Our Borough of Broxbourne, Local Police Liaison Officer would like to bring to your attention several recent incidents that is worth being aware, with an aim to avoid at all costs.
Accepting deliveries of items such as mobile phones not ordered from the household
If you receive a delivery of a mobile phone you did not order, please call the police on the non-emergency number 101, so we can recover the device and investigate. If a stranger then knocks to pick it up, tell them the police have it.
We have had incidents recently were stolen credit cards have been used to order mobile phones, the offenders then follow the parcel to an address and try and get the phone from the driver as it is delivered or collect the parcel from the house holder saying they got the wrong address.
Fraudulent forms claiming tax return
Don’t be caught out by bogus HMRC contacts claiming you’re owed a tax rebate.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) receive many reports of scam emails and text messages at this time of year. For example: “We have reviewed your tax return; according to our calculations a tax refund of £xx is due…” The scammers try to trick you into giving them your bank details, National Insurance number or other personal information.
Be aware that fraudsters can falsify (spoof) the ‘from’ text or email address or to look like a legitimate HMRC source.
If you are not 100% sure that a message has come from HMRC, don’t respond. If you are in doubt, don’t click on any links or attachments. Scammers may include links to a fake HMRC website – to trick you into disclosing information.
Be particularly wary of emails using phrases like ‘you have 3 days to reply’ or ‘urgent action required’.
Remember that you should always log into your online account via your browser, never via an emailed link.
Genuine emails from HMRC will never:
– notify you of a tax rebate or offer you a repayment
– ask you to disclose personal information such as your full address, Unique Taxpayer Reference or bank details
– ask for financial information such as specific figures or tax computations, unless you have given prior consent for this
– have attachments, unless you have given prior consent and formally accepted the risks
– provide a link to a login page or a form asking for information – instead we will ask you to log on to your online account to check for information
Forward suspicious emails to HMRC at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the HMRC website for more details.
Thefts in local supermarkets in the market car parks
This is allegedly part of an ongoing trend taking plave. Circumstances vary, but always involve a customer being approached in the car park by a stranger, who distracts them by asking a question or asking them to look at something.
A similar scenario is where a stranger approaches the customer and asks for directions. Again, while the customer is focusing on giving directions, their property is stolen.
A typical scenario is where a customer is putting their shopping into their vehicle. A stranger approaches and distracts them by pointing out a concern in relation to their car. While they are distracted by looking at the potential car problem, an accomplice grabs their unattended handbag.
In most cases, the victim’s cash is stolen and their cards are used quickly at a nearby location. In some cases, the thief has watched the victim entering their PIN number while paying for their shopping.
Although residents of different age groups have been targeted, we have received most reports where the victims have been senior residents.
Protect Your Money
Please be alert to this crime type and share this alert with neighbours and relatives.
When loading shopping into your vehicle, be conscious about where your handbag or other valuables are. Place them out of reach of passers-by and don’t leave them unattended, even for a moment.
Should a stranger approach you with a question, finish loading your shopping and lock your valuables into your vehicle before speaking with them.
Please use your hand as a shield while entering your PIN number when shopping or at cash points.
If you need to reply regarding this message, click on this email address: email@example.com
If you want to follow up on any of the above reports click on this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org