Blog http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk//-257-3.php Major Incident Delared 9/19/2018 12:56:18 PM

MAJOR INCIDENT DECLARED

A major incident has now been declared in Dumfries and Galloway due to Storm Ali. The region has seen significant disruption due to the high winds.

Due to the number of incidents currently being reported to Police Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway Council and the threat to life these incidents present, the decision has been made to call a major incident.

Right across the region we have numerous roads blocked, significant structural damage to several buildings, power cuts and this in turn has placed a huge demand on all services.

We are now advising drivers to delay their journeys where possible.

]]>
0]]>
]]>
http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=159
Cyber Security 9/12/2018 7:43:57 PM

Cyber Security Advice

The following advice was recently published in the finance section of a National newspaper. It lists 6 important points worthy of highlighting:

  1. Be vigilant. It is a chore but checking your bank statements regularly is essential. Call the bank if unsure about a transaction. Also use a credit checking agency for a one-off free check to ensure no one is using your personal information to set up loans. Agencies include Experian, Equifax and Callcredit.
  2. Stay safe with anti-virus software. Although it can be free, consider paying approximately £40 a year for security covering a variety of gadgets. Do not be tempted by “pop-up windows” offering security – these can be a scam. Accept security software updates as they provide ongoing protection.
  3. Use a strong password for any online accounts. Picture imaging can help for codes but also consider password manager software.
  4. Do not share personal information. Social media may be fun but it is a great place for fraudsters to obtain your private details – photos, birthdays,holidays – that when pieced together can compromise your financial security
  5. Be wary of public wi-fi. Fruadsters can hack into it – often offered in cafes or train – to see what you are doing on your laptop or smartphone. Be wary of making payments or accessing bank details when unsure of a connection. Some fraudsters even mimic public wi-fi to get your details.
  6. Do not trust websites without first checking the suffix. Fraudsters can steal details and money through bogus websites. They may look official but the final letters often give a clue with regards to authentication. Some fraudulent sites have used ‘co.com’ suffix when the real one is ‘co.uk’. The prefix is worth checking out too. An ‘https’ prefix shows a website that is more secure than one that starts with just ‘http’. The code ‘https’ stands for ‘hypertext transfer protocol secure’
]]>
0]]>
]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=158 Blue Green Algae 8/23/2018 7:14:53 PM ]]>
0]]>
]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=157 Pension Scams 8/15/2018 7:41:36 PM

Pension scams

 

Following an increase in this specific Scam, Action Fraud have posted the following advice.

Pension scammers promise to convert pension funds into cash before retirement, or in some cases they may suggest people can take more than 25% of their pension pot as cash. Pension fraudsters promise to convert pension benefits into cash before age 55.

Criminals are believed to be fraudulently exploiting the pension liberation process in a number of ways. These include failing to advise members of the tax implications of receiving cash from their pension; failing to advise members of the full extent of fees to be paid in relation to any onward investment; falsely representing anticipated levels of returns when  investments are either non – existent or incapable of providing such a return.

The scammers have a variety of tricks to catch you out. They may: 

  • claim that you can access your pension pot before age 55 
  • approach you out of the blue over the phone, via text message or in person door-to-door 
  • entice you with upfront cash 
  • offer a free ‘pension review’ or try to lure you in with so-called ‘one-off’ investment opportunities.

Check the facts before you make an irreversible decision. A lifetime’s savings can be lost in a moment.

The Pensions Regulator’s five steps to avoid becoming a victim of a pension scam:

  • Cold called about your pension - just hang up!
  • Check the credentials of the company and any advisers – who should be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Ask for a statement showing how your pension will be paid at retirement, and question who will look after your money until then.
  • Speak to an adviser that is not associated with the deal you’ve been offered, for unbiased advice.
  • Never be rushed into agreeing to a pension transfer.

For more information about pension scams visit The Pensions Regulator website

Before you sign anything call The Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047

The HM Revenue & Customs website highlights the tax consequences of pension liberation to individuals.

If you have been a victim of this type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by calling us on 0300 123 2040 or by using our online reporting tool.

]]>
0]]>
]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=156 Adults at Risk 8/2/2018 8:59:39 AM

Adult Support and Protection Campaign - “Seen Something? Say Something”

 

  • Adult harm can take many forms from neglect, physical, psychological, sexual or financial exploitation.
  • Adults particularly at risk of harm are those who may not be able to look after themselves through factors such as personal circumstances, physical or learning disability, age or illness and infirmity.
  • Act on your suspicions or instincts if you think an adult is being harmed, neglected or exploited.
  • It only takes an email or an anonymous phone call to your local social work department to report it, and they will investigate it sensitively
  • For advice and support visit :

www.actagainstharm.org

]]>
0]]>
]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=155 Holiday – Security Advice 6/27/2018 10:14:29 AM

Holiday – Security Advice

 

Secure your home whilst you're on holiday

Follow our advice below to help keep your home safe while you are on holiday

 

]]>
0]]>
]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=154 courier fraud 6/17/2018 9:51:37 AM

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has identified an increasing number of reports submitted to Action Fraud from the public concerning courier fraud.
 

Fraudsters are contacting victims by telephone and purporting to be a police officer or bank official. To substantiate this claim, the caller might be able to confirm some easily obtainable basic details about the victim such as their full name and address. They may also offer a telephone number for the victim to call to check that they are genuine; this number is not genuine and simply redirects to the fraudster who pretends to be a different person. After some trust has been established, the fraudster will then, for example, suggest;
 

- Some money has been removed from a victim’s bank account and staff at their local bank branch are responsible.

- Suspects have already been arrested but the “police” need money for evidence.

- A business such as a jewellers or currency exchange is operating fraudulently and they require assistance to help secure evidence.

 

Victims are then asked to cooperate in an investigation by attending their bank and withdrawing money, withdrawing foreign currency from an exchange or purchasing an expensive item to hand over to a courier for examination who will also be a fraudster. Again, to reassure the victim, a safe word might be communicated to the victim so the courier appears genuine.
 

At the time of handover, unsuspecting victims are promised the money they’ve handed over or spent will be reimbursed but in reality there is no further contact and the money is never seen again.

Protect Yourself


Your bank or the police will never:

- Phone and ask you for your PIN or full banking password.

- Ask you to withdraw money to hand over to them for safe-keeping, or send someone to your home to collect cash, PIN, cards or cheque books if you are a victim of fraud.

 

Don’t assume an email or phone call is authentic
Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and address or even your mother’s maiden name), it doesn’t mean they are genuine. Be mindful of who you trust – criminals may try and trick you into their confidence by telling you that you’ve been a victim of fraud

 

Stay in control

If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information.

 

For more information about how to protect yourself online visit

www.cyberaware.gov.uk  and www.takefive.stopfraud.org.uk 

]]>
0]]>
]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=153 Tsb Phishing Attacks 5/27/2018 10:16:07 AM ]]>
0]]>
]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=152 false TPS claims 3/17/2018 9:07:35 AM ]]>
0]]>
]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=146 council tax scam 3/16/2018 11:33:15 AM 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.
]]>
0]]>
]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=145 Cold Callers 1/9/2018 10:39:20 AM

***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!

]]>
0]]>
]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=142