BURGLARIES, DOOR STEP SELLERS & SOCIAL MEDIA SCAMS
Over recent weeks, reports have been received of a series of residential burglaries in our area with criminals gaining entry by using force to a door or rear window: At one incident there followed an untidy search resulting in expensive jewellery being stolen whilst at another incident a bag containing several items was stolen.
The Police remind us to be aware and ensure that our homes are secure at all times and not to advertise when are away from home – you will have seen yourselves family and friends posting on their social media details about their holiday etc which can act as an invitation to criminals that their property may be unoccupied.
Similarly, posters advertising events placed in the windows of residential homes can encourage criminals with intent to commit a burglary whilst the residents are attending the event.
In neighbouring North Yorkshire, unauthorised door step sellers have been active and residents are reminded to be extremely cautious in dealing with these people since many have criminal intent and operating without the required Pedlar’s Licence supplied by local Police which should be available for production upon request – the advice from the Police is that if a person comes to your address trying to sell items, not to purchase anything – especially since the goods are over-priced – do not allow them into your address, ask them to leave and notify the Police straight away so that they can deal with the incident effectively.
Doorstep sellers can be involved in other criminality and the Police want to disrupt them as well as protect residents. And Action Fraud Alerts have reported a continued increase in reports about scams where victims are targeted on WhatsApp or by text message by criminals pretending to be someone they know – typically their children.
Criminals will usually begin the conversation with “Hello Mum” or “Hello Dad” and will say that they are texting from a new mobile number as their phone was lost or damaged. They will then ask for money to purchase a new one, or claim that they need money urgently to pay a bill. The criminal will provide bank details for the payment to be made to, with some coming back with further demands for money. Action Fraud – the national crime burea – advises that If you receive a suspicious message (even if you think you know who it is from):
STOP: Take time before you respond. Make sure your WhatsApp two-step verification is switched on to protect your account, that you are happy with your privacy settings.
THINK: Does this request make sense? Are they asking for money? Remember that scammers prey on people’s kindness, trust and willingness to help.
CALL: Verify that it really is your friend or family member by calling them directly, or asking them to share a voice note. Only when you are 100% sure the request is from someone you know and trust, should you consider it.
We are reminded that we can forward scam text messages for free to 7726. Your provider can investigate the text and take action if found to be fraudulent. You can report spam messages or block a sender within WhatsApp by pressing and holding on the message bubble, select ‘Report’ and then follow the instructions.
We are advised to never share our account’s activation code (that’s the 6 digit code you receive via SMS). If you think you have been a victim please contact your bank immediately. And whilst on the subject of scams, undoubtedly there will be fraud created via the internet in respect of tickets for the forthcoming Eurovision Song Competition, so we all need to be vigilant to such approaches.
Please remember to report any suspicious circumstances to the Police via 101 or dial 999 if a crime is in progress or suspected. Residents are encouraged to sign up to the free Police messaging service of Humberside Police – My Community Alert – in order to keep in the loop and also to follow the Police on social media at Humberside Police East Riding South.