This message is dated Wednesday 2nd December 2020 - Maidenhead
Alert message sent 02/12/2020 18:02:00
Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police
FIRST: I received an email from Tony, one of our members to say his expensive car – which must have been locked - had been entered and searched and loose change / sunglasses stolen. As his car had not been damaged and the loss was insignificant – he did not bother to report it to the police, but just wanted me to know.
NEXT: Every crime / theft. Must be reported to the police, however insignificant it may appear to the victim. It could confirm / identify / clarify, the route taken by an offender. We could then retrace the steps in between crime that were reported and ask for possible video doorbell footage ! A particular route, once identified, could identify a possible suspect. A theft like this, can also provide us with the intelligence that a potential suspect has a gadget in their possession they can use, to copy keyless fobs and open cars – very useful information, if we stop check and search a known offender out and about, in the early hours, acting suspiciously !
NEXT:- Several other things here – he added that his car must have been locked, as it automatically locks after 3 minutes, if he forgets to lock it. He questioned how the thief go in ?
There are 2 types of locking mechanisms in cars – normal fob locking and keyless fobs.
NORMAL CAR FOBS
The signal from normal car key fobs cannot be copied. All car fobs and other remote devices, work on the same principle. The fob sends a set of random numbers to the computer under the bonnet. If it recognises the string of numbers, it will lock / unlock the car. The computer changes the string of numbers every time – ensuring they cannot be copied.
What therefore happens – if two people press their fobs at the same time ? As they all work on the same principle, the car receives a jumbled set of numbers – from 2 fobs ! It doesn’t recognise its own set – so – it does nothing. You will not be able to lock or unlock your car. We have all experienced this, when we have to press our fob several times, before the car responds.
As I mentioned, all remote devices work on this same principle and can be used as a jamming device, mixing up the sets of numbers. Car fobs are generally restricted to a short distance from the car – to stop this happening, but other devices – such as an automatic up and over garage door fob, has a much wider range ! If you car fails to lock when you press the fob – look around !
If your fob won’t work at all, it may be someone is simply holding down their device for a long period of time, blocking all signals. If you use your key to lock the car – that is fine, the car is locked, but generally it will not set the immobiliser – nor the alarm !
Here the situation is more complicated. The keyless car fob emits a signal, which is always the same and that signal can be copied. It is the same as the hologram of contactless credit cards.
Some of our opportunist thieves, do have a gadget that can copy the signal emanating from keyless car fobs. The device sends out a signal and if it locates a keyless fob, is saves the code embedded in that signal. If they then approach the car – the computer under the bonnet recognises that code and the car opens – this can also be used of course to steal the car – as it will accept the signal and permit the car to start !
How to prevent this happening ?
Keyless fobs were meant to make life easier, but the manufacturers did not consider crime. Criminals are always very adept and often a step ahead, at taking advantage of any flaws in systems. If you have a keyless fob, you must keep it at all times in what is called a ‘Faraday Cage’. A small metal box, which prevents the signal being reached and copied. Manufacturers now make purses / wallets and even handbags, which contain a metal mesh, preventing the signal from being copied.
At home, fobs must not be placed near the front door, but as far away as possible – in their metal container. It appears an old metal biscuit tin is not sufficient. I did recommend keeping them in a microwave – which is a obvious Faraday cage in every home – none of the microwaves can escape – until someone forgot they were in there and used the microwave – blowing up both the microwave and the keys !!! The fridge though will do, if you don’t have one of those small card cases.
PLEASE ALSO REMEMBER, LOTS OF MODERN CARS RETRACT THEIR WING MIRRORS ONCE THE CAR IS LOCKED – IF THEY ARE STILL OUT – THE CAR IS UNLOCKED !!! That can be seen from a distance anywhere.
BE SMART – WE KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS – AND THE SOLUTION.
LOCK YOUR CAR AND KEEP THE KEYS SAFE
NEXT: The Winter Burglary Campaign - Do you have one of these ??
Many people may not know of this feature on the Amazon Echo - but it may exist on other smart speakers.
A friend of mine has an ‘Echo smart speaker’ and when they go out will send the command “Burglar deterrent”. The Echo, then plays a series of domestic sounds such as people talking, switched on vacuum cleaner, dog barking, someone making a cup of tea and a radio playing in the background all to simulate that someone is home.
I hope that with other security features such as a fake TV the burglar deterrent feature on a smart speaker, may add another level of home security.
RBWM Community Warden
Communities, Enforcement & Partnerships
Thanks Clive – do the other systems have this facility ???
NEXT:- I received an enquiry re video doorbells. We have a volunteer NHW Video Doorbell Guru, who will offer advice and support. He has created a website of FAQs:
This from Valerie Pike the Chair of the Windsor & Ascot NHW Association
We do not fit video doorbells, but our volunteer Guru, Guy, is very experienced and has created a simple FAQs website - see above - on getting started with video doorbells.
Please do take a look at the website and any further questions you may have, I would be more than pleased to have you engage with Guy.
Jeff mentioned that he helped his son with his video doorbell. Funnily enough, I had mine installed about a month ago and as my gardener was around at the time, I got him to help me drill the holes in the wall and then I setup the video doorbell.
One thing I learnt very quickly, is that the wi-fi signal is very important for the video doorbell to work!
Have a look at the website before getting started.
All the best
Chair, W&A NHW Association
I have attached reference numbers to each crime report. If you live in the vicinity of any of the crimes mentioned and have CCTV or a video doorbell, can you please check the footage. If you have any that might be of interest to the police, can you please make contact with us, quoting reference number given.
I have added a new email address below. The first email address is directly to your local Neighbourhood Team. The second is to our investigation team. Please use it to send any intelligence / video doorbell / CCTV footage you may have, which is relevant to any of the crimes lists below - quoting the reference number.
Alternatively you can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or email - www.crimestoppers-uk.org
1/12 Tuesday 12.45 p.m. / 1.30 p.m. Supermarket car Park, Moorbridge Road. Car badly keyed. Ref. No: 43200403972
30/11 Monday 3 p.m. Supermarket, St Cloud Way. Locked up bike stolen. A white and blue, Giant, mountain bike. Ref. No: 43200402088
RIVERSIDE & BELMONT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
SR.email@example.com BISHAM, COOKHAM, HURLEY, THE WALTHAMS, LITTLEWICK GREEN & KNOWL HILL:
1/12 Tuesday 8.45 a.m., West End Road, Waltham St. Lawrence. A witness reported a van fire. The fire service were called and put out the fire. Ref. No: 43200404360
30/11 Monday 1 p.m. / 2.15 p.m. Quarrywood Road. The owner was out on their bike, when the rear wheel locked up. They chained it up and went home to get a car to collect it. When they returned it was gone. Ref. No: 43200402016
PINKNEYS GREEN & FURZE PLATT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
SR.firstname.lastname@example.org BOYN HILL, COX GREEN & WOODLANDS PARK:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
OLDFIELD, BRAY & HOLYPORT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
First:-A WASHING MACHINE EXTENDED INSURANCE SCAM:
It has been suggested that I email you about you about the following:
I shall describe a scam call I received about 11 this morning.
The number comes up as 0203..... It is not in the book.
The caller addresses you by name. He refers to your washing machine insurance and the fact that it is due to expire shortly - in my case at the end of its 3 years.
Normally, a notification of this sort comes through the post, so this was an unusual approach and I was a bit suspicious of it.
Anyway, I said I understood it was for 10 years - after 2 seconds, the line went dead.
NEXT: A BT SCAM:
I don't know if this is the right way to report this, but I had a phone call purporting to be from BT this morning 10:30 a.m..
It came from a foreign call centre, telling me I had too many people logging onto my internet "too many IP addresses coming from my router".
Would I please follow his instructions to rectify this. I was to log onto my router and look at the settings. When i questioned this, he passed me to his "manager" who simply repeated the same instructions.
I did ask them to tell me my name and address and they were close, but not exact.
After them insisting I had to follow their instructions I just hung up
I'm not sure what damage they could have done, but I didn't stay on the line long enough, for them to do anything harmful - I hope!.
They have not called back as of yet
Keep up the good work please your reports and advice are very useful
Thanks Tom – I would have put the receiver down after a few seconds – without saying anything. Scammers call all the time, having purchased your details from other scammers. By answering and even asking questions – you become a ‘Responder’, an ‘Engager’ – and therefore much more valuable. You may not fall for this scam, but they may get you on another !!!
NEXT: An AOL scam
Hi Jeff - two in a day !
This one is also not true (I think) but I responded, before I spotted it as AOL – Verizon, have changed their terms of service recently.
They asked for, and I typed in, my email password, which appeared in plain text. I clicked on 'send', before I realised that this should not happen !
I immediately changed my email password so hopefully all is well.
The email was not personally addressed ‘Hi AOL member’ ! – alert 1 – they should know who you are ,as an existing customer !
It goes on to say their terms and conditions have changed – please click the link below and sign in with your password - or the service will be suspended !
DON’T DO IT – DON’T LET IT BE YOU.
NEXT:- WHEN ACCESSING GOVERNMENT SERVICES – MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON THE CORRECT SITE:
I went on a non-Government site to check details on my wife's old car and soon after I received the message below – saying there is tax outstanding on the vehicle. Please click on the Link to make payment.
It is, of course, not true.
Thanks Tony. How do you know if you are on the right / legitimate site ? The address will be https://www. which shows the website is encrypted and safe. Normal websites are just http://www.. If it is a real and secure site the first part of your toolbar will turn green, depending upon your system and in that green part, will be a picture of a small padlock.
NEXT:- two from Eva
On the matter of fraud and scam there's another one: after looking at a comparison site for savings... I received a call on my mobile .out of the blue !
A very pleasant sounding chap introduced himself, as representative of ‘Morgan Stanley Bank’. He knew my name (and was able to pronounce it too !!!) as well as my email address and promised a very good percentage return on an investment through him.
I asked him to send me details, to the email address he already had. That afternoon, I received an email, with an application form and then another with very little actual information I tried to check it out, but not much was coming up.
He rang again this morning, suggesting he help me fill out the application form over the phone - I told him I was having problems with my printer/scanner. So he generously gave me another 5 days to ponder !
The phone number he rang me from, came up on a Google search as "dangerous having been looked at by several hundred people" !
Maybe it is worth mentioning? Morgan Stanley Bank, do not cold call and approach individual people.
I would like to add a the bogus "Post Office" delivery requiring "an additional charge" !
Mine was an e-mail, looking very believable, purportedly from ‘DPD’ (the logo and the colouring were correct), but unfortunately, I was, actually expecting a delivery of an item bought on line, so when the e-mail arrived, I saw it first on my phone, rather than my PC (which would have given me a better chance to check the sender details before opening it).
I clicked on it and entered my credit card details - to pay the "extra charge" It then took me to another point, where my bank and security details etc. were requested.
LUCKILY at that moment, ALL the ALARM bells rang and I started inspecting the various links that were available in the email.
Another tell tale was the ‘DPD’ link, taking me to the ‘UPS’ website....
Having already put in my card details I decided to cancel the credit card so it ended well enough.
My word of advice is: Do not rush to pay any extras....check the originator of the email AND DON’T do it via your smartphone.... Remember: there is NO rush!
Absolutely right Eva – BREATHE, TAKE A MOMENT TO THINK !
Please consider using our online reporting system but please note this reporting tool is not for use where a crime happening right now, the suspect is still at the scene, or anyone seriously injured or in immediate danger.