Please be aware that Police Scotland are reporting a spike in thefts of agricultural plant, in particular tractors and telehandlers, across Scotland.
Find below some advice on how to keep your equipment safe and secure
Steps you can take to prevent machinery theft happening on your land:
Steps you can take to prevent theft of Quads and All-Terrain Vehicles:
- Where possible, vehicles should be housed in a lockable garage or building, ideally with security lighting installed to the perimeter.
- Vehicles should always be locked when not in use, with the keys kept hidden and locked away in a secure location.
- Keep recordings or photographs of serial numbers and vehicles as these can be crucial in recovery, should the worst happen.
Steps you can take to prevent theft of Tractors:
- Invest in a bespoke quad security device, such as Quadvice or a quality padlock and chain, such as those approved by Secured By Design - a police approved product scheme. Securing to a fixed point on the ground or something that takes time to remove will also act as a deterrent.
- Never leave your keys in the ignition, even if you only briefly leave your ATV unattended.
- Keep gates to yards closed as open gates can be an open invitation to thieves.
If you notice anything unusual on your land and premises or when you are out and about in the countryside call Police Scotland Tel 101. If a crime is being committed call 999.
- Mark machinery with DNA marking devices and forensic marking products
- Sign up to CESAR, an agricultural equipment registration scheme, which increases the chance of recovering stolen goods by helping police identify stolen machinery
- Have the Vehicle Identification Number etched on windows. This makes the vehicle more detectable and less appealing to thieves because they have to grind out the numbers.
- Instal immobilisers, chip keys and trackers as these are a simple way to deter criminals or track vehicles and can be fitted easily by an experienced agricultural engineer.
Members of the public are being targetted with automated calls stating that the recipient has been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription. The callers use this lure as a way to gain access to the recipient’s online banking account.
How does it work?
1. The victim receives an automated call stating that they’ve been charged for an Amazon Prime subscription. They’re asked to press 1 to cancel the charge, this connects them directly to the fraudster.
2. A fraudster, posing as an Amazon customer service representative, then tells the victim that the Prime subscription was purchased fraudulently and that they need remote access to the victim’s computer in order to fix a security flaw that will prevent it from happening again.
3. The victim is asked to download an application called Team Viewer, which grants the fraudster remote access to the victim’s computer.
4. The victim is then asked to log onto their online banking account whilst the criminals are able to monitor everything via Team Viewer.
Other variants of the crime involve fraudsters stating the recipient is due a refund for an unauthorised transition on their Amazon account.
What to do ?
Always question uninvited approaches in case it’s a scam. Instead, contact the company directly using a known email or phone number.
Have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for personal or financial information.
It’s easy to feel embarrassed when faced with unexpected or complex conversations but it’s okay to stop the discussion if you do not feel in control of it.
Never instal any software or visit a website as a result of a cold call. Unsolicited requests for remote access to your computer should always raise a red flag.
For more information on scams and how to protect yourself go to https://www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk/
If you have been the victim of this type of crime call Police Scotland Tel 101 to report.
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