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Bogus Tradesmen and distraction burglaries in our area

Communities across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are urged to be wary of bogus tradesmen in their local area after sentimental items were taken from an elderly woman during a distraction burglary.

The victim was at her home address off Douglas Drive in Market Harborough at around 5pm on Monday (30 April) when she heard a knock on the door. She was met by a man who said he was due to do some work to the cladding on her roof.

The woman had arranged for some work to be done two weeks ago and let the man into her house. Before doing any work, he asked the victim if he could use the toilet and went upstairs. He then came back down and told her that he needed to move his van.

When the victim realised that the man had been gone for around 10 minutes, she went upstairs and noticed that jewellery, watches and cash had been taken. She locked her front door and called police.

Around five minutes later, the man returned, knocking on her front door. The victim refused to let him back into the house and it is believed the man left Oak Close in a white van.

Among the items stolen were an eternity ring, an engraved watch belonging to the victim’s late husband and a gold link watch that he had bought her. A bag of coins, a ring and a chain with a pendant were also taken, as well as cash from the victim’s purse.

The man is white, between 5ft 10ins and 6ft tall and believed to be in his mid-40s. He is of a slender build and has dark, medium-length hair with short, dark stubble on his face. The victim said he had uneven, yellowing teeth and was wearing a thin, grey long-sleeve t-shirt and dark coloured jeans.

He spoke slightly slurred and slowly and with a non-local accent. PC 180 Matt Smith, the investigating officer, said: “The victim let this man into her house believing that he was there to do some work on her roof.

“He asked to use the toilet but instead took the opportunity to go into her bedroom and help himself to a number of sentimental items. I ask anyone who has come across this man where they live, or who has been offered these items for sale, to contact me as soon as possible.

“I would also urge people to speak to friends, family members and neighbours about such incidents so that they don’t fall victim of such a crime.”

Anyone with information can contact PC Smith on 101, quoting crime number 18*195382.

Telephone preference service scam

TELEPHONE PREFERENCE SERVICE SCAM CALLERS

We have seen a spike in reports regarding fraudsters purporting to be from the Telephone Preference Service, cold calling you and offering a paid-for call blocking service.

Please be aware, the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is FREE. You should never be asked to pay for it, and the TPS will never make unsolicited phone calls in order to sign you up. Once your phone number is on the register, it stays there forever. You do not need to re-register and you certainly do not need to pay for renewal.

The TPS is the only official UK ‘do not call’ register for opting out of live telesales calls. There are other companies that offer a commercial alternative to the TPS and may charge for their service. However organisations making live telesales calls are not legally obliged to check against any of these alternative registers. You can sign up to the TPS here or you can phone them on 0345 070 0707.

As always, the #TakeFive rules with cold callers remain the same:

  • Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic
    Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Be mindful of who you trust – criminals may try and trick you into their confidence by telling you that you’ve been a victim of fraud. Criminals often use this to draw you into the conversation, to scare you into acting and revealing security details. Remember, criminals can also make any telephone number appear on your phone handset so even if you recognise it or it seems authentic, do not use it as verification they are genuine.
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision
    Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot; they would never ask you to transfer money into another account for fraud reasons. Remember to stop and take time to carefully consider your actions. A genuine bank or some other trusted organisation won’t rush you or mind waiting if you want time to think.
  • Listen to your instincts
    If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it  Criminals may lull you into a false sense of security when you are out and about or rely on your defences being down when you’re in the comfort of your own home. They may appear trustworthy, but they may not be who they claim to be.
  • Stay in control
    Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information. It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations. But it’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.

If you think you have become a victim of fraud, please report it immediately to Action Fraud. You can also phone them on 0300 123 2040.

Message Sent By
Rachael Gill (Police,Fraud Vulnerability Officer,FHQ)

If you are contacted by Baliff Agents it may be fraud

Magazine Advertise Debt Alert

Victims receive a telephone call from someone purporting to be a bailiff enforcing a court judgement, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. The fraudsters state the debt originates from the victim not paying a magazine advertisement subscription.

 

A variety of magazine names and publishers are being used by the fraudsters, who also commonly use the names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents such “Scott Davis”, “Stephen King” and “Mark Taylor”. These are names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents employed by debt enforcement companies.
The fraudsters request that the debt be repaid by bank transfer. If the victim refuses, they threaten to visit the victim’s home or place of work to recover the debt that is owed.

 

Once the money has been transferred, victims are not provided with receipt details of the payment or contact details. Later when victims make enquiries, they’ll discover that the debt did not exist, and often that no advertisement was placed.

 

This type of fraud is nationwide. Since 2017, there have been 52 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud. From the reports received, there is a range of different businesses and individuals being targeted.

 

Protection Advice:
1. Listen to your instinct: just because someone knows your basic details, such as your name and address, it doesn’t mean they are genuine.

 

2. Stay in control: always question cold callers: always contact the companies directly using a known email or phone number.

 

3. Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: a legitimate company will be prepared to wait whilst you verify information.

 

If you have been affected by this or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

 

Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.

Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Current False claims of Telephone Preference Service Fraud

False claims of Telephone Preference Service:

Fraudsters are cold-calling victims, falsely stating that they are calling from one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers. They call victims claiming to provide a ‘Telephone Preference Service’ – an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres.

 

The fraudsters ask victims to confirm/provide their bank account details, informing them that there is a one-off charge for the service. Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised. The fraudsters often target elderly victims.

 

In all instances, direct debits are set up without following proper procedure. The victim is not sent written confirmation of the direct debit instruction, which is supposed to be sent within three days.

 

On occasions when victims attempted to call back, the telephone number provided by the fraudster was either unable to be reached or the victim’s direct debit cancellation request was refused.

 

During 2017, there were 493 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud.

 

Protect yourself:

There is only one Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The TPS is the only official UK ‘do-not-call’ register for opting out of live telesales calls. It is FREE to sign-up to the register. TPS never charge for registration. You can register for this service at http://www.tpsonline.org.uk

 

  • You will receive postal confirmation of genuine direct debits. If you notice unauthorised payments leaving your account, you should contact your bank promptly.
  • Always be wary of providing personal information, or confirming that personal information the caller already claims to hold is correct. Always be certain that you know who you talking to. If in doubt hang up immediately.
  • If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

 

The information contained within this alert is based on the results of research carried out by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) concerning incidents of fraud One of the key objectives of sharing fraud data between the NFIB and partners is to prevent fraud

Message Sent By
Sam Hancock (Police, Cyber Protect Officer, Leicestershire)