Neighbourhood Report

RCT Leaflet_Livestock_Worrying_Advice

Warning – Fake phone calls to residents pretending to be from the Police! 

  • Criminals pretending to be Police officers are calling residents and trying to carry out what is known as ‘Courier Fraud’…
  • They phone you to tell you about fraudulent activity on your bank card, but then start asking you for personal information or even your PIN to verify who you are.
  • They may try to offer you peace of mind by having someone pick up your bank card from you to save you the trouble of having to go to your bank or local police station (Courier).

These callers are criminals who will try gain your trust by making you think they are police officers.

  • Do not engage in conversation with them.
  • Do not allow them to arrange collection of bank cards.
  • Put the phone down.
  • Block the number they called from.
  • Tell your friends and neighbours about this scam
  • Report it to your local police force by contacting them via their online webpage or 101

Royal Mail claim –  reported scam 

The scam involves an email which claims Royal Mail has tried to deliver a parcel – and then asks you to pay £1.99 to arrange redelivery.

DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK. Forward the email to report@phishing.gov.uk
(this reporting service is run by the National Cyber Security Centre and aims to take down fake websites)

Remember:

  • Anybody who receives an email claiming to be from the Royal Mail must remember that they will never be asked to pay a redelivery fee
  • Never input your bank or card information after following a link on any emails that claims it is from the Royal Mail
  • If you have reason to believe that you may have been tricked, it is essential that you contact your bank
  • If you have been the victim of a payment scam, report it to your local police.

Press release Warning over fraudsters offering Coronavirus advice

 Monmouthshire County Council has issued a warning to watch out for fraudsters targeting the public amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Fraudsters are increasingly targeting the public and organisations with emails, texts, phone calls and WhatsApp messages offering advice and treatment for the Coronavirus, as well as setting up fake websites selling products and offering ‘cures’.  Scammers have also been setting up bogus websites asking for donations for victims or promoting awareness and prevention tips. Cold callers have been contacting organisations suggesting they must have certain measures in place by a certain deadline.

 To help members of the public protect themselves from becoming a victim of fraud, Cifas, The UK’s Fraud Prevention Service is advising:

  •  Be sceptical if you receive an email, text or WhatsApp message about the Coronavirus, and never click on any attachments or links
  • Never provide personal data such as your full name, address and date of birth – scammers can use this information to steal your identity
  • Don’t allow yourself to be pressured into donating money, and never make donations by cash or gift card, or send money through transfer agents such as Western Union or Moneygram
  • If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, then speak to your bank immediately and report any fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
  • You can get further information on dealing with scams and fraud by calling the Consumer Service telephone number 0808 223 1133, or contact Citizens Advice.

RESIDENTS URGED TO BE VIGILANT

  • If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, then speak to your bank immediately and report any fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040
  • You can get further information on dealing with scams and fraud by calling the Consumer Service telephone number 0808 223 1133, or contact Citizens Advice.

Trading Standards Wales advise residents to contact their local Council for information about services and assistance in their area.

Monmouthshire Trading Standards is warning people to be aware of rogue traders targeting residents affected by flooding.

It is not illegal for handymen to canvas for work in this way, but it is important that people are cautious and don’t make hasty decisions about agreeing to have work done by traders who come directly to their doorstep. Rogue doorstep trading is an ongoing problem in the UK and work or services carried out can sometimes be unnecessary, of a poor standard, much more expensive than originally quoted or not done at all.

If your home has been damaged by the recent flooding or high winds, getting your house repaired will be something you will want completed as quickly as possible. Monmouthshire County Council Trading Standards have the following advice to help make sure that remedial work goes ahead as smoothly as possible:

Do not agree to have work done by anyone who cold calls or door knocks at your property

Cold callers rarely give householders their contact details or provide them with details of their legal right to cancel a contract within 14 days. They may also tell you that work is required when it is not. If things go wrong you are unlikely to be able to contact the trader again and will have no guarantee for the work.

Obtain at least three quotes for any work

Obtaining a choice of written quotes ensures you can have time to assess and compare the price of work and can make an informed choice about which tradesperson to use.

Check trade body approval or certification

If a tradesperson claims to be a member of a trade body or approval scheme check whether this is true on the scheme or body website. There are advantages to using a trader who is a member of a trade body or approval scheme as they will have been vetted and it is likely that there will be a complaints or arbitration procedure in place in the event that anything goes wrong.

For certain work, such as electrical or gas work, traders must be qualified and approved as fit to do that work. For gas work, traders must be registered with Gas Safe and you can check who is registered via the Gas Safe website. For electrical work, traders must be registered with NICEIC or ELECSA and you can check who is registered via the NICEIC website and via the ELECSA website. Always check before you engage a trader that they hold the appropriate authorisation to complete work safely and certify it to Buildings Regulations. As well as ensuring the work is safe, you will be required to have certification if you sell your home in the future.

Do not pay the full contract price upfront

Legitimate tradespeople will generally not expect to be paid anything until work is completed to your satisfaction. You may be required to pay an amount upfront if the work involves expensive parts or fittings but you should only pay the full amount once the work is completed. If work is not satisfactory, the law allows you to withhold a reasonable percentage to reflect any deficiencies in the work.

Speak to your insurance company

If you are insured, make sure you speak to your insurance company before arranging for work to be done. The insurance company may well have their own list of approved contractors or will want to see quotes before they agree to pay for work.

  • We hope that everything goes well with the repairs to your home but if you do need more specific advice at any stage you can ring the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 (Consumer Service Welsh Speaking – 0808 223 1144). Alternatively, you can contact the Helpline via their website. The Citizens Advice website also has guidance on ways to find a trustworthy trader.

 Monmouthshire’s trading standards service is urging residents to be vigilant after receiving a report of a phone call to a local resident, purporting to be from the council tax team.  The caller offered a rebate on the resident’s council tax bill and attempted to obtain bank card details.  Subsequent investigations found that the call was an attempt to obtain cash by fraudulent means. Trading Standards Team Leader Gareth Walters described the incident. He said: “The caller knew the householder’s full name and attempted to obtain her bank card details with the promise of a monthly rebate. Thankfully, in this instance, the householder refused to provide any of the requested information and the caller hung up.”

Residents need to be very wary of anyone requesting bank card details over the telephone.  Residents wishing to report such calls and get practical advice should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Services helpline on 03454 040506.

High visibility patrols conducted in the area by USK Neighbourhood Policing Team resources, as part of Rural Crime Patrols.

Note: Several reports of rural thefts in adjoining Ward areas. Garages and out-buildings are frequently the target. Members of the public are advised to photograph high value items, note any serial numbers, or security mark higher value items.

Note: Several reports received during this period of various scams, or attempted frauds. These can vary from phone calls from a supposed Service Provider requesting access to your computer, to tele sales attempting to sell items direct at over inflated prices. Members of the public are advised to treat any such calls with caution, and never to provide personal details, passwords, or PIN details should they be requested. If in doubt, ask for the assistance of a trusted 3rd party, or should you suspect that you have fallen victim to a fraud, contact ‘Action Fraud’, or if happening at the time, call GWENT Police on either ‘999’ or ‘101’, dependent on the circumstances.

 Note: Reports are still being received of vehicles acting suspiciously in rural wards throughout North MONMOUTHSHIRE.

  HEDDLU GWENT POLICE – 01633 838 111.