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This message is dated Friday 23rd July 2021 - Ascot

Alert message sent 23/07/2021 15:03:00

Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police


FIRST: AN UPSETTING REPORT FROM ACTION FRAUD:

The police has received a report from the victim’s son in law.  He reported that he believed she has been scammed by a man who had put a flyer through her door, advertising gardening services.  She responded to the flyer, as she wanted to get her garden tidied up.  He asked for a huge amount of money up front – which she gave him.  She explained what she wanted and the man said no problem, he would start on Monday 28th June.

On that day, three men turned up. The victim gave the supposed owner of the company another large cheque.  Later, one of the other men doing the work, went to the victim and said that they hadn’t been paid and she wrote yet another even larger cheque to cover what he said, would be three weeks work.
Later, they asked for more money and the victim handed over a further cheque.

In total, the victim has written cheques totalling £25,700.  Since then, the owner of the company has made contact, saying that she owes a further £10,000.

This only come to light, because the victim said to her daughter ‘Don't use the current account’.  Her daughter asked why and the victim said ‘because there is no money left in that account’.  Her daughter asked why and it then came out that the victim had written so many cheques for the gardener.

The family are in contact with the bank to see if any of the money can be traced and recovered.

This goes back to never deal with anyone that cold calls or puts flyers though doors.  If you ned to have work done, seek a recommendation from someone you know.

PLEASE REMEMBER OUR NHW MOTTO

I AM SORRY, I DO NOT BUY GOODS AND SERVICES AT THE DOOR.

The only way the money can be recovered, is if we can prove Fraud and that is not as easy as it sounds.  We must prove that the amount paid was way above a reasonable charge, for the work actually done.  Generally, this is not a crime, but is a civil matter of contract – unless - we can prove Fraud.  Anyone, can employ anyone they want, to carry out work, for any price they agree.

I can buy a regular T shirt for £3 or £4, but it is not fraud, if I choose to buy a designer T shirt for £80.  That is my choice.  If I want gardening work done, I may decide to pay over the odds, because I like a particular gardener, his work, he is always punctual, tidy and arrives on the day he says he will come !  I may be willing to pay extra for that certainty.  That is a matter of personal choice and just because it is very expensive, does not make it Fraud.

We, the police, also have an additional responsibility to ‘safeguard’ a victim, if we believe they have been taken advantage of and we will do everything we can, to recover the money, trace the offenders and charge them with fraud – if fraud can be proved.  We have details of the gardeners and their vehicles and will be working with Trading Standards.

How can we all help to prevent vulnerable people being targeted ?

If you have elderly or possibly vulnerable neighbours / relatives and you see a builder’s / gardeners van / skip outside their house – please let us, or the RBWM Community Wardens know.  We will never reveal that a report has been made no by whom.  Elderly / vulnerable residents can be fiercely independent !  We will arrange for a PCSO, or a Community Warden, to happen to walk past and be patrolling in that area.  They will say, they noticed the van / skip outside and wondered out of curiosity, what they were having done.  They will then go through all the paperwork to make sure everything is in order.  If it is – nothing is lost and reputable builders / gardeners, will always support this activity.  If everything is not in order, you may prevent your neighbour from being scammed out of similar amounts to the above – as there is no guarantee, the money will be returned !

NEXT: We have now had our first public residents’ meeting in nearly 18 months, last Wednesday in Wraysbury.  It was an experiment, to see if people felt safe enough and were willing to come out.  They did and it went really well.

We had the Chair of the local Neighbourhood Action Group, talking about their work, trying to resolve issues raised by local residents, an RBWM Community Warden, who talked about their work supporting local residents, the local PCSO from the Windsor East Neighbourhood Team and myself.  We covered the Summer Burglary Campaign, local crimes and the appropriate Crime Prevention Advice.  We then went through current scams and frauds.

In the audience, was a woman who had recently been the victim of a successful Courier Fraud from a supposed DI from Hammersmith Police Station.  She took us all through exactly how it happened.  Word by word, what she was being told, convincing her that her bank, the local police, everyone, was involved in a local counterfeiting fraud.  Though she was suspicious, everything she was being told appeared to be so reasonable – and – as it was the police asking for her help - she was convinced to go through with it, withdraw her cash and hand it over to the courier.  Completely insignificant random factors happened, which fed into her paranoia and the story of the conspiracy of crime being perpetrated by bank staff.  Taken moment by moment, what she did appeared to be totally reasonable.  She said she would like to join us at any future meetings, to tell her story.  She wants to do everything in her power, to prevent further victims and if her experiences can do that, she is willing to relive the experience.

As a result of our success, our next Public Meetings are already being planned across the entire RBWM.  The line-up will hopefully be the same, to make it as relevant as possible.

Would you like us to come to your area ?  If so we will need a venue.  Let me know your suggestions.

NEXT:  I AM VERY SORRY TO SAY – YET ANOTHER SEXTORTION CASE !
A young man was face timing someone yesterday, when they joined him into a live video feed, of a girl carrying out intimate acts.  The young man, still in the video feed, then carried out intimate acts.  He then received a demand for £8,000, or they would post the video they have recorded of him, on Facebook and to all the people in his contact list !

LIKE SO MANY THINGS, THIS MESSAGE IS OBVIOUSLY NOT GETTING OUT THERE !

This whole episode has been very stressful for the family.

AS I HAVE SAID SO OFTEN – PLEASE DO NOT SAY, WRITE, TEXT, FILM, VIDEO, PHOTOGRAPH, EMAIL ANYTHING ONLINE THAT YOU WOULD NOT BE HAPPY FOR YOUR PARENTS, FRIENDS, RELATIVES, NEIGHBOURS, WORK COLLEAGUES - YOUR BOSS - OR EVERYONE IN YOUR PERSONAL ADDRESS BOOK TO SEE !

Once you have done it, it is totally out of your control and you have no idea where it could end up.

CRIME:

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.

Alternatively you can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or email - www.crimestoppers-uk.org

ASCOT:
ascotNHPT@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk
SUNNINGDALE:
22/7  Thursday 8.20 a.m.  Devenish Road.  House under construction.  Site entered and portacabin forced open.  Items stolen.  Ref. No:  43210325535

SUNNINGHILL:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.

ASCOT & SOUTH ASCOT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.

NORTH ASCOT:

22/7 – some time over the last 3 weeks.  New Road.  Black Peugeot 207s  Index SL ** OKF stolen from outside a house.  Ref. No:  43210326771

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.

https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/

follow us on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/TVPWindsorandMaidenhead

Eyes, ears.....and Brain

Jeff
Jeffrey.pick@thamesvalley.pnn.police.uk


NEWS UPDATE FROM NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

Hi, I am Valerie Pike, Chair of Windsor & Ascot NHW Association. The Association was formed in September 2019 and our objective was simply to help residents. In setting up the Association, we asked
How can each of us
·       help to make our community safer?
·       improve its spirit and neighbourliness?
·       help the Police to reduce local crime?
·       make our own home security better?
 
Starting up a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in your street is easy, and it’s free. Police statistics show that a Neighbourhood Watch scheme significantly reduces the probability of your house being burgled.
Neighbourhood Watch is about neighbourliness and making our communities and homes safer. It’s about being friendly and caring, and watching out for the elderly and vulnerable too.
Members of Neighbourhood Watch are assisted in a number of ways, including  having  free  home  security  surveys  conducted  by  a  local PCSO, to identify any areas in which security can be improved, and to advise  on  optimum  ways  to  safeguard  against  crime  and  improve personal and household security
But most of all Neighbourhood Watch is about helping the Police to keep us safe. They need the support of people who care. If that’s you - join us now!
Please contact us on contact@windsorascotnhwa.org.uk and we will be delighted to assist.

 
Message sent by
Jeffrey Pick (Police, Community Engagement & Resilience Officer, Windsor & Maidenhead LPA)

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