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.
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.
Did you know the National Gas Emergency Service will not be able to help with boiler or appliance issues. SGN look after the gas pipes leading up to your gas meter and provide the National Gas Emergency Service across Scotland and the south of England.
If your boiler has stopped working in the cold weather, please visit our website for some additional information: https://www.sgn.co.uk/News/2018-Mar-News/Has-your-boiler-stopped-working
If you smell gas, have a gas emergency or are concerned about carbon monoxide, call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.
Customer Operations Manager
Fraudsters are cold-calling victims, falsely stating that they are calling from one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers. They call victims claiming to provide a ‘Telephone Preference Service’ - an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres.
The fraudsters ask victims to confirm/provide their bank account details, informing them that there is a one-off charge for the service. Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised. The fraudsters often target elderly victims.
In all instances, direct debits are set up without following proper procedure. The victim is not sent written confirmation of the direct debit instruction, which is supposed to be sent within three days.
On occasions when victims attempted to call back, the telephone number provided by the fraudster was either unable to be reached or the victim’s direct debit cancellation request was refused.
During 2017, there were 493 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud.
There is only one Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The TPS is the only official UK 'do-not-call' register for opting out of live telesales calls. It is FREE to sign-up to the register. TPS never charge for registration. You can register for this service at http://www.tpsonline.org.uk.
You will receive postal confirmation of genuine direct debits. If you notice unauthorised payments leaving your account, you should contact your bank promptly.
Always be wary of providing personal information, or confirming that personal information the caller already claims to hold is correct. Always be certain that you know who you talking to. If in doubt hang up immediately.
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 has received several reports indicating that sellers of items on online marketplace websites are falling victim to fraud by bogus buyers. Typically, the bogus buyers contact the seller wanting to purchase the item for sale and advise they will be sending the requested amount via PayPal or other electronic payment method. The seller then receives a fake, but official looking email stating they have been paid more than the asking price and to send the difference back to the buyer’s bank account. In reality, no money has ever been sent to the seller; the bogus buyer has spoofed an email and purported to be an online payment company. All contact is then severed with the seller.
It is important to remember that selling anything could make you a target to these fraudsters however the NFIB has identified that those offering sofas, large furniture and homeware are particularly vulnerable.
• Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic. Remember criminals can imitate any email address. Stay in control. Always use a trusted payment method online, such as Paypal, and have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for payment like bank transfers.
• Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Always verify that you have received payment from the buyer before completing a sale.
• Listen to your instincts. Criminals will try and make unusual b_ehaviour, like overpaying, seem like a genuine mistake.
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting http://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Fraudulent websites alleging to offer cryptocurrency investments are dishonestly using the image of Martin Lewis, the founder and editor for moneysavingexpert.com, as an endorsement for their companies.
The adverts using Martin Lewis to promote illicit schemes can be found on social media and other websites. Clicking on the advert takes you to the full article where Martin Lewis image is presented along with fake quotes recommending investments in bitcoin and other digital currencies with the fraudulent “company”. Alternatively clicking on the advert will take you to a page where you are required to input your contact details, the suspect company then phones you and encourages you to invest.
Martin Lewis has published a warning to the public saying “I don’t do adverts. If you ever see one with my face or name on it, it is without my permission, and usually a scam”. The full article can be found here; https://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/2018/03/13/martin-lewis-spread-word-dont-believe-scam-bitcoin-code-bitcoin-trading-ads/?_.
Similarly these fraudulent websites are also misusing images and fabricating recommendations from the investors on Dragons Den. These adverts also claim the investors on the panel trade in cryptocurrencies using their services to try and legitimise their company.
What you need to do
Don’t assume it’s authentic: Professional-looking websites, adverts or social media posts don’t indicate that an investment opportunity is genuine. Criminals can exploit the names of well-known brands or individuals to make their scams appear legitimate.
Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: A genuine bank or financial organisation won’t force you to make a financial transaction on the spot. Always be wary if you’re pressured to invest quickly or promised returns that sound too good to be true.
Stay in control: Avoid unsolicited investment offers, especially those over cold calls. If you’re thinking about making an investment, get impartial advice from an independent financial adviser – never use an adviser from the company that contacted you, as this may be part of the scam.
Family make heartfelt appeal for missing Worthing woman to return home
The family of Georgina Gharsallah have made an emotion plea for her safe return.
Mum, Andrea, was joined by Georgina’s younger sisters, Arij and Sonya, in a direct appeal to their missing family member.
Georgina, 30, was last seen in Worthing on the morning of March 7 wearing a grey jacket with a fur-lined hood.
She is white, 5’ 2”, with shoulder-length dark hair, often worn in a top knot, and has a Monroe-style piercing above her left lip.
Georgina has Arabian features and speaks Arabic among friends.
It is believed she may still be around Worthing or she could have travelled to Brighton.
If you see Georgina, call 999 immediately. If you have information on her whereabouts or have seen her, please report or call 101 quoting reference 603 of 17/03.
Reference: 0745 9th April
Location: Whitehall Drive, Ifield
Date and time: Between 1130hrs – 1540hrs 9th April
Details: Entry was gained to the house by breaking a double glazed back door, jewellery was stolen along with bank cards and a Samsung Galaxy mobile phone.
Reference: 1190 9th April
Location: Martyn Close, Henfield
Date and time: Between 1930hrs – 2050hrs 9th April
Details: An insecure door was entered, nothing stolen.
Reference: 0719 10th April
Location: Wheatsheaf Rd, Woodmancote
Date and time: Between 1130hrs – 1330hrs 10th April
Details: Insecure property was entered and power tools were taken.
Reference: 0304 11th April
Location: Pevensey Road, Southwater
Date and time: Between 2000hrs 10th April & 0820hrs 11th April
Details: Property entered after glass in front door was broken, nothing stolen.
Reference: 0940 12th April
Location: Manor Way, Henfield
Date and time: Between 1400hrs – 1420hrs 6th April
Details: Entry was gained via insecure property, stole handbag from hallway.
Other than Dwelling
Reference: 0500 6th April
Location: Gresham Place, Henfield
Date and time: Between 3rd & 6th April
Details: Petrol Mower was stolen from a shed.
Reference: 0199 11th April
Location: Hooklands Lane, Shipley
Date and time: Between 1800hrs 10th April & 0645hrs 11th April
Details: A Vehicle was stolen from an outbuilding.
Reference: 1156 12th April
Burglaries – Over the week there have been a few burglaries in the Henfield & Woodmancote area and residents are asked to be extra vigilant with regards to securing property, most of the burglaries that were reported this week were not locked or secure. Any suspicious activity should be reported to 101 via phone, online at http://www.sussex.police.uk/reportonline or to the local Prevention team at firstname.lastname@example.org however please note that the Horsham email address is not for reporting crime and this should be reported to 101.
If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact us online, email us at email@example.com or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place from 14th June – 15th July 2018. The worldwide demand for match tickets is expected to be significant. Action Fraud have been alerted to several websites which are offering World Cup Tickets for sale, some at highly inflated prices. A FIFA spokesperson said:
“FIFA regards the illicit sale and distribution of tickets as a very serious issue and it has been reminding all football fans that FIFA.com/tickets is the only official and legitimate website on which to buy 2018 FIFA World Cup tickets.”
“FIFA has received various complaints and enquiries by customers of non-authorised ticket sales platforms, and has consistently confirmed that these companies cannot guarantee access to the stadiums as the respective tickets may be cancelled. Insofar customers are at risk of investing a high amount of money (also for travelling and accommodation) without having the certainty to actually be able to attend the matches.”
FIFA have also warned that “any tickets obtained from any other source, such as ticket brokers, internet auctions or unofficial ticket exchange platforms, will be automatically rendered void and invalid”.
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.
• Don’t take the risk. Tickets for the World Cup 2018 can only be purchased directly from FIFA. For more information, please visit http://www.FIFA.com/tickets.
• A FAN ID is required for fans to be able to enter the 2018 FIFA World Cup stadiums. Exercise caution if using a third party to obtain your FAN ID for you. You may be charged inflated costs for the service and your personal details may be compromised. For more information, please visit http://www.fan-id.ru.
• Visit the Take Five website for the latest guidance on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
• 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
Ram raid on Henfield bank nets more than £88,000
Police investigating an incident in High Street, Henfield, in which thieves ram-raided a branch of Barclays Bank to remove the cash machine are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.
It happened just before 2am on Sunday (15 April) when a yellow JCB hydraulic digger was used to pull the machine from the wall and load it into a black Nissan Navara 4x4 pick-up truck, which then made off. The JCB, stolen from Edburton, around an hour beforehand, was left in the middle of the street.
The bank machine, which contained more than £88,000 in cash and the pick-up were both later found burned out in Oakendon Woods, Dunsfold. The suspects had arrived at around 2.45am. Just before 4am the suspects were confronted by a member of the public whose vehicle was rammed by a grey Audi A6 estate car as it left the scene.
At least three suspects are involved. It is thought initially one made off from the bank on foot, the others in the Navara.
Detective Sergeant Kieran McDonald said: “We are investigating this ram raid and linked criminality. We are immensely grateful to the local community for assisting us in our enquires to date. We are interested in speaking to anyone who witnessed the event or who saw any activity at the stated locations and times. We would also appreciate it if people could review any dash cams or CCTV which were recording at or near the locations described, and if they find any significant material to contact us. We are particularly interested to hear about any vehicles that appeared to be in convoy with the Navara. ”
Any witnesses or anyone who has information about any elements of the incident is asked to report details online or phone 101, quoting serial 157 of 15/04.
Alternatively, they can visit the Crimestoppers website or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.
A 25-year-old man from Henfield has been arrested on suspicion of burglary and released under investigation.
Additional officers to strengthen policing in Sussex
Sussex Police has an exciting opportunity to strengthen policing with an additional 200 police officers.
These new posts are in addition to protecting nearly 500 police officer and staff posts it had planned to lose as part of its savings plans. The increase in the precept has put the force in a much stronger financial position.
Chief Constable Giles York is determined that the public will feel the difference as he makes changes following the raise in local precept.
CC York said: “Over the last few years, we have dealt with significant challenges created by the financial constraints in which the force has found itself. This has meant difficult decisions have had to be made resulting in fewer people than we had before. Some areas of policing are stretched due to increasing demand and a change in the complexity of what we deal with.
“This change in our financial position has created an exciting opportunity to strengthen areas where it is needed most.”
He has revealed how funding will be used to strengthen local policing, improve ways for the public to make contact and further modernise the service to meet new and increasingly complex demands.
Further information can be found on our website by clicking on a link.
Stand Up To Stalking - Police re-affirm commitment to support stalking victims
Sussex Police is committed to keeping people safe when they report stalking.
There has been a welcome increase in stalking reports in the past two years, which we attribute to a number of factors, including increasing confidence by victims, more accurate recording by police, and increased awareness by officers and staff, following the recent tragic death of Shana Grice. These are complex issues, often involving people known to each other.
National figures show that some two-thirds of all stalking cases involve intimate or ex-intimate partner relationships, with the remainder being acquaintance or stranger cases. This picture is reflected in Sussex.
Further information can be found on our website by clicking on the link below.
Drink driver is imprisoned for 9 years after killing friend
A woman who was drink driving has been imprisoned for nine years for killing her friend in a crash.
Kate Woodhead, 39, from Longfield Road, Horsham in West Sussex had been driving her friend Trevor Smith from Dorking in Surrey, from her home address, on May 29, 2016 when her Audi A3 left the road and collided with a tree.
For further information on this story please click on the link.
Sussex residents invited to complete the 2018 National Rural Crime Survey
It has been three years since the first National Rural Crime Survey asked the public for their views on matters relating to rural crime.
This year’s survey is now live, and Sussex Police encourages those who live, work or visit rural communities in the county to respond and have their voice heard.
In late 2017, the force appointed T/Supt Emma Brice and Sgt Tom Carter as dedicated leads for rural crime, to address the vulnerabilities and crime types which are specific to rural areas.
T/Supt Emma Brice said: “A large proportion of Sussex residents live, work in or visit rural areas regularly and we really want to hear your views on issues related to rural policing and crime.
“We know that there are certain types of crime and areas of vulnerability which impact rural communities and businesses differently from those in urban areas.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “One of the focuses of this year’s survey is whether rural crime continues to be underreported. Three years ago, one in four people who responded to the survey nationally said they didn’t report the last crime they’d been a victim of because they didn’t see the point.
“This is uncomfortable thing to hear, and for all those involved in protecting rural areas, so it’s important we ask these questions again and find out whether people are more willing to report crime and if they feel safer.
“It’s vital that the voice of rural communities is heard by those who can make a difference – from the Police to Government. I urge residents to take part in the survey and help us build a clear picture of crime and anti-social b_ehaviour in rural Sussex and to understand the impact it has where you live or work.”
The survey is available now at http://www.nationalruralcrimenetwork.net/survey and is open for submissions until Sunday 10 June.
Reference: 0589 13th April
Location: Brookland Way, Coldwaltham
Date and time: Between 1030hrs – 1310hrs 13th April
Details: Entry gained to property via insecure window. Jewellery was stolen.
Reference: 1416 18th April
Location: Rusper Road, Ifield
Date and time: Date and time unknown
Details: Access was gained to a property by breaking a window. Keys and a small amount of jewellery were stolen.
Today, we have received our latest Newsletter. This month’s keep your Money Safe newsletter highlights fake delivery alerts from major retailers, caution when dealing with potential bogus online buyers and fraudulent bailiffs looking to claim unpaid magazine advert subscription fees.
As ever, we encourage everyone to be vigilant and warn others who may be vulnerable to any type of fraud. The newsletter can be found on our website, click on the Fraud tab and the newsletter is under Downloadable documents.
Help us keep Sussex safe
If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact us online, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org