Neighbourhood Watch

29.04.20 Another fairly generic bit of advice via NHW but probably worth a read particularly if you have a keyless car!

There has been a slight rise in thefts from motor vehicles and theft of motor vehicles in Edinburgh. Please see below advice on how to prevent these:

  • Do not leave any valuable items in the vehicle- if left on show they will encourage thieves to break in. Please note areas such as glove boxes and under seats are not secure and not suitable for the storage of valuables.
  • Consider using a steering locks a visible deterrent to thieves – someone who is so obviously conscious of security is less likely to leave valuable in a vehicle.
  • Avoid parking in dark, secluded areas, choose locations that are well lit and over looked by houses, passers-by and covered by CCTV if possible. 

Despite modern locking systems on vehicles some criminals do manage to overcome them by using devices bought legally and relatively cheaply on the internet. All of which work by affecting the radio frequency imitated by the key fob / device, enabling vehicles to be stolen despite owners having possession of the key(s).

Key and Fob
The majority of vehicles are accessed by a combination of traditional key and fob remote. The fob tending to be used more frequently than the key, due to the convenience of simply pushing a button.
However, criminals can block the radio signal between the fob and vehicle, using a signal blocker. You press your fob and walk away as normal thinking the vehicle is locked. But it isn’t!
Once inside your vehicle, thieves can remove any items they like or drive it away by plugging a re-programing device into the on board diagnostics port and program a key, which may only take seconds.

Preventative measures:

  • Physically checking the vehicle is locked and checking ALL the doors
  • Using the traditional key to lock up
  • Make sure the key and any spares are stored securely and safely

Keyless Vehicles

Keyless vehicles automatically lock / unlock depending on the proximity of a key device, which is usually no bigger than a bank card. The system operates via radio signals passed between vehicle and key device. These signals can be intercepted by criminals.
Keys constantly emit a signal, (at times even detectable from within a building), which can be picked up by anyone with an appropriate transmitter relay device. The signal is relayed back to the vehicle, which unlocks and allows the start button to work and once away from the scene of the crime, a new key can be programmed via the OBD port (see above).
 
Preventative measures:

  • Keep your key device in a Faraday pouch, which has a lining that prevents the items inside from receiving or transmitting radio frequency signals.
  • Check vehicle doors are locked before walking away
  • Do not store keys near windows or doors
  • If you buy a second hand keyless car, get the key reprogrammed
  • Make sure the key and any spares are stored securely and safely

Kind Regards,

PC Kaiser-Ferris
Prevention, Interventions and Partnership Department
Edinburgh Division

24.04.20
Link received from NHW Scotland with info on a variety of scams etc that are circulating at the moment. 
https://mailchi.mp/ba200398df1a/scam-share-bulletin 
Also posted on News Page.

21.03.20

05.02.20
Police Scotland has been made aware of potential Bogus workmen in the South West area of Edinburgh. Some of these may be trading lawfully, however please be vigilant about who you allow access to your premises and never pay any money up front. In general we would advise to always get at least 3 quotes from trusted companies before agreeing to any work getting done. 
Please contact Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency, if you have any concerns.
Please also find attached general Bogus Workmen advice.
Kind Regards,
PC Kaiser-Ferris
Prevention, Intervention and Partnerships Department
Edinburgh

Attachments
Doorstep Crime Leaflet info.docx – 1,396.7 KB

18.01.20
Some more generic security advice from Police Scotland.
Cycle Security Advice (opens a pdf)

Garage and Shed Security. (opens a word document)

(Not sure why they can’t be a bit more consistent with the formats…. would make life easier !)

14.01.20
Scam warning about Amazon Prime.
Members of the public are being targeted with automated calls stating that the recipient has been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription. The callers use this lure as a way to gain access to the recipient’s online banking account.

How does it work?
1. The victim receives an automated call stating that they’ve been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription. They’re asked to press 1 to cancel the charge, this connects them directly to the fraudster.
2. A fraudster, posing as an Amazon customer service representative, then tells the victim that the Prime subscription was purchased fraudulently and that they need remote access to the victim’s computer in order to fix a security flaw that will prevent it from happening again.
3. The victim is asked to download an application called Team Viewer, which grants the fraudster remote access to the victim’s computer.
4. The victim is then asked to log onto their online banking account whilst the criminals are able to monitor everything via Team Viewer.

Other variants of the crime involve fraudsters stating the recipient is due a refund for an unauthorised transition on their Amazon account.

What to do ?
Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.

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.

Never install any software or visit a website as a result of a cold call. Unsolicited requests for remote access to your computer should always raise a red flag.
For more information on scams and how to protect yourself go to https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/

If you have been the victim of this type of crime call Police Scotland Tel 101 to report.

11.12.19
Counter Terrorism Training available to the Public
Possibly a bit adventurous for most of us but I received the following from NHW Scotland. Perhaps it might be of interest to some of you given our location close to Military establishments etc.
The following information has been received from Police Scotland Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism Unit
An award-winning counter terrorism training course is now available to the public for the first time and Police want you to sign up to help protect the UK
Counter Terrorism Policing has decided to open up the training to anyone who wants to become a CT Citizen so they can learn how to spot the signs of suspicious behaviour and understand what to do in the event of a major incident.
The threat level remains Substantial – meaning an attack is likely – so giving everyone the chance to be extra eyes and ears for the police and local security teams helps to keep all our communities safe.
The ACT Awareness course is free of charge, and made up of seven modules that take a few minutes to complete. You can pause and re-join at any time. In total it takes just 45 minutes.

Go to https://ct.highfieldelearning.com/ to register and start learning.

A BT “Phishing” scam has been reported to us by a Paxton resident. On Thursday 28th November email was received purporting to be from BT – titled “Brexit Terms of Service” with following text – “Brexit draws closer and your terms of service must be updated. Here’s what’s changing. When the United Kingdom leaves the European Union we also leave the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations. This means your contract terms must be updated to comply with our services. This requires our customers to agree to our new terms of service. To do this please follow the link. Now here’s the good news! Your monthly bill remains unchanged. This includes all of your BT subscripted products” Phishing is a scam where criminals typically send emails to thousands of people. These emails pretend to come from banks, credit card companies, online shops and auction sites as well as other trusted organisations. They usually try to trick you into going to the site, for example to update your password to avoid your account being suspended. The embedded link in the email itself goes to a website that looks exactly like the real thing but is actually a fake designed to trick victims into entering personal information. Please be extremely wary of emails claiming to be from organisations such as BT, HMRC or your bank. NEVER CLICK ON LINKS in unsolicited emails contact like this. Delete the email. You may wish to contact the organisation via the method you would normally use NOT via any number /email in the message.

TV Licence SCAM  28.11.19

We have received notification from a NWS member in Ayrshire who recently received a TV Licence email Scam.
Fraudsters using fake but official looking TV Licence emails are attempting to hook victims in and trick them into parting with their money by indicating their account could not be automatically renewed and directing them to a link on the email to set up a new direct debit.
How you can protect yourself:
Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.
Don’t assume a phone call or email is authentic, even if someone knows your basic details (such as your name or address). Remember, criminals can spoof phone numbers and email addresses to appear as companies you know and trust, such as TV Licencing.
Your bank will never call and ask you for your PIN, full banking password, or ask you to transfer money out of your account.
What to do if you’ve fallen victim:
Let your bank know as soon as possible and monitor your bank statements regularly for any unusual activity.
If you suspect your identity may have been stolen you can check your credit file quickly and easily online. Use a reputable service provider and follow up on any unexpected or suspicious results.
If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, report it to Police Scotland on 101
For further detailed prevention advice see link below:
https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/consumer-advice/


Suspicious Males in Currie Area.

Following a call from a Neighbourhood Watch Member within Currie please be aware of the circumstances.
Two males with English accents and wearing backpacks were going door to door stating they were prisoners who had been released early and were looking for assistance to ‘go straight’. When challenged the males became verbally aggressive and threatening. The males neither offered or had any visible identification materials.

If you have encountered these males or see them in our area make sure to contact Police Scotland on Tel 101 or 999 if you feel threatened.

NHW – Should we remain in the scheme?

As the NHW coordinator , I continue to receive fairly generic items from Neighbourhood Watch Scotland.  Most of the information has little or nothing to do with Dreghorn Park or the surrounding district. I will continue to post anything that is directly relevant. At a recent committee meeting it was queried as to whether it was worthwhile remaining in the scheme. It was felt that as many of us have probably ticked the box on the home insurance forms that says we are part of a NHW, and therefore it was felt that we should remain in the scheme at present. 
Due to changes at my webhost most of the site has had to be rebuilt. I have decided not to re-enter historical posts as in general they are / were of little interest to residents. Any new and relevant articles will appear below as and when received.
Virgin Media.
Action Fraud has received over 100 reports about fake emails that purport to be from Virgin Media. The emails threaten the recipient with “automatic disconnection” due to “invalid billing information”. The links in the emails lead to genuine-looking phishing websites that are designed to steal your Virgin Media account login details.
Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial details.
For more information on how to stay secure online, visit www.cyberaware.gov.uk 
HMRC Fraud
Action Fraud has experienced an increase in the reporting of malicious calls and voicemails, to members of the public purporting to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Fraudsters are spoofing genuine HMRC telephone numbers to deceive their victims over the phone. The fraudsters state that as a result of the victim’s non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable for prosecution or other legal proceedings in order to settle the balance. The fraudsters suggest victims can avoid this, by arranging payment to be made immediately by methods such as bank transfer or by purchasing iTunes gift cards.
If the victim is hesitant or refuses to comply, the suspect makes a threat such as immediate arrest, sending bailiffs to the victim’s address or, in some cases, deportation.
Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due is distant enough to guarantee the victim will have little, if any, paperwork or ability to verify the claims. Once the money is paid the suspects sever all contact with the victim.
In genuine cases, HMRC will initially make direct contact with you via post/letter and potentially follow up that letter with a phone call at a later date.
If HMRC contact you via telephone they will quote the reference number on the initial letter you should have received. HMRC will not discuss something you are not already aware of, like a tax investigation, and will NOT demand immediate payment.
It is vital that the public exercise caution when receiving messages or telephone calls of this nature.

What you need to do
  • Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.
  • Legitimate organisations wouldn’t ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using an iTunes gift card, or any other type of voucher. If you’re contacted by anyone that asks you to do this, you’re likely the target of a scam
  • 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.
  • Report Phishing attempts. If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, you can report this as phishing to Action Fraud
Bogus Callers.

Following a noticeable increase in Bogus Caller/Doorstep Crime incidents across the country please be alert and consider how you can protect yourself, family friends and neighbours. The old adage ‘ If in doubt, keep them out’ is a simple but effective message. Everyone has a part to play to keep the community safe.

Here are some simple steps that may prevent those around you falling victim to criminals who target the vulnerable in our communities. 

  • Discuss the advice in this message and links below with family, friends or neighbours who are older or vulnerable.
  • Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly.
  • Keep front and back doors locked.
  • Use the door viewer or nearby window when answering the door.
  • Fit a door chain or bar – use it and keep it on when talking to callers at the door.
  • If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
  • Don’t feel embarrassed – genuine callers expect you to be careful.
  • Only let callers in if they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine.
  • Always ask for identification badges of anyone you answer the door to, but don’t rely on them. Identity cards can be faked – phone the company to verify their identity.
  • Some companies offer a password system. Ask your utility providers if this can be used and if you have a password with a company make sure the caller uses it.
  • Never let people try to persuade you to let them into your home even if they are asking for help – they may not be genuine. If someone is persistent, ask them to call at another time and arrange for a friend or family member to be with you.
  • Never agree to pay for goods or give money to strangers who arrive at your door.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of money in your home.
  • Remember, it’s your home. There’s no reason why anyone should ever enter your home against your wishes. Keep an eye out for strange vans in your neighbour’s driveway.
  • Make sure your relatives are not regularly taking large amounts of cash out of the bank.
  • Make arrangements to ensure your relative’s house looks well maintained and, for example, that it is not immediately obvious that an older person lives there alone.
  • Doorstep criminals will often target the same victim more than once, so be particularly alert if someone has previously been a victim.

Look out for your community and report any suspicious activity immediately to Police Scotland on 101 or your local authority Trading Standards.

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