Crime

FIFA 2018 World Cup Alert

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place from 14th June – 15th July 2018. The worldwide demand for match tickets, flight tickets, and somewhere to stay throughout the competition is expected to be significant. Those planning to travel should exercise caution when considering the purchase of tickets or accommodation because the event is highly likely to be targeted by fraudsters looking to take advantage of unsuspecting fans.

Fraudsters will likely be posing as:

  • Official World Cup ticket vendors or private individuals attempting to sell on a match ticket via online marketplace.
  • A fraudulent website or operator offering non-existent flights or other transport to host cities.
  • An accommodation booking service, hotel or operator, offering seemingly convenient accommodation in one of the host cities for the duration of the game.
  • Lottery or competition organisers claiming that you’ve won a prize or cash related to the tournament.

Action Fraud received over six hundred reports and intelligence submissions in relation to the previous World Cup so it’s vital that football fans exercise caution when considering a purchase or making a transaction.

Protect yourself:

  • Listen to your instincts: If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Fraudsters will use the promise of steep discounts to lure you into handing over your money or revealing personal/financial details.
  • Clicking on links/files: Don’t be tricked into giving a fraudster access to your personal or financial details, and never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.
  • Visit the Action Fraud website and take a look at their Ticket Fraud, Holiday Fraud and Lottery Fraud advice pages before making any decisions or bookings.
  • For useful advice and information on the World Cup please visit the Government Guidance Pages: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/be-on-the-ball-world-cup-2018

Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.

Action Fraud  18 April 2018
www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/action-fraud-warns-football-fans-ahead-of-2018-world-cup-Apr18

Magazine Debt Fraud Alert

Fraudsters are cold calling victims nationwide and tricking them into paying a debt for magazine advertisement subscriptions that do not exist.

How does this fraud work?

Victims receive a telephone call from someone purporting to be a bailiff enforcing a court judgement, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt.

Over the phone the fraudsters state the debt originates from the victim not paying a magazine advertisement subscription.

The fraudsters use a variety of magazine names and publishers and are using the names such “Scott Davis”, “Stephen King” and “Mark Taylor”. These are names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents employed by debt enforcement companies.

Bank transfer

Fraudsters then request that the debt be repaid by bank transfer. If the victim refuses, they threaten to visit the victim’s home or place of work to recover the debt that is owed.

Once the money has been transferred, victims are not provided with receipt details of the payment or contact details. Later when victims make enquiries, they’ll discover that the debt did not exist, and often that no advertisement was placed.

This type of fraud is nationwide. Since 2017, there have been 52 reports relating to this fraud. From the reports received, there are a range of different businesses and individuals being targeted.

How to protect yourself:

Listen to your instincts: just because someone knows your basic details, such as your name and address, it doesn’t mean they are genuine.
Stay in control: always question cold callers. Always contact the companies directly using a known email or phone number.
Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: A legitimate company will be prepared to wait whilst you verify information.
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to us.

Visit Take Five and Cyber Aware for more information about how to protect yourself online.

Action Fraud  5th April 2018
www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/fraudsters-claiming-to-be-bailiffs-tricking-people-into-paying-fake-debts-apr18

Domestic Abuse Bill Consultation

silhouette of figureTransforming the response to domestic abuse

Home Office and Ministry of Justice

Opened 8 Mar 2018
Closes 31 May 2018

Domestic abuse comes in many forms, shattering the lives of victims and their families, and in recognition of this the government has put forward proposals for new laws which would transform our approach to this terrible crime.

The consultation launched today (Thursday 8 March) by the Prime Minister Theresa May, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Justice Secretary David Gauke, will seek views on measures to be included in the government’s draft Domestic Abuse Bill.

To ensure they get this landmark legislation right the Government now want to hear from all those who have been affected by abuse, from survivors, front line professionals, charities and the public, to gather views on how, together, we can best put a stop to it once and for all.

This consultation seeks to address domestic abuse at every stage from prevention through to rehabilitation. It references the connections and provisions of cross-sector agencies and departments and reinforces the Government’s aim to make domestic abuse everyone’s business.

By consulting the Government aims to harness the knowledge and expertise of victims and survivors, support organisations and research experts. They are also interested in the views of professionals across policing, criminal justice, health, welfare, education and local authorities who deal with these issues everyday.

The main aim through this work is to prevent domestic abuse by challenging the acceptability of abuse and addressing the underlying attitudes and norms that perpetuate it. This consultation asks questions under four main themes with the central aim of prevention running through each.

  • Promote awareness – to put domestic abuse at the top of everyone’s agenda, and raise public and professionals’ awareness.
  • Protect and support – to enhance the safety of victims and the support that they receive.
  • Pursue and deter – to provide an effective response to perpetrators from initial agency response through to conviction and management of offenders, including rehabilitation.
  • Improve Performance – to drive consistency and better performance in the response to domestic abuse across all local areas, agencies and sectors.

For each of these themes the current position is outlined and any potential areas identified where it is thought more could be done. These areas will be at different stages of development, and the accompanying questions will reflect this. In some instances feedback will be requested on specific proposals, whilst in others evidence or experiences will be asked for to further understand the problem.

The consultation includes some topics which are complex and/or technical.

Participate in this consultation

There are two versions of the consultation questionnaire:

Full version
https://consult.justice.gov.uk/homeoffice-moj/domestic-abuse-consultation/

Short Version
https://consult.justice.gov.uk/homeoffice-moj/domestic-abuse-consultation-short-version/

Documents

Transforming the response to domestic abuse 1.8 MB (PDF document)
https://consult.justice.gov.uk/homeoffice-moj/domestic-abuse-consultation/supporting_documents/Transforming%20the%20response%20to%20domestic%20abuse.pdf

Government takes action to tackle domestic abuse
Home Office and Ministry of Justice  08 March 2018
www.gov.uk/government/news/government-takes-action-to-tackle-domestic-abuse

Doorstep criminal alerts

Kent County Council have issued two alerts of fraudulent activity:

Bogus Police and Trading Standards Officers

Kent Trading Standards and Kent Police have received reports of criminals contacting residents by phone or in person claiming to be a Police or Trading Standards Officer. They will often refer to some previous poor work that might have been carried out and falsely claim the people involved have been arrested or are already in court.They insist the resident pays money which will be reimbursed after the court hearing.

The Police, Trading Standards, or the Court, would never ask for money – under any circumstances.

This type of fraudulent activity is on the rise so please report calls or visits to Kent Police. Residents that have previously been victims of doorstep crime are particularly at risk so please warn neighbours, friends and/or relatives if you think they may be targeted.

Report to Kent Police on 101 or at your local Police station.

Report it to Kent Police online
www.kent.police.uk/services/report-online/kent-police-online-reporting/

Criminals taking advantage of the bad weather

Doorstep criminals will take advantage of the current bad weather. Anyone calling at your home offering to do work on your roof, guttering, driveway, or inside your property, should be treated with caution.

Accepting work from a doorstep criminal can result in paying much more than you intended for very poor, unnecessary and sometimes dangerous work.

If you require work done to your home get at least three quotes and never give a doorstep caller cash.

For a list of Kent County Council approved traders

Please look out for neighbours and report any suspicious doorstep criminals to us.

Report it

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/get-more-help/report-to-trading-standards/

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/ or

phone 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Kent County Council Public Protection  01 March 2018

Expansion of domestic abuse services

silhouette of figureDomestic abuse services will continue to expand in Ashford, thanks to the ongoing success of a strong multi-agency network programme.

At last night’s meeting, Ashford Borough Council’s Cabinet paid tribute to the ongoing success of Ashford Domestic Abuse Forum (ADAF), which works alongside professionals in the health, police, fire, voluntary, local authority and charitable sectors to support those seeking help. The charity’s achievements include the Ashford Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop, and a series of victim programmes.

ADAF is now introducing a new scheme in Ashford – in conjunction with the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company – aimed at helping perpetrators understand the impact they are having. A new rural drop-in service which may further improve provision for those across the borough is also being considered.

Additional funding has already been secured to provide a support network for both adolescent girls and boys, young women, and a specialist one-to-one service for children affected by domestic violence.

The Ashford Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop, a weekly drop-in centre where victims can receive advice and support, received 443 visitors between July 2016 and June 2017 – a 20% increase compared to the same period in 2015-16.

It is believed the increase is due to the leadership, delivery and awareness of the facility, which is enabling victims to speak out. It is the second busiest One Stop Shop in the county, with 20% of those attending doing so on more than one occasion.

Ashford Borough Council funds the full-time domestic abuse coordinator post, as well as providing money towards an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA), who is the primary contact for victims of domestic abuse. The council was also successful in bidding for funds to provide emergency accommodation to female victims of domestic violence.

Councillor Brad Bradford, Portfolio Holder for Health, Parking and Community Safety, said: “The council continues to play an important role in coordinating the response to domestic abuse. This ensures that Ashford has many excellent services committed to supporting such a worthwhile cause.

“This report highlights the marvellous work that has been undertaken by a range of agencies and I am impressed by the future work plan.”

The Ashford One Stop Shop is open every Tuesday between 9.30am and 12.30pm at The Willows Centre, Brookfield Road.

For information on other services available and other One Stop Shop’s across the county go to www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk

Ashford Borough Council  14 February 2018
www.ashford.gov.uk/whats-on/news/expansion-of-domestic-abuse-services-in-ashford-applauded-14th-feb/

Flight Ticket Fraud Alert

Fraudsters are attempting to entice victims who are looking for cheap flights abroad.

Victims have reported booking tickets via websites or a “popular” ticket broker, only to discover that after payment via bank transfer or electronic wire transfer, the tickets/booking references received are counterfeit. In some cases, all communications between the company or broker and the victim have been severed.

Fraudsters are targeting individuals who are seeking to travel to African nations and the Middle East, particularly those wishing to travel in time for popular public and religious holidays.

Prevention Advice:

  • Pay safe: Be cautious if you’re asked to pay directly into a private individual’s bank account. Paying by direct bank transfer is like paying by cash – the money is very difficult to trace and is not refundable. Wherever possible, pay by credit card or a debit card.
  • Conduct research on any company you’re considering purchasing tickets from; for example, are there any negative reviews or forum posts by previous customers online? Don’t just rely on one review – do a thorough online search to check the company’s credentials.
  • Check any company website thoroughly; does it look professional? Are there any spelling mistakes or irregularities? There should be a valid landline phone number and a full postal address so that the company can be contacted. Avoid using the site if there is only a PO Box address and mobile phone number, as it could be difficult to get in touch after you buy tickets. PO Box addresses and mobile phone numbers are easy to change and difficult to trace.
  • Be aware that purchasing tickets from a third party, particularly when initial contact has been made via a social media platform can be incredibly risky.
  • If tickets to your intended destination appear cheaper than any other vendor, always consider this; if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Look for the logo: Check whether the company is a member of a recognised trade body such as ABTA or ATOL. You can verify membership of ABTA online, at www.abta.com.

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

Action Fraud  07 February 2018
https://www.actionfraudalert.co.uk/da/207388/Flight%20Ticket%20Fraud%20Alert.html