This message is dated Wednesday 3rd August 2022 - Maidenhead
Alert message sent 03/08/2022 15:17:00
Information sent on behalf of Thames Valley Police
PCSO Melita Diprose is with me. She has just returned from a job called in from a bank in Ascot. A customer has been scammed and his accounts have been suspended due to potential fraud. The scammers asked him to go into the bank to get them to open the accounts to let them remove cash from his accounts !!!
The Victim had £1,000 in Bitcoin, purchased some time ago. He has recently been made a widower and in late July, he was completing probate papers and was following up this purchase, when he was contacted by a finance company on the phone.
The scammers asked him to download some software – AnyDesk.com - onto his computer, so that they could access his computer remotely and assist him with the Bitcoin details.
He did this. On his computer were of course all the probate paperwork, bank account and password details. They even took his photo with the computer camera and recorded his voice for voice recognition and activation. They then asked him to take the security software off his computer and mobile phone. They even got him to scan his driving licence !
A few days later, they accessed his account remotely – he had given them the access codes and passwords - and started to move money around.
Initially, they transferred £4,000 to another account. Then they made ten attempts to make further transfers, but the bank immediately froze the accounts as they suspected fraud.
They have since made multiple phone calls, asking him to go to the bank to have the accounts unfrozen, so that they can refund the Bitcoin value to him.
It was when he attempted to do that, the bank went through the Banking Protocol, refused to do it and called the police.
It was PCSO Melita, who responded to the call. He was fortunate, as she has dealt with so many bank frauds and really supports and cares for elderly and possibly vulnerable victims. This victim is certainly not vulnerable in any way, but just fell for an extremely well organised scam at a time that he was potentially vulnerable.
We hope he will be able to get his money back.
He will now have to have his computers completely wiped, in case they have left hidden software allowing them to gain access in the future, to change all his passwords – in both his computer and mobile phone.
THE LESSON IS: If anyone cold calls you – however helpful they seem – and asks you to download additional software, or hand over control of your computer remotely to them – PUT THE PHONE DOWN.
If they ask you, to disable your firewall / security software – PUT THE PHONE DOWN.
If they ask you to do anything to your phone – PUT THE PHONE DOWN
WHEN YOU ANSWER THE PHONE, THE ONLY WORD YOU SAY – IS HELLO. Anything else will give them personal information. Just ‘Hello, Doris here’ – gives them your age. The next question would be – ‘Is your husband home’ ? To which you may replay – ‘No he died recently’ ! TOO MUCH INFORMATION !
Please remember, if you did not call them – YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHO THEY ARE – EVEN IF THEY SEEM TO BE HELPFUL !
NEXT: ANOTHER PHONE SCAM:
I thought you would like to know about a phone call I received a short while ago, probably from a fake number in the call display !
It talked in aggressive language, about something I needed to do, to avoid my National Insurance number being invalidated.
A magistrates court was mentioned and it was suggested I press 1 to talk to someone.
I hung up immediately, but someone might be worried about this, which to me, is an obvious scam.
Thanks Phil. This sounds similar to the HMRC scam where they phone to say you owe tax from years ago and if you don’t pay it immediately on the phone, they have a policeman ready round the corner to arrest you. If you don’t pay now, the court costs – which are huge - will be added to the debt. These scammers are very aggressive and insistent.
IF YOU DID NOT MAKE THE CALL – PUT THE PHONE DOWN. Your bank, HMRC – whoever – will always write to you, if there is a problem.
NEXT: AN OVERPAYMENT SCAM:
Hope you are well.
I run an Ascot based web design agency.
Recently on Facebook, someone tried (very badly) to do an overpayment scam on us.
I documented the scam on a LinkedIn post and share it with my network there to raise awareness.
I wondered if it might be useful for your newsletter to show how the scam works - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/web-design-scam-lens-digital/
Though poorly executed, the scammer took a lot of time and trouble to try to make it work !
AND: A REQUEST FROM VALERIE PIKE THE CHAIR OF THE WINDSOR & ASCOT NHW ASSOCIATION:
We are looking for a volunteer handyman to support our existing volunteer. With new schemes (Datchet and Windsor) getting off to a great start recently, we have seen an increase in requests from residents for home security devices . Some home security devices require wall mounting or attaching to the front door. If you can assist our elderly vulnerable residents in the Windsor & Ascot area with this task, we would love to hear from you at email@example.com
Your support greatly appreciated.
Chairman, Windsor & Ascot NHW Association
FINALLY: A WEBSITE WE NEED TO PUBLICISE:
Fearless is a service run by CrimeStoppers, specifically aimed at young people that allows them to pass on information about crime 100% anonymously. This means they don’t have to supply any personal details. They guarantee, that they have never broken this promise.
There are several youTube clips to explain exactly how it works:
They are here to help you tackle crime in your community - online and by phone, 24/7, 365 days a year.
They know that it can be difficult to come forward with information. You might have seen or heard something about a crime but don't know what to do, or are scared to give information. It's easy to think there is nothing you can do, but we offer you a safe way to do this.
They guarantee that if you choose to contact them anonymously:
You can give us information about crime without giving your name or any personal details.
You will not be asked for your gender or age.
We will not record any personal details you might mention.
We physically cannot trace your email or IP address as our system is designed to protect your identity.
How to prevent your visit to our online form showing up in your internet history
When you use our anonymous online form, you may want to ensure that cookies/history for your browsing activity on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC are not stored for someone else to see. If so, you can choose to use private browsing. Click or tap on the links below for details of how to access private browsing, whichever browser you use.
Use Incognito browsing on Google Chrome (PC, laptop, Android phones & tablets, iPhone, iPad)
Launch a private window on Mozilla Firefox (PC or laptop)
Start InPrivate window on Microsoft Edge (PC or laptop)
Turn on private browsing in Safari (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
Browse in private in Safari (iMac, MacBook)
If you’re using a different browser - for instance UC Browser or Opera - whichever one it is, just look for the keywords ‘Incognito’ or ‘Private’ on any of their options to launch a new private window.
We hope that this gives you the confidence to trust our service and remove any fears you might have about telling us what you know about crime.
The only way anybody will know you contacted us, is if you tell somebody.
100% anonymous. Always.
Ready to contact us? Give information about crime anonymously.
We are not an emergency service and if you see a crime taking place you should ring 999 to report it immediately.
I have attached reference numbers to each crime report. If you live in the vicinity of any of the crimes mentioned and have CCTV or a video doorbell, can you please check the footage. If you have any that might be of interest to the police, can you please make contact with us, quoting reference number given.
Alternatively you can call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or email - www.crimestoppers-uk.org
1/8 Monday 5 a.m. / 11 a.m. Laggan Road. Car index plates stolen. Ref. No: 43220343325
1/8 Monday 4 p.m. / 6 p.m. Cookham Road. Van break Truck left on drive unlocked. The aggrieved found the lid on the tailgate had been lifted and tools stolen. Ref. No: 43220344353
RIVERSIDE & BELMONT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
BISHAM, COOKHAM, HURLEY, THE WALTHAMS, LITTLEWICK GREEN & KNOWL HILL:
2/8 Tuesday 7 a.m. Winter Hill Road / Bigfrith Lane. Report of rubbish was being burnt somewhere along this road. Ref. No: 43220342094
1/8 – 2/8 Monday 3 p.m. / Tuesday 8.30 a.m. The Green, Bisham. Index plates stolen from a car. Repeat victim. Ref. No: 43220342321
PINKNEYS GREEN & FURZE PLATT:
1/8 Monday 0.05 a.m. / 9 a.m. Smithfield Road. Burglary. Entry via open ground floor bedroom transom window left open for ventilation. The offender reached in and opened the large window. Search of ground floor only. Aspinal handbag, Bose headphones, cash, Nintendo Switch, Aspinal wallet, laptop and iPad Pro stolen.
BOYN HILL, COX GREEN & WOODLANDS PARK
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
OLDFIELD, BRAY & HOLYPORT:
NO CRIME TO REPORT.
Please consider using our online reporting system but please note this reporting tool is not for use where a crime happening right now, the suspect is still at the scene, or anyone seriously injured or in immediate danger.