Blog http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk//-257-3.php Protect Scotland App 9/18/2020 11:42:20 AM Protect Scotland App

As a result of information received from communities, our members and key partners the following advice has been circulated

NHS Scotland have launched a new test and protect mobile phone app, "designed to help us protect each other, reduce the spread of coronavirus and avoid further lockdowns". The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus and can help in determining contacts that you may have.

If you are contacted by NHS (test and protect) it will be by phone on a single national telephone number 0800 030 8012

Be aware that scammers are now exploiting this to commit fraud by contacting the general public advising them that they have been in near contact with someone who has tested positive with Coronavirus and as such you must get a test and self- isolate.
Scammer’s are thereafter asking for payments for booking tests / sending out testing kits by post / courier etc.

ADVICE
NHS Scotland Contact Tracers will:
in some cases, send a text to let you know that you will be receiving a call from NHS Scotland  (if mobile is available)
call from a single, national telephone number - 0800 030 8012
always introduce themselves, tell you why they are contacting you and address you by your name
give you the option to call back the above number to provide reassurance that the service is legitimate
Be aware that phone numbers can be spoofed. Consider phoning back using a different phone from the one your received the call. Call will be received on mobile, if concerned phone back on landline

Contact Tracers will never ask you:
for information other than your movements and the people you have been physically close to
to phone a premium rate number
to make a purchase, payment or donation
for your medical history unrelated to coronavirus
for your bank details
for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
for your passwords or PIN numbers, or to set up any
for control of your computer, smartphone or tablet, or to download anything
to visit a website that does not belong to NHS Scotland or the Scottish Government

For further information please go to https://www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/test-and-protect

Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland on 101, Advice Scotland on 0808 164 6000 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Please circulate to family, neighbours, friends and colleagues
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http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=191
navigation systems 9/14/2020 1:38:47 PM Police Scotland are asking all members of the rural community to look out for any suspicious activity around their farms after a Starfire navigation system and screen, fitted to a John Deere tractor, was stolen from a farm near Annan, Dumfriesshire.  The theft occurred overnight on 11th/12th September 2020.  This is a UK wide issue with organised criminals targeting farms.

If you have anything to report, or someone offers you one of these devices to buy, contact the Police immediately on 101, or if a crime is in progress call 999.  Please also report any vehicles, registrations and marks of vehicles that you find in suspicious circumstances.

Advice
  • Police are encouraging these types of systems to be locked away securely when not in use. 
  • Tractors should also be secured by keeping them in locked compounds where possible, or near to farm buildings and security lights to minimise opportunities for thieves to work undetected.
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]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=190 Facebook concerns 9/8/2020 1:45:35 PM The following information is being circulated on behalf of Police Scotland

EMERGING TREND

Police Scotland are aware of an increase in fraudulent activity regarding Facebook.

The scam works whereby the victim is contacted by the scammer under the guise of claiming to be someone from their contacts list such as a friend of family member.

It is noticeable that there may be some general chat before the scammer asks for a loan of cash to purchase food stuffs or pay an outstanding bill.

They will thereafter provide banking details into which the cash is to be paid into.  This request is generally complied with given that it is suspected as being a trusted source (friend or family). There is generally a promise that the money will be paid back within a few days or next pay day.

No monies are ever paid back and it is only when further enquiries / contact is made with the person requesting the cash that it becomes clear the original request did not come from them.

Advice
  • Should you receive such a request, which in itself is out of the ordinary, do not make any payment until you are sure it is a genuine request.
  • All efforts should be made to speak to your friend or family member making the request by phone prior to any cash being sent to ensure that it is a genuine request.
  • Never ask for a direct phone number from the person requesting the cash.  This may take you directly back to the scammer.
An information video on computer fraud is listed below.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCboSJqehhxgkofjcX8mvEdg

Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland on 101, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.]]>
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]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=189 Rural Safety Advice 9/7/2020 2:55:54 PM Rural Safety Advice  -  Harvest Season

With harvest season well under way and farmers making the most of each dry day in the coming weeks, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is urging everyone working in the fields to “look out, look up” and avoid coming into contact with overhead power lines.
Modern farm machinery can often tower over its smaller 20th century predecessors, and with some modern combine harvesters extending as tall as 4m, there is a real danger that farmers and their colleagues focused on the harvest may forget about overhead electricity lines in the fields where they are working, an oversight that has the potential to cause serious injury, or worse, to those involved.
As part of its harvest safety drive, SSEN has teamed up with Perthshire farmer and comedian, Jim Smith, to produce a series of short videos which they hope will help to highlight not only the risks of striking an electricity line, but also offer up first-hand advice for safer working out in the fields.
Jim said:
“I’m keen to get a safety message over to my fellow farmers and to everyone in the local farming community, and that’s just to be careful out there this harvest time. I know it’s difficult when the weather’s good, the crops are ready and everyone’s going for it, but it only takes a minute or two to observe where the power lines are in every field and where the dangers are.
“The key thing is to always remember to ‘look out, look up’ and take time to check your fields for the location of any electricity lines and poles before you start work.”
Ian Crawley, SSEN’s Network Operational Safety Manager, added: “SSEN wants to help its farming communities to stay accident-free throughout the year and hopes that through the ‘look out, look up’ campaign, we can continue to raise awareness and lower the risks associated with their invaluable work. We’re delighted to work with Jim Smith to spread the message to those working in the field this harvest.”
In addition to this series of harvest-specific videos, the key messages in SSEN’s annual ‘look out, look up’ campaign aim to raise awareness of staying safe while working on the land:

Look out, look up!’ before you start work in any areas where electricity lines are present.

Risk assess and be aware of the height of machinery that will be in use near lines and ensure there’s plenty of clearance – remember that electricity can ‘jump’ if an object comes near enough.

If you do come in to contact with an overhead line or cable, stay in your cab or vehicle and try to avoid touching anything metal within it.

Call 105 immediately – this is the UK-wide single emergency number for power companies and is the quickest way to put you through to the correct network operator.

If the situation is too dangerous to stay put, for example, if the machinery is affected by fire, it’s advised that you leap out of the vehicle as high and as far as you can to avoid touching any part of the machinery or electricity network.

If you would like further information on staying safe when working near power lines, please visit ssen.co.uk/safety.
The Health and Safety Executive website also contains more detailed information on the full range power lines farmers are likely to encounter, as well as invaluable advice for working safely near them.]]>
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]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=188 UNSOLICITED PACKETS OF SEED IN THE POST 8/11/2020 1:32:50 PM URGENT UPDATE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE RECEIVED UNSOLICITED PACKETS OF SEED IN THE POST

The following message has recently been circulated by NFU Scotland

Significant numbers of Scottish households have been receiving unsolicited packets of seeds in the post from China/Singapore as part of a likely scam.
Following contact with Scottish Government, it urges those receiving seeds to take the following actions.
 
If the packet of seeds has not been opened, please leave it sealed.
 
DO NOT PLANT OR COMPOST THESE SEEDS.
It is possible that these seeds could be a harmful invasive species or harbour a disease both of which if released could pose a threat to agriculture and the environment.
 
Do not handle the seeds
 These seeds may have been treated with a chemical pesticide. Please wash your hands if you have handled them without gloves.
 
Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) is collecting these unsolicited packets of seeds for analysis. It is asking for your co-operation to send these seeds to SASA.
 
Email your details and a postal address to info@sasa.gov.scot
 
You will be sent a pre-paid self-addressed envelope and zip-lock bag. When you receive the envelope and zip-lock bag please insert the packet of seeds into the zip-lock bag and seal. Then place the zip-lock bag and contents into the envelope and post it back to SASA.
 
If you receive further unsolicited packages, please report them again using info@sasa.gov.scot
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]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=187 Have you bought anything online recently?… 7/18/2020 11:28:13 AM Have you bought anything online recently?…

Almost 34% of all retail sales during May 2020 were carried out online, and new research suggests that only 16% of UK consumers intend to return to their old shopping habits post-lockdown.


Online shopping fraud during lockdown

Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime, received over 16,000 reports relating to online shopping and auction fraud during the lockdown, with losses totalling over £16m. Members of the public have reported buying mobile phones (19%), vehicles (22%), electronics (10%) such as games consoles, AirPods and MacBooks , and footwear (4%) on sites such as eBay (18%), Facebook (18%), Gumtree (10%) and Depop (6%), only to have the items never arrive. 



Top tips for shopping online securely:


Choosing where to shop:

If you’re making a purchase from a company or seller 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.


Email accounts:
Use a strong, separate password for your email account. Criminals can use 
your email to access other online accounts, such as those you use for online shopping.


Scam messages:
Some of the emails or texts you receive about amazing offers may contain links to fake websites. Not all links are bad, but if you’re unsure don't use the link, go separately to the website. And remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. 


Payment method:
If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one as other payment providers may not provide the same protection.



What to do if you’ve fallen victim to online shopping fraud

We all make mistakes and these days the scams can be incredibly convincing.

If you think you’ve visited, or made a purchase on, a bogus website, you should first, take a note of the website's address, then close down your internet browser. You should then report the details to Action Fraud and contact your bank to seek advice.

Whether you've been a victim of fraud will depend on how much information you’ve provided to the website, so keep an eye on your bank transactions, if you can. Contact your bank immediately about anything that you don’t recognise, even small amounts.



For more information about how to stay safe online, please visit www.actionfraud.police.uk/cybercrime

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]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=186 Theft of Quad Bikes – Warning 7/8/2020 3:16:35 PM
Following a recent increase in the theft of quad bikes Police Scotland are warning owners to ensure quad bikes are secure when not in use, to look out for any suspicious vehicles and occupants, note vehicle registration numbers and report details.

Quad bikes are a popular target for criminals. Keys should be removed and the vehicle immobilised when not in use. They should be kept in a locked garage or shed and should never be left in open view. Block the machine in with other equipment so that it cannot be pushed away.

If your property is high value fit a tracking device or a data-tracking chip. Keep a record with photographs and serial numbers where possible. If they are stolen and later recovered it will be much easier for the property to be identified and returned to you.

If you see anything suspicious report to Police Scotland on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you wish to remain anonymous.
08.07.20
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]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=185 Exploiting Those Trying To Protect Themselves 3/21/2020 1:08:01 PM
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]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=182 Vehicle Security Advice 1/15/2020 2:07:30 PM Theft of vehicles and theft from vehicle happens every day across Scotland. Take some simple steps to protect yourself from the heartache, inconvenience and financial impact these crimes can cause.

Most vehicle crime is preventable. It can take as little as 10 seconds for a thief to steal something from your car. The best way to protect your belongings is to lock your car whenever you leave it.

Other things you can do include:
  • Removing everything from the car; don't even leave a jacket where it can be seen
  • Closing the sunroof along with the windows when you leave
  • Not storing things in the boot; take them with you
  • Storing car ownership information in your home, not your car
  • Having a routine to ensure you always take the keys out of the ignition
  • Taking removable stereos and sat nav equipment with you
  • In addition, using secure (theft resistant) number plates can make your plates less attractive to thieves
Parking your car away from home

Where you park can make a big difference to the safety of your car and your belongings. Look out for car parks approved by the police Safer Parking scheme. You can find them by looking for their distinctive 'Park Mark' signs. 
http://www.parkmark.co.uk/

How to keep your car safe at home
Get help when buying a used car ]]>
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]]> http://dumfriesandgalwatch.co.uk/-257-3.php?post=179 Bogus Caller/Doorstep Crime 8/7/2019 10:54:39 AM Following a noticeable increase in Bogus Caller/Doorstep Crime incidents across the country please be alert and consider how you can protect yourself, family friends and neighbours. The old adage ' If in doubt, keep them out' is a simple but effective message. Everyone has a part to play to keep the community safe.

Here are some simple steps that may prevent those around you falling victim to criminals who target the vulnerable in our communities. 
  • Discuss the advice in this message and links below with family, friends or neighbours who are older or vulnerable.
  • Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly.
  • Keep front and back doors locked.
  • Use the door viewer or nearby window when answering the door.
  • Fit a door chain or bar – use it and keep it on when talking to callers at the door.
  • If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
  • Don’t feel embarrassed – genuine callers expect you to be careful.
  • Only let callers in if they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine.
  • Always ask for identification badges of anyone you answer the door to, but don’t rely on them. Identity cards can be faked – phone the company to verify their identity.
  • Some companies offer a password system. Ask your utility providers if this can be used and if you have a password with a company make sure the caller uses it.
  • Never let people try to persuade you to let them into your home even if they are asking for help – they may not be genuine. If someone is persistent, ask them to call at another time and arrange for a friend or family member to be with you.
  • Never agree to pay for goods or give money to strangers who arrive at your door.
  • Don’t keep large amounts of money in your home.
  • Remember, it’s your home. There’s no reason why anyone should ever enter your home against your wishes. Keep an eye out for strange vans in your neighbour's driveway.
  • Make sure your relatives are not regularly taking large amounts of cash out of the bank.
  • Make arrangements to ensure your relative’s house looks well maintained and, for example, that it is not immediately obvious that an older person lives there alone.
  • Doorstep criminals will often target the same victim more than once, so be particularly alert if someone has previously been a victim.
Look out for your community and report any suspicious activity immediately to Police Scotland on 101 or your local authority Trading Standards.

https://www.scotland.police.uk/keep-safe/personal-safety/doorstep-crime-and-bogus-callers

https://www.neighbourhoodwatchscotland.co.uk/security-advice/811-2/]]>
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