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Scams 2021 and beyond

Alert message sent 02/01/2021 17:07:00

Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch


Scams 2021 and beyond

Thank you for your good wishes for New Year and I wish you all a safe and peaceful 2021.

Please can I remind you that Neighbourhood Watch (NW) is now an independent organisation.  I am a volunteer Area Representative and Administrator  for Oxford NW and not a member of  Thames Valley Police. There has been no funding for Oxford Neighbourhood Watch but a bank account will be set up (when community accounts are open) for fund raising, donations and grants in 2021. If anyone wishes to be involved with fund raising please let me know. 

As a Coordinator I know that our local neighbourhood police teams rely on various forms of intelligence to catch criminals including valuable information passed on by members, who know what is unusual in their neighbourhood.  I would ask Neighbour Watch Coordinators to continue encouraging members to report suspicions of what they have seen or heard to the police on 101 or  https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/
Suspicions are much easier to report on this link as I know many have found problems with online reporting. Please use 999 for emergencies and crimes in progress (including drug dealing)

For those who wish to become a Neighbourhood Watch member or set up a scheme please go to www.ourwatch.org.uk or reply on the icon below. We are also in need of Area Coordinators who will help find Coordinators in their areas and support and connect existing ones in keeping their areas safe.

SCAMS WILL CONTINUE THROUGHOUT 2021 (as sure as day follows night)
We may become complacent with scams as we think we can spot them, however, scammers have become more sophisticated and there are times when we may be more vulnerable, often not checking,  as we may be in a hurry or we may not be as scam savvy as usual on the day. One lady had a bereavement and said "she wasn't thinking straight". That is the opportunity scammers hope for and why we may receive continuous scams. They hope we will click on the link which will send us through to a fraudulent website. Then  private information may be shared or some form of malware or virus can be installed on our devices.
Personally, I report all and then block the sender. 

Scams during the COVID-19 pandemic
While everyone is worried about the coronavirus, cyber criminals have seen this as an opportunity. In emails and on the phone, they may claim to have a 'cure' for the virus, offer financial rewards, or encourage you to donate to worthy causes. Like many scams, these criminals are preying on real-world concerns to try and trick you into interacting. They may also mimic real NHS messages.
These scam messages can be very hard to spot. They are designed to get you to react without thinking.

Email
If you have received an email which you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) at report@phishing.gov.uk. 
The latest numbers of suspicious emails shown as of 30/11/20 stand at more than 4,264,242. By forwarding these emails to report@phishing.gov.uk there has been a removal of 22,192 scams and 43,582 URLs -   please remember  to delete the email from your device.

Text message
Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to 7726. This free-of-charge short code enables your provider to investigate the origin of the text and take action, if found to be malicious. Again, please delete.

Victims of Fraud
Please contact Action Fraud 0300 123 2040 or https://www.actionfraud.police.uk - you can report for a victim, someone else, a business or as a witness.

I have come across an audio description for the Little Book of Scams 4th edition (none for 5th edition). Please copy and paste to hear helpful information.
https://soundcloud.com/metropolitan-police/the-little-book-of-big-scams

There is also an updated version of the Little Book of Scams 5th edition which is a visual version.
https://www.met.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/central/advice/fraud/met/the-little-book-of-big-scams.pdf

Useful websites 
https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk
https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/cybercrime


Please  share this information with neighbours, family and friends, which could stop you (or them) becoming a victim of crime.

Stay safe,
Maggie
Message sent by
Maggie Lewis (NWN, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley, Oxford LPA)

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