Selected alerts from Thames Valley Police distributed through the Neighbourhood Watch scheme.

Online Fraud

This is an update to a previous alert sent from Action Fraud in November 2015.

Fraudsters are setting up high specification websites advertising various electrical goods and domestic appliances. These goods are below market value and do not exist. The website will state you can pay via card; however when the purchaser goes to pay, this option is not available and the payment must be made via bank transfer.

The fraudster entices the purchaser and reassures them it is a legitimate purchase by using the widely recognised Trusted Shop Trustmark. They then use the Trustmark fraudulently and provide a link on the bogus electrical website to another bogus website (which purports to be Trusted Shops). This website shows a fake certificate purporting to be from Trusted Shops and provides thousands of reviews for the bogus electrical website. These reviews are all fraudulent. The website has not been certified by Trusted Shops and therefore the purchaser is not covered by the Trusted Shop money-back guarantee.

Protect yourself:

  • Check the authenticity of the website before making any purchases. Conduct a ‘Whois’ search on the website which will identify when the website has been created- Be wary of newly formed domains. You can conduct this search using the following website – https://who.is/
  • Conduct online research in relation to the website, company name and the business address provided to identify any poor feedback or possible irregularities.
  • Check the Trusted Shops Facebook page where warnings about websites using their Trustmark are published. If you are in doubt about the legitimacy of a Trustmark then you can contact Trusted Shops on 0203 364 5906 or by emailservice@trustedshops.co.uk. They will confirm whether they have certified that website.
  • Payments made via bank transfer are not protected should you not receive the item. Therefore always try to make the payment via PayPal or a credit card where you have some payment cover should you not receive your product.
  • If the item advertised seems too good to be true, then it probably is.

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Car stolen while left to defrost

Today (15/2) two cars were stolen in Stony Stratford when the owners left the engine running and unattended as they defrosted them.
With sub-zero temperatures expected to continue, you should expect your windscreens to be iced up in the coming mornings.
You  should also be aware that opportunist thieves could be on the look out to take advantage of a vehicle left while its owner is warming it up to defrost the windows.
It literally only needs a moment for a thief to have enough time to jump behind the wheel and drive off with your car.
The simple message is not to leave a running car unattended for any length of time whether it is left on your own driveway to de-ice on a cold winter morning or for example while you pop to post a letter.
Give yourself extra time to defrost all your cars windows and don’t be tempted to leave the car even for a few moments.
Modern cars are quite difficult to steal without the keys so criminals are looking for opportunities to steal the car with the keys. A car unattended with its engine running is a golden opportunity for a thief.
Potentially you could lose thousands of pounds because leaving your car with the keys available in this way may leave you uninsured for the theft!
Further information regarding crime prevention can be found at www.thamesvalley.police.uk orwww.safermk.co.uk