Bromley Neighbourhood Watch Association’s News

Our Newsletters keep you abreast of news and events from sources such as local Police, Bromley Council, Trading Standards, Councillors, MPs, Action Fraud and the Met’s Cyber Crime Unit. Please forward them to your members, friends and family.

INCOMING SCAM TELEPHONE CALLS

Many of us are now receiving text messages from the NHS inviting us to click on an embedded link to book a Covid vaccine. These are genuine but there are very few other text messages where clicking on a hyperlink is valid. Banks don’t text in this way, nor does Amazon so take great care when viewing incoming text messages.

MESSAGE FROM NEW SCOTLAND YARD

We have been asked to circulate the following message by the Met Police Commander – Crime Prevention, Inclusion & Engagement: 

“We have seen a major milestone in the easing of lockdown restrictions in England with pubs, bars and most other hospitality venues able to reopen for outdoor table service or for takeaway services. Likewise, non-essential retail, leisure facilities, hairdressers and personal beauty businesses have also been able to reopen. 

This easing of restrictions is a testament to the effort we’ve all put in to keep each other safe and suppress the virus while the vaccination role out has continued at pace. To ensure we continue to help keep everyone safe and disrupt criminal activity as people return to our streets we’ve stepped up patrols to areas with high footfall. 

As part of the easing of restrictions, we continue our well-established partnership with London’s 32 local councils to enforce breaches of the regulations within licensed premises. Of course, there are still restrictions in place about gatherings and meeting indoors and should there be dangerous flouting of the rules we will continue to take enforcement action in order to protect everyone in our communities. While the case rate has declined in London, we’ve seen the concerning position in northern Europe so it’s important we stick to the rules so further lockdowns or restrictions are avoided. 

I again share with you the latest Government legislation, details of which can be found here on the government website: Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do. Please may I ask for your help and support in observing the current lockdown requirements and to share this link with your friends and families to help guide them as to how to keep each other safe and what they are able to do without breaching legislation. Thank you for your continued support and also in your help to share the message more widely to help protect the communities of London.”

TRADING STANDARDS

We’ve covered this subject many times before but think it worthwhile raising your awareness again. Bromley Trading Standards recently received a number of reports of telephone scams affecting Bromley residents. As a result of these phone calls, people, including some of the most vulnerable in our community, have lost money and suffered considerable upset and worry, having been targeted by scammers. 

Some scam phone calls are automated with a recorded message which usually requests you ‘Press 1’ to speak with an agent or team member, whilst others are made by a professional sounding caller, who appears to know some of your personal details. If you are not expecting the call from the organisation they claim to be from and are not absolutely sure who is calling you, HANG UP straight away. 

So, how can you protect yourself?

Don’t reveal personal details – Never give out personal or financial information over the phone even if the caller claims to be from your bank or the Police. This includes your account details, PIN, date of birth, e-mail address and mother’s maiden name. 

Hang up – If you feel harassed, intimidated or if the caller talks over you without giving you a chance to speak, end the call. It may feel rude to hang up but you have the right not to be pressurised into anything. 

Ring the organisation – If you’re unsure whether the caller is genuine, you can always ring the company or bank they claim to be from. Make sure you find the number yourself, perhaps from a previous statement or letter, and don’t use the one provided by the caller. If possible, use a different phone.

Don’t be rushed – Scammers could try to rush you into providing your personal details. They may say they have a time-limited offer or claim your bank account is at risk if you don’t give them the information they need right away.

If the caller claims to be from BT, we can confirm from that, if you ask them to read out your Customer Number, they will conveniently hang up for you!