Welcome to Issue 92 of the LNWA Newsletter – produced to maintain your contact and e-mailed to all 32 Boroughs plus the City. Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) are regularly updated so, if you are receiving this for the first time, it’s because you are identified as the Neighbourhood Watch SPOC for your Borough. LNWA is anxious information reaches the grassroots so please ensure every Watch member in your Borough is encouraged to read this Newsletter which is accessible with all hyperlinks active via our website, http://www.lnwa.net
NEIGHBOURHOOD & HOME WATCH NETWORK (NHWN)
If you haven’t signed up to receive a direct copy direct, read the latest NHWN newsletter at:
National Neighbourhood & Home Watch Week this year runs from 20–28 June. If you know of any events happening in your area during NHW Week that may be open to filming by the Media, please advise Catherine Dunn (Catherine.Dunn@ourwatch.org.uk) at Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network so she can build up a repository of possibilities to use in liaison with the Press and Media. Also, if there are any other events going on please advise Catherine so she can keep the ‘Events’ page of the OurWatch website up to date.
THE BIG LUNCH
Don’t forget, the 7th annual Big Lunch takes place this year on 7 June.
LATER LIFE NEWSLETTER
The Later Life newsletter is a Government publication providing news on policy changes, good practice and initiatives and their impact on older people. To read past copies and find out how to subscribe, go to:
SCAMS AWARENESS MONTH
Don’t forget, July is Scams Awareness Month, a joint initiative between Citizens Advice Bureaux and Trading Standards Services across England & Wales. The theme is “Don’t be rushed, don’t be hushed” and “Take time to talk”. The key messages are for consumers to:
- Take time to make a decision, consult the right people and make an informed choice;
- Talk about scams – report them and warn others.
Resources are available from:
ACTION FRAUD – WATCH OUT FOR SCAM PAYPAL E-MAILS
Fraudsters often target ‘goods for sale’ adverts on popular online auctions sites, so watch out whenever you’re selling anything online.
A fraudster contacts a seller to say they want to buy an advertised item. The seller receives what looks like a genuine PayPal e-mail to confirm funds have been paid by the buyer into their account. With confirmation, the seller sends the item to the buyer’s address. The seller will later find the PayPal e-mail is fake and the money has not been paid. The seller ends up losing out twice; not only don’t they have the money, they no longer have the item to sell.
Always check your PayPal account to ensure money has been paid in and has cleared into your bank account before you send the item to the buyer. Don’t be rushed into sending items before you know payment has cleared – a genuine purchaser will not mind waiting a day or two for you to send them their item.
CASE STUDY ON ROGUE TRADERS IN BROMLEY
An Essex trader pleaded guilty to an offence of fraud by false representation at Bexley Magistrates Court. In April 2014, a company offering Tree Services distributed advertising flyers in an area of Bromley. A local couple aged 84 and 76 contacted the company and arranged a visit and quote for some gardening work. A representative provided a verbal estimate of £2500 to tidy the garden and lay some Astroturf. He asked for a deposit of £1500 to buy materials. The couple withdrew cash from the bank and gave it to one of the workmen. Nobody from the Company returned to carry out the work and no materials were provided.
The flyers displayed a false address and unregistered telephone numbers. Trading Standards investigated the case, following a referral by Bromley Police. Officers were able to put together evidence using intuitive investigative techniques that led to eventual identification through telephone numbers and other trading names. An individual was arrested at the request of Trading Standards and was later picked out of an ID parade by both victims. The District Judge noted the accused had seen the opportunity to take advantage of an elderly couple and sentenced him to 26 weeks imprisonment suspended for 2 years. He was ordered to pay compensation of £1500 to the victims, prosecution costs and a victim surcharge. A restraining order was also imposed.
Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Community Safety Cllr Kate Lymer said, “By supplying advertising flyers containing false information, the company laid the groundwork for committing fraud. It was only through excellent diligent investigation by Trading Standards that he was identified and brought to justice. The evidence was overwhelming, leaving no option but to plead guilty. It is essential robust action is taking against ‘rogue traders’ to safeguard vulnerable members of our community”.
That’s it for this month. As usual, LNWA thanks you for your work and support.