June update from Neighbourhood Watch
Clifden Road Burglary & Somerset Road
There has been a recently burglary in Clifden Road. At some time between the hours of 11:00am and 17:00pm on a week day, while the house was unoccupied, someone forced open the front door of the premises, entered and stole money and jewelry.
In June, Somerset Road Neighbourhood Watch sent a warning to residents in the area that a white youth in his 20s, with a tattoo on his neck, had knocked on a front door of a residence in Upper Butts. When the resident answered the front door, the youth asked the resident for the directions to ‘Butts Walk’?
Although this may have been a perfectly innocent mistake made by someone new to the area, it could also be someone with criminal intent visiting the area to see what premises were unoccupied and when, and to look for open windows and/or possible entry points to premises?
Once again, residents are asked to take all possible precautions against burglary, ensuring that windows are securely locked and that entry points into properties are strong enough to withstand forced entry.
Do keep a close watch on anyone they do not recognize who are looking at, or knocking on doors in the neighbourhood, especially if it is known that the premises are empty at the time.
Residents who wish to talk to an officer from the ‘Brentford Safer Neighbourhoods Team’ about their own home security are encouraged to do so.
Identity Theft Precautions
Identity theft affects approximately 1.8m people per year. To help against being targeted by fraudsters, before disposing of any bills or documents that shows your full name and address that could be useful if they fell into the wrong hands, either shred the document(s), or if you do not own a shredder, tear all traces of your name, address and account number from the document(s). Envelopes bearing your name and address should also be shredded/torn up as they too can be useful to fraudsters.
A local resident recently had their e-mail account hacked by fraudster(s). The fraudster(s), claiming to be the resident, sent out an e-mail in the residents name urgently requesting that a £3,000 ‘temporary’ loan be forwarded to them as they had been a victim of an armed robbery and were ‘stranded’ in a foreign country without cash, credit cards or mobile phone. The fraudsters went on to request that the e-mail should be replied to as soon as possible so that instructions could be given as to how the £3,000 should be forwarded.
Fortunately the e-mail was identified very quickly as a fraud by a resident and warnings immediately sent out.
But if you have elderly parents, relatives or friends who use e-mail and who could easily fall victim of this type of scam, please warn them of the dangers. They could easily believe that the e-mail is genuine and make the error of replying to the e-mail and making the necessary arrangements of forwarding the money direct to the fraudsters. Check such emails and virus alerts on Snopes by copying and pasting the first few lines.
Distraction Robberies at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)
Residents using ATM cash machines are warned that criminals are using hidden cameras attached to the ATM that records their targeted victim typing in their PIN number. The criminals stand close to their victim and once the PIN number has been typed, will distract the victim by shouting and gesticulating that the ATM is faulty. When the victim looks towards the shouting scammer, an accomplice will approach the victim on the blind side and take the victims bank card from the machine. When the victim realizes that their bank card is missing, they wrongly assume that the ATM has ‘swallowed’ the card. The criminals will then disappear with the victim’s bank card and a record of the PIN Number and at the first opportunity empty the victim’s bank account.
To avoid being victim of this type of scam, when using an ATM ensure 1) that no one is standing too close to you and/or is watching you intently 2) always cover the hand that types your PIN number so that your PIN number remains secret 3) and for whatever reason, if you are distracted in the middle of an ATM transaction, immediately reach for your bank card.
Vehicle Crime, Gunnersbury/Brentford
There has been a spate of thefts from motor vehicles in the car park at Gunnersbury Park. Visitors who visit the park to watch football, use the café, play pitch and putt, visit the museum, or simply to enjoy a walk, are warned not to leave anything of value inside their vehicle whether or not it can be seen from the outside.
June 19, 2013