Latest alerts for the village will be posted here
22/03/2021 9788 Somerset: Scams / Local Numbers!
We are hearing several reports of members receiving scam calls from local numbers, these are where scammers are trying to trick you into believing they MUST be real as they are near by. One such example has been received from a member in Martock who had a call claiming to be from Ebay security on a local number, very handy if there was indeed a problem with Ebay as we may be able to visit them to fix the problem (After Lockdown)! but quite clearly a scam. Several others have been reported since from various companies and again the ploy is to instil a sense of trust in the recipient.
Do please remain alert to any calls you receive advising for example you have a slow broadband connection, your loft insulation does not meet current regulations, you have post from Royal Mail that has not been fully paid, your Amazon Prime has expired or has been hacked, these will almost certainly be scams and if in doubt hang up, let the phone line clear for at least 5 minutes and then call the company back on a number you know, preferably on a different phone. And please never press 1 on your keypad when asked.
05/03/2021 9788 AN/AE/AW Beat Areas: Phone fraud warning after incidents reported in Somerset.
We’re reminding people to be cautious and recognise signs of telephone and courier fraud following a number of reported incidents in Somerset in recent days.
We’re investigating four reports in the Bridgwater area of fraudsters phoning potential victims and claiming to be police officers dealing with fraud.
In one instance, a woman in her 90s living in Sedgemoor, was called by a fraudster falsely claiming to be working for police in Bournemouth. He told her officers had arrested someone who had her account details and claimed her bank were involved in the scam.
He went on to encourage her to take out a four-figure sum from her bank and to lie to cashiers about why she was making such a large withdrawal, before handing it over to a ‘courier’ who would give her a password when he arrived. She duly handed the money to the fake ‘courier’ and also provided personal banking information over the phone, which led to money also being stolen from her account.
Fraud protect officer Amy Horrobin said: “Fraudsters tend to prey on the elderly and vulnerable people but anyone can be a victim. There’s no shame in being tricked by these professional criminals, they can be very convincing.
“We must stress though police will never asking you to make a withdrawal from your bank for an investigation. They will never ask you to hand over personal banking details, such as your PIN. And they will never ask you to hand money to a courier who will collect it. The same goes for banks and other legitimate organisations and agencies.
“It is difficult during a phone call out of the blue to always think clearly, especially if the subject appears at face value to be very serious.
“So if you are unsure if what you’re being told may be a scam, then hang up the phone – the person at the other end of the phone will not be offended by you being cautious, if they are who they claim to be.
“Leave it five minutes, make sure you hear a dialling tone and the person who called initially has cleared the line, before then calling the organisation or company back. Use a number they advertise on their website or in the phone book. Don’t use any number the person gives you.
“Alternatively call police on 101 or speak to someone you know for further advice.”
We are also aware of an unsuccessful attempt to defraud someone living near Glastonbury too over the past week.
Crime prevention advice
Genuine callers, such as from a bank, police or crime agency, will:
* never ask you to withdraw cash for them
* never arrange for cash to be collected by a courier
* never ask for bank card details
* never ask for your PIN
We’d urge any other victims in the Bridgwater area to come forward and contact the police on 101, giving reference number 5221045252.
More information on how to prevent being a victim of fraud is available on Action Fraud’s website and we’d ask people to spread the message to friends and family, especially people living alone, to prevent further victims.
22/02/2021 9788 Somerset: National Insurance Scam (Telephone Call)
We have been made aware that a scam has been circulating where the offender is claiming either your National Insurance number has been compromised or has been used in serious crime. This scam is conducted via a telephone call which is automated, promptly followed by the usual request for action on the part of the recipient to press 1 on the keypad, again ‘please do not do this’. You may feel pressured into doing so as the message may state they are from the National Crime Agency, ‘they are not’. This is a scam.
If you receive a call claiming your National Insurance number has been compromised asking you to press a button on your keypad, please terminate the call.
Any general National Insurance enquiries can be found here:
17/02/2021 7315 AN 006 DISTRACTION BURGLARY
AMBERLANDS CLOSE, BACKWELL, sometime between 3:30pm and 3:45pm on Tuesday the 16th of February, a mixed race male has knocked on a door when answered he said he had a food delivery, the resident refused delivery, the male then asked for a note to say they refused delivery, while the victim went to get some paper the male has stepped inside and has stolen a purse, which contained cash,
Please remind your members, family and friends to ask for identification of callers and if necessary close the door while checking, genuine callers will understand the need for security,
When reporting a crime or giving information through Crimestoppers, No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to a police officer.
If you have any information regarding this incident, contact the Police on 101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or via their online form.
Please quote Reference number 5221034194, Thank you.
1/02/2021 9788 Somerset: BT Telephone Scam.
One of our schemes from North Somerset has kindly notified me of an old scam that has re appeared.
Here are the basics of what you need to look out for and be aware of:
A caller will state they are from BT, and you have an unsettled balance on your account of £****, you will be disconnected if immediate payment if not made and the bill will rise when re connected at a later date.
When challenged, they provide a false name, last used was ‘John Peacock’ and a strong foreign accent was detected, the caller states they can prove they are from BT and goes through a process where they pretend to disconnect the line momentarily. The recipient is asked to end the call and try and call someone else which they find is not possible The reason this is not possible is the caller had initiated the call and only they can terminate, they simply mute the phone to make it appear they are not there, this gives the impression the line is dead. When the Scam caller hears you stop trying to call out, they will clear the line and call you back giving the impression they have re connected your line.
At this point you may feel reassured this is genuine, IT IS NOT.
If in any doubt call your provider and check with them, never hand over your bank details to someone that calls you out of the blue.
22/01/2021 9788 Somerset: Potential Scams (Calls & Texts)
Today I have been contacted by two of our Neighbourhood Watch schemes to advise of the following potential scams, do please remain alert and if it doesn’t seem right check and check again, never be afraid to hang up the phone.
Lloyds Banking – New Payee (Text Message)
States: You have successfully been paired with a new device, Call 447780337*** if it is not you.
The member to the mobile phone to a local Lloyds branch that confirmed it is not a message issued by them.
09/12/20 9788 AN011 – AN015: Investigation underway following fatal collision in Weston-super-Mare.
We’re appealing for witnesses to a fatal collision in Weston-super-Mare this morning (Wednesday 9 December).
The collision, between a car and a motorcycle, happened shortly before 10am on Broadway, W-s-M.
The male driver of the car has sadly died as a result of his injuries and the female motorcyclist is in a serious condition in hospital.
Their families have been informed and are being supported by trained officers.
Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.
The road remains closed for further enquiries to be carried out at the scene.
If you saw this collision or have any relevant dashcam footage, please call us on 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5220276428.
04/12/20 9788 Somerset: Ongoing Amazon Scam Calls.
We have been advised this morning that unfortunately one of our members has fallen foul to this scam. They received a call claiming to be from Amazon and that a payment request had been made on their account from a company in London and were they aware of any such transaction?. Clearly not aware, the caller stated they must have been hacked and went through a lengthy procedure at the end of which the member checked their online bank account to find a substantial amount of money had been removed.
Please NEVER give out any personal details to anyone claiming to be from Amazon or any other company that calls you out of the blue. Terminate the call and call back on a number you trust and preferably from a different phone, if this is not possible then wait at least 5 minutes for the line to disconnect.
17/11/20 9788 Somerset: HMRC Scam Emails
We have kindly been made aware of a couple recent scam emails that are again going around claiming to represent HMRC. The attached file is for your information and awareness and will show you what to look out for, but as a rule HMRC will not give money away unless it has been claimed for.
Also do please be aware of any unexpected email that suggests you may have had a failed delivery, particularly this time of year and never part with any personal information.
30/10/20 9788 Somerset: Telephone Scams
We have seen a vast increase in the number of telephone scams in recent weeks from fraudsters claiming to be from HMRC, TV Licencing, Amazon, Utility Companies and many others. What do most of these have in common? When they call you be it an automated call or a person on the phone, most will eventually ask you to press number 1 on your keypad to be connected to a particular department (Please do not do this).
Why did that department not contact you in the first instance? Because they need you to press 1.
The most likely outcome is you will be connected to a premium rate phone line charging an extortionate rate for absolutely nothing at all.
Please take care and be wary of any unexpected phone calls.
If you receive a call and you think it is fraudulent then please report it to Action Fraud at this link below:
12/10/20 9788 Somerset: Rogue trader warning after Weston-super-Mare couple lose £2,000
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.
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.
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.
7/08/20 9788 Somerset: Rogue Traders / Gardeners (Tree Specialists)
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.
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.
NHW Admin (Somerset)
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:
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!
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/