Wed 27 May 2020

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Update re scam alert advice

Alert message sent 01/01/2020 14:04:00

Information sent on behalf of Neighbourhood Watch in Nottinghamshire


DearCitizen

Firstly I would like to send my best wishes to you for a safe 2020.

Before Christmas I wrote out about a couple of telephone scams that my husband and I had experienced that day. Fortunately, through reading many of the regularly promoted warnings, we knew to hang up and not press a key or give away sensitive information. Sadly, not everyone is so aware.

I was inundated with over 100 responses within a couple of days. I have replied to as many as I can and appreciate the time readers took to share their experiences and wrote to Notts Police  Cyber Crime Unit to ask for their guidance. Their Cyber Crime page can be viewed from the Notts Police website at https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/cybercrime. The team have a slot on BBC Radio Notts, once a month, to talk about scams & online safety. Sadly, they advised, with scams & cybercrime it’s rare that ‘gangs’ are caught, purely because most of these scams come from outside the UK. However, they do have a dedicated team of detectives investigating cases of fraud in Nottinghamshire as well. 

Fiona Price offered, “Our team are more than happy to come and give scam & online safety presentations when we can fit them in, but as we deal with such a high volume of victims that we have to plan these in advance.” Fiona’s email address is fiona.price17166@nottinghamshire.pnn.police.uk
Fiona also sent scam guidance that will shortly be uploaded to our Resource Centre. Visit www.nottswatch.co.uk and scroll down to the bottom. We also have listed useful links from Keeping Safe on the top menu.

To summarise the advice that readers share:
  • Keep informed by reading alerts etc.
  • Screen calls via an answerphone
  • Only answer calls from known sources (caller display required from your telephone service provider and as a feature on your handset and you will need to program phone numbers of friends, family etc.)
  • Truecall, provided by Trading Standards was praised. (This was a limited offer – see below)
I have heard back from Sharon May, Trading Standards who says:

The recent call blocker project was run by National Trading Standards Scams Team using funding from the Government.  As a local trading standards team, we promoted the project, but didn’t have any of the units to send out directly to residents.  Only a small number of units were available, and they were all allocated very quickly.  It is good to hear that local people were successful in applying for a unit.  If further funding is made available, the National team have already stated that they will consider similar projects. 

All the current call blocking options have their pros and cons.  It depends upon individual circumstances as to what will work best for the resident.  The BT Call Protect service is slightly different to the Truecall unit as that is a for BT customers only and works on the phone line.  Both Sky and Talk Talk also have call blocking services for their customers.  As another option, some BT and Panasonic phones have built in call blocking and these also work quite well.    

As the Truecall Secure units don’t require any intervention from the resident, they can be the best option for those residents who may struggle to deal with unwanted calls.  However, there is still the potential for unwanted calls to reach the resident or genuine calls to be blocked.  There are quite a few different settings, which if incorrectly set can cause problems. 
Truecall units can be purchased from Truecall:  https://www.truecall.co.uk/    0800 0336 330  There are 2 different models. 

Although Caller Display is a useful tool, we would always urge caution when using it.  The criminals can change the display to say what they like, e.g. they can change the number to show a local number or the number of the local bank.  This is known as “Spoofing” and further details of this issue can be found by clicking here or visiting: 

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/problems/tackling-nuisance-calls-and-messages/phone-spoof-scam




 
Message sent by
Sue Sambells (NottsWatch, Administrator, Nottinghamshire)

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