Keyless Cars – Relay Theft Warning
Following recent concerns raised by one of our NW co-ordinators we thought it appropriate to circulate the following information / advice.
Keyless Theft or Relay Theft continues to be a growing issue. In fact vehicle security experts estimate 68 per cent of stolen cars are now taken after being "electronically compromised".
What is keyless theft?
The process criminals use to steal a car via keyless theft – also known as relay theft – is relatively simple. They use a relay amplifier and a relay transmitter, identify a house with a targeted car parked outside and, by using these gadgets, can detect whether the car features keyless entry. If the car key is close enough the amplifier will detect its signal, amplify it and send it to the transmitter.
This transmitter then effectively becomes the key, and tricks the car into thinking the real key is nearby, whereupon the thieves are able to open the car, get in and drive away. The whole process can take as little as 60 seconds and can be completed in near silence.
How to avoid keyless theft – top tips
Keyless theft sounds almost like the perfect crime – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to stop it from happening to you.
Don’t forget the basics
Ensure your car is properly locked, parked in a well lit area, and keep keys far away from doors and windows. This will minimize the chances a criminal will be able to find and amplify the key’s signal and is general good practice. Owners can keep their car keys in a metal tin to block signals.
Can you switch off your key?
Investigate whether it’s possible to switch your key’s signal off, as some offer this function – though it’s not always obvious, requiring a double button press or a combination of pushes on the key. Check your manual or speak to your vehicle dealer to find out if your key has this function.
You could also purchase an aftermarket security device such as a Thatcham approved steering wheel lock, a driveway parking post, or even a wheel clamp. Even if the thieves are able to access and start your car, these should prevent them from driving away – and many criminals will consider bypassing these.
Consider purchasing a signal blocker pouch / wallet to keep your car key in. These pouches contain signal-blocking materials that stop your key transmitting its code, preventing criminals from being able to detect and amplify the signal. There are numerous types now on the market. (owners should, test whether a pouch they’ve purchased works by putting the key in it and ensuring the car doesn’t unlock when they stand next to it.)
Other steps you can take to keep your car safe include checking if there are any software updates for the car itself, remaining vigilant for unusual activity in your area and having an aftermarket immobiliser or tracker fitted. Carmakers themselves are working on countermeasures to combat the issue of keyless theft, with new frequency technologies, software and keys among the developments taking place. If in any doubt please contact your vehicle dealer.
Message Sent By
Willie Clark (NHWN, Community Engagement Officer, NW Scotland)
***TRADING STANDARDS WARNING***
Trading Standards have received reports of consumers and businesses in the Dumfries and Galloway area receiving telephone calls claiming to be from debt collection agencies. The phone calls state that the consumer or business has an upcoming court case, which will cost tens of thousands of pounds to settle.
If you receive this type of phonecall, our advice is to terminate the call and do not give the caller any personal information (such as bank details etc) under any circumstances. Genuine businesses do not operate in this way and will never as you for personal details or payment over the phone.
Please report any suspicious calls to Trading Standards on 08454 04 05 06, or Action Fraud on 0300 123 4040.
SCAM - TV Licence Refund Notification
Warning - TV Licence Refund Notification
One of our NW members has reported a recent TV Licence Refund SCAM sent by email and referring to a pending refund. It reads:
“After the last annual calculation we have determined that you are eligible to receive a TV Licensing refund of 72.48 GBP. Due to invalid account details records, we were unable to credit your account. Please submit the TV Licensing refund request and allow 5-10 working days to be credited your account. Click “Refund Me Now” and follow the steps in order to process your request. NOTE: For security reasons, we will record your IP address, the date and time. Deliberate wrong inputs are criminally pursued.”
What Is Phishing
Phishing is a type of attack that uses email or a messaging service to fool you into taking an action you should not take, such as clicking on a malicious link, sharing your password, or opening an infected email attachment. Attackers work hard to make these messages convincing and tap your emotional triggers, such as urgency or curiosity. They can make them look like they came from someone or something you know, such as a friend or a trusted company you frequently use. They could even add logos of your bank or forge the email address so the message appears more legitimate. Attackers then send these messages to millions of people. They do not know who will take the bait, all they know is the more they send, the more people will fall victim.
In almost all cases, opening and reading an email or message is fine. For a phishing attack to work, the bad guys need to trick you into doing something. Fortunately, there are clues that a message is an attack. Here are the most common ones:
- A tremendous sense of urgency that demands “immediate action” before something bad happens, like threatening to close an account or send you to jail. The attacker wants to rush you into making a mistake.
- Pressuring you to bypass or ignore your policies or procedures at work.
- A strong sense of curiosity or something that is too good to be true. (No, you did not win the lottery.)
- A generic salutation like “Dear Customer.” Most companies, colleagues or friends contacting you know your name.
- Requesting highly sensitive information, such as your credit card number, password, or any other information that a legitimate sender should already know.
- The message says it comes from an official organisation, but has poor grammar or spelling or uses a personal email address like @gmail.com.
- The message comes from an official email but has a Reply-To address going to someone’s personal email account.
- You receive a message from someone you know, but the tone or wording just does not sound like him or her. If you are suspicious, call the sender to verify they sent it. It is easy for a cyber attacker to create a message that appears to be from a friend or colleague.
Ultimately, common sense is your best defence. If an email or message seems odd, suspicious, or too good to be true, it may be a phishing attack.
If you have been a victim please contact Police on 101, Action Fraud or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 if you would prefer to remain anonymous
Police Scotland – Livestock Worrying Campaign
The following video is now available for viewing and sharing with family, friends, neighbours and colleagues. It contains important safety advice for all dog owners and outlines the distress caused to sheep and consequences of allowing uncontrolled dogs near sheep/ livestock.
- Be a responsible dog owner
- Keep your dog under control and on a lead if walking in the countryside, rural locations or near the edge of town and near sheep or livestock
- Be aware of the distress and serious injury a dog can cause sheep. A dog’s natural instinct is to chase.
- Livestock worrying is a crime and will be dealt with by the Police. Farmers also have a legal right to shoot dogs engaged in livestock worrying.
- If you witness or have any information on a livestock / sheep worrying incident please call Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you prefer to remain anonymous.
Video is available on link below:
***TRADING STANDARDS WARNING***
Following several recent complaints of rogue traders operating across the Dumfries and Galloway area, Trading Standards are once again reminding local residents not to engage with cold-callers.
We would urge all householders to be aware that even if a company has a brochure and company name on a van, this does not always mean they are a reliable trader. For any home improvement works, our advice is to always use a Trusted Trader. www.dumgal.gov.uk/trustedtrader.
Please be mindful of elderly or vulnerable friends, family and neighbours, and pass this advice on to them. If they genuinely need work doing, stay with them while a trader is there, removing any confusion as to what needs doing or has been agreed.
If you have been called in this way and require further advice, or simply want to report the matter, please contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06, or via the ‘Report It’ button the Council Website: http://bit.ly/2EcmlmR
Alternatively, you can contact Police Scotland on 101.
Remember: if in doubt, keep them out!
False claims of Telephone Preference Service:
Fraudsters are cold-calling victims, falsely stating that they are calling from one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers. They call victims claiming to provide a ‘Telephone Preference Service’ - an enhanced call-barring service, which includes barring international call centres.
The fraudsters ask victims to confirm/provide their bank account details, informing them that there is a one-off charge for the service. Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised. The fraudsters often target elderly victims.
In all instances, direct debits are set up without following proper procedure. The victim is not sent written confirmation of the direct debit instruction, which is supposed to be sent within three days.
On occasions when victims attempted to call back, the telephone number provided by the fraudster was either unable to be reached or the victim’s direct debit cancellation request was refused.
During 2017, there were 493 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud.
- There is only one Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The TPS is the only official UK 'do-not-call' register for opting out of live telesales calls. It is FREE to sign-up to the register. TPS never charge for registration. You can register for this service at http://www.tpsonline.org.uk.
- You will receive postal confirmation of genuine direct debits. If you notice unauthorised payments leaving your account, you should contact your bank promptly.
- Always be wary of providing personal information, or confirming that personal information the caller already claims to hold is correct. Always be certain that you know who you talking to. If in doubt hang up immediately.
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)
Council Tax Scam Calls.
We have been made aware that scammers have been making bogus calls to people in the region claiming to be from our Council Tax Service, saying the resident is ‘paying too much’ and wanting to check the residents personal details.
This is a recognised scam and people should be aware. People are targeted once Council Tax notices have been sent out.
If you receive a suspicious call please report scams to the national consumer helpline on 0345 404 0506.
Remember you can have your Council Tax checked at: www.dumgal.gov.uk/article/15277/Council-tax-enquiry-form
If you have any elderly or vulnerable relatives, friends or neighbours, please make them aware of this issue.
If the caller becomes aggressive, please contact Police Scotland on 101.
***TRADING STANDARDS WARNING***
Trading Standards have received reports of doorstep and telephone callers in the local area offering home improvement services, in particular driveway work.
As always, we would advise all residents not to engage with doorstep callers. These callers will often use persuasive or aggressive tactics to get householders to agree to have work done, then charge far more than was quoted for poor quality work. They also often fail to provide a legally required cancellation notice which enables the householder to cancel the work within a 14 day cooling off period. For any home improvement works, we would always encourage you to use a Trusted Trader: www.dumgal.gov.uk/trustedtrader
If you have been called in this way and require further advice, or simply want to report the matter, please contact us via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06, or alternatively contact Police Scotland on 101.
Remember: if in doubt, keep them out!