Warning – Parking Ticket Machine Scam


Dear Watch Member,

On the morning of Thursday 19th August an elderly gentleman was the victim of a parking ticket machine scam in Hatch End. The victim parked his vehicle in Grimsdyke Car Park (behind the shopping parade in Uxbridge Road) and paid for his parking ticket. As he walked along Uxbridge Road he was approached by a man who told him that he needed to confirm his parking ticket with a bank card. The man has then escorted the victim over to a nearby parking ticket machine, made him insert his bank card into either the change slot or ticket slot of the machine and input his PIN via the keypad used to input a vehicle’s registration number.

The man has then told the victim to wait by the ticket machine for a few moments until his bank card is released. However, the man had already stolen the victim’s bank card and withdrawn £500 from the victim’s account.

This scam has occasionally happened in Pinner but, whatever area you park in, please be wary of any helpful stranger offering to assist you with parking payment-related matters. And remember, you cannot pay for parking at any of the few cash machines left in Pinner, which is another scam previously reported to us.

Please inform elderly family members and neighbours of this scam to protect them from fraudsters.

For fraud prevention advice please on this link: www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/.

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address: [email protected]

Regards,
Lee O’Brien
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 020 8721 2775

Loft Insulation Cold Calling Scam

Dear Watch Member,

Please be aware of a fraudulent cold calling scam currently targeting residents of Hertfordshire who have had spray foam loft insulation applied in the past. The fraudsters may tell you that there are issues with the original installation company and they may frighten you by talking about fire risks associated with that insulation. They will inform you that you will be able to reclaim the cost of the installation and that they will be able to remedy the works, essentially free of charge.

None of those claims are true. What is true however, is that customer lists have fallen into the hands of scammers who are making these targeted sales calls. Once in a property, they produce a ‘report’ indicating safety problems and then arrange to carry out ‘remedial’ works themselves.

Although they say the work is free, they will need paying first, telling you to try to claim money back from your bank for the original defective works. In the absence of a genuine inspection report, this will not happen. If payment was made by cheque or bank transfer, there is no obligation for the bank to pay anything back in these circumstances anyway. It is a scam.

If you, or anyone you know, has had this work done in the past please be prepared for these calls and tell them that you are not interested. Please don’t allow the trader to enter your home.

To report a fraud to the Police, please contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address: [email protected]

Regards,
Lee O’Brien
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 020 8721 2775

 

Scam Phone Calls

Dear Watch Member,

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) is warning the public to be vigilant of scam calls that appear to be coming from numbers similar to their own. Commonly, the first seven digits (07*****) match the victim’s own number. The calls impersonate well-known government organisations, or law enforcement agencies, and will ask the recipient of the call to “press 1” in order to speak with an advisor, or police officer, about unpaid fines or police warrants.

In May 2021, Action Fraud received 2,110 scam call reports where the caller’s number matched the first seven digits of the victim’s own phone number. Of these, 1,426 (68%) referred to HMRC or National Insurance.

Victims have also reported receiving these types of calls, and messaging, via widely-used messaging apps, such as WhatsApp.

  • Government and law enforcement agencies will not notify you about unpaid fines or outstanding police warrants by calling or texting you. Do not respond to any calls or texts you receive about these.
  • Always take a moment to stop and think before parting with money or your personal information, it could prevent you from falling victim to fraud. Remember, it’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
  • If you receive a suspicious text message, you can report it by forwarding the message to 7726. It’s free of charge.
  • Suspicious telephone/mobile calls can be reported to Action Fraud via their website: www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-phishing.

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address: [email protected]

Regards,
Lee O’Brien
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 020 8721 2775

 

 

Warranty Telephone Scams

 

Dear Watch Member,

Trading Standards is warning about telephone fraudsters mis-selling insurance for appliances. They claim to be from an insurance company and tell you that the warranty, for example on your fridge, has run out. They say they can renew it for you over the phone. Payment is taken and you may be sent paperwork. However it is a fraud. If your fridge breaks down, there will be no replacement or repair. Next year they will contact you again; what you thought was payment for 3 years was only for one year.

We advise that you don’t buy goods or services over the phone from a cold caller. With no chance to do your own checks, you don’t know if the call is genuine or if the price is a good one. In some cases, it would be cheaper to buy a new item than to buy the warranty.

To help protect yourself from these and similar calls:

For mobile phones, let callers who aren’t in your address book go straight to voicemail.

For landlines, contact your provider and ask for free caller display – if you can see who’s calling and it’s a number you don’t recognise, you will be on your guard immediately.

Contact your phone provider and ask if they offer free call blocking services. BT, Sky and Talk Talk are among providers who offer this service.

Keep your phone on answerphone during the day. Scammers won’t leave you a message. If you’re at home and hear someone genuine leaving a message, you can pick up the phone.

You can buy landline phones with built-in call blockers. Callers must say their name before you speak with them or not. You can also buy call blocking boxes that fit to an existing phone. They range in price, so think about what you need. These are available at all good retailers and online.

For advice on how to protect yourself from different types of fraud, go to www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/fa/fraud/.

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address: [email protected]

Regards,
Lee O’Brien
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]

Spoof Phone Calls

Dear Watch Member,

A huge increase in cyber-fraud across the world means that we all need to learn how to spot and avoid different types of fraud and cybercrime.

An emerging tactic used by fraudsters is the ‘spoofing’ (cloning) of telephone numbers. A decade ago, anyone receiving a suspicious call could look up the number that was calling them to check its legitimacy. No longer is this sufficient advice.

Fraudsters can now clone numbers used by legitimate organisations, your local bank, HMRC, or even a local police station, to make it look like that organisation’s genuine number is calling you. The fraudster claims to be from that organisation and tries to convince you to do what they say. This means you cannot rely on your Caller ID display to tell you who is calling you.

Protect yourself:

Beware of unexpected phone callers, whomever they claim to be. If in doubt, never divulge personal details over the phone to someone who has called you. The more you say to a fraudster, the more information they gain about you. Don’t be afraid to hang up. Contact friends or family for advice.

Don’t trust your caller ID display. To verify a call, contact the genuine organisation using a number that you have independently researched. Before doing so, ensure the call has ended and the line has cleared, wait five minutes (Some scammers can simulate the sounds of lines clearing to dupe you into dialling while the line is still live), or make the call via a separate phone line where possible.

Institutions such as HMRC, police and banks will never call you to tell you that you / your money is under investigation; nor would they ever ask you to transfer or hand-over money / assets for such a purpose.

Report all scams online to www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040, giving as much information as possible.

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address: [email protected]

Regards,
Lee O’Brien
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]

Scam Phone Message

Dear Watch Member,

A Pinner resident has kindly informed me of a scam phone call he received today.

The automated voice message states that your Apple iPhone, worth £1300, will be delivered tomorrow.

If this is okay, you do not need to do anything. If not okay, you are asked to press 1.

Please do NOT press 1; just put the phone down.

It is not known what might happen if you do press 1, but it would likely result in some financial loss.

When I dialled the phone number that placed the call, I received the, “Your call could not be completed as dialled” message.

For fraud and scam prevention advice please click here.

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address: [email protected]

Regards,
Lee O’Brien
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]

Upcoming Webinars – Eid

Dear Watch Member,

Below is a list and dates of upcoming webinars you may be interested in participating in: 

Eid al-Fitr 

In celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the Metropolitan Police Service (MET) are hosting virtual Meet the Met events to engage with the Muslim community. Join us to hear from officers who are part of the Muslim Police Staff Association and will discuss and share their journey followed by a Q&A session. 

Thursday 13th May – 11am – 12pm

Friday 14th May – 11am – 12pm 

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/eid-al-fitr-recruitment-webinar-metropolitan-police-tickets-114505109866

Regards,
Lee O’Brien
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 020 8721 2775

Increase in use of Counterfeit Banknotes

Dear Watch Member,

In recent weeks, there has been an increase in the use of counterfeit banknotes via online marketplaces, such as Facebook Marketplace. A typical example of this might be individual(s) agreeing to purchase high-value electrical items, such as phones or games consoles. The individual(s) would then collect the items from the sellers, handing over an envelope filled with counterfeit currency before fleeing the scene with the goods.

Top Tips to protect against this type of fraud:

Consider alternative, secure, electronic payment methods – Such as PayPal, where the buyer isn’t able to attend your home address. Avoid meeting to make exchanges in public where you may be pressured into a transaction.

Visit the buyer’s online profile – Try to learn more about the person you are selling to, their marketplace history, any mutual friends, or ratings they may have received. This may help you ascertain if they are genuine.

Record the buyer’s details – Name, profile picture and anything else which may assist in identifying them at a later date.

Inspect the banknotes – If your transaction is in-person for cash, don’t feel pressured into handing over items until you are satisfied that the banknotes are not counterfeit. Of course, not all counterfeits are easy to spot. For more information on counterfeit banknotes and how to identify one, please visit the Bank of England website here:

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/counterfeit-banknotes/how-to-check-your-banknotes

Read Facebook’s “Tips for buying and selling safely on Marketplace” via their website.

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address: [email protected]

Regards,
Lee O’Brien
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]

Catalytic Converter Theft

Dear Watch Member,

Catalytic converter theft is part of a national crimewave currently sweeping the country. Although some arrests were recently made – as detailed in this link (https://news.met.police.uk/news/police-operation-to-stop-thefts-of-catalytic-converters-423914) – offenders are still targeting parked cars in the street and it is hard to pinpoint where they will strike. We do know that some preferred model of vehicles targeted are Honda, Toyota and Lexus.

Why is there a sudden increase in this type of theft? Metal theft has been an issue in the past and the introduction of scrap metal licenses in 2013 did appear to significantly reduce crime. The value of precious metals contained inside a catalytic converter has risen dramatically. It is suspected that stolen catalytic converters are being sold on the black market.

The actual thefts can take as little as two minutes to execute, quite often involving someone with a hydraulic trolley jack. If you are not sure what these look like they are what the mechanics use in the pit lanes of a grand prix race to raise the car. The offender will then climb underneath the car to use a cordless electric saw or angle grinder to cut through the exhaust to retrieve the catalytic converter, which is why some residents have reported hearing a loud noise or drilling. Anyone seen jacking up a car in the street like this should be reported to police straight away.

An anti-theft stainless steel plate can be fitted to the underneath of your car to protect the catalytic converter. It is worth contacting your dealer for a quote. We can recommend CATLOC from ‘Secured by Design’ which is an official police security initiative. Please click on the below link for further information.

https://www.securedbydesign.com/member-companies/accredited-product-search?view&

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address: [email protected]

Regards,
Lee O’Brien
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]

Trading Standards Issue Warning Over Census Form Scam

 

Dear Watch Member,

Trading Standards have issued a warning, after receiving reports from victims who claim to have been contacted by someone purporting to be from the authority, and acting on behalf of the Office of National Statistics.

The caller suggested that the individual’s Census form was completed incorrectly, and they had to pay a fine. The caller asked for basic identification details, which they said was to confirm the Census record, and the individual’s bank details, so they could process the fine.

The Office of National Statistics are aware of similar scams in other parts of the country where money has been taken from an individual’s bank account. The Office of National Statistics have warned that they would never ask for this type of personal information.

You will only be contacted about the Census by letter – never by text or phone.

When filling in the Census you will be asked for personal information such as your date of birth, your occupation and where you live. You will never be asked to provide your national insurance number or financial details.

If you wish to report attempted scams go to www.actionfraud.police.uk 

If you need to reply regarding this message, tap on this email address: [email protected]

Regards,
Lee O’Brien
Pinner Safer Neighbourhood Team
Email: [email protected]