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This is a message sent via Hampshire Alert. This information has been sent on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary
(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)
Message sent by
Kathryn Morning (Police, PCSO, East Hampshire District)

 

Dear Petersfield Residents
 

We are sending out this Hants Alert so that you can be aware of a new trend of Gift Card fraud.


ITUNES GIFT CARDS FRAUD

Police are warning people of a trend that has hit the UK where fraudsters contact victims claiming to be from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and other corporate companies. They then trick them into paying bogus debts and taxes using iTunes gift cards. 

Over the past few months fraudsters have been tricking victims into buying iTunes Gift Cards and asking them to read out/send the serial code for payment in various types of fraud. 

Victims are being contacted in a variety of methods by fraudsters claiming to be from HMRC and are told they owe an outstanding debt. In the hundreds of cases reported to Action Fraud in the past month, the fraudsters all ask for payment in iTunes gift card voucher codes. 

Fraudsters are now moving onto iTunes gift cards to collect money from victims because they can be easily redeemed and easily sold on. The scammers don’t need the physical card to redeem the value and instead get victims to read out the serial code on the back over the phone. 

Fraudsters are contacting victims in three ways:

  • Voicemails: Fraudsters are leaving victims automated voicemails saying that they owe HMRC unpaid taxes. When victims call back on the number provided, they are told that there is a warrant out in their name and if they don’t pay, the police will arrest them.
     
  • Spoofed calls: Fraudsters are cold calling victims using a spoofed 0300 200 3300 number or foreign numbers and convincing them that they owe unpaid tax to HMRC. 
     
  • Text messages: Fraudsters are sending text messages that require victims to urgently call back on the number provided. When victims call back, they are told that there is a case being built against them for an outstanding debt and they must pay immediately.  
    One victim had reported purchasing over 15 iTunes gift card vouchers from Argos at £100 pounds each and handing them over to fraudsters on the phone after receiving an automated voice message. Another victim handed gift card voucher codes worth £15,000 after receiving a cold call. 
    This new trend that has only surfaced in the UK over the past month has been used by scammers in the USA who have been posing as police, attorneys, debt collectors and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents, communications companies. 

 

  • How to protect yourself: 
  • HMRC will never use texts to tell you about a tax rebate or penalty or ever ask for payment in this way.
  • Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed. You should never trust the number you see on your telephones display. 
  • If you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately.
  • No government body, legitimate business, banks etc will ask for payment by ITunes vouchers.
  • If you are unsure, or something doesn’t seem right, don’t do it. Get advice.


Kind Regards

PCSO MORNING 16171
Petersfield  

Our Chief Inspector, Clare Jenkins of Hampshire Constabulary, is giving a presentation to EHDC's Full Council on current priorities and challenges and the work being done by the Police across the District. This is open to the public at Penns Place at 1830 on Thursday 21st September at 6.30pm - it would be splendid if some of our Neighbourhood Watch members were at the Council Meeting. Claire is speaking early on the Agenda and one doesn't have to remain until the end of the meeting.

Councillor Bob Ayer, Petersfield Rother Ward.

Sarah Newton MP, Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Counter Extremism opened the NW Connect2Protect Conference in London on July 5th.

She paid tribute to the impressive reach of the NW movement and called on members to find new ways of reaching out to tackle new hidden crimes that cause so much misery and harm in our communities.

The thanked volunteers for their help in reducing traditional crimes such as burglary and car crime over the last three decades and asked them to now turn their attention to raising awareness of cybercrime, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, human trafficking and extremism.

Last year (2016) Crimestoppers launched a very successful UK wide Advan campaign supporting their “Most Wanted” service. This service provides searchable photos of the people the Police most want to meet, it is constantly updated and always worth a look. At the bottom of this email you will find a web link to the Most Wanted site so that you can find out a lot more. We targeted 4 locations in Hampshire; Southampton, Basingstoke, Andover and Aldershot. Our success rate was very impressive with several people arrested in days and a lot of intelligence passed to the Police.

So in 2017 we are very lucky to have the support of the Police & Crime Commissioner and Hampshire Crimestoppers team, again there will be 4 locations where the van will stop as follows;

  • Thursday 15th June between 9.00am – 12.00 at Ringwood (Helen Mitchley)
  • Thursday 15th June between 1.30pm – 4.30pm at Fordingbridge (Jeffrey Gaines)
  • Friday 16th June between 9.00am – 12.00 at Petersfield (Bob Ayer & John Collins)
  • Friday 16th June between 1.30pm – 4.30pm at Borden (Helena Francis)

 

The vans will spend around 3 hours at each location and then move on. At each location, the Crimestoppers volunteers together with the Police will attend and we are looking for 2 or 3 local NHW volunteers to also attend. The main aim is to support our Crimestoppers colleagues and use the opportunity to engage with the public about NHW, it’s aims and advantages and how it supports the Police do their work.

I now need to compile a list of names that can attend to pass on to Crimestoppers, so if you or your colleagues could support us for your local session it would be greatly appreciated. Please reply to Bob Ayer as quickly as you can, I thank you in advance.

Most Wanted link: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/most-wanted/what-is-most-wanted/

 

Message sent by
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Payment diversion alert
Fraudsters are emailing members of the public who are expecting to make a payment for property repairs. The fraudsters will purport to be a tradesman who has recently completed work at the property and use a similar email address to that of the genuine tradesman. They will ask for funds to be transferred via bank transfer. Once payment is made the victims of the scam soon realise they have been deceived when the genuine tradesman requests payment for their services.

Protect yourself
Always check the email address is exactly the same as previous correspondence with the genuine contact.
For any request of payment via email verify the validity of the request with a phone call to the person who carried out the work.
Check the email for spelling and grammar as these signs can indicate that the email is not genuine.
Payments via bank transfer offer no financial protection; consider using alternative methods such as a credit card or PayPal which offer protection and an avenue for recompense.
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

Your local Longmoor Neighbourhood Policing Team needs your help in setting the Local Community Policing Priorities for your area for the next 3 months. In order to ensure that we are working effectively in the community, we need you to tell us what issues are affecting you the most. Our aim is to reduce Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) and crime and increase confidence in the Police; as well as to make your neighbourhood a safer place to live and work. We will give you information that indicates where the demand for Police resources is located. All we ask is that you spare 5 minutes to complete this survey to give us a clear understanding of the issues that matter to you. We will use these results, along with Police and partner agency data, to set our priorities for the next 3 months.

Please click on the following link:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Longmoor

Regards, John.
PCSO 13456 PAYNE.

This is a message sent via Hampshire Alert. This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau)
(Please do not reply or forward this email directly; please use the Reply, Share buttons at the bottom of this message)
Message sent by
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

 

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified a number of reports where job seekers are being targeted by fraudsters trying to obtain personal and banking details from them, or requesting money to secure accommodation.

 

Individuals registering with job seeking websites or searching for jobs on The Student Room website are being contacted by bogus recruitment companies/businesses asking them to complete application and interview forms which request personal details and banking details, as well as copies of identity documents.

In some instances the applicant is invited along for interview, either in person or over the phone, to make the process look as legitimate as possible. This is impacting on students and graduates looking for work both in the UK and overseas. Some job seekers, as well as divulging personal details, have paid money to the fraudsters in order to secure a bogus rental property alongside the job offer.

 

How to protect yourself:
 

  • Check emails and documents from the recruiter for poor spelling and grammar – this is often a sign that fraudsters are at work.
  • If visa fees are mentioned, ask the embassy representing the country where you believe you will be working how to obtain a visa and how much it costs. Check that the answers the potential employer or recruiter gave you are the same – if they’re not, it may be a sign of fraud.
  • Carry out thorough research to confirm that the organisation offering you the job actually exists. If it does exist, contact the organisation directly using contact details obtained through your own research or their website to confirm the job offer is genuine.

 

What to do if you’re a victim:
 

  • If you think your bank details have been compromised or if you believe you have been defrauded contact your bank immediately.
  • Stop all communication with the ‘agency’ but make a note of their details and report it to Action Fraud.
  • Warn the operators of the job website you used that their site is being used by fraudsters.
  • 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.

 

 

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