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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.
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
|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.
- 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.
The following information is being circulated on behalf of Police Scotland
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.
An information video on computer fraud is listed below.
- 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.
Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland on 101, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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.
“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.
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Exploiting Those Trying To Protect Themselves
|During this period of uncertainty regarding Covid-19, it has become apparent to Neighbourhood Watch Scotland that there are some people who are taking advantage of the situation and are targeting the most vulnerable. Although we appreciate the concern that is being caused by the outbreak, please continue to be cautious when dealing with callers at the door, unwanted phones calls and emails.
If everyone can tell 2 people about the following recent developments in their next phone conversation with a friend or neighbour, the message will soon reach all corners of the community.
This is a worldwide pandemic and no legitimate organisation will contact you out of the blue and ask for payment for information or access to treatment which does not exist. We are hearing reports of emails and phone calls asking for donations to help those in need during this time, or offering miracle cures, and door to door campaigns offering testing. Also, please be aware that the Red Cross are NOT doing door to door testing as has been suggested in some areas.
Unfortunately, some fraudsters are offering to do shopping for residents, taking the money and then not returning with the goods. Others have offered to take a shopping list along with a bank card. This would be considered as theft and should be reported to the police.
We don't want to discourage anyone from helping their neighbours or family members, and we don't want to breed distrust in those genuine members of the community trying to support others. We simply ask that you remain vigilant and:
Try to only liaise with people you know.
Only buy the essentials in this manner, therefore the amount of money required is minimal, do not hand over a bank card - use cash only.
If the person says they are from a community organisation, ask for some ID or to verify their identity by calling the organisation directly, not the number on the card.
Scammers are also sending out coronavirus-themed phishing emails which attempt to trick people into opening malicious attachments or revealing sensitive information about themselves such as personal and financial details. In the same way that we have seen fake TV licensing and HMRC emails, we are now seeing phishing emails claiming to be from organisations affiliated with the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). There have also been some variations on current scams with fake emails appearing to be from HMRC offering a tax rebate due to the Coronavirus.
Please be aware of any suspicious emails and do not click on the links or attachments, and do not respond to any unsolicited messages or calls asking for your personal or financial details.
If you have been a victim of fraud or cybercrime, report it to Police Scotland Tel 101 or for advice contact Consumer Advice Scotland Tel 08081646000.
For anyone concerned about COVID-19 please refer to the NHS advice page - https://www.scot.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
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:
Parking your car away from home
- 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
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
- Thieves sometimes break into houses looking for car keys. They can also use wires and hooks 'to try and drag' your keys through the letterbox.
- Keep your keys away from doors and windows, and tucked away out of sight.
- Have your vehicle's windows etched with its registration number or the last seven digits of the vehicle identification number (VIN). This can put criminals off, as it makes your car more difficult to sell. It also makes it easier for police to get your car back to you if it is stolen.
Get help when buying a used car
- If you're thinking of buying a car it's a good idea to do a little research before you buy. Some vehicles are more secure than others.
- The insurance research company Thatcham allows you to compare the security of new cars, motorcycles and trucks. It gives each vehicle a point score. That score can show you how the car you're thinking of buying compares to others on the market. https://www.thatcham.org/
- If you're buying a used car, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency can also tell you what it knows about the vehicle. That information can include the make and model, the year it was built, and whether tax is owed on the vehicle. https://www.gov.uk/get-vehicle-information-from-dvla
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.
Look out for your community and report any suspicious activity immediately to Police Scotland on 101 or your local authority Trading Standards.
- 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.
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