Be Aware of Lottery / Sweepstake Scams

Fake Thermometers

Telephone scam - British Council.

Telephone 'Scam'

Beware More Bogus Charity Collectors

Earthquake Appeal Scams

Tottenham Hotspurs Reserves Sponsorship Scam

Letter from Rita of Lascotts Road Neighbourhood Watch Regarding Request to "Borrow" £20 to get a Taxi. (14-9-'09)

The Non Existent Tax Rebate.

Bogus e-mails - Tax Refund Scam

Help Protect a Charity!

Possible Bank Insurance Scam

Credit Card Scam or Hoax. (10-2-2009)

Thieves Target "Hole in Wall" Users.




Be Aware of Lottery / Sweepstake Scams

The Metropolitan Police have been made aware of a scam that is targeting London residents who have recently returned from a holiday abroad.

Whilst on holiday, tourists are tricked into completing forms, often for the chance to enter lotteries or sweepstakes. On their return, they receive a phone call or letter stating they have won money. The recipient will reply, whether directly through telephone, by post or e-mail and will be invited to send money, often to assist in the administration of the release of the winnings.

A London resident recently lost her life savings of £10,000 to this type of scam.

Others scams arrive in the form of of unsolicited e-mail, letters or telephone calls. They involve lotteries, prizes, awards, miracle cures, clairvoyants and other promises of good fortune.

The cruel part of the scam is that suspects build up a rapport with victims to continue the flow of money.

Anyone can be a victim.

Communications are often sent to accommodation addresses. These are then collected by couriers or third parties and sent on to the fraudsters.

What to do in the event of receiving an unsolicited communication:

If you receive these communications do not reply to them. If you are a victim of this fraud, report it!

Dangerous Fake Digital Thermometers from the Internet

Picture of fake thermometer and packaging

Investigators from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have seized over 400 fake digital thermometers after raids in Harrow and Oxford as part of a UK-wide operation to prevent unapproved medical devices being sold over the internet.

Some of these fake thermometers were being sold cheaply online for 99p and they do not have appropriate CE safety markings, warnings or instructions for use to prevent them endangering people’s health. They are likely to give inaccurate readings, posing a serious threat to the health of adults and small children who have potentially killer illnesses such as meningitis.

The MHRA launched the raids after the parents of a young child with leukaemia used a fake thermometer bought online and realised it was giving a misleading temperature reading. Their child had a high temperature and was rushed to hospital to receive urgent medical care despite the fake thermometer showing that their child did not have a high temperature. The fake thermometers have no recognised brand name and can be recognised by missing information on the packaging:

During the UK-wide operation, the MHRA also seized a number of other fake medical devices from other locations around the UK such as seven Kiddicare cool pads that should help reduce children’s temperatures and three counterfeit Slendertone devices – used to tone people’s stomach muscles.

These products have been sold on Ebay below the market value and the MHRA is working with Ebay to prevent unapproved devices being sold. The MHRA is currently involved an ongoing investigation into how these products were supplied onto the UK market.

Dr Hilary Jones, television doctor, said:

“High temperatures in children can be a sign of serious illness and these raids by the MHRA show why it is so important that people are aware that fake thermometers and other fake medical equipment are being sold cheaply on the internet.

Dr Nicola Lennard, the MHRA’s deputy clinical director, said:

“Inaccurate readings from cheap, fake thermometers could result in a delay to a child getting the medical treatment they need and it is vital that people do not buy or use cheap, unapproved medical devices.

The public are urged to report faulty medical devices to an Incident Hotline on 020 3080 6080 or via the website, http://www.mhra.gov.uk.”

Editorial note.

Boots market a thermometer that looks very similar, however it is marked "Boots" and CE on the case.


Telephone scam - British Council.

August 2011

Below is an e-mail sent to our NHW Link Manager. (3-8-'11)

We think we have just been targeted by a telephone scam.

The call purported to come from the British Council offering a rebate as I had always paid my council tax on time, had never declared bankruptcy and had not been in trouble with he police. She was therefore to receive a cheque from the British Council for a large sum of money. The caller then asked about our method of council tax payment, was it with cash or by direct debit? Caro replied that as the caller knew so much about her that she was surprised that she needed to ask for that information. The caller then got very tetchy, said she had another call and would ring back. So far she has not done so.

I suspect, but don’t know, that the next step might have been to say that the money would be paid by electronic transfer and for this to happen they would need our bank details. We have alerted our bank in case there is any unusual activity.

I wonder if you have heard of anything similar doing the rounds?

Cheers, Alan

A new Telephone 'Scam' Has Arrived.

July 2010

This is from an e-mail sent to our NHW Link Manager.

I received a call from a 'representative' of BT, informing me that he was disconnecting me because of an unpaid bill. He demanded payment immediately of £31.00, or it would be £118.00 to re-connect at a later date.

The guy wasn't even fazed when I told him I was with Virgin Media, allegedly VM have to pay BT a percentage for line rental!

I asked the guy's name - the very 'English' John Peacock with a very 'African' accent - & phone number - 0800 0800 152 . Obviously the fella realized I wasn't believing his story, so offered to demonstrate that he was from BT. I asked how & he told me to hang up & try phoning someone - he would disconnect my phone to prevent this.

AND HE DID!! My phone was dead - no engaged tone, nothing - until he phoned me again.

Very pleased with himself, he asked if that was enough proof that he was with BT. I asked how the payment was to be made & he said credit card, there & then.

I said that I didn't know how he'd done it, but I had absolutely no intention of paying him, I didn't believe his name or that he worked for BT.

He hung up.

Did 1471 & phoned his fictitious 0800 number – not recognised.

I phoned the police to let them know, I wasn't the first! It's only just started apparently but it is escalating.

Their advice was to let as many people know by word of mouth of this scam. The fact that the phone does go off would probably convince some people it's real, so please let as many friends & family aware of this.

This is good but not that clever. He gave the wrong number - it should have been 0800 800152 , which takes you through to BT Business. The cutting off of the line is very simple , he stays on the line with the mute button on and you can't dial out - but he can hear you trying. (This is because the person who initiates a call is the one to terminate it). When you stop trying he cuts off and immediately calls back. You could almost be convinced! The sad thing is that it is so simple that it will certainly fool the elderly and vulnerable. Obviously, if this scam is real, once they have your credit/debit card details, there is nothing to stop them cleaning out your account.

Beware More Bogus Charity Collectors

Police are warning residents to be aware of bogus charity collectors after Safer Neighbourhoods officers stopped two boys going door to door in Crouch End claiming to be collecting for 'Children in Need'.

On Monday 19th April at about 1.50pm Sergeant Leon Christodoulou and PC Steve Humphrey from Highgate Safer Neighbourhoods team were on their way from the Safer Neighbourhoods base in Crouch End to patrol in Highgate ward when they saw two boys (an 18 year-old and a 17 year-old) going door to door in Bedford Road N8. The officers stopped the two boys and, following enquiries, established that they had been calling at residents homes with an official sponsorship form claiming to be collecting money for a charity run in aid of ‘Children in Need’.

The boys were arrested on suspicion of fraud and about £17 was seized. The boys subsequently made a full admission to having collected the money fraudulently. The 17 year-old was reprimanded and the 18 year-old was cautioned for fraud by false representation.

Highgate Safer Neighbourhoods team Sergeant Leon Christodoulou said: "Bogus charity collectors prey on people’s goodwill. We advise residents not to open the door to strangers. However if you do get approached by someone claiming to collect for charity, ask to see their licence. If you have any concerns about the authenticity of the individual, call the police. To find out how best to contribute safely and officially contact the charity directly.”

A BBC spokesperson for 'Children in Need’ said: “We advise our supporters not to collect money in the street or any other public place without a licence from their local authority. If the public are unsure about a collection happening in their area, we would recommend that they ask to see a collection licence and contact the police if they suspect the activity is fraudulent.” People can donate to Children In Need securely online at bbc.co.uk/pudsey or via the phone 03457 33 22 33 .

All charities have to be registered with the Charities Commission. You can easily check if a charity is registered with them by going to their web-site, http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/

Media & Communications,
Haringey Borough,
Metropolitan Police Service.

Password Collection Scams

Beware of e-mails possibly even appearing to be from friends, suggesting things such as watching a video.

Earthquake Appeal Scams

Britain has raised over £23 million towards providing aid in Haiti.

According to the Charity Commission monies intended for this purpose have been fraudulently obtained by the unscrupulous. Criminals have set up fictitious appeal websites, created dummy sites using the names of genuine charities or been using official looking collecting tins. This is not a new phenomenon. After any major disaster some will take advantage of the goodwill and generosity of others. The Charity Commission, the body which regulates charities in England has issued some advice:

Running the main Haiti appeal are the Disasters and Emergency Committee (DEC) which is an umbrella group comprising 13 major UK based charities. The DEC can be reached on their website www.dec.org.uk . The switchboard number is 0207 387 0200. Their office address is DEC Secretariat, 1st Floor, 43 Charlton Street, London, NW1 1DU.


Who Has Blocked You e-mail Phishing Scam

If you receive an e-mail offering to let you know who has blocked you on Windows Live Messenger, (MSN Messenger), even if it claims to be from someone you trust, do not click on the link. If you do, you will be asked for your e-mail address and password. The scammers will then be able to open your e-mail and will send similar messages to all your contacts.

Ask the person shown as the sender of the e-mail if they had given their e-mail details and password to that site. If you have already clicked the link and given the information, you must change your password immediately and contact all your contacts to warn them.



Following a series of telephone scams, BT are advising their customers to be on their guard. Someone claiming to be calling from their company will ring their victim, advising them their account is in arrears and payment should be made at once. The scammer will then ask for credit, debit or bank details in order to settle the outstanding bill. If the person refuses to divulge their details or asks for the proof, the fraudster will threaten to disconnect the telephone line immediately. This scam has been operating across the country with increasing regularity. As people become more aware of this type of operation, it is expected the criminals will turn their attentions to the utility companies.


Tottenham Hotspurs Reserves Sponsorship Scam

Dear Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator

Yet another scam that has been brought to my attention. Please see email below from a local resident:

I thought I'd let you know that a week ago on Friday, a young pleasant- mannered black man rang our bell asking us to sponsor him for his penalty shoot kicks in aid of the NSPCC. He had a very amateurish "form" and told us he was a member of the Tottenham Hotspurs Reserves, and that he was going to kick 100 balls in aid of the NSPCC the next day, Sat. We thought he seemed earnest and genuine, but we only offered to sponsor him, although he asked us to give him the money up front.

My husband was suspicious after he left, as he thought it odd that someone should ask for sponsorship only the evening before the event. We could find no person with the first name Darren (as he said his name was) on the Tottenham Hotspurs Reserve website. Nor could we find any reference to this NSPCC event on the website. He said he was from 40 Claremont Road, but when my husband checked there on Sunday Sep 27th, there was no one there of that name or description.

He didn't come back to collect his "sponsorship" money, but we learned via email that he went to other houses, sometimes giving other addresses as his home address.

Best regards,


Letter from Rita of Lascotts Road Neighbourhood Watch Regarding Request to "Borrow" £20 to get a Taxi. (14-9-'09)

Dear All,

I have had a couple of reports this week from local people who have been scammed by this person at their front door.

A smartly dressed young(ish) woman, black (possibly Nigerian) claiming to be a nurse from the Doctor's surgery at 2 Myddleton Road. Her 'story' is that she has lost her contact lenses so cannot drive and needs to borrow £20 to get a taxi. She promises that her husband will call by later to return the 'loan', which, of course, doesn't happen.

Needless to say do not 'lend' this person any money. This is a variation of an old established scam. Please warn friends and neighbours, especially the elderly and vulnerable members of our community.

Many thanks,

Lascotts Road Neighbourhood Watch.

The Non Existent Tax Rebate.

E-mails pertaining to be from the Tax Office have been received by some Haringey residents. Although the senders are saying the recipient is entitled to a rebate, they are only attempting to obtain information which can be used in a fraudulent way. A useful aid to determining what is genuine and what is not, the HMRC does NOT correspond by email! When corresponding in writing, they ALWAYS state a tax reference.

Always treat any supposed offer with suspicion.

Help Protect a Charity!

You may possibly have received an identical or similar flier through your letterbox. The Winnicott Foundation is a well established legitimate charity raising money for a good cause. The information on the leaflet, including all the contact details, are correct. However a person or persons currently unknown to the charity, the police and trading standards, have taken this information, printed and distributed the leaflets with the apparent aim of collecting goods for their own purposes. The Foundation has suffered from the actions of these bogus collectors and the authorities are aware of this problem.

Winnicott flyer

If you have received one of these leaflets, please do not put out any goods for collection. The police would like to have the registration plate details and description of any vehicle involved. Any further information would be appreciated however the police are insisting that the maximum caution is exercised. Do not approach anyone collecting. Do not put yourself at risk.

Buyers Beware!

A company claiming to sell high value electrical goods at reduced prices has been placing adverts in a range of newspapers across the country. Customers who have attempted to buy goods from the advert have been asked to pay or transfer cash into a bank account. They are promised the items will be sent to them only to find the purchases never arrive.

The adverts have been placed in a wide rage of newspapers and magazines across the country. The company is trading under a wide range of names including Arash Ltd, The Gadget Company, Gadget Limited, Office Bits warehouse, Office Supplies Cabin and Office Brand Megastore. The only contact details are telephone and fax numbers, occasionally an email address that is based on the URL @easymailorders.com.

Be aware that the illegal company may be trading under a number of other names. Also it should be noted that there are companies in the UK trading legitimately under names similar to 'The Gadget Company'.

There are possible links to a company calling themselves 'Parcel Express UK'. This company posts cards through front doors telling the householder that they have missed delivery of a parcel. It asks the recipient to phone a number and pay for a customs charge of the product by credit or debit card. Once this is done the parcel fails to arrive. Although the money is not immediately debited from the victims' account, the details are later used fraudulently. 'Parcel Express UK is NOT a legitimate trading company. As a matter of course unless you are confident of the legitimacy of the company contacting you then do not provide your card or bank details to organisations or people not known to you. If you have placed an order in response to one of the newspaper adverts concerned. or called 'Parcel Express UK' , you should inform your bank immediately and cancel your card.

The Economic Crime Directorate at the City of London Police are heading the investigation into these frauds. If you suspect you have been a victim of this crime please report it to the City of London Police at ophukka@cityoflondon.police.uk .

Further advice on consumer rights can be found at www.consumerdirect.gov.uk or by contacting Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.


Reduce your "Junk Mail"

These actions can be helpful in two ways: -
a) It will reduce your incoming "junk mail".
b) It will reduce the risk of identity theft.

1) You can register with the Mailing Preference Service and have your name and address removed from up to 95% of mailing lists. This service is FREE.
Register on line at www.mpsonline.org.uk .

Also available - Telephone Preference Service - 08450 700 707.
This is to halt cold callers or silent calls.

2) You can stop mail addressed to "The Occupier" by writing to The Customer Support Unit, Royal Mail, Wheatstone House Wheatstone Road, Dorcan, Swindon, SN3 5JW.

3) You can avoid being added to new mailing lists. When completing forms, look at the very bottom. There are usually a few lines in very small print and a box for you to tick to say you DO NOT want to receive mailings from other linked companies.

4) You can write to companies that you have had previous business with or correspondence from and request the removal of any details they hold on you or your address from their databases.

You should be aware that when disposing of unwanted items of mail this should be done in a secure manner. It is recommended that, prior to placing anything of this nature into a bin, it has been shredded or the address information has been removed and disposed of, so that it cannot be read.

Possible Bank Insurance Scam

Today, someone phoned me claiming to be from my bank. They would not give me a phone number and tried to proove who they were by giving me my date of birth. They wanted me to agree to taking out a accident policy immediately, with one month to change my mind. I said thet I was not going to agree over the phone and asked for a web address. I was given the web address of an insurance company, not of my bank. On querying this I was told that the call was from my bank.

If this was a scam call, if I had agreed, I would probably have been asked for my credit card details!

I phoned my bank and was told that they are not currently advertising assurance over the phone and that anyone can now obtain anyone else's date of birth. The bank are going to look into this and let me know what they find out.

Do not give any bank details to anyone over the phone, especially if they have telephoned you. Take down their details and ring your bank to find out if they are offering anything and let them know the details. It is useful to do this even if you do not want the service offered.



Most people have received leaflets from charities asking for donated goods to be left at a prearranged spot for collection on a specific day.

Thieves Target "Hole in Wall" Users.


A useful ATM Personal Security Plan is available from APACS (Administration) Limited who are the UK Payments Association.

Letters on the same subject.

Thieves continue to prey on people using ATM machines. This is a warning for anyone that regularly uses cash point machines to be aware of criminals. There are two main approaches used:

1 Watching someone entering their personal identification number (PIN) into the key pad, creating a distraction before snatching the card and / or cash.

2 Putting a card reader into the ATM machine. These devices are relatively inexpensive to buy and difficult to recognise. The reader, combined with a secretly installed minaturised camera, will record all the necessary card details allowing the thief to access the account.

We suggest customers wishing to make financial transactions, deposits and withdrawals, go to a bank teller.

  • If queuing is not feasible and you need to use an ATM machine, use one inside a bank or building society. This is not 100% secure but still a lot safer than using a machine on the street.

  • Look around before using a machine. If you think someone is watching, walk away and report the incident to a member of the banking staff.

  • Always cover the keypad when entering your pin number. This should obscure both the view of the thief and any illegal electronic surveillance.

  • If there is a problem with the machine, report it to a member of the banking staff immediately.

  • Always take your transaction receipt away with you. When it is no longer needed, shred the receipt.

  • Always memorise your pin number and never disclose it to anyone, not even bank staff or a close friend.

  • Always sign a new plastic card as soon as it arrives and cut up the old one.

  • If you loose your card, report it to the bank immediately.
  • Further comments

  • The number 5 digit on numeric keypads, including those on ATMs, has a raised dot on it. This was originally for blind people but is very useful for finding the digits whilst covering the keypad with your other hand. If you only partly cover the digits as on page 7 of the APACS Personal Security Plan above, as you can see, it is quite easy to guess at least some of the digits!

  • If you have to use an ATM machine, considering that this scam usually results in the card being retained, you can insert your card and then press the button for the card to be returned before you enter your pin number. If the card is retained, you can report it to the Bank but you will not have revealed your pin number. You can then insert your card the second time and enter the details whilst still covering the whole keypad with your other hand.

  • Only use an ATM, if possible, whilst the bank is open. That way the bank can be informed if the machine retains the card and once the scam has been uncovered, it is only likely to be set up again at night.

  • The banks could reduce this sort of fraud by making the slot for the card only wide enough to insert the card, but not a card reader or card retainer.

  • Letters on the same subject

    Urgent Warning

    Please forward to as many other people as possible.

    25th February 2009

    On 25-2-'09, I was another victim of ‘card skimming’ I innocently used one of Barclays cash machines in Crouch End which promptly retained my card. Unknown to me some fraudsters had inserted a device into this machine together with a miniature camera. The device and camera captured my card and pin number. Overnight they systematically cleared out my account.


    If any cash machine behaves in the slightest bit oddly then hold onto your card and move away!

    Report to Bank & Police

    From Ralph Crisp.


    From: Leon Christodoulou PS 27YR.
    Highgate Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

    This is a warning for anyone that regularly uses cash point machines to be aware of criminals placing false fronts or an instrument in the card part of machine which then keeps your card. The criminals then either obtain your card to use and have a camera or person nearby that observes your pin number or they clone your card details and again obtain your pin number with person nearby or camera.

    There has been a recent gang targeting a machine in Crouch End recently.

    Please take the following precautions:

    1/ Where possible please use cash machines in the bank .

    2/ Utilise cash back in shops but again cover your hand when inputting the pin number.

    3/ Check for anyone hanging around near a cash point machine, if you are concerned then don't use the machine and if you feel they are there with intent to commit crime then dial 999.

    4/ When using the machine, don't let anyone distract you, another regular trick is for them to state you have dropped £10 and they hand it to you, which is untrue and it is actually their's. They then have an accomplice that then steals your card from machine and they have also noted your pin number. Beware of people entering your personal space, don't let people get close to you, if you are not happy then walk away or make it clear you are watching them if happy to ask them to give you some space and step back.

    5/ Don't let people see your pin number, always cover your hand that is inputting with the other so no person or possible hidden camera can see your pin number.

    6/ Finally and most importantly, if you ever feel your card details have been compromised or a machine keeps it, always report it immediately to your bank. If you discover that a machine has been tampered with whether you have used it or not, please also contact police; 0300 123 1212.

    If you have any queries or questions please feel free to contact us or your bank provider for their policies and procedures.

    Regards Leon .

    Leon Christodoulou PS 27YR.

    Highgate Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

    Credit Card Scam or Hoax.


    Warning Credit Card Scam: information at "http://www.safefromscams.co.uk/visa-credit-card-scam.htm" (10-2-2009)

    The following appears to be a chain letter that was circulating in the USA in 2006 , with the same sum of money in Dollars rather than in Pounds Sterling. Although the article below appears to be a hoax, you should never give out your Card Number or your Card Security Code, the code number on the back of your card, wrongly called pin code in the article below, to anyone you do not know except reputable companies that you are ordering from, or otherwise communicating with, over the telephone.

    Variants and comments can be found by pasting part of the text eg "This one is pretty slick since they provide Y O U with all the information", into search engines such as Google.

    Even when you communicate by telephone, you should make the call yourself, to a phone number obtained from a reputable source; you should not give information to people who phone you claiming to represent a well known company as they may not be who they claim to be.

    This is the text of the message we received:

    "The following was sent to our Neighbourhood Watch Office:

    This one is pretty slick since they provide Y O U with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it. This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you'll be better prepared to protect yourself.

    One of our employees was called on Wednesday from "VISA", and I was called on Thursday from "MasterCard".

    The scam works like this: Person calling says, "This is (name), and I'm calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I'm calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank) did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for £497.99 from a Marketing company based in London ?" When you say "No", the caller continues with, "Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from £297 to £497, just under the £500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?"

    You say "yes". The caller continues - "I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 0800 number listed on the back of your card (0800-VISA) and ask for Security.

    You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. "Do you need me to read it again?"

    Here's the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works the caller then says, "I need to verify you are in possession of your card." He'll ask you to "turn your card over and look for some numbers." There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card. The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he'll say, "That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?" After you say, "No," the caller then thanks you and states, "Don't hesitate to call back if you do", and hangs up.

    You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card number. But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of £497.99 was charged to our card.

    Long story - short - we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number. What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN (ie Card Security Code , ed) number on the back of the card. Don't give it to them. Instead, tell them you'll call VISA or MasterCard directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card! If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN (ie Card Security Code , ed) Number, you think you're receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you'll see charges for purchases you didn't make, and by then it's almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report.

    What makes this more remarkable is that on Thursday, I got a call from a "Jason Richardson of MasterCard" with a word-for-word repeat of the VISA scam. This time I didn't let him finish. I hung up! We filed a police report, as instructed by VISA. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily! They also urged us to tell everybody we know that this scam is happening .

    Please pass this on to all your family and friends. By informing each other, we protect each other. "

    Bogus e-mails - Tax Refund Scam

    Should you receive an e-mail purporting to be from HM customs and revenue regarding an overpayment of tax, do not believe it. This is the latest Internet fraud from Nigeria. The e-mail promises a refund and has a hyperlink to what appears to be the HMR&C website, this is a false site and once you have clicked on the site you have let a virus into your PC which will attempt to steal your bank and credit card details and empty your accounts.

    HMR&C do not send e-mails to taxpayers asking for bank details, if you are due any money then they will write to you and refunds are normally given by reducing the amount of tax you pay or by cheque.

    Do NOT open any emails that you have doubts about. Verify the authenticity of it by contacting the company or person by telephone or by email before opening.


    Most people have received leaflets from charities asking for donated goods to be left at a prearranged spot for collection on a specific day. Either the goods will be given to those less fortunate or the money raised will provide some form of aid. Unfortunately the less scrupulous are mimicking the process by pretending they represent a charity. They will produce a very plausible sounding flier detailing when they will be collecting. Some may make a minimal donation to a cause but more likely the money raised will go into financing an illegal enterprise such as people trafficking, drug smuggling and terrorism.

    Authorised collector or thief? Authorised.

    There have been times when a charity has invested money, done all the hard work of leafleting, providing sacks and setting out to collect the goods only to find someone has gone round before them taking all the donated items.

    It is recommended that any donations are given directly to a responsible person inside a charity shop. Do not leave items outside or the chances are they will be taken. About a year ago there were reports of someone driving a Mercedes collecting from charity shop doorways, so there is a lot of money involved.

    Again charities are suffering from bogus collectors going round rattling tins. The best way to give is either at a charity shop alternatively post a cheque or postal order directly to the organisation. If you do not know the address, your local library should be able to help.

    If you have doubts about any organisation collecting goods or money, contact the local trading standards office.


    Laptop Scam

    Laptop Scam represented using model.

    (Photographic Model Used)

    "Why buy from an unlicensed trader? For your cash, you get no receipt, no guarantee and no money back if the goods are faulty or stolen."

    This is yet another scam to be aware of :

    Police issued a warning about a scam being used by unscrupulous con artists. At approx 13:20 hours on 10/12/08 the victim, a 28 year old man, was approached in the street by the suspect, who asked if he would like to buy a laptop worth £1,500 for £700. The man accompanied the suspect to a white car in High Road N22 and was shown a laptop in good working condition. The victim agreed to buy the laptop and went to a bank to withdraw cash, accompanied by the suspect. He handed over the money and took the bag that he believed contained the laptop. Some time after the suspect had left, the victim opened the bag to find that it contained two bottles of water and no laptop.

    Haringey CID are investigating and looking at CCTV This is a well known con in which unsuspecting victims have handed over anything up to £600 for a bag that turns out to contain nothing more than bottles of cola, magazines, catalogues, bricks or even onions.

    Two other cases have been reported in Haringey in November: On 19/11/08 in Roseberry Gardens N4 a 53 y/o man handed over £170 for a bag of bottled water. On 10/11/08 in Maidstone Road N11 a 22 y/o man handed over £250 for a bag of onions. DC Suzie Chantry of Haringey CID said:
    "We really must urge people to exercise extreme caution when they are approached by anyone in the street trying to sell anything. You could find yourself handing over good money for bottles of water or even onions, we've seen it all! Even if you do get the item you're paying for, there is a real danger that you could be buying stolen property, which in itself means you could be arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods. Be safe and only buy from reputable outlets."

    Anyone with information is asked to contact Haringey CID on 020 8345 0712, or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

    Weather can be a decisive factor in the day-to-day life of a criminal; on miserable, cold and wet days more people will stay home and shut their doors and windows, making it less easy for the opportunist burglar. Come the sunshine caution is thrown to the wind and doors and windows are left open to let in the fresh air and the burglars. Sunshine brings a change in people’s attitude and moods, people are happier, more trusting, and more likely to enter into conversations with complete strangers, resulting in criminals taking advantage of people’s happier nature, to execute their criminal activities and scams. Statistics show that sunshine can contribute to an increase in burglaries by up to 40%.

    There are many budding 'entrepreneurs' out there who come up with very good ways to make tax free money, one of these being door to door collections for donations to charity or sponsorship for local events and schools. The forms they present are well thought out, professional and very believable. Do not hand over cash to these people, no worthy cause will benefit from these illegal collectors.

    Taxi Fare Scam

    A resident of Victoria Road, N22 received a visit from an 'ill looking' man who said that he had just returned home by taxi after being released from hospital, however his wife was not home and he did not have the money to pay for the taxi, he gave his address which was a little further down Victoria Road. The ill looking man said he was embarrassed to have to ask but could he be loaned the taxi fare. It looked plausible as there was a car waiting outside of the address given, and he did have a hospital tag around his wrist. Cash was given to this man who did not live at the address and was never to be seen again. Please can you warn as many people as you can of this scam.

    Taxi Fare Scam Update

    Scam Warning from a Neighbourhood Watch member who lives on Alexandra Ward.

    At 2.30 am someone knocked at my door (several times) and tried to get money off me for a taxi fare. I did not get a good look at him unfortunately, because I did not want to open the door, so spoke to him through the frosted glass of the front door. He had a sob story about how he had been in a motorbike accident and had arrived back from the hospital in a cab and had no money to pay for it and that there was noone at home until tomorrow to bail him out. He claimed to have ID and to be from several doors down the road. He had a bandage on his head, covering a lot of his face and was shaking. He was a tall thin man, around 30 years old, with a nasal well spoken voice. My husband and I politely sent him packing without paying anything and we lost any doubt as to the fact that it was a scam when we saw him walking perfectly normally across the road, getting into a hire car ( or a car with writing on the side) and driving off! We searched the net and found that something similar had happened in Victoria Rd recently, so I thought I should inform you so you can warn people that this is fraud and not to entertain these people. I hope no other local people will have this happen to them as it is quite creepy.

    Be aware of people claiming to be from emergency services, local authority or utility companies trying to gain access to your home with stories such as checking security, water pressure problems, or a dangerous situation developing following a gas leak. It is very rare any of these personnel will visit unannounced, without an appointment, or without you being aware of a problem relating to their visit. Once inside light fingers will pick up cash, jewellery or other small valuable items. Haringey Borough Association of Neighbourhood Watches recommends that any sponsorship or donations be given directly to the cause, not an intermediary.

    Police officers, council workers and utility workers will carry an identity card. You can check their credentials by ringing their local office. Do not use a number on their business card. If in doubt, keep them out! If you are suspicious, contact the police.

    Important Information - "knock on your door"

    There are a number of reported incidents involving females of Eastern European appearance who are knocking on doors asking for a pen and paper to leave a note for the person who lives next door. A female will follow you into your house and will leave with a lot more of your property than pen and paper!

    Should you receive such a visit please note the description of the person and call the police immediately, do not let anyone enter your property.

    Sponsorship Scam - Door to Door Calling

    The Sussex Gardens Neighbourhood Watch on Fortis Green Ward has alerted us to following scam.

    Two young girls have been going door to door asking for sponsorship to raise funds for the charity Breakthough, the sponsorship form refers to a school's sports day held on 18th June 2008 at The Fresh Academy. The coordinator has checked with the school, and they confirm that they did not hold a sports day on 18th June also the correct address of the school is different to that shown on the sponsorship form.

    Please inform all your members. Should you receive a visit from these girls, do not hand over any money but inform the police.

    Updated 7/9/2012.