Fake Bank Letters

Message sent by Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Lloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters.  The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative.   The letter tells recipients that there have been some “unusual transactions” on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine.  When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth.Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number. The fraud was spotted by the Daily Telegraph who was alerted to it by a reader who had three identical letters sent to an office address. On separate occasions the Daily Telegraph ran some tests using fake details and were passed to fraudsters who claimed to be from a Lloyds contact centre. The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake.  The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks. 
If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card.  To report a fraud and cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud 

Don’t let burglars ruin your Christmas: top tips from Bedfordshire Police

Message sent by Gosia Grabczak (Beds Police, Administrator, Bedfordshire)

In the run up to Christmas, Bedfordshire Police is issuing crime prevention advice to ensure residents have a happy and safe Christmas.

Burglary is hugely distressing for victims, and unfortunately Christmas can be a busy time of year for burglars who take advantage of darker evenings and homes that are full of gifts.

Superintendent Juliette Everett said: "Our dedicated Op Fidelity team is committed to tackling burglary and catching those responsible. But there are some steps that residents can take to minimise their chances of becoming a victim of crime this Christmas.

“I would urge people to make sure they don’t leave things on display; whether it’s Christmas presents or wallets and keys, make sure they are kept out of sight of prying eyes. Even after Christmas, be careful about discarding packaging as leaving boxes outside your house can give burglars an idea about what’s inside.

“Please look out for your neighbours too - if you know your neighbour is going away over the festive period, keep an eye on their home and report any suspicious activity via 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress.

“We know you have worked hard to give your family the best possible Christmas so don’t let burglars ruin your Christmas – help us ruin theirs.”

Top tips to minimise your chances of becoming a victim of crime: 

  • Don’t leave things on show in your car, whether it’s an expensive laptop or just some loose change
  • Similarly, don’t leave your car unattended in the morning with the engine running to defrost - you might only pop inside for a moment, but long enough for someone to steal your car if you’ve left your keys in there
  • If an unexpected caller knocks at your door, ask them for identification – a legitimate caller will not mind waiting outside your front door whilst you call their company
  • Going out? Make it look like you’re in by using timers on your lights and don’t forget to check the security of your sheds and garages
  • When you are out and about, keep your bag close to you at all times, and ensure it is closed properly
  • Activate tracking devices on any new phones
  • Mark any new equipment with UV property marking pens

View Operation Fidelity's burglary prevention advice. 

Keeping your car safe this Christmas

Messages sent by: Lara Curtayne (Crime Reduction Officer, Community Safety, Bedfordshire Police)

The force is urging motorists to leave extra time to go outside and de-ice their windows themselves, rather than leaving their car unlocked and the engine running.

You might only pop inside for a moment, but that’s long enough for someone to steal your car if you’ve left your keys in there.

Other ways to keep your car safe this Christmas are:

  • Don’t leave presents, valuables or your shopping on display if your car is unattended
  • Don’t just rely on remotely locking your car with the key fob – double check by testing the door handles before walking away
  • Don’t store store tools and other equipment in your vehicle – store them in a safe and secure place overnight
  • Do park in well-lit, populated areas, and look for ‘ParkMark’ accreditation signage at council car parks
  • Do boost your vehicle’s security by using a steering wheel lock and setting your car’s immobiliser and alarm
  • Do protect your number plate by replacing screws with clutch-head screws which can only be turned clockwise with a screwdriver. Stick on number plates can be replaced with tamper-proof versions that disintegrate if pulled away from a car bumper

Index plate screw kits are available from Bedfordshire Police – please email crimereduction@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk with your name, address and the number of kits you need (maximum of 3 per person). 

Protect your home and outbuildings this Christmas

In the run up to Christmas, Bedfordshire Police is issuing crime prevention advice to ensure residents have a happy and safe Christmas.

Today’s advice comes from Inspector Duncan Young, who says: “Burglary is hugely distressing for anyone affected, particularly so for elderly residents who are victimised in their own home. We won’t tolerate this behaviour, and the Force’s Operation Fidelity team are dedicated to tackling burglary and catching those responsible.

“But, there are some steps that residents can take to make sure it’s not easy for burglars to get into their homes, which include simple things like making your house look occupied by using timers on your lights when you are out. If you are going away, ask a trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your home, open and close curtains and clear away any post. You can also ask them to move your car around on the drive or street if you are travelling by other means.”

Other advice from the Force includes:

  • Spend 10 minutes walking around your property to see if there is anything outside that could be used to break into your home
  • Don’t forget to check the security of your sheds and garages – a lot of people store their Christmas food and alcohol out of the kitchen in the build-up to the celebrations
  • If you can see your Christmas tree through your windows, so can a thief – reduce the risk of burglary by not leaving presents out where they can be seen

If you have any concerns around the safety of a property you, please call police on 101, or 999 if a crime is in progress. 

Heading out? Make it look like you’re in.

In the run up to Christmas, Bedfordshire Police is issuing crime prevention advice to ensure residents have a happy and safe Christmas.

If you are heading out, or going away over the festive period, make sure you deter burglars by making it look like you’re in.

You can do this by using timers on your lights and setting them to come on automatically. If you’re going away got an extended period of time, ask a trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your home, open and close curtains and clear away any post. You can also ask them to move your car around on the drive or street if you are travelling by other means.

Other top tips to keep your valuables safe over the Christmas period include:

  • Spend 10 minutes walking around your property to see if there is anything outside that could be used to break into your home
  • Don’t forget to check the security of your sheds and garages – a lot of people store their Christmas food and alcohol out of the kitchen in the build-up to the celebrations
  • Don’t leave packaging from new valuables such as computers and televisions visible with your general rubbish
  • Secure bikes by locking them to an immovable object inside a locked shed or garage
  • Keep valuables hidden out of sight and not viewable from windows