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Oxford Neighbourhood Watch and Community Newsletter

Alert message sent 27/06/2021 19:01:00

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Oxford Neighbourhood and Community Newsletter 27-6-21
This weekly newsletter is compiled by Maggie Lewis, Area Representative and Administrator for Oxford Neighbourhood Watch. These are taken from websites, social media, articles, emails and conversations. Any contributions will be gratefully received.  Please feel free to share.If you have any comments/information to post or wish to unsubscribe please use reply icon at bottom of Alert. All replies are confidential.
Index
1) Neighbourhood Watch in your road/Group schemes
2) Scams - suspicious emails/ advice online/Urgent new Royal Mail Scam 
3) Bikes Lost and Found in Oxford
4) Smoke Alarms
5) Petrol Change
6) EU Settlement Rules
7) New Covid Restrictions

1) Neighbourhood Watch in your road
If you are registered to receive Alerts from Thames Alert you will continue to receive all policing and other information you have already been signed up for. Being a Neighbourhood Watch (NW) member is an additional asset.
If you would like to become a NW member or Coordinator in Oxford  please join on www.ourwatch.org.uk or send yes and position in reply icon. You will receive full membership benefits and belong to a trusted national voluntary organisation that is the largest and most effective crime prevention organisation in England and Wales.  Being a member/Coordinator links you to the street where you live to help police sharing information and also being part of a scheme to bring community resilience, reducing crime and being aware of the elderly and vulnerable in our neighbourhoods. It is free and requires little time to let the Coordinator know what is happening so they can share with local members. 
Please join us on www.ourwatch.org.uk to prevent and reduce crime. 

Group membership
Looking for Coordinators of organisations, colleges, businesses, sheltered accommodation etc. that will pass information to large groups. The Coordinator only needs to register themselves stating how many members.  They will receive Alerts and local information to share and become the main point of contact with the police (as arranged with Neighbourhood Watch). Takes little time and effort to keep your group safe.

2)SCAMS
Local Information
Thank you to our NW Coordinator who shared this scam.
Doesn't seem very suspicious but what happens if you click on the unsubscribe? These kind of promotions are sent to tens of thousands of people as bulk mail in the hope that someone will click.  Our scam savvy Coordinator reported it to SERS (Suspicious Email Reporting Service) report@ phishing.gov.uk and I would advise that you keep the email address in your contacts. 

Email received-
"We are giving you the opportunity to test our new shaving products for free!
and with a button to click on to unsubscribe."

National Cyber Security Centre
I contacted NCSC about scams and duplicate reporting - if you ever wondered if it is worth reporting ie forwarding email to report@phishing.gov.uk and  deleting from system just look at the figures since April 2020. Worth a couple of minutes of our time to send suspicious emails.
As of 31st May 2021 the number of reports received stand at more than 6,100,000 with the removal of more than 45,000 scams and 90,000 URLs.
 
If the suspicious email is in your spam/junk boxes [rather than inboxes] then you should just delete and not report any from there.The reason is that emails  have already been identified by your provider as suspicious (sometimes because of people previously reporting to SERS).  The reporting service is for any suspicious emails that have not been picked up by spam filters and have made it into main inboxes.
For suspicious SMS messages they can be forwarded to 7726 which is a free service used by most phone providers – details on Ofcom https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/problems/tackling-nuisance-calls-and-messages/spam-texts

(Suspicious email reporting service -SERS)
How does it work?
 The content of the email is sent  and any websites it links to. If activity is discovered to be malicious they may:
seek to block the address the email came from, so it can no longer send emails
work with website hosting companies to remove links to malicious websites
raise awareness of commonly reported suspicious emails and methods used with the help of our partners
Please note…
You should not report a suspected crime to us. If you think you may have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, you should report it:
to Action Fraud  www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040

Scam advice online (free with no registration)
This Tuesday 29th June at 11am Get Safe Online will be holding an exclusive Facebook Live session in collaboration with  Lloyds Banking Group, where they will be providing advice and tips on some of the most commonplace scams.

You and your communities are warmly invited to join them where you can hear advice from a panel of leading fraud prevention experts.

The Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/GetSafeOnline/ . The live event will start streaming on this channel at 11am on Tuesday. Simply access the page at this time to view the session, there is no need to register.

You will also have the opportunity to ask the panel questions during the discussion. 

Topics will include:
Impersonation scams: including scam calls 
Investment scams: the different types of investment scams currently circulating, from promises of ‘high return, low risk’ investments to attractive ‘pension pots’. 
Purchase scams: With many people purchasing more products more frequently online, purchase and delivery scams have become rife in recent months. Discussion of  some of the most commonplace, and how you can avoid them.

Urgent Royal Mail scam
An urgent warning has been issued across the UK over a new Royal Mail post office scam targeting unsuspecting Brits.
The warning has been issued by Chartered Trading Standards Institute (the CTSI) who are calling for potential victims to exercise caution.
The CTSI are warning people about a new scam involving text messages urging people to reschedule parcel deliveries which have failed.
Recipients of the text are told their package has been returned to the Post Office depot.
The texts are fake and are created to try and dupe victims out of their hard-earned cash by collecting personal details. One victim reportedly lost £80,000 after being duped by the scam and handing over details to a bogus website.
CTSI lead officer Katherine Hart, in a statement, said: "This Post Office scam is far more insidious than a similar scam which involved Royal Mail.
"While the Royal Mail scam explicitly asks for a payment to reorganise a delivery, at no point does this happen in this Post Office version making the communication less suspect and potentially more likely to be successful.


Who falls for scams?
ANYONE can fall for a scam. Often I hear of people feeling ashamed ot 'it was their fault' that they fell for a scam It can happen to anyone as some scams become more sophisticated while others appear simple statements to click (I think they are the more dangerous and those from reputable sources like NHS, DVLA etc,)

People often assume that it’s older, less “digitally savvy” people that get scammed, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Citizens Advice research found that while scammers are most likely to target over 55s, under 34s are almost five times more likely to fall victim.
This is for a couple of reasons; younger people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, they’re more likely to have lost jobs and be behind on their bills. Scammers prey on this vulnerability.

Younger people also spend more time online – giving scammers more opportunities to trick them, while many have a false confidence when it comes to staying safe. Younger people often think they’d never fall for a scam, and that they’d know how to spot one – but our data suggests this isn’t true. 

CRIME PREVENTION
Bike Theft

3)Attachment - steer clear for bike theft  this is an old leaflet but still basic relevant information. Please not some of the phone numbers/organisations may have changed.

I would recommend registering your bike on http://www.bikeregister.com the national cycle database. Every Police Force in the UK uses the BikeRegister database to search for stolen & recovered bikes
Bike marking
With the average bicycle costing anywhere between £250-£1,000, it is becoming more and more important to protect a bike as you would any other asset - by marking it. BikeRegister (http://www.bikeregister.com) is owned and maintained by Selectamark and is the UK’s leading online bike identification and registration initiative aiming to reduce cycle theft and identify stolen bikes.

Lost and Found bikes
Contact patrick.woods@odsgroup.co.uk (one to keep)
Lost or stolen bikes
Oxford Neighbourhood Watch has an arrangement with the Abandoned Vehicles Officer (as above) that he will register bikes if information is given by the owner eg colour, make, serial number, distinguishing marks etc and if he finds them he will contact the owner. The bike register is the national cycle database and can be checked on www.bikeimmobilise.com

Found bikes
If a bike is found all necessary measures must be taken to locate owner eg social media, asking neighbours etc. If no luck please contact  patrick.woods@odsgroup.co.uk  He is the designated storage person for bikes and the bike will be collected to store at the Marsh depot.  If the owner does not come forward in a reasonable time the bike can be given to the finder or it can be given to charity.   If you know that a vehicle has been abandoned on the public highway without MOT or Tax please notify him. Checking of vehicles can be found on https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-tax

COMMUNITY INFORMATION
4) Smoke alarms
It is vitally important to test your smoke alarm on a regular basis. Every year people are killed in fires because their alarms failed to work because of flat or missing batteries. For more information please visit: http://ow.ly/9OnB50Fdkeq #testittuesday
Missing or defective batteries mean the fire alarm doesn't work.

5) Petrol change
From September 2021 the government is doubling the amount of bioethanol in petrol to help reduce emissions. The aim is that the introduction of E10 petrol will cut transport carbon dioxide emissions by 750,000 tonnes a year, which is the equivalent of removing 350,000 cars from our roads.
What to do if your vehicle is not compatible with E10 petrol?
Continue to use E5 petrol in the ‘super’ grade (97+ octane), which will remain available at many larger filling stations. Make sure you check the label before you fill up. Using the wrong petrol may cause engine damage.
Petrol check on this website
https://www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-e10-petrol

6) EU Settlement Scheme 
Time is running out
The deadline for application to the EU Settlement Scheme is June 30th 2021. If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen or their family member (resident in the UK by 31 December 2020) you need to apply now to continue to live, work, study and access healthcare and benefits in the UK.
Don't miss your opportunity. Apply now at gov.uk/eusettlementscheme.
If your application is successful, you'll get either settled or pre-settled status.

Restriction Changes
On Monday 21 June, England will remain in Step 3 of the COVID roadmap, but there will be some changes to current restrictions.
Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies and commemorative events can be attended by as many people as social distancing allows at the venue.
Out-of-school groups, such as Brownies, Scouts and Duke of Edinburgh, will now be able to have overnight trips in groups of up to 30 children.
Care home residents will no longer need to isolate for 14 days after visits outside, except after overnight hospital stays and visits classed as high risk by the care home.
All other rules will stay the same
If we want to ensure the move to Step 4 in a few weeks' time and protect the NHS, then we must follow the current rules and not let careless behaviour hold us back!
Remember:
Hands
Face
Space
Fresh air
Be respectful to those around you, including hospitality staff.
What you do really does make a difference. Together we can safely get to the next step.
Message sent by
Maggie Lewis (NWN, Multi Scheme Administrator, Thames Valley, Oxford LPA)
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