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Crime update July 2020

Published on 03 August 2020 12:04 PM

Here is an update on the latest crime trends from the 'Crimes Against Older People' Group who met in July

1. Bogus Telephone Callers
COVID-19 Track & Trace scam
There have been recent reports of a COVID-19 test Track & Trace telephone scam whereby the caller notifies the victim that they are calling from the NHS Track & Trace service. They state that according to their database, the victim has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. They do not inform whom. The victim is encouraged to be tested within 72 hours and is asked to provide their address details for a test kit to be posted out to them. The victim is told that they are required to pay £50 for the test and this payment is taken over the phone. The victim then provides their credit/debit card details.

2. Automated Phone Scam
There have also been reports of victims receiving a telephone call which when they pick up plays an automated voice stating the following: “This is your internet provider. Your internet will be disconnected within 24hrs due to illegal activity. For more information, press 1”. When the victim presses 1, it apparently results in them ending up with a massive phone bill.

3. Other telephone Scams
Criminals are also contacting victims by phone, text or email and they are impersonating people, government organisations (such as the DVLA or HMRC) and the police amongst others. Their aim is to catch victims off guard and try to steal from them by getting them to disclose their personal and financial details, or make a payment using their credit or debit card.

Tips to stay safe:
Genuine callers will never:
- ask you to contact a premium rate number such as those starting 09 or 087;
- ask you to make any form of payment over the phone;
- ask for your bank or card details, PIN number or password;
- ask for personal or financial information.
- ask you to purchase any product;
- ask you to access any website and/or download any software onto your computer, smart phone or tablet.
Hang up if you receive a call like this.
Contact Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or the Police on 101, if it is not an emergency call.

4. Doorstep Scams & Distraction Burglary
The “Nottingham Knockers” / The Duster Sellers These doorstep sellers turn up on your doorstep with a hold all full of cleaning products including tea towels, dishcloths, dusters, sprays and polishes. They are professional criminals, who may use charm or have an aggressive or pushy approach when selling you these items, which are usually poor quality and overpriced. They may show an ID card purporting to be part of a probation scheme or claim to be deaf or dumb, again showing an ID card. These ID cards are not genuine and have no legal bearing. The probation service would not be involved in any such working methods.
You may feel tempted to purchase from these sellers just to get rid of them, or because you feel sorry for them, however once you have purchased from them, they will keep returning and have in some cases become violent and forced their way into people’s homes to obtain further cash.
Unfortunately, whilst selling these criminals are also trying to identify vulnerable people/households with valuables/cash and suitable target addresses may then be sold onwards to other thieves and professional burglars.

Tips to stay safe:
- Do not open your front door to cold callers.
- Never hand over cash or your personal and financial details to any doors step caller.
- Do not buy any item or service from a cold caller at your doorstep.
- If you feel rushed, pressured or confused close the door and call a trusted friend or family member. A genuine caller will not object to this.
- Contact the Police if you do not feel safe. Call 999 if it is an emergency and 101 if you wish to discuss a non-urgent matter with the Police.