Finance

Beware of Bogus Trading Standards Officer

Kent County Council Trading Standards are warning the public to be aware of a bogus ‘Trading Standards Officer’ who has recently called at a resident’s home in Kent.

The criminal claimed that he had received the resident’s money from a recent court case and in order to retrieve the money the resident must pay a release fee of £10,000.

Trading Standards Officers would never contact residents and ask them to hand over money, or transfer money into another person’s bank account.

If you receive a phone call or a visit from someone claiming to be from Trading Standards and asking for money, please call the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506 or the Police on 101.

Report it

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Kent County Council 04 April 2017

Council Tax set to rise by £ 5.56 pm

The publication of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner’s draft budget completes the picture for Council Tax rises for this year.

Council tax for a Band D property will rise from £ 1,507.70 to £ 1,563.32, a increase of £ 55.62, equivalent to £ 5.56 per month when paid over 10 months. This is subject to ongoing consultations, ratification by the precepting authorities and a decision by Kent County whether they should take up the government’s offer of an increase in the Social Care precept of 3% rather than the 2% allowed in its draft budget. (more…)

Consultation on policing precept

A boost for security and frontline policing in Kent

Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner

Opens: 06 January 2017
Closes: 23 January 2017

A message from the Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott:

“I am responsible, as Police and Crime Commissioner, for determining the overall budget for policing in the county and for setting the amount that Kent Police receives from the annual council tax. Policing is mainly funded in two ways; about two thirds come from grants we receive from the Home Office and the rest from the council tax.

“For the next financial year, Kent will lose more than £2million of funding from the Home Office, as money is set to be taken away to pay for other things. I believe some of these, such as giving money to the courts service to pay for changes to police bail, are unfair and I will be challenging those.

“So in my first year as your Police and Crime Commissioner, I have been faced with a difficult choice. Ideologically, I am a low-tax Conservative. During the course of my campaign, I said that I did not want the precept to rise, unless it was needed to protect frontline policing. However, I believe that this announcement meets that test. In 2017/18, I am proposing that the council tax precept for Kent Police rises by 3.3%, equivalent to £5 for an average Band D household, supported by a contribution from reserves. (more…)

KFRS Budget Consultation

Kent Fire and Rescue LogoCouncil Tax consultation 2017/18

Kent Fire and Rescue Service

Opens: 5 December 2016
Closes: 16 January 2017 (12:00 noon)

Where your money is spent

Your local fire service gets its money from two places, the Government and Council Tax. This is the amount we have to spend each year on all of the services we provide which include:

  • Providing a 24/7 emergency service for fires, road traffic collisions, floods and a whole range of other emergencies where the skills and equipment of firefighters are needed.
  • Safety advice and support to help local people stay safe in their own homes, this includes home safety visits particularly targeted at the most vulnerable in the community such as older people and those with disabilities.
  • Assistance to the ambulance service for serious medical emergencies such as heart attacks, where trained local fire crews are located closer to the casualty.
  • Education for around 90,000 children each year on fire and road safety in schools and at our road safety centre.
A few important facts:
  • Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s day-to-day budget in 2016/17 is £69m
  • Along with others in the public sector, Kent Fire and Rescue Service has made savings over recent years – £22m over the last 7 years
  • We expect to have to make further savings of around £7m over the next four years

Help us plan for the future

We are determined to continue to provide a safe and efficient service whilst balancing changing local needs and working with reducing grant funding from central Government. We believe that the plans we have put in place over the last few years have provided a good foundation to meet that challenge. Our previous investment in new equipment is already paying off, helping us fight fires and deal with rescues more effectively. We are also looking at new ways of working that are more flexible and responsive to local needs. This will help us make the necessary savings while still maintaining the quality service that we believe local people want. (more…)

ABC Budget Consultation

Ashford Borough Council Logo2017-18 Budget consultation

Ashford Borough Council

Opens: 23 December 2016
Closes: 8 February 2017

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) have published their 2017-18 Budget consultation summary document and are inviting comments on their draft budget.

ABC has announced the consultation on 12 December 2016, ahead of publication of the summary document on 23 December, by saying that it  is likely to still set the lowest council tax in Kent following the approval of its draft budget for 2017-18 by Cabinet members on 11 December.

Residents, businesses and parishes will now be given the opportunity to comment on the draft budget. It will also be considered in detail by the council’s overview and scrutiny committee’s budget task group, as the report makes its way through the democratic process before being considered again by cabinet and council in February 2017. (more…)

Fake Bank Letters

Action FraudLloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters. 

The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative.

The letter tells recipients that there have been some “unusual transactions” on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine.

When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth.Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number.
The fraud was spotted by the Daily Telegraph who was alerted to it by a reader who had three identical letters sent to an office address. On separate occasions the Daily Telegraph ran some tests using fake details and were passed to fraudsters who claimed to be from a Lloyds contact centre. The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake.

The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks.

If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card.

To report a fraud and cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

Action Fraud 9 December 2016
www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/sophisticated-fraud-involving-convincing-bank-letters-dec16

It is likely that similar fraud will be attempted other bank’s details.

  1. Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password
  2. Don’t assume an email, text, letter or phone call is authentic
  3. Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting
  4. Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right
  5. Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret

#TakeFive

Online scams

Take Five to stop fraudOnline fraud covers everything from online shopping to online banking, but one thing can help prevent both: take the time to install the built-in security measures most browsers and many banks offer. These can help protect you whether the criminals are trying to dupe you with fake pop-ups in your online banking window, sending you ‘scam alert’ messages hiding malware, or faking retailer websites to make you input your financial details.

https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/

#TakeFive

Email scams

Take Five to stop fraudCriminals don’t just try and contact you by phone and text, they also ‘phish’, contacting you by email too. So always be suspicious of unsolicited emails that are supposedly from your bank or some other trusted organisation because the address can easily be faked. Never automatically click on any links they contain either, not before stopping to check if they seem genuine first. It is safer to type the web address of your bank or other organisation rather than use a link from an email.

https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/

#TakeFive

Text message scams

Take Five to stop fraudA text might not be from who you think – Smishing is when criminals pretend a message is from your bank or another organisation you trust. They will usually tell you there has been fraud on your account and will ask you to deal with it by calling a number or visiting a fake website to update your personal details. Please take a moment to stop and think and realise this is the fraud…

If you think there has been fraud on your card or bank account – or if you suspect anyone has attempted to compromise your financial details – report it immediately to your bank or financial services provider and then contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/

#TakeFive