This message is dated Friday 2nd July 2021 - Maidenhed
Alert message sent 02/07/2021 15:43:00
Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police
FIRST: – YET ANOTHER COURIER FRAUD !!
The victim received a call from a withheld number, from a man calling himself 'DC Haines', from Hammersmith Police.
He explained that they had been a victim of fraud and that they had someone in custody, who had admitted to stealing a large amount of money from them.
He also explained that their bank was also under investigation and was possibly involved in giving out counterfeit money. It would all be part of their evidence gathering, for the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service)
They were instructed to go to their bank and withdraw £4900 in cash. While doing this, they were to remain on their mobile phone, so that ‘DC Haines could listen into the conversation with the bank.
He also instructed that they were not to mention why they were withdrawing the money.
When they got home, they were asked to read out the serial numbers from several notes. They were then told to put the notes into a paper envelope and then put it into a plastic bag – this would preserve the fingerprints on the notes, so that the criminals at the bank, could be identified. He would now send a courier to collect the notes. He gave the victim a code number, which would identify the courier as genuine.
Shortly afterwards, the courier arrived and quoted a ‘CPS reference number’. He collected the package of cash and left.
Afterwards, the victim began to think about what had happened and called their son. He immediately said it was all a scam and the police were called.
The victim has never been scammed before and is shaken. Their son has installed a call blocker phone to prevent them ever calling back.
Enquiries are being made at the bank to trace and try and recover the cash
AS YOU KNOW WE HAVE BEEN PUBLICISING ‘COURIER FRAUDS’ FOR ABOUT 5 YEARS NOW. I AM SURPRISED WE RE STILL REPORTING VICTIMS.
WE HAVE ONE ADVANTAGE – THIS SCAM HAS BEEN FRANCHISED ACROSS THE ENTIRE COUNTRY AND THE SCAMMERS ALL USE THE SAME SCRIPT. IN THIS AREA – IT IS ALWAYS A CALL FROM A ‘DETECTIVE INSPECTOR’ FROM THE ‘HAMMERSMITH POLICE FRAUD DEPARTMENT’. The script is always the same – so it is easy to recognise – they always mention:
They have someone in custody who has stolen money from the victim’s bank account, using either their debit card, or a cloned debit card
Could the victim please get their debit card, to see if it has been stolen.
This is critical to the scam, as the victim is then asked to phone their security number on the back of the card – to show the call is genuine.
The victim is asked to put the receiver down and then dial the security number, on the back of the card.
The scammer, does not disconnect the call and when the victim re-dials, the scammer simply hands the phone to an accomplice, who says they are ‘Bank Security’
To discuss any possible fraud on the account – the victim has to go through and hand over, all their account and personal information, including passwords and PIN numbers.
The conversation then changes to discuss fraud at their bank – passing counterfeit currency.
The victim is often asked to confirm how much money they have in the account.
They are asked to go to the bank and withdraw it all. The scammer knows the bank will probably invoke the ‘Banking Protocol’ for an ‘unusual withdrawal’, so they prime the victim with answers to get through the process.
During the withdrawal at the bank, they ask the victim to keep their mobile phone on, so that they can listen to the conversation. In the past – we have been lucky, when the battery dies on their phone and the bank work out what is happening and prevent the withdrawal.
The victim is instructed to ask for the notes to be placed in a paper envelope – to prevent the fingerprints on the notes, from being wiped or damaged. They are told to touch them as little as possible and usually, when they do – to use gloves
Usually they are asked to read out the numbers on a few token notes and a courier is organised, to arrive shortly.
The courier has been given a code word, to convince the victim, that it is all genuine.
The money is collected
This is not generally, the end of the scam !
If all goes well. The scammer phones back a few days / weeks later. Apparently the men in custody, knew about other accounts held by the victim – and therefore those accounts are at risk and vulnerable. Could the victim please transfer all the balances to a secure police account, which would protect the money.
The scammer then details various bank account numbers and sort codes. The victim is then told to transfer the money immediately to protect it.
We have had cases where after that has been done, the scammer phones back – yet again – and asks if the victim has a credit card. If the answer is yes – they are persuaded to go to a local currency shop and withdraw Euros, to the limit of their card. Once they have done that – a courier is sent to collect the Euros.
As you can see this scam is very detailed and can go on for up to six weeks ! At the end, the victim has absolutely nothing left – and they move on to the next victim.
There is never just one of these scams on the go at any one time. The scammers will be scamming dozens of people all at the same time. This is a very professional organisation and they are really good and convincing at what they do.
Please do not think that all the victims are totally gullible – they are not. Most are completely compos mentis – which shows how good and convincing the scammers are.
PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW – WE ARE STILL NOT GETTING THE MESSAGE THROUGH TO POTENTIAL VICTIMS.
NEXT: There is a second Action Fraud reported to the police today, but there is little detail as the victim has not yet been visited.
This is a ‘Pension Liberation’ scam – The potential victim, asked their current pension provider, to transfer their pension to another company so that they could withdraw some of the capital value. The original pension provider, before transferring the capital value, fortunately carried out various checks on the new pension provider, which highlighted a number of red flags - which indicated that this was going to be a potential scam - in this case a ‘Pension Liberation Scam’.
The original pension provider, made contact with the potential victim and outlined their findings and concerns. The transfers were immediately cancelled and the matter reported to Action Fraud.
We have also received intelligence which links the above transferee company, to well-known pension scams.
IF SOMETHING SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE – IT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE AND IS A SCAM !!!
NEXT: – A QUESTION FROM TOM, RE THEFT FROM CARS:
What exactly does ‘Car entered by unknown means’ mean ?
We see this as a stated means of vehicle theft many times in the Neighbourhood Alert emails. How does it work ? !
I guess the phrase embraces various options, but if I lock my car with a standard key fob, how does a thief manage to enter the car ?
Do they “grab” the key fob signal and then somehow replay it to gain entry later on?
The phrase simply means - we have no idea how they managed to enter the car, as there was no damage to either the locks, or the windows. Owners generally say the car was locked – particularly if items were stolen and they are claiming on Insurance.
There are of course devices available to assist thieves:
If the car has the normal key fob – Offenders have ‘signal blockers’ to prevent you locking your car. These can be as simple as another key fob. There is only one frequency for all fobs / remote devices and that is used, for all key fobs, garage up and over doors – which have a much wider range as well as wireless doorbells and TV remotes. They all work on the same principle, of a set of random prime numbers. The signal from a standard car fob, cannot be copied, as the computer under the bonnet, changes the sequence every time. If two people press their car fobs at the same time and are in proximity, the car receives a mixed set of numbers - and does nothing – that goes for locking and unlocking cars – so if your fob appears not to work, the signal may be being jammed. If you think the battery is going and you use the key to lock the car – it doesn’t set the alarm, nor the immobiliser – so a thief can later smash the window, without the alarm sounding.
Keyless fobs are quite a different matter. They do emit an identifying signal, which does not change and can be copied. That is why we advise that keyless fobs, are placed more than 30 feet from the pavement when indoors, in a Faraday metal container. The simplest ones to use, are those produced for contactless credit cards – which have the same issue. The device used to copy a signal, is not generally used to steal from cars, but to steal the car.
Our most common method of theft from a car – as you will see from my messages – is someone walking along a road, going up and down driveways – simply trying car door handles. If a car is found to be open, they simply search it – even for the loose change in the centre console or the sunglasses left on the dashboard.
WHEN YOU PARK UP – PLEASE LOCK YOUR CAR !!!
NEXT: From the Borough:
NEXT: There is still time to enter ‘The Garden in Bloom’:
The deadline to enter this year’s Garden in Bloom competition has been extended.
Green fingered residents in the borough now have until Wednesday 14 July to submit their entries. Any garden visible from a footpath or road is eligible and nominations can be made by residents, passers-by or by councillors in their own wards.
There is just a single category this year and the competition will be judged by councillors on a ward-by-ward basis. All entrants will receive a certificate and the winner and runner-up in each ward will also receive a rosette.
Mayor John Story said: “The deadline for entries was originally due to be today (Wednesday 30 June) but I have been asked by some residents and councillors if this could be extended as plants are flowering around two weeks later than usual because of a cold and dry April.
“I’m very happy do that and give residents more time to showcase their gardens.
“The Garden in Bloom competition is the council’s way of saying thank you to residents for the work they do in their gardens which helps brighten up their neighbourhoods.
“This year it comes as we emerge from lockdown, and I hope it will play a small part in lifting people’s spirits.”
The Garden in Bloom awards scheme started in 1992 to acknowledge the important contribution private gardens make to the appearance of neighbourhoods.
Nominations can be made by filling in a form online https://www.rbwm.gov.uk/home/community-and-living/garden-bloom
or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by posting details of your nomination to the Mayor’s Parlour, Town Hall, St Ives Road, Maidenhead SL6 1RF. A photo is welcome, but not necessary, and one nomination per address is all that is needed.
We are grateful to the Maidenhead Chamber of Commerce for their contribution to this year’s scheme.
NEXT: Parents and carers – share your views on local children’s healthcare services
Frimley Clinical Commissioning Group want to understand how parents and carers access information about local children's mental health, autism, and ADHD services.
They also want to hear about the experiences parents/carers and their children have had with these services.
To take part and learn more, visit the survey website before Friday 9 July.
NEXT: Have you tried the upgraded Oldfield Road junction?
Works on Oldfield Road roundabout in Maidenhead are complete, and the new junction is open. We would like to thank everyone for their forbearance while traffic control was in place.
The works to upgrade the roundabout to a traffic light-controlled junction are part of a larger programme to make improvements to six roundabouts in the town. The change in the junction is in preparation for the regeneration of areas of Maidenhead, which will bring new homes, commercial opportunities and jobs to the town. Councillor Gerry Clark, cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, said: “I am delighted be able to confirm that road closures are lifted, and the junction is operating as planned.
“This has been a difficult project due to the position of the junction on a major route into Maidenhead, with no viable diversion, and I would like to thank everyone who took the time to make their feelings known. It has been frustrating to hear people’s dissatisfaction with traffic delays and have no alternative to offer. However, it does underline that this project is sorely needed to increase capacity at the junction to support programmed regeneration works and the jobs and commercial opportunities that will come from that regeneration.
“We have taken on board feedback from people who have been affected and will be looking at what can be done differently when we commence similar essential works on the Braywick Roundabout.”
The Oldfield Road works are part of a £6.33m road improvement scheme, majority funded through the Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The scheme will deliver capacity improvements at six key junctions in Maidenhead. Oldfield Road is the fifth to complete, with work yet to start on A308 Braywick Roundabout.
NEXT: Get involved in your local town forum meetings
If you’d like to have your say on issues affecting Maidenhead Town centre, we want to hear from you.
You can suggest discussion topics for the Maidenhead Town Forum as well as attend and contribute to the virtual meetings. For more information follow this link:
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
20/6 – 1/7 Trinity Place, St. Ives Road. Bike stored inside a shop stolen. A green Specialized Diverge E5 racing bike stolen. Ref. No: 43210290762
RIVERSIDE & BELMONT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
SR.email@example.com BISHAM, COOKHAM, HURLEY, THE WALTHAMS, LITTLEWICK GREEN & KNOWL HILL:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
PINKNEYS GREEN & FURZE PLATT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
SR.firstname.lastname@example.org BOYN HILL, COX GREEN & WOODLANDS PARK
30/6 – 1/7 Wednesday 9 p.m. / Thursday 7 a.m. Rutland Road. House being renovated – cement mixer stolen. Ref No: 43210289543
1/7 Thursday 1 p.m. Rutland Road. Blue mobility scooter stolen. Ref. No: 43210289974
1/7 Thursday The thicket, Cannon Lane. Juvenile Red kite found which had been poisoned. This is a wildlife crime. Ref. No: 43210290358
OLDFIELD, BRAY & HOLYPORT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
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.
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FROM THE MAIDENHEAD NHW ASSOCIATION:
Maidenhead Neighbourhood Watch Association is growing fast, and with more members joining every day, we need to ask for volunteers to join us on the association to help keep the association going and keep Maidenhead safe!
Here is a shortlist of the positions we have available:
Multi-Scheme Administrator (MSA)
Secretary of the Association
Board members of the Association
Vice-Chairman of the Association
Please visit our website: MaidenheadNHWA.org.uk and from there you will be able to see all the different ways you can get involved to help support your local community. There is no time commitment or dedicated hours, but we do ask if you can attend the association meetings (One 60 Minute meeting every 2 months)
If you have any question about any of the positions available, please feel free to contact us at contact@MaidenheadNHWA.org.uk
I look forward to speaking with you soon.
James Cooper HNDip, MBCS
Chairman – Maidenhead Neighbourhood Watch Association & Vice-Chair for Thames Valley Neighbourhood Watch Association