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June update

First there is an appeal for information regarding a series of van thefts in the area. New scam details follow, please read and pass on the info to anyone you think could be targeted

 Witness appeal after thefts from vans

Police are appealing for information after Ford transit vans in South Devon have been targeted by thieves.

This week alone there have been multiple thefts in Paignton and Brixham. Thefts have also occurred in Newton Abbot.

On each occasion the van was entered by means unknown or broken into and valuable power tools and hand tools worth thousands of pounds were stolen.  There have been other similar crimes in Devon with a similar method used, and police believe that a vehicle linked to these crimes is a silver estate vehicle, possibly an Audi or Ford Mondeo.

We would like to hear from anyone offered second-hand power tools for sale.

Please consider removing valuable tools from vehicles, particularly overnight.

Anyone with information, or CCTV in the areas mentioned, is asked to contact police via 101@dc.police.uk, or by telephone on 101.

There have been several new scams reported and they will remain here on the home page until next month when they will be transferred to the scam page. We start with 4 scams received on the same day by a local resident.

Two of the scams supposedly came from Tesco. One said you needed to register to qualify for a year’s ‘free shopping’, the other claimed you had won a £1000 gift card. The third scam alerted you to suspicious activity on your M&S account even though the recipient didn’t have a M&S account. The last was particularly ‘tasty’ offering you a job with a £160,000 salary.

All these scams end with the sender asking for your bank details, don’t be conned. The emails came from as far afield as Italy, Czech republic and Denmark.

If you get targeted please report to the fraud line number further down the page.

Bogus Insurance Brokers – Advertising on Social Media Platforms

Action Fraud have recently received a number of reports from members of the public who have responded to written posts, pages, pictures and adverts on social media platforms offering varying types of insurance cover at desirable prices. However, once money has been transferred to the fraudsters posing as insurance brokers, a number of consequences have been reported. In some cases, contact has been severed with the victim altogether and there is no further communication. In other cases, insurance has initially been purchased on behalf of the victim only to be immediately cancelled with the insurer; this means that bogus brokers can forward voided paperwork or email concerning insurance cover to the unsuspecting victim and pocket any refunded insurance fees.

Protection / Prevention Advice

  • conduct further research regarding any company offering insurance services, especially when the initial advert or contact is via social media.
  • Though many genuine insurers and brokers operate on social media platforms they may also have their own websites and physical locations. It is good practice to conduct further research regarding any company offering insurance services, especially when the initial advert or contact is via social media.
  • If a broker claims to be accredited with a good practice organisation don’t just take their word for it, be sure to contact the respective organisation directly and check their database or make an enquiry.
  • To check that your vehicle insurance is valid, contact the insurer directly to verify the details.
  • Use the Financial Conduct Authority’s website (Register.fca.org.uk) to check if an insurance broker is authorised
  • It is possible that you could still be prosecuted for having no insurance (such as motor insurance) even if you have been a victim of insurance broker fraud and believed you were insured.
  • 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 calling 0300 123 2040 
Message sent by
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Being aware of the potential risks and following the prevention advice could minimise the likelihood of fraud:

Wedding fraud, please pass this one on.

With the upcoming “Wedding Season”, and for those individuals who are considering making plans for next year and beyond, you should be aware of the potential risks of fraud involved.

According to ‘bridesmagazine.co.uk’, in 2017 the average wedding cost spend is approximately £30,111.  This will be paid out to multiple vendors, including; photographers, caterers, reception venues and travel companies, to name a few.  Many of these services will require booking at least several months in advance and you may be obliged to pay a deposit or even the full balance at the time

How to avoid being defrauded.

Paying by Credit Card will provide you with protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, for purchases above £100 and below £30,000. This means that even if a Company goes into liquidation before your big day, you could claim a refund through your Credit Card Company.

Social Media – Some Companies run their businesses entirely via social media sites, offering low cost services.  Whilst many are genuine, some may not be insured or may even be fraudulent. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself;

  •  Ensure you obtain a physical address and contact details for the vendor and verify this information.  Should you experience any problems, you will then be able to make a complaint to Trading Standards or consider pursuing via the Small Claims Court.
  • Ensure you obtain a contract before paying money for services.  Make certain you fully read and understand what you are signing and note the terms of cancellation.

Consider purchasing Wedding Insurance – Policies vary in cover and can be purchased up to two years in advance.  They can protect you from events that would not be covered under the Consumer Credit Act.

Complete research on each vendor, ensuring you are dealing with a bona fide person or company.  Explore the internet for reviews and ratings and ask the vendor to provide details of past clients you can speak to. You should do this even if using companies recommended by a trustworthy friend or source.

For services such as wedding photographers, beware of websites using fake images. Look for inconsistencies in style; Meet the photographer in person and ask to view sample albums. If you like an image from a wedding, ask to view the photographs taken of the whole event so you can see the overall quality.

Remember, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is!

Events in Manchester have produced repercussions throughout the country.  The threat level has been reduced to severe but our local Devon and Cornwall police remind us to keep alert.

 If anyone sees anything suspicious that they believe may be related to terrorism, they can report this to the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789321 or call 999.

 

May 2017 updated post

Please see contact details for our new PCSO further down the page.

No new posts on the ‘scam’ page but a report from someone in the village regarding how aggressive some of these callers can be. Threats of police knocking at the door and ‘you’d better make sure you have a good lawyer’ would be enough to worry most of us.
Please do not be frightened by these ‘bullying’ tactics, put down the phone, call 101 and report what has been said to the police. They will advise you what to do next.

We’ve also been asked, by Devon and Cornwall police, to warn you about house security now the warmer weather is here. Keep your windows and doors locked if you are a distance away or out of the house even for a short time. Keep sheds locked, secure anything left out in the garden like bikes and mowers and, wherever possible, keep items out of sight. Being careless with home security encourages opportunist thieves.

Click here to read more advice from the police on home security.

Thefts from vehicles are also on the increase, please keep items of value out of sight, put valuables in the boot when you park and make sure all doors are locked when you leave the vehicle unattended, even on your own drive.

If you haven’t already picked up the information from the shop or village notice boards we have a new PCSO for our area. We may not see as much of her because she is responsible for a large area but she has promised to be accessible via email or phone if anyone needs her help.
Her name is Liz Francis, her email address is 30420@dc.police.uk and her non emergency telephone number is 07736083780

Remember to keep the NHW stickers on your doors or windows and please keep an eye on your neighbours property. A few lights on timers to make your house look occupied when you’re away are also a good idea but do tell your neighbours what you are doing.

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