Covid-19 related scam advice

Criminals are exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to try and get their hands on your money and personal information. To date, Action Fraud has received reports from 2,378 victims of Coronavirus-related scams, with the total losses reaching over £7 million.
How you can protect yourself from Coronavirus-related scams:
There are some simple steps you can take that will protect you from the most common Coronavirus-related scams. Here’s what need to do:

1 – Watch out for scam messages
Your bank, or other official organisations, won’t ask you to share personal information over email or text. If you receive an email you’re not quite sure about, forward it to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS): report@phishing.gov.uk

2 – Shopping online
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, for example, by checking to see if others have used the site and what their experience was. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, other payment providers may not provide the same protection.

3 – Unsolicited calls and browser pop-ups offering tech support
Never install any software, or grant remote access to your computer, as a result of a cold call. Remember, legitimate organisations would never contact you out of the blue to ask for financial details such as your PIN or full banking password.

NHS Test and Trace scams:

The NHS Test and Trace service plays an important role in the fight against coronavirus and it’s vital the public have confidence and trust in the service. However, we understand the concerns people have about the opportunity for criminals to commit scams.

What you need to know:

Contact tracers will only call you from the number 0300 013 5000. Anyone who does not wish to talk over the phone can request the NHS Test and Trace service to send an email or text instead, inviting them to log into the web-based service.

All text or emails sent by NHS Test and Trace will ask people to sign into the contact tracing website and will provide you with a unique reference number. We would advise people to type the web address https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk directly into their browser, followed by the unique reference number given to you, rather than clicking on any link provided in the message.

The NHS Test and Trace service will never:

  • ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to them (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
  • ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product or any kind
  • ask for any details about your bank account
  • ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
  • ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
  • ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet to anyone else
  • ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

If you think you have been a victim of fraud, please report it to Action Fraud at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you live in Scotland, please report directly to Police Scotland by calling 101.​​​​​​​

Be tech savvy

I strongly encourage our residents to make the most of our new technology to stay and in touch and connect. Use email, apps and the Internet to stay informed.

But Cyber crime is on the rise. I want to give some advice:

  • Never click on links you receive from unknown contacts or sources via SMS, email, or messenger applications such as Skype or WhatsApp. Even if you think you know the sender, take a closer look at the sender’s address and the link itself. If anything looks odd, steer clear. Malicious links are one of the most common ways to distribute malware.
  • Don’t click on adverts that seem too good to be true. An ad offering you something abnormally great, is likely to be a scam
  • Use strong passwords for all your online accounts, something only you could know. Use a mixture of symbols, numbers, upper and lower cases and aim for 10 to 15 characters in length. If this seems daunting, try using a reputable password manager or random password generator to help.

There is a good online course we all can do free of charge to help us determine the issue.

Please visit the Cyberhood Watch page for more advice on how to keep yourself, your loved ones and your communities safe: https://www.avast.com/uk-cyberhood#pc

#LetsStayConnected

It’s the annual Neighbourhood Watch Week from 7. – 13. June 2020.

As we have social distancing neighbours are invited to

  • ring each other
  • say friendly greetings – whilst staying distanced
  • put a poster in their window, which can be printed from this site.

 

  • letsstayconnected

Have your say on policing priorities

As Neighbourhood Watch coordinator I do not get to know about all problems, so cannot argue on your behalf unless you inform me. However you have the opportunity to voice your preferences and ask for special attention to Parkview by using this online Met Police voting portal. The more people vote, the more resources may be allocated to our area.

crime-stats-19-12_edited

Screenshot from Met Police website for Bethnal Gren area

As the statistics for December 2019 show, the recorded crime rate for our Bethnal Green area is well above average.

The average crime rate  of

  • London 8
  • Tower Hamlets 9
  • Bethnal Green 11

is very concerning.

There are

  • 21 residential burglaries
  • 19 cases of theft
  • 17 cases of harrassment

Whilst the Safer Neighbourhood Panel, held in conjunction with our local Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team decides on a quarterly basis, which areas of Bethnal Green they dedicate their manpower to, it is essential for residents to voice their preferences.

Not every area has people available to attend the SNT Panel meetings but we have the option to voice our concerns.

Whilst the statistics do not show that the majority of crimes are committed in and around Parkview, it is concerning that they take place in our relatively small area of Bethnal Green.

Please act quickly as the next quarterly meeting will be held next week.

Crime statistics

A useful tool allows us to see what the crime statistics for our area are like. This website lets you selects the Safer Neighbourhood Area and see the crimes recorded over the previous year ‘ till December 2019.

The average crime rate is 229.12 per 1.000 residents, which unfortunately makes 1/5 of us victims of some crime.

BethnalGreenstats2019_edited

Crime peaks during the summer months.

Residents concerned with issues please contact the Neighbourhood Watch coordinator. Often reporting problems is just a matter of finding the confidence to do so.

The statistics above rely to the whole of Bethnal Green.

You can sign up for a Community Safety letter published by Tower Hamlets council sign up at:

  • www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/signup
  • provide an email address
  • select ‘Community Safety’ from the bulletin options
  • automatically receive all future editions to your inbox.

Safer-together