Nuneaton & Bedworth Neighbourhood Watch Association.
Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 11th Feb. 2016
Brian Lowe, Heather Lowe, Colin Muncaster, Geoff Crabtree, Terry Harris. Mohammed Teladia, Bob Chambers, Roger Jones, PC Jason Rai & Tony Calvert
Bob welcomed everyone to the meeting and apologised for the late start due to Heather & Brian being involved in a RTC on the way to the meeting.
- Conflicts of interest
Cllr June Tandy. Styfan Pidhajacky, David Atkin, Gordon Chadwin & Saeed Sheikh
- Minutes of the previous meeting
Agreed as a true record and signed accordingly.
- Matter arising
None that would not be dealt with as part of the agenda.
Heather had received an e-mail from a young co-ordinator who had expressed an interest in helping with Crime Busters. She had arranged a meeting with him and the new editor to talk about how this could be done and it had been agreed he would write a regular column aimed at the younger generation. His idea for edition 51 was an article on ASB and how one’s actions impact on others.
Heather also said she had received reports on the work of the team working in Abbey on Operation Offa and what a difference they had made. Mohammed commented on how the community felt since this operation had seen so many offenders arrested and drug cultivations closed down. Offa was due to end in March and the meeting felt that it was a shame that this could not be applied in other areas of the borough where residents feel that crime is getting the upper hand. The meeting agreed that we should make our feelings known the the police, and Heather was tasked with writing a letter to congratulate them on their work so far and ask about the possibility of this crack team targeting other areas of the borough in the same way.
- Police report
PC Rai reported that the Christmas period had gone well. The initiatives that had been put in place had kept crime down. After persistent work by the police on checking licensees were adhere ring to their conditions, BAND was again operational in the town leading to a better handling of problems. Over the Christmas period 600 vehicles were stopped and the drivers breatherlized, as a result there were 27 arrests for drug/drink drive offences
The police had also run an ANPR operation which had targeted cross border criminals. This had resulted in 33 vehicles being seized, and one arrest on a European Warrant.Another offender who causes problems, especially with shops and harming females has been moved out of the area which has made life better for many. They have also been proactive with regard to Macintyre House and its residents, ensuring they stick to their bail conditions and do not cause harm to the local community. Burglary is still very low with 2 offenders recently being arrested.
- Treasurer’s Report
As an organisation we are solvent with spending on track. The finalised accounts for the end of year are with the new independent examiner who will deal with them once the ‘self-assessment’ deadline has passed, as this is a busy time for him. Brain had prepared a proposal with regard to the Trailer, as it was now of zero value. He had checked with the providers of the original grant to purchase and they no longer had any interest in it. As we only used it once during 2014 and not at all last year he proposed we disposed of it. North Warks NW were interested and as it had always been kept on one of their member’s land it was proposed we offer it to them for a nominal sum with the proviso that we can borrow it should we so wish. This was agreed
Proposed BC Seconded TH Agreed by all
In May we will be asked to vote for a new PCC and until the new person is in office we will not know whether we will get funding after the coming financial year.
- eports on other business
Six new co-ordinator have been signed up by Lyndsey, PCSO in Kingwood. Brian has already sent thanks via the CI, as Lindsey will soon start training as a PC,
- Cyber Crime Sub Group
Notes from Tuesdays meeting circulated, copy attached. Group felt they had achieved their task and presented the meeting with a draft policy for adoption. A twitter account had been set up and it was expected this would start to grow. The address is @NunBed
Proposed we accept the policy TH seconded HL all agreed
- Projects Update
- Crime Busters. Issue 50 in the process of being put together. Gordon had suggested the ladies help with the packing of edition 50 so he can work with them and highlight where some deliveries need to be at specific times etc. as they are in sheltered housing /flats etc. Brian has purchased a portable Hard Drive so that he can transfer all his records and other useful information ready to hand over to the new editor. He reckoned that over a third of a million copies of CB had been carried by Gordon over the last 12+ years
- This was working well. Since Dec he has sent out over 44800 messages with a total of over 100,000 since we started Brian had started a new course from Future Learn on Community Journalism. This highlighted that the future of journalism was electronic and would be most appropriate for the weekly newsletter.
- Reports of other meetings
- a) WNWA meeting 3rd March
- b) Priority Action Group 28th Jan report circulated Group now more proactive There was to be a new mobile contact van, badged up for Cyber Crime and other agencies able to offer adverse and help in this area. Taxi Marshalls were working well, PC Rai said this had made a difference to the number of fights whilst waiting for taxis.
- c) Community Action Network. meeting March notification that meeting cancelled
- e) NABSCOP 25th Feb
There being no other business the meeting closed at 8-50pm
Dates of future meetings Thurs 9th June, Thurs 11th Aug, Thurs 13th Oct, Thurs 8th Dec 2016
AGM Thursday 7th April 2016 Ambleside Sports & Social Club
You may remember there being news headlines reporting a series of such illegal and unauthorised interception (also known as hacking) of databases belonging to some of UK’s major retailers and service providers, such as TalkTalk, Carphone Warehouse and British Gas, during 2015.
What does this mean? Do we stop using online facilities because of the potential risk of getting our personal and payment data exposed to online fraudsters? Or, do we take preventative steps that can help us stay protected from becoming victims of identity theft and online fraud?
Well, we think that it is important for us to understand that identity fraudsters have been found to be highly educated and intelligent people, who have the required sophistication and technical knowhow to misuse identity information of someone else for their own financial gain. However, we also know need to be aware that government bodies and specialist organisations in the field of payment technologies are bringing about stronger data security solutions, such as stronger, impenetrable digital encryption technology, so that consumers, like us, can conduct financial transactions in safer digital environments.
How you can help to prevent identity fraud? There are several steps that you can take to help prevent identity fraud from happening to you and your loved ones.
Below is a list of our suggestions:
- Recognise the signs of identity fraud: If your bank statement and/or utility bills do not arrive; or you receive bills for products and services that you know you have not signed up to; or you do not recognise transactions that appear on your bank statements; you receive letters from debt collectors or solicitors about loans that are in your name that you are sure you have never taken out; or important documents, e.g. your driving licence or passport are lost or stolen; these could all be possible indicators of identity fraud.
- Contact the authorities as soon as possible: If any of the above circumstances apply to you, then we suggest that you get in touch with your bank, the debt collector and the police to report your concerns and take necessary further steps.
- Do not give out your personal and payment details online: While this may sound obvious, we strongly suggest that you be careful in giving out your personal and payment details online. You see, for every genuine website, there may be several that are not. A genuine website belonging to a bona fide business is not likely to ask for your personal or payment details via email. They would have strong login procedures that they would have told you about when you signed up with them.
- Be sure to check that the website you are on starts its address with “https” as opposed to “http”: This is because the “s” stands for “secure”. In other words, the website has digital encryption technology to protect all data shared on it. This applies especially to when you are thinking of making purchases from a website or a social media platform.
- Look out for the golden padlock sign on websites: This should come before “https” text in the address bar of your browser and indicate that the site is secured with digital encryption.
- If you are moving house, be sure to let all the relevant parties know about your change of address: This can include your bank, your doctor, your utility providers, the TV licensing office and any credit or store credit card providers that you have accounts with.
- Monitor your credit report and credit score on a regular basis: We think it is better to shred any old documents that contain your personal and payment details, as it then becomes less likely for prying eyes to be able to decipher your data, let alone misuse it for their own financial gain.
- If you find that your credit score has dropped, in spite of you having made regular credit repayments, you may wish to check your credit report for any unrecognisable entries and your bank account for any unrecognisable transactions. In such cases, we think that it would be in your best interests to contact your bank to query all this.
This is a question being posed by as part of a police warning about skimming devices.
People are reminded to be vigilant around ATM after skimming devices continue to be found on them in in various parts of the UK. Can you tell which of these two machines has a skimming device attached? See the answer at the bottom of the story.
A police spokesman said: “The incidents have been reported about people have been putting their card in the machine to withdraw cash, but their bank card has not been returned by the machine. Please be vigilant when you use a cash machine and take a look around the machine to see if you can spot anything unusual before you use it. Always cover the keypad as you enter your PIN number and, if you insert your card and it appears to be stuck or is retained, then check the facia and contact your bank or card issuer immediately. If you notice anyone acting suspiciously then please contact the police as soon as possible.”
Advice and tips for when using cash machines include:
- Looking for anything that seems out of place such as ill-fitting components, wires, tape, hidden cameras or missing panels. If the card gets stuck, or you notice an error message, alert the bank immediately and inform the police.
- Shield your pin number; discreetly putting your money and card away before leaving a cash machine; reporting incidents promptly to your bank and the police and saving your bank’s phone number into your mobile phone.
- If someone is behaving suspiciously behind you or making you feel uncomfortable, cancel the transaction and use another machine.
- Don’t be distracted by others while at the cash machine. Keep an eye on your bank statements to check for any unusual activity.
*The answer to the photo is, the one on the right has the skimming device attached. Clue: Look at the arrows – they are much too close to the slot in the photo with the device fitted.
Email purporting to be from Facebook claims that you have won $900,000 in the ‘Facebook Award Pragram’ for 2016. The email is not from Facebook and you have not won $900,000. There is no such thing as the ‘Facebook Award Pragram’ (or even ‘Program’). The email is a typical advance fee scam designed to trick you into sending your money and personal information to criminals.
According to this email, which purports to be from Facebook, you are the lucky winner of $900,000 USD via the 2016 ‘Facebook Award Pragram’. Supposedly, the award is designed to encourage the usage of Facebook all over the world. It comes complete with a Facebook logo, bar code, and an apparent stamp and signature of the ‘Facebook Financial Director’ Mark Scott. The email, which includes ‘claim details’ such as a batch number and reference number, instructs you to contact Facebook’s ‘accredited attorney’ Lucas Swat with your details ‘for immediate claim procedure and payment code’. However, the email is certainly not from Facebook and you have not won $900,000 as claimed. There is no Facebook Award for 2016 or any other year. In fact, the email is a typical advance fee scam designed to steal your money and personal information.
If you fall for the ruse and contact the ‘accredited attorney’ as instructed, you will soon receive a reply claiming that, before your prize can be processed, you must send money to cover obligatory fees such as banking and legal costs, tax, or insurance. The scammer will claim that you must pay these fees in advance or your prize will not be processed. He will explain that, for legal reasons, the fees cannot be paid out of the prize money itself. And, he will warn that, if you do not pay all of the requested fees by a specified date, you will forfeit your prize and it will be given to somebody else. The scammer will likely continue asking for more and more money to cover more and more – totally imaginary – fees until you run out of funds or finally realise that you are being scammed. And, by this time, the scammer may have gathered a large amount of your personal and financial information. He may have asked you to supply this information in order to prove your identity and allow the processing of your ‘prize claim’. The scammer may later use this information to steal your identity.
As such scams go, this one is fairly sophisticated. Some recipients may be taken in by the seemingly official presentation of the scam message. But having gone to the trouble of tricking up their scam email with logos, signatures, bar codes, and the like, the scammers shoot themselves in the foot via the glaring spelling error in the name of the supposed award (‘Pragram’ rather than ‘Program’). Nevertheless, at least a few recipients may miss the spelling error or, despite the error, still believe that the email really is from Facebook.
Advance fee lottery scams like this one are very common and people all around the world still fall victim to them. There have been many variations of the Facebook award or lottery scam. Remember, there IS no Facebook lottery or award program and any message that claims that you have won such a lottery or award is sure to be an advance fee scam like the one described here.
Distraction Burglary is a crime that effects people of all ages, but in particular the elderly and vulnerable members of our communities. It involves criminals knocking at your door as Bogus Callers. This can range from them imitating workmen and engineers, to police officers or even vulnerable people seeking sympathy. The aim is to either con their way inside your home to commit a burglary, or keep you distracted long enough to allow an accomplice to slip in through a back door or window.
To help you avoid falling victim to Distraction Burglary, we have provided this helpful checklist based on the Lock, Stop, Chain, Check process for what you should do when there’s a knock at the door:
Are you expecting anyone? – If not, consider whether you should answer at all, particularly if it is after dark.
Can you see who is calling? – Using a peephole, electronic door viewer, intercom, or even just glancing out of a window can help you establish if the caller may be suspicious.
You’ve decided to answer. – Before you open the door, are your back doors and windows shut and locked? This will prevent sneak-in burglaries whilst you are occupied at the front door.
Have you applied your door chain? – These essential bits of kit allow the identification and verification of callers, without allowing them access. The higher quality chain the better.
You’ve partially opened the door with your door chain applied. – If the caller is a stranger then ask them who they are and what they want.
Is the caller claiming to be in trouble or that their car has broken down etc? – Do not feel obligated to invite them in or to leave your home, offer to call the police or breakdown recovery. Don’t worry about being rude, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Is the caller claiming to be from an organisation? – Ask to see some ID. Ensure you check it closely; a genuine caller won’t mind handing their credentials over.
Does their ID seem genuine? – If you’re not sure, call the organisation they claim to represent. Always try and use a number you find yourself (e.g. online) rather than the one that’s on their ID.
If you decide to call their organisation. – Shut the door again whilst doing so. A genuine caller will understand and won’t mind waiting.
Does everything check out? – You’ve now completed the Lock, Stop, Chain, Check process for identifying Bogus Callers and combatting Distraction Burglary. You can return to your visitor with confidence. However if you’re still in doubt, just keep them out!