
stating they were from Windows tech support who said "We
have reason to believe that there's a problem with your computer.
There have been downloads of malware and spyware, and they're
slowing down your computer."
It all sounded very convincing and he allowed them remote access
to his computer. He has since had to spend quite a bit of time
sorting out various problems and there is always the risk of identity
This scam has been running for several years but still people
are being tricked. Microsoft will never, repeat, NEVER, cold call
people who use Windows.
If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be
from Microsoft Tech Support, or anyone else for that matter, hang
up. If you have problems with your computer seek out a reputable
firm or someone who has been recommended to you.
Below are links to a couple of articles about this sort of scam
so please take note and pass this information onto any friends
or family who may be interested.
Phone Scam being run from call centres in India
up on phone scams
Counterfeit Glen’s Vodka & Jacobs Creek
Following a complaint from a member of the public, we have found
quantities of counterfeit Glen’s Vodka and Jacobs Creek wine at
convenience stores in High Wycombe.
Counterfeit alcohol can be contaminated with dangerous chemicals
such as methonal. In extreme cases this has led to blindness
and death. We have previously tested counterfeit Vodka
which has been found to be unsafe and may cause harm to the people
If you have suspicions about alochol you have purchased contact
Consumer Direct 0808 156 2259
here for more information.
07 July 2011
Over the past couple of weeks Thames Valley Police have received
a number of calls from concerned members of the public who have
been receiving correspondence from Shenzhen Development Bank in
China stating that they are beneficiaries of a large amount of money
and asking them to make contact; this is a scam.
Police recommend that if you receive any such correspondence, remove
your personal details and dispose of it safely.
Unless a crime has been committed, police will not be able to take
Members of the public are advised never to give out personal
details including bank account details over the telephone or via
email unless you can verify the source is legitimate.
27 June 2011
Council Tax Refund Scam
Over the last few days Chiltern District Council has been contacted
by residents who have received telephone calls informing them that
the Government has arranged refunds of council tax of £7,000
for a limited number of people. The caller reads out their name,
bank account number and address. They then ask for the person's
debit card details so they can arrange payment.
There is no such Government scheme, this is a scam.
If you are contacted about a council tax refund please be careful
about what information you give over the telephone. If you are
unsure, hang up and call our revenues team on
If you are entitled to a council tax refund, the council will
send you a letter showing how much you are owed and will then
send you a refund using information we already hold.
17 June 2011
Roof Exchange UK Scam
This is a report from Bucks Trading Standards
We have reports of a company called Roof Exchange UK who have
been cold calling in the South of the County, but they could be
operating in other parts of Buckinghamshire.
A person calling himself James Smith, will cold call on the home
owner and state that the roof needs some repair. He may offer
to repair the roof for a small fee, then after some work has been
completed he will say there are other problems with the roof and
the price will increase considerably.
The company also appears not to give cancellation rights in writing.
We advise people not to deal with cold calling traders.
If you are approached by a Mr. James Smith of Roof Exchange
UK, please contact the Police immediately - they in turn will
alert Trading Standards.
Building contractors can be found by visiting the Buy
With Confidence website. Traders on the BWC website have all
been Trading Standards approved. Companies offering services in
your home must give cancellation rights in writing. Where possible
get written quotations before agreeing to have work done.
here for doorstep selling information.
16 June 2011
Next Mail Order Scam
A lady in Amersham has made me aware of a new type of scam/fraud
to be aware of. This is her account of the incident.
"I was out for about 30 minutes this morning and returned
to find two parcels from Next addressed to me at my address. I
have never bought anything from Next. However I opened one parcel
to find children's clothing and men's shoes and polo shirts. I
phoned Next and they eventually said they would put a stop on
the account etc. and the courier would come in the morning to
collect the parcels and they would also send me a letter confirming
all this. I also phoned my credit card people to find out if the
card had been used but luckily it had not. A few hours later a
man (Afro Caribbean and not speaking English very well) came to
the door and asked for two parcels delivered to me. I would not
let him have them and he went away.
I am nearly 80 years old and live on my own and was very worried
that he might come back again - he has not so far! However I have
now had two phone calls with nobody on the line and 'answer withheld'.
I just hope the courier comes early tomorrow as I am worried stiff
that the man will come back again."
Next is a Mail Order company and you do not need an account to
place and order. It is simple to obtain a persons name and address
and use it to order the goods. The fraudster then places the order
and can elect for the packages to be left (eg in a porch, recycling
bin etc). Knowing the time scale for the delivery (Next offers
next day delivery) they will call round and collect the items.
If the lady had not returned and found the packages, the man
would probably have collected them and vanished leaving the victim
with a hefty bill to pay.
I have spoken to Next and apparently this sort of thing has happened
previously in Romford, Essex so maybe South Bucks is the latest
If you receive such a package notify the company straight away.
Also if you notice a package on a neighbour’s doorway it is a
good idea to take it home and return it later.
When arranging collection of goods always check the persons ID.
Next only use a company called Hermes for their deliveries and
If someone else calls do not hand over the package but call the
police straight away on 0845 8 505 505. Try to get a good description
of the person and note if any vehicle is involved.
Security Firm Scam
The following is copy of an email I received this week from a resident
in the Missenden/Kingshill area which is illustrating the persuasive
skills of the salesman.
“My elderly neighbour and I were nearly caught in a possible
scam, by a security firm. Initially my neighbour received a phone
call from a call centre promoting alarm systems in the area. She
agreed for their salesmen to visit and also arranged for her son
to be there.
Their representative called the following day and after visiting
her called at my house. He said we had been chosen and selected
for a very restricted special offer, to install their equipment,
which was supposed to cover medical issues, as well as police
and fire emergencies.
They said they were working in conjunction with the Police and
if we signed up and paid for five years, there would be no further
charges and everything would be serviced FREE.
They said they were only in the area until the weekend, and we
would save £1,000 by signing up with them now. It would
all be put into place within 48 hours, as they were shortly leaving
It sounded so very genuine, and he was very persuasive.
We both agreed to join the scheme. However, afterwards I contacted
my son, who looked into it, and said that the firm were currently
under investigation by Watchdog. I managed to stop my cheque.
My neighbour also managed to get her son to cancel her agreement.
It is probably not worth reporting - but perhaps a warning not
to agree to anything like this in a hurry, without first getting
it properly verified.”
1) It is ALWAYS worth reporting and in this case contact
Direct (Trading Standards) 08454 04 05 06. They can advise
you of your rights.
Whilst the firm in question may be perfectly genuine and the
alarm system meets British Standards, NEVER feel pressurised into
signing an agreement.
2) Do not make snap decisions. Take time to
talk to someone you trust before you make a decision.
If you change your mind about a purchase above the value of £35,
you have at least seven calendar days to cancel the contract (the
'cooling-off' period). It does not matter whether you invited
a trader into your home or not
for more information about Doorstep Selling Regulations.
I am sure you are all aware of the need to be wary when drawing
cash from ATM machines but have a look at this link below re theft
at a cash till.
The speed and simplicity of this crime is impressive and I defy
anyone of us not to fall for it - unless we had watched this video
When withdrawing cash, please be very aware of anyone that comes
within you body space.
Scams in Buckinghamshire
We receive information that we share with the public in the hope
they do not fall victim to one of these scams. If we have published
information about a particular scam and we have the powers to do
so, we are likely to be carrying out investigations. Unless you
have been a victim or you can provide us with extra information
concerning the scam there is no need to contact Consumer Direct.
Do not respond to the scams.
1) Tax refund scams
A number of emails are circulating purporting to be from HM Revenue
& Customs who are aware of the various scams and carry a comprehensive
list of scams on their website.
HM Revenue & Customs state they would not inform customers
of a tax rebate via email or invite them to complete an online
form to receive a rebate of tax.
Do not visit websites
from any unsolicited emails.
Never give personal or bank details to unsolicited emails.
2) Telephone scam, computers and mobiles
If you receive a telephone call from a company purporting to be
from 'Windows Support Team' or 'Microsoft
Support Team', be suspicious. They claim your home computer
or laptop is running slowly or maybe experiencing problems due
to hidden viruses. You will be asked to log on to a remote website
which allegedly enables the representative to access their computer
and work on it. At this point, it will look like the seller is
working on the computer, but in reality they will do nothing of
significance. They will ask for a fee via credit or debit card
- this can be as much as £200.00.
A similar scam also operates for internet enabled mobile phones.
Never give your
bank details or credit card details to any unsolicited seller
over the telephone, no matter how authentic they sound.
These calls often come from outside the UK, making it very difficult
to get redress.
You can contact Consumer Direct (Trading Standards) on 08454
040506 or through their website.
Scam Alert - Rogue Traders
We have had a report of rogue traders operating in the Amersham
On 4 January a white male called at a property and told the
occupants there was a small hole in the roof and offered to
repair it. The aggrieved accepted the offer but instead of repairing
the roof the hole was enlarged. The “builder” was initially
paid £1,000 to purchase materials and then a further £1,500
The following day he contacted the occupants and asked for
a further £3,500 to complete the work. The aggrieved went
to the bank to collect the money but they were concerned and
called the police.
The offender is described as white, skinny and with an irish
accent. He was driving a van with R B Builder on the side.
Please be wary of any cold callers offering to do work. It
could be gutter clearance, tree or hedge trimming, driveway
• If a trader knocks at your door do not agree to on the spot
house repairs, or sign anything on the spot.
• Be wary of special offers or warnings that your house is unsafe.
• Do not make snap decisions. Take time to talk to someone you
trust before you make a decision.
• Tradesmen are obliged by law to provide written quotes which
include contact details and a seven day cooling off period.
• If in doubt, call Consumer Direct (Trading Standards) on 08454
040506 or visit their website.
Please pass this information onto family and friends. If you
know of someone who may be vulnerable offer them your contact
details in case they have a problem. If you notice your neighbour
is having work carried out take time to check if they are bonafide.
If you think there may be a crime in progress call 999.