Erith Watch

The local Neighbourhood Watch social network.

Two warnings regarding frauds in the Erith Watch area.

Bexley Neighbourhood Watch Association have just issued the following two warnings to the members of Erith Watch:-

Trading Standards would like to warn all online customers of the Cooperative bank of a potential scam that has recently been brought to our attention. Customers may receive a message stating that they have been selected as the lucky winner of a £500 food voucher for the year 2013. To receive the voucher they should simply follow the enclosed links at which point it will be sent to them via e-mail. The Co-Operative bank have confirmed this to be a scam and any one receiving such an email should report the matter to them. Their own website has a facility to do this:,CF...

We would also like to take the opportunity to advise all residents who do their banking online of the following simple steps they can take to safeguard their accounts:
• Always be suspicious of any e-mails that are supposedly from your bank or any other bank that you do not normally deal with.
• Keep passwords and pin numbers safe and be very wary of any unsolicited e-mails asking you for personal information such as bank account numbers and passwords. Your bank or building society would never contact you either by phone or email to ask for such information.
• Be particularly security conscious if you use a public computer or public wi-fi internet connection.
• Know who you are dealing with. Access banking websites by typing the bank\'s web address into your browser. Never go into such a website via a link sent in an unsolicited email and
then enter your personal banking information.
• If you suspect any fraudulent activity contact your bank immediately For further advice and information visit :

Please report any suspected scams to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506 and contact Action Fraud on 0300 -1232040.

The second warning is below:-

A particular type of fraud targeting elderly people is on the increase across London . Our aim is to raise awareness and provide some key crime prevention messages to the elderly and their circle of support - friends, family, neighbours etc.

By raising awareness we will decrease the likelihood of people falling victim.

The average age of the victim is 70 years old. The average loss is £4,000.

The Method

1) The method varies but essentially involves a victim being telephoned (cold -called) by a suspect who alleges to be someone of authority (eg, from the police, bank, Serious Fraud Office). The suspect tells the victim there is a problem with their bank account (like it has been compromised) and that their bank card must be collected.

2) If the victim is unconvinced that the call is genuine they are instructed to hang up and call a genuine number – such as 999 or the telephone number on the rear of their bank card. However, the suspect keeps the telephone line open and so the call goes straight back to the fraudster who then deals with any subsequent call, convincing the victim of their authenticity.

3) The victim is then content to reveal their bank details, namely the PIN.

4) An often unwitting courier or taxi driver is sent to collect the victim’s card. The card is delivered to a second suspect, who then passes it on to the fraudster. The fraudster then empties the bank account.

Key Messages

Primary: (To potential victims, family, friends) Never give anyone your PIN or bank card – the police and banks will never ask for them.

Secondary/supporting message(s): (To cabbies/couriers) Beware of collecting and delivering packages from elderly people as you may be assisting in a criminal offence.

Reporting offences: If you have been a victim call the police on 101 or in an emergency by dialling 999. (Generally victims are elderly/vulnerable and therefore it is NOT appropriate to report this matter to Action Fraud).

Views: 118

Comment by Robert O. Funkhouser SR on March 6, 2013 at 1:31

Hugh, Very important information especially for the elderly, A Third Method could be added to the list and it goes something like this:

A man /woman will call an elderly person and claim to be his or her Grand Child and say they have been in an accident and need some money for the Hospital, of course the voice will sound different to the elderly person and when they question the caller they will say they had their nose broken which changes the way they sound.

An elderly neighbor of ours has this happen to him and of course an elderly person may be fooled due to hard of hearing or just being old. The Excuse the caller may could be any type of reason for needing the money, the money will be asked to be send via some method of electronic transfer (Wired)

Hugh, it is funny  that just today  I was discussing with the President of our Homeowners Association about putting something like this in our web site so we may borrow some of your wording for our site, hope you don't mind.

Comment by Hugh Neal on March 8, 2013 at 21:54

Hi Bob - please feel free to share the information - the more people who are aware of this, the better.



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