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12/10/20 9788 Somerset: Rogue trader warning after Weston-super-Mare couple lose £2,000

Dear members,

I wanted to share the below message with you all, as although this occurred in and around Weston-Super-Mare, this could happen in any of our NHW areas at any time.

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Homeowners are being warned to be wary of rogue traders following an incident in Weston-super-Mare.

A couple, aged in the 70s and 80s, contacted a firm they found on a price comparison website offering a guttering cleaning service.

Two men turned up in a van at a property in the Hillside area of town at approximately 10.30am on Monday 7 September.

After inspecting the guttering, they told the couple the roof also required fixing before quoting a price of £3,500 for the job. They claimed to need a £2,000 cash payment to purchase materials, before returning to carry out the work.

Having received the cash, they left and never returned to the address.

Both men were white. One was described as wearing a dark black stretcher style earring with very short dark hair. The other appeared older and spoke with Irish accent.

Enquiries have been carried out and show a vehicle we are hoping to track down as part of our investigation. The van is described as being a white Ford Transit, with roof bars and a side bar.

Following this incident, residents are encouraged to take note of the following crime prevention advice, particularly regarding being alert to rogue traders and distraction burglaries:

•Never open the door to an unexpected caller until you’ve checked their identification – use a door chain or viewer, intercom or a ‘smart’ doorbell. Genuine callers expect it.

•If you’re not sure, don’t open the door.

•Never agree to have work done or part with money on your doorstep and ideally get written quotes from at least two traders for any work. Always agree a start and finish date and agree a price before any work starts on your home.

•If you are suspicious of a caller tell us straight away – ring 999 if you feel threatened or intimidated, otherwise call 101.

•Store any high value items such as jewellery, passports and cash in a properly secured and hidden safe or bank vault.

•Keep windows and doors secured if you’re not in the room and never keep large sums of money in the house.

•If you see someone calling door-to-door, but only on frail or elderly neighbours, call 999 straight away.

•Ask a trusted neighbour to help you deal with unexpected callers.

•Look out for vulnerable and elderly neighbours and make sure they know what to do when they receive an unexpected caller.

•Join Neighbourhood Watch.

•If you think you’ve been deceived, are concerned about a trader or have any doubts call 101 or Citizens Advice Consumer Services.

Anyone who can help with our investigation, recognises seeing the van photographed or has experienced a similar incident, is asked to call 101 and give reference number 5220203810.

Attachments:

4/09/20 9788 Somerset: HM Courts & Tribunals Service Scam

Dear Members,We have been made aware very recently of a new scam.An email is titled HM Courts & Tribunals Services and will state in the subject “Your Fixed Penalty Notice Ref:” followed by a series of numbers.In the actual email itself it will explain the total cost is £25 with a delivery date of 7am to 7pm.The location for the supposed offence simply states “United Kingdom”I have attached a copy of the scam I received earlier to familiarise yourselves, the “Click here to Pay” link has been deactivated.Please, if you receive this in your inbox do not fall for it and advise others that may be unaware.Attachments:

08/09/20 9788 AN014 & AN011: Appeal to trace owners of items stolen from vehicles in Uphill, Weston-super-Mare

We’re releasing images of items that were recovered following a series of thefts from motor vehicles in the Uphill area of Weston-Super-Mare last week

Three teenage boys were arrested on Ellesmere Road in the early hours of Wednesday 2 September after they were found with various stolen items including Sat Navs, glasses and sunglasses, various tools, MP3 players and bank cards. One of the items is a watch with a distinctive engraving.

The boys, all aged 15, have now been released under investigation and enquiries are ongo.

Police are now trying to identify the owners of the stolen property so that it can be returned to them. We would ask anyone that recognises the items as being theirs to contact us on 101, quoting 5220198455.

We’d also remind the public not to leave valuable items unattended in a car. Crime prevention advice is available on our website.

Attachments:

stolen-items.pdf

7/08/20 9788 Somerset: Rogue Traders / Gardeners (Tree Specialists)

Dear Members,

We have been made aware that there has been a sharp increase in calls relating to bogus “Tree Specialists” who have been preying on the older population within our communities, offering to carry out gardening work. Several residents are reported to have paid vast sums of money for poor quality work to the so called “Specialists” who have also taken the money and never returned to complete the work.

There are a few things that you should be wary of before allowing anyone into your home or garden.

1. Did they put a leaflet through your door claiming to offer discounts for OAPs?

2. Do they offer 20 / 30 / 40 % off for calling within a particular time scale of receiving your leaflet?

3. Do they offer Tree work and then claim to offer a host of other services seemingly unrelated?

4. Does it look like a professionally printed leaflet?

5. If you speak to an operator, do not be bullied into committing to their services or an appointment.

6. If they are in your home, phone a friend and ask them to come round.

7. You can ask them to leave at any point during their sales pitch.

These are just a few points to look out for, but the best rule to go by is that if you require any work you should find the person yourself or go by the recommendation of others that you trust.

There are plenty of websites that can steer you in the right direction to find the right company.

And of course there are some genuine, honest companies so make an informed decision, but remember:

“If you’re not sure, don’t open the door”

26/08/20 9788 Somerset: TV Licence Scams.

Dear Members,

I am sure we have all received an email claiming to be from TV Licensing at some point in the past, but this is one scam that appears to keep on going.

One of our members has recently emailed me with a slightly new version of this scam and I have decided to share this with you to make you aware of what to look out for. The email has been sanitised to protect the members identity. I have placed a couple of obvious pointers on there for your information.

On the attached document is some additional useful information provided by the Age UK website.

Kind regards

Paul Johnson

NHW Admin (Somerset)

Attachments:

21/08/20 9788 Somerset: Important Scam Update

This morning one of our Coordinators has kindly advised us that another of their members received an automated telephone call claiming to be from Amazon stating that they had opened an Amazon Prime Account.

They are then told if they wish to cancel they should press 1 on their keypad.

The call is then transferred to a fraudster posing as an Amazon operative who will then advise them the purchase went through as a result of a “Security Flaw” on their computer.

They will then ask for remote access to your computer to “rectify this problem”, this is to steal your personal information.

NEVER ALLOW ANYONE TO REMOTELY ACCESS YOUR PERSONAL COMPUTER IF THEY HAVE CONTACTED YOU.

The helpful guidance attached has been sourced from the Genuine Amazon Website:

Attachments:

 

20/08/20 9788 Somerset: Rogue Traders (Let’s get ahead of them)
South Gloucestershire has shared the below Community Alert message and after reading it I felt this may be important to share with you. They could head our way at some point!

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There have been numerous reports of rogue traders throughout the South Gloucestershire area during the last two days. Two males have called on a resident of Bredon, Yate, offering to repair damage to the roof for £800 which was rejected, although it was agreed that the pair would clean the guttering for £180. The suspects then left after 5 minutes, after asking the resident to sign some form of document.

An elderly male was approached by a male as he walked along Quarry Road in Alveston. The suspect claimed that he had done work for the victim before, but fortunately an off-duty police officer noticed what was going on and the offender walked off when the officer approached.

Another vulnerable resident was stopped by a male on Alcacia Road in Staple Hill who said that he had done work for her before and asked if she wanted anything else done. The female said that she needed some damp work done and the offender said he wanted some money in advance to buy some materials. Fortunately the resident remembered that he hadn’t done any work for her before so refused to hand over any money.

We have sent messages previously about cold callers and doorstep traders, but we now want to extend that warning to include anyone who approaches people asking for work and claiming that they know you, or have worked for you in the past.

Always use traders who have been recommended to you by someone you trust. Get a written quote on headed notepaper and never pay in cash. Be wary of anyone asking if you need any work done or someone who “just happened” to notice that there was some damage they could fix straight away

 

03/08/20 7164 AN010-AN015 – Two charged following disorder in Weston-super-Mare

Two men have been charged with a public order offence following a disorder in Weston-super-Mare on the evening of Friday 31 July. The incident happened in the Italian Gardens at around 7pm.

Justin Lawton, 47, of no fixed address, and Bruce Lawton, 56, of Ashcombe Road, have been charged with a public order offence and failing to comply with a Community Protection Notice. Bruce Lawton has also been charged with resisting arrest. Both are due to appear before North Somerset Magistrates’ Court on 1 September.

If anyone has information relating to this incident, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5220171472.

30/07/20 9788 AN014: Nottingham Knockers Operating in the Uphill Area.

There have been reports of “Nottingham Knockers” operating in the Uphill area. These are cold callers who usually tell residents that they are ex-offenders trying to go straight, then try and sell poor quality and over-priced cleaning products. The police want to remind residents they are under no obligation to answer the door to anyone they don’t know or aren’t expecting. If you do talk to them, they are supposed to be able to provide a valid Pedlar’s Certificate and should leave your property when asked.Remember with the current ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, you cannot guarantee a safe distance or cleanliness of any purchases made.Police always recommend using a door chain and asking to see the identification of unexpected callers.• If you are suspicious of a caller ring 999 straight away • keep your cash in the bank, not at home • keep windows and doors secured if you’re not in the roomRemember, genuine callers:• expect you to check their identification before opening the door • would never try to rush you by claiming there’s an emergency • will happily make an appointment to come back when you can have a relative or friend with you.”No Cold Caller” stickers may be available from *local libraries, council offices* and some Police Stations”

10/07/20 9788 Somerset: Scam Automated Phone calls (Visa).

Dear Members,Please be aware that one of our schemes has reported another potential scam. This time an automated call from Visa stating a transaction for £299 to Tesco has been authorised and asking for confirmation. The telephone number that called was 02039 669 829.Several members have reported to have received the same call already.Should you receive the same call, simply hang up and notify Action Fraud on this number 0300 123 2040 or report it via their website below:https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

 

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