BE AWARE BE ALERT BE SAFE


Essex Neighbourhood Watch Association will be celebrating their 25th 

anniversary in 2020. Read all about their plans in our story below. Above is 

Essex NHWs chairman and secretary Clive Stewart with Cllr Peter Davey

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Essex Neighbourhood Watch Association will be celebrating their 25th 

anniversary in 2020. Read all about their plans in our story below. Above is 

Essex NHWs chairman and secretary Clive Stewart with Cllr Peter Davey

News in brief

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Essex NHW Association celebrates

Crime fighting group celebrates 25 years

THIS is a momentous year for Essex Neighbourhood Watch Association and everyone will be in a party mood.

   Because the Association will be celebrating its silver anniversary - 25 years in which they have grown to over 140,000 Neighbourhood Watch members in Essex including Neighbourhood Watch Facebook Group members.

   They are managed by fourteen District Co-ordinators who attend our Association’s meetings every two months.  

   Roger Hirst ,Essex Police Fire & Crime Commissioner, will be congratulating the Association members at a special meeting  to help raise the profile of Neighbourhood Watch in Essex.

   The Association will have special badges that celebrate the 25 years and also new members badges which are only available from the District Co-ordinators ( in other words cannot be bought from any website) .

   District Co-ordinators would welcome the opportunity to hear from members of the community who would like to have information on Neighbourhood Watch so that they can advise them what it means for them to be involved with the Watch on Essex.  

   For the sixth consecutive year Roger Hirst has agreed funding for Neighbourhood Watch and also funded the printing of 50,000 of the Essex County Neighbourhood Watch Members Guides ( which is available by email version too) . 

   Many District Councils and Parish Councils have shared the costs of Neighbourhood Watch Street signs which Chief Constable Mr. B.J Harrington acknowledges that they help to reduce the opportunity of crime. 

   In the past year Essex NHW has distributed and installed over 600 street signs in Essex. Braintree District Neighbourhood Watch received this year £200 from Essex Association of Local Councils towards Street Signs.

  The Association looks forward to hearing from any person to advise them how Neighbourhood Watch has helped to reduce the opportunity of crime.


Clive Stewart

Email: essexcountynwassoc@btinternet.com


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KEEP YOUR IDENTITY A SECRET

identity theft

IDENTITY theft occurs when personal information such as your name, address, date of birth or contact details are stolen or accessed. It can often lead to identity fraud – when the stolen information is used in fraudulent activity to gain certain goods or services.


Identity thieves and fraudsters can run up a large debt in your name which can take time to prove that the debt is not yours. Additionally while the fraudulent account remains on your credit report, it can damage your credit score making it difficult to apply for a loan, mortgage, or credit card. In order to help prevent the effects of fraud it is useful to recognise when your identity could be being stolen. 


There are some signs to keep an eye out for that can indicate you are a victim of identity theft. 

Missing documents

Important personal documents, such as your passport or driver’s licence, carry a lot of personal information that could be valuable to identity thieves. If these are missing, someone may be using the information to take out credit or a loan.


Missing Mail 

If you are expecting a bank or credit card statement and it doesn’t arrive, it could indicate that someone is intercepting your mail in order to obtain personal details.

Unrecognised Items – Check your bank statements regularly. If you don’t recognise an entry on your statement contact your bank or credit card provider.


Duplicated Benefit Claims 

 If you make an application for state benefits and are refused for the reason that you are already claiming, someone may be applying in your name and taking the money.


Solicitor’s Letters 

Receiving letters from solicitors, bailiffs, or debt collectors for debts that are not yours, or receiving court summons, would indicate that someone is running up a debt in your name.


Surprise Delivery

If goods you didn’t pay for, such as a laptop, phone, or TV are delivered to your address, it could mean that someone is using your information to pay for goods and services, and simply failed to intercept the goods before they arrived.


Tampered Bins 

If your rubbish or recycling bin has been noticeably tampered with, someone may have been searching for thrown away bills or receipts to steal information about you.


Fighting Fraud

If you have been a victim of identity theft it is important to take action as quick as possible. It can help to contact Action Fraud to report the crime, as well as your bank, credit card company, and postal service. 

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THE HIGH PRICE OF LOVE

Dating scams

LOOKING for love online can often end in heartache and the loss of thousands of pounds for innocent love-struck victims.


   Indeed women across the globe have lost millions of pounds because they believed that the man vying for their affections was the man of their dreams. In reality that handsome Mr Right is far from what he seems.


   A dating scam is when you think you’ve met the perfect partner through an online dating website or app, but the other person is using a fake profile to form a relationship with you. They’re using the site to gain your trust and get enough personal information to steal your identity - and your money.


   These man, who appear online as handsome members of the armed forces or budding businessman, are usually using the stolen profile of a male model and spend months ‘grooming’ their victims by sending gifts of love and even poems.


Protect yourself

• Avoid giving away too many personal details when dating online. Revealing your full name, date of birth and home address may lead to your identity being stolen.

• Never send or receive money or give away your bank details to someone you’ve only met online, no matter how much you trust them or believe their story.

• Pick a reputable dating website and use the site’s messaging service. Fraudsters want to quickly switch to social media or texting so there’s no evidence of them asking you for money.


Spot the signs

• You’ve struck up a relationship with someone online; they’re asking a lot of personal questions about you, but they're not interested in telling you much about themselves.

• They invent a reason to ask for your help, using the emotional attachment you’ve built with them. Your relationship with them may often depend on you sending money.

• Their pictures are too perfect – they may have been stolen from an actor or model. A Reverse image search can find photos that have been taken from somewhere else.


How it happens

The majority of accounts on dating websites are genuine people looking for romance, but fraudsters may try to contact you by making fake profiles, getting in touch and building what feels like a loving relationship.


   Once a fraudster using a fake dating profile is confident that they’ve won your trust, they will tell you about a problem they’re experiencing and ask you to help out by sending money.


   They may have arranged to visit you, but need money to pay for the flight or visa. They may tell you everything has been booked but their ticket has been stolen, and you need to send money quickly to get them on the next flight.


   Alternatively they may prey on your sympathies, telling you a family member or someone else they are responsible for is ill and they need money for medical treatment. Once you send them money, the fraudsters will keep coming back and invent new reasons to send them more.

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THIS SOUNDS PHISHY

Phishing scam warning

HERE a worrying warning from Sgt Jon Hiron of East Cambridgeshire police who was  targeted by a phishing scam that arrived in his text message inbox on his mobile phone.


   Having been out on a long distance cycle ride Jon received a notification purporting to be from 'Barclays Bank'. The message claimed that a transaction had been made to a value of £1976 - quite alarmingly - at the 'Apple Online Store'. It requested contact if this transaction was not made by himself.


   The text message is really very convincing and actually came through on a chain of other legitimate Barclays Bank text messages - which seemed to corroborate it's legitimacy. On this basis Jon made the call to the number shown - an 0330 number.


   He spoke to a lady who then reassured him that she would close down the transaction, and sent him through some authentication software, asking him to enter codes that she generated for him, and some personal information.


   Jon became wary when it appeared to him that he was being asked to complete a form that was asking him to transfer a sum of £45,000 out of his account. When he challenged this the female voice tried to reassure him that everything was fine, and that it just 'looked like that'. 


   When Jon then said that he would visit his local branch in person, the caller hastily terminated the call, hanging up.


   Jon subsequently checked his account and it became clear that the offender had setup a loan for £50,000 in Jon's name, and the funds had been credited to his bank account. The contact was apparently attempting to extract those funds and transfer them elsewhere.


   Sgt Hiron said: "I'm not a gullible guy - I've seen all sorts of things and I have years of service dealing with criminals. The fact that the text message arrived apparently from Barclays in exactly the same chain of previously legitimate messages was really quite convincing - I didn't question that at all.


   "When I spoke to the lady at the 'call centre' things became increasingly suspicious, until eventually I'd had enough and challenged what was going on. She abruptly ended the call and I knew it was wrong. I was probably only moments away from creditIng £45,000. If this can happen to me - it can happen to anyone."


   Barclays Bank have been made aware of this incident and they are certainly not the only bank affected by the phenomenon of phishing fraud.


   If you receive a message of this nature, don't call the number in the text message, call your bank from the telephone number you usually use, or visit a branch in person. 


If the situation is legitimate, they will have record of it. Never give out your password, safeword or pin number to anyone purporting to be from your bank. For more information on Phishing Fraud, visit Action Fraud:


http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/fraud-az-phishing

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