This year, make sure you don’t get conned out of Christmas, by thinking twice before you click and taking some simple precautions. That way, you can make sure it’s a festive season to remember… for all the right reasons.
But Christmas is also a favourite time of year for criminals, well aware that you’re busy online and have too many other things on your mind to think about safeguarding yourself, your family and your finances.
Top ten tips for a safe and happy festive season online:
SHOP, SHOP, SHOP
If something seems too much of a bargain, it’s probably poor quality or doesn’t even exist. Always check payment pages are secure, and log out when you’ve finished shopping online.
AUCTION BARGAIN … OR NOT?
When making a purchase from an auction website, use insured payment methods like PayPal and never do a bank transfer to people you don’t know. Do all you can to check the seller or buyer are authentic. And look out for fake goods: they’re illegal and cost livelihoods.
JUST THE TICKET
Buying gig or event tickets as a gift, or for yourself? To avoid fraud, buy only from official sources, and never pay by direct transfer.
COME FLY AWAY…
Whether you’re planning a break at Christmas or next year, make sure the holiday or flight is genuine by researching it thoroughly, and check travel agents for an ABTA/ATOL number.
Scam emails, calls, texts and posts are getting cleverer and you’re bound to get some over Christmas. Think twice before you get talked into anything, however busy you are.
YOUR PASSWORD IS YOURS. KEEP IT THAT WAY!
Passwords that are easy to guess, that you use for more than one account or that you share with others, are a no-no!
Secure Wi-Fi is vital for your privacy. At home, check your router security settings. Out and about, never use free Wi-Fi hotspots when what you’re doing is private.
GREAT OFFER, OR SUBSCRIPTION TRAP?
Don’t sign up for ‘free’ or ‘low-cost’ trial goods without thoroughly reading the small print. You could be signing up for massive direct debits.
Don’t open attachments or click on links in festive (or any other) emails you’re not expecting, as they could be scams. And be careful with ecards as they can be fraudulent too.
AVOID THOSE NASTY CHRISTMAS VIRUSES
And we don’t mean coughs and colds! Always have internet security (antivirus) software and apps switched on and updated.
Help us keep Sussex safe
Seen something suspicious or have information about a crime or incident? Please contact us online, email us at email@example.com or call 101.
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Please be vigilant and don't be afraid to question someone who comes to your property claiming to be from a company, such as Southern Water. Always ask for identification and if they are legitimate, they will not mind waiting whilst you call the company to check. If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about the below incident 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 www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Reference: 1596 10/07
Details: A male approached a property claiming to be from Southern Water and stated he was there to change the locks on the Southern Water meter door. When the resident called Southern Water, they stated there were no such works going on in that area on that day. Visit our Website for burglary prevention advice
Links and attachments: Sussex Police will only ever link you to secure web-sites we trust. We will only send you attachments where we believe it is absolutely necessary.
Message Sent By
Tabitha Baker (Police, Prevention Support and Engagement Officer, Sussex)
Police are currently appealing for witnesses following a number of insecure vehicles being targeted over the Bank Holiday Weekend in Willingdon.
Incidents have occurred between Monday 28th May 2018 22:00 to Tuesday 29th May 2018 0400.
Among the areas targets were Downs Valley Road, Anderida Road and Park Croft.
Officers would like to speak to anyone who was or heard anything suspicious or who may have information concerning who was responsible.
Majority of this type of crime is opportunist and occurs when valuables have been left on view or the vehicle left insecure. Please ensure you secure all windows, including sun roofs. Take valuables with you or lock them out of view. For further crime prevention advice please visit our website.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Sussex police Online, or by phoning 101, quoting serial 313 29/05/2018.
We have had a number of vehicle breaks and theft from vehicles over the last couple of days in the East Dean & Friston areas. Please be on your guard: make sure you keep your vehicle locked and do not leave anything valuable inside your vehicle.If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about the below incident please contact us online, email us at email@example.com or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
On Tuesday (12 December), a house was broken into on Eastbourne Road in Willingdon, Eastbourne, but nothing was taken. (Ref: 1147 – 12/12).
Rogue trader warning
Police are asking residents to be on their guard for rogue traders following an incident that happened in Hailsham recently. A man called at the house of an elderly lady in Sussex Avenue and offered to cut the garden hedge for £250. He also asked to go upstairs in the house – but this was refused and the man left.Rogue traders are callous individuals who often target the most vulnerable and elderly in our communities.Police advice is never, ever agree to works or services offered by doorstep callers who arrive unannounced. We would ask relatives, friends and neighbours of vulnerable or elderly people to keep an eye on them to ensure that they do not fall victim to criminals, and to report any suspicious behaviour immediately by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 101. In an emergency always call 999.
Suspicious vehicle seen in Mayfield
Police received a report about a suspicious vehicle that was seen in The Avenue, Mayfield at around 8.15am on Tuesday 19 January.
The car is described as a scruffy looking pale blue Ford hatchback. The two men that were in the vehicle asked a person for the postcode of the area. They are described as both being in their early twenties. The driver is described as having thin black hair and wearing a blue scarf and dark coloured anorak. The car drove off in the direction of the High Street and then looped East-bound to travel down the High Street.
Anyone with information is asked to email email@example.com or call 101, quoting serial 0596 of 19/01. Alternatively, please contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Not sure how to find us online, want to comment on our updates or unsubscribe from this service? Email HERE
This message was sent by Emma Fleetwood-Jones, Public Engagement Officer
Please do not reply to this email to report crimes or incidents. Contact us online here http://www.sussex.police.uk/help-centre/report-something-online or call 101 when it's less urgent than 999
11th January 2016. We have been advised by a Willingdon resident of a phone call from someone purporting to be from a phone company stating that their bank had not paid a direct debit, and that their phone would be cut off.
They were asked for bank details to avoid this action, they were given a help line phone number to contact, when they tried to contact the helpline they realised that the fraudster was still on the line waiting for them to dial, and they REPLACED THEIR PHONE . Please take note of this SCAM...NEVER GIVE YOUR BANK DETAILS TO ANYONE!
Fraudsters are targeting classified advertisement websites like AutoTrader to advertise vehicles for sale. Buyers are then contacting these ‘sellers’ to find out more about the vehicles and are being told to pay for them via ‘Apple Pay’. In this case the fraudsters are not using the genuine Apple Pay service and potential victims pay money directly to bank accounts in control of the fraudsters. Individuals receive emails claiming to be from Apple Pay with a web link to a cloned website with false terms and conditions of the ‘escrow’ service. Any money remitted to the fraudsters is then unrecoverable and the vehicles are not delivered.
Sussex Police are reminding all residents, especially the elderly and anyone living alone, not to be taken in by a new type of scam that has been reported in the West Sussex area. If you or any of your relatives or friends are (or have been) telephoned by the Ministry of Justice and told you qualify for a refund on payment protection insurance (PPI) this will be a scam. The scammer will ask that in order for your claim to be processed you have to pay a percentage of your payout up front and that this should be in the form of UKASH vouchers. They then send a courier to attend the home address of the victim and collect the vouchers or access the code for these vouchers in order to claim the money. These scammers may call you on more than on one occasion and be persuasive or persistent in their calls. They may also suggest you call them back in order to 'prove' their identification. Please do not be taken in by these tactics.To date there have been three reports of this particular scam; in Bognor, Littlehampton and Midhurst. If you have received a call of this nature or know anyone who has, please contact Sussex Police on 101 and report it to action fraud. In an emergency always dial 999.The members of the community who seem to have been targeted are the elderly. Please make sure that if you know of any elderly residents who may not receive messages through community messaging that you inform them to be vigilant of this particular type of scam. DI Jim McKnight of Sussex Police said:
'These are wicked crimes that target some of our most vulnerable people. The impact on the victims is not only a financial one but can also have detrimental effects on confidence and physical well being. The contact between the victim and the criminal can be a one off or can be very regular covering days and weeks. Please be aware to any signs of this or similar activity taking place - bring it to a halt and contact Police who will investigate the matter whilst providing advice, and assistance.'
For your local officer’s contact details, information about local events and meetings and actions being taken regarding your priorities click here http://www.sussex.police.uk/help-centre/your-local-district/eastbourne
Please be aware that on Monday 7th July, a vulnerable 85 year old woman was targeted by two males who tricked her into gaining access to her property in the Old Town area of Eastbourne. The first male knocked on the door and asked her for paper to write a note for a neighbour who he said he had called on. The lady let him in and while talking to him in the kitchen heard a noise and saw the front door was open. She then saw a second male attempting to hide at the rear of the lounge. Both males then made excuses and left. The victim then noticed that her safe had been placed inside a cardboard box in her bedroom. Investigations showed that no property was taken. Both suspects left the scene in a silver Vauxhall Astra. The first male is described as white, late 40's early 50's, stocky build, 5 foot 6 and had short dark hair and was wearing a black and white horizontal jumper and grey trousers. The second male was white, late 30's, had short cropped dark blonde hair, stocky build, 5 foot 5, and was wearing a yellow polo shirt and light coloured jeans.
If anyone has any information in relation to this incident, please contact Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial number 0966 of 07 July.
If you have any vulnerable friends or relatives please ensure they are made aware of the following crime prevention advice from our website to combat bogus callers.
Bike Security Advice.
There have been 15 pedal cycle thefts in Eastbourne within the last three months. To help you avoid being a victim of crime, Eastbourne Neighbourhood Policing Team offer a free service to security mark your bike. Please speak to your local Officers for more details or click on this link http://www.sussex.police.uk/help-centre/your-local-district/eastbourne or call 101. To help protect your bike from thieves please follow the crime prevention advice below...
Always use a lock when leaving your bike unattended even if for a short period of time.
Lock tight so that your bike is hard to move around when parked.
Lock both wheels and the frame to a bike stand or other immoveable object.Make sure the locks catch the bike frame as well as both wheels and the post, or a thief may steal the bike and leave the wheels behind. Also, make sure the post cant be cut through or the bike lifted off it.
Take with you any items that can be removed without tools such as wheels, lights, pump, saddle etc.
Never leave bikes unattended on the rear of vehicles in car parks or service stations. If you have to leave them unattended make sure they are well-secured with good cabling and locks and that the carrier itself cannot be removed easily. Try backing up against a wall or fence so they are not accessible. Put your bike in a secure place at night. If you have a garage or shed, consider installing a ground or wall anchorage point so the bike can be securely fastened by a chain or D lock. Sheds can be difficult to secure properly, so provide extra interior security chain several items together in the shed or garage such as a cycle, lawnmower and hedge-cutters. This makes it difficult for the thief to carry any of them away.
Specialist marking and tagging kits, meeting the British Standard for property marking, are available and, with visible warning stickers, can be a deterrent to thieves. These are widely available from cycle retailers.
Register your bike at www.immobilise.com. All you need is your bicycle model, make and frame number. Once you have registered your bike, you will have a better chance of getting it back if it is lost or stolen.