Finance

Is someone you know being scammed?

Older people and those who are isolated in their community are often targeted by scammers. If you know or visit someone who might be a target you can support them by keeping an eye out for potential signs of scams.

Someone you know might be being targeted if they:

  • have letters piling up – usually from abroad or what looks like junk mail
  • have a lot of items delivered, such as health or beauty products or fake jewellery
  • are anxious when the phone rings, or get a lot of phone calls
  • become secretive when discussing finances or have unexplained expenses to ‘friends’

Citizens Advice
http://scams.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Why you should report scams

Reporting is really important in the fight against scams and fraud. It might help you to recover your losses and it helps the authorities to learn more about the tactics used by scammers.

The more we know about scams the better we can tackle them.

If you suspect a scam report it to Action Fraud – you can use their online reporting tool: www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud.

If you’ve lost money in a scam, tell your bank, finance company or pension provider.

For more advice call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.

#scamaware

Citizen’s Advice
http://scams.citizensadvice.org.uk/

How to spot a scam

Scams are often hard to spot as they’re complex and use psychological tricks. You can keep yourself and others safe by knowing when it might be a scam.
If you’re not sure if something is a scam, get advice.

Talk to friends and family if something seems too good to be true, or call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.

It could be a scam if you:

  • Get a call, text or email out of the blue – genuine companies and banks won’t ask for your full personal or security details
  • Are rushed to make a decision or give someone your details – if it’s real, you shouldn’t have to make a decision straight away
  • See a deal that’s very cheap or too good to be true
  • Are asked to pay for something up-front, like collecting a loan, or starting a job
  • Are asked to send money or your bank details to someone you’ve never met, especially friends online
  • Get a text or email saying that your bank needs to contact you ‘urgently’ especially if there’s a link to a website or a premium rate number

Find out more about common scams:
www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/scams/scams/common-scams/

#scamaware

Citizens Advice
http://scams.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Vehicle Online Shopping Fraud

Action FraudFraudsters have been advertising vehicles and machinery for sale on various selling platforms online. The victims, after communicating via email with the fraudster, will receive a bogus email which purports to be from an established escrow provider (a third party who will keep the payment until the buying and selling parties are both happy with the deal).

These emails are designed to persuade victims to pay upfront, via bank transfer, before visiting the seller to collect the goods. The emails also claim that the buyer (victim) has a cooling off period to reclaim the payment if they change their mind. This gives victims the false sense of security that their money is being looked after by this trustworthy third party, when in fact it is not and the money has gone straight to the fraudster.

Protect yourself:

  • When making a large purchase such as a new car or machinery, always meet the seller face to face first and ask to see the goods before transferring any money.
  • If you receive a suspicious email asking for payment, check for spelling, grammar, or any other errors, and check who sent the email. If in doubt, check feedback online by searching the associated phone numbers or email addresses of the seller.
  • Contact the third party the fraudsters are purporting to be using to make the transaction. They should be able to confirm whether the email you have received is legitimate or not.
  • False adverts often offer vehicles or machinery for sale well below market value to entice potential victims; always be cautious. If it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

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

Action Fraud 12 June 2017
www.actionfraudalert.co.uk/da/182306/Vehicle%20Online%20Shopping%20Fraud.html

Agreement brings money to Victoria Park

The Section 106 Agreement for the North Travis Perkins site in Victoria Crescent, signed last week, includes a contribution of £ 21,514 for the ‘Victoria Park Improvement Project’. This will be added to contributions of £ 270,002 from the Powergen site development, £ 150,000 from the Victoria Way development.

In addition to in excess of £ 440,000 from Section 106 contributions, the results of an application by Ashford Borough Council (ABC) to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for Parks for People funding are expected by the end of this month. Although there are, as yet, no confirmed detailed plans, ABC have an ambition to: refurbish the Hubert fountain and piazza; reintroduce or recognise lost cultural and natural heritage elements; provide a volunteers compound and other community facilities; and put in place a range of community events and activities including a new ‘Friends Group’ etc. from the HLF funding.

The Section 106 Contributions will be used for other elements of the Victoria Park and Watercress Fields Masterplan adopted by ABC’s Cabinet on 10 March 2016. (more…)

How ABC spends the Borough’s money

Ashford Borough Council is now making available its annual accounts for inspection for the financial year 2016-17.

Those accounts are available for members of the public to view between 9am and 4.30pm from 5th June until 14th July 2017 at the Civic Centre in Tannery Lane, Ashford, or online at www.ashford.gov.uk/budgeting-accounts.

During this period anyone may inspect or make copies of the accounts, books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other related documents of the Council for that financial year, which ended on 31stMarch 2017.

This is in accordance with Section 25 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

An appointment must be made before anyone inspects the accounts. To do so, please contact the council’s Head of Finance & IT on 01233 330540.

Anyone wishing to raise objections to the accounts as presented should address their concerns to the auditor Elizabeth Olive, Grant Thornton UK LLP at Grant Thornton House, Melton Street, London NW1 2EP

A guide to your rights can be found at: www.nao.org.uk/code-audit-practice/council-accounts-a-guide-to-your-rights/

Ashford Borough Council 02 June 2017
www.ashford.gov.uk/news/showing-you-how-we-spend-the-boroughs-money-2nd-jun-1631/

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…)