2 saints Be Safe
St Leonards and St Ives Parish - Be Safe

Home Watch Website

From time to time members make us all aware of security and safety issues that they have encountered, these are included in the following newsletter and when relevant or ongoing is published on this page as well.

General security and safety advice is also shown below.

Buying on line

Check before you buy:

  • Choose your shopping sites carefully: many online traders pretend to be from a legitimate organisation. Be especially wary of counterfeit copies of products from overseas websites. Websites based outside Europe are particularly difficult to control and UK standards of trading and compliance may not apply.
  • Think price, place and packaging: if the price is too good to be true it often will be. Think about where the goods or services are being sold. Is there a postal address and post code, check out Google Street Maps. Watch out for poor quality packaging, spelling errors, no safety marks or marks of origin.
  • Ensure site is secure: look out for the 's' in 'https' at the start of the website - it stands for secure. Also, payment screens should display a padlock icon. Using a credit card for payment over £100 will also give added protection.
  • Keep a copy of your order, website details and acknowledgements to use as evidence should there be a problem later.
  • Contact Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Car thefts

Doorstep Traders

A resident suspected a high value car was stolen from a neighbour's driveway. Because the owner was away and they did not know the registration details they were unable to report it to the police. The question is asked 'Should your car registration details be left with a nearby neighbour?'

Neighbours are our biggest asset. If they notice anything wrong they will seldom do anything for fear of interfering or being classed as a busy body. Communication is vital. Talk to your neighbours about your movements. Swap next of kin telephone numbers. Keep a note of vehicle registration numbers, especially if you are a keyholder.

Display a door card which is available free of charge contact us to obtain one. Do not let them in, if they are too pushy report them to the police on 101, or if you are feeling threatened and in danger call 999

Credit card verification

You receive a call saying that your card has been flagged up due to an unusual purchase pattern and that the caller is verifying the card details before initiating a fraud investigation. The caller asks the recipient to confirm the numbers on the reverse side of the card. There are 7 numbers, the first 4 are part of your card number and the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card.

DO NOT GIVE OUT THESE 3 NUMBERS they are often used to make Internet purchases. Tell any caller that you'll call your credit card company directly for verification of the conversation. Credit card companies NEVER ask for anything on your card as they already know the information since they issued the card. If you give the scammers your card information you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make on your bank statement and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

HANG UP. If you need to call your bank, credit card company, police, etc, as a result of this call, either use a mobile phone or alternative landline.

Doorstep clothing collection scam

Consumer Direct suggests that you carefully read the details on the plastic bag/flyer that is left with you.

You may be misled in believing that the collection is for charitable purposes. In reality the collection could be organised by commercial operators who sell the donated items for profit. In some cases a Registered Charity number is in fact a Limited Company number. If you have any doubts you can contact the Charity Commission (0300 066917) on http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/showcharity/registerofcharities/RegisterHomePage.aspx

E-mail scams

Emails, purporting to be from a supplier, your bank, HMRC, etc are sent, often containing a message saying your billing/account/information is incorrect, you are due a refund, have a parcel waiting to be delivered, have won a prize etc

Delete them. Under no circumstances click any links in the email at best it just proves to the originator that your email address is active. At worst it will download malicious and highly damaging software onto your computer. Definitely do not give away any bank or credit card details. If you want to check if it is authentic contact the actual company either by phone or through their website, but don't click any link in the email to get to the website - it will be a spoof one. You can also contact Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue/

Fire safety

Fires strike when you least expect them, often at night. They spread quickly but it is smoke that is the real killer. If you are asleep when a fire starts, and you don't have a smoke alarm to wake you, your chances of survival are zero.

Get equipped: smoke alarms can be purchased for around £5. Check the battery once a week and dust the alarm every 6 months. Change the battery every 12 months (unless it is a ten year alarm) and change the alarm every 10 years. Alarms with strobe lighting and vibrating pads are available for people who are hard of hearing or deaf. Dorset Fire & Rescue provide a totally FREE service - they offer home safety and energy efficiency advice and make a general risk assessment of your home. If you would like to know more contact 01305 252600 or dorsetfire.gov.uk for an on-line form.

Fraud, scams and online safety: for information and advice:

Citizens advice: 03454 040506 https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/if-you-need-more-help-about-a-consumer-issue/

https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk/

www.dorset.police.uk/

www.getsafeonline.org

www.ourwatch.org.uk/fraud

www.ourwatch.org.uk/safety_advice/

www.securedhome.co.uk/securitybasicscategory.htm

Fraud, scams and online safety: for reporting:

Attempted by cold calls, doorstep traders, texts, emails and malware:

To the police on: www.actionfraud.police.uk 0300 1232040

To Trading Standards on: www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/consumer_e.htm

Actual crime (eg stolen money):

www.actionfraud.police.uk/report-a-fraud-including-online-crime-questions

Premium rate telephone calls: to check premium rate numbers or make a complaint: Phonepay Plus 0800 500212 www.psauthority.org.uk/

Gas safe register

Anyone carrying out gas work (including liquid propane gas) must be on the Gas Safe Register. CORGI is no longer the accepted standard.

Before agreeing the undertaking of any work ensure that you see the engineer's registration card. It should have a photograph, name, validity date and registration number. On the reverse side it indicates the type of work that they are registered to perform (e.g. gas cookers, heating). Validity can be checked on the website GasSafeRegister.co.uk or by calling 0800 408 5500 for advice.

House numbers/name

'Can yours be seen?' There have been incidences of an emergency service being delayed because the house number could not be clearly seen from the road.

Did you know that the house numbers for roadside collection bins can be purchased from the Ferndown Community Office ferndowncommunityoffice.org 01202 876219 (10.00 to 12 noon Mon to Sat) and used for your home? They cost next to nothing to purchase.

In case of emergency (ICE)

It is a very good idea to have a list of ICE numbers - people you want to contact or be contacted if an emergency occurs to you. Emergency services are trained to look for ICE numbers and take appropriate action if you are incapacitated.

Leave a list called ICE in a prominent place in your home, if you have a speed dialler on your phone and mobile phone enter at least one number with the name ICE and in the case of more than one use ICE, ICE2, ICE3 etc.

Mail on the doormat

There have been many examples of residents being able to see large amounts of mail in the hallway and sometimes parcels on the doorstep. This everyone tells everyone, including chance burglars that the owners are away. So what precautions do you take whilst you are away?

Just the basics of swapping contact telephone numbers, especially for key holders, and asking the neighbour to move the post is all that is needed. If anything else is happening in your home, such as a flood, then your neighbour will notice

Mobile phone emergency number - 112

112 is the established worldwide number and can be dialled even if keypad is locked.

If your mobile phone is out of range, and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you.

Satnav's

Criminals will work out that you have a satnav if they see suction pad marks left on the vehicle windscreen when it is removed. They may then break into the vehicle, hoping that the equipment is in the glove compartment.

If you have one, have you removed the traces on the windscreen?

Telephone scams

These calls are not illegal but they are annoying and nearly everyone receives them but what should you do?

Politely ask them not to call you again and hang up. You could register free of charge with the Telephone Preference Service 0345 0700707 but this does not stop international calls. There are interrupt answering machines that you can use to block all calls and only let through those numbers you have programmed to be accepted.

HANG UP. If you need to call your bank, credit card company, police, etc, as a result of this call, either use a mobile phone or alternative landline.

Unsolicited goods

Don't sign for parcels that you are not expecting - they could, for example, contain unwanted goods demanding current/future payments with phone contact details that may be outside the UK.

Under the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971 it is an offence to demand payment for goods known to be unsolicited (sent to a person without prior request made by them or on their behalf). Someone who receives goods in these circumstances may retain them as an unconditional gift and does not have to pay for, or return, any unwanted goods. Anyone who receives a demand for payment for unsolicited goods should report the matter to Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

If you would like more information about security Home Watch have a full range of leaflets covering many of the above in more detail.

You may also find the following website links useful:

Personal Safety Advice

Secured Home

Criminal investigation personal safety advice

Crime Prevention