Apr 23rd

From: The Daily Mash

By Colin L

President Obama speaks at the Chiefs Of Missions Conference at the State Department, Washington D.C., America - 14 Mar 2016

PRESIDENT Barack Obama has enjoyed learning about Boris Johnson.

Obama became aware of the child mayor of London this morning after Johnson suggested the two-term President of the United States was just an angry African who knew nothing about global politics.

As Obama arrived in the UK, a White House spokesman said: “The President was told that while Mr Johnson is a popular English politician, his popularity is based on people laughing at him, not with him.

“After relating Mr Johnson’s colourful personal history, including the Bullingdon Club and the extra-marital affair, the President’s advisers then described Mr Johnson’s general appearance and the way he talks.

“The President found all of this highly amusing, particularly the idea that Mr Johnson is the favourite to succeed Prime Minister Cameron.”

The spokesman added: “The President chuckled and said that Britain had become ‘kind of embarrassing’. He then moved on to more important matters, including how he plans to annoy Prince Philip this evening.”

Sep 9th

From: News Biscuit

By Colin L

‘I always thought Corbyn right for leader’ says ex-critic looking for job

‘Perhaps in the heat of the moment my saying civilisation would end if he became leader was a little hasty and that my saying anyone who voted for him was a moron was misquoted and out of context.

 

Actually some of my friends are raving lefty loonies, er – I mean principled comrades. And although I supported everything Tony Blair did, I feel we can put differences aside and that if called upon I can work together with Caliph Corbyn, er – I mean Leader Corbyn, to build a high tax, union ruled, nuclear disarmed, terrorist loving, wiping Israel off the map kind of country.

 

And here is my CV with a covering letter.’

Aug 20th

Lottery scam

By Ann R

Just noticed this in the local paper so thought I would make people aware.

Fake lottery letters are being sent out to people saying that it is from the Postcode Lottery, Bressenden Place, London and that the recipient has won £825,000.

But to collect the money it says a processing fee needs to be paid.

The letter also warns to keep it a secret and says if the recipient doesn't respond quickly, they won't be able to claim their winnings.

 

Nov 27th

batteries

By Chrystie M
I expect a lot of us saw the prpgramme where it was showing how many young children, put batteries like coins in their mouths and swallow them.  If the batteries are still alive, the thing which usually sticks in their throat or just below, sticks and it burns , sometimes causing the child to die and in awful pain.  They were saying with all these gadgets lying around these days, batteries are everywhere and I think they were saying that there should be some cover over them   - something or other.
May 4th

May is Scams Awareness Month in Surrey

By Mary B
Citizens Advice and the Trading Standards Institute have teamed up with a campaign to highlight the problem of scams, tell people how to avoid being taken in and how they can fight back against the scammers. Every year more than three million people in the UK fall victim to scams losing hundreds and even thousands of pounds. It is estimated that nearly half of people in the UK (48 per cent) have been targeted by a scam and that £3.5 billion is lost to scams every year. Common Scams include: • Prize draw and sweepstake scams • Foreign lottery scams • Email ‘phising’ scams • Premium rate and telephone prize scams • Work at home & business opportunity scams • Pyramid selling and chain letter scams • Miracle health and slimming cure scams • Clairvoyant and psychic mailing scams • Bogus holiday clubs • Advanced fee frauds, and • Bogus business publishing offers If you have been targeted by a scam, or know someone who has then call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 www.actionfraud.police.uk Learn more about scams and how to protect yourself www.citizensadvice.org.uk and search scams. For advice call Trading Standards via Citizen Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506. Surrey has RATs! RATs? We have a team of officers that form a Rapid Action Team (affectionately known as RATs!) Annually, Surrey residents are deceived out of hundreds of thousands of pounds by doorstep conmen. The Trading Standards Rapid Action Team exists to provide a quick response to calls regarding Doorstep Callers, received by Trading Standards, from any source, especially members of the public. Just to give you an example, last Friday was a busy day .... 1. An elderly resident from the Farnham area was advised when approached by a trader offering to paint the house walls and subsequently went on to find other 'repairs' that needed doing. No paperwork was given. Advice = £300 saved! 2. A doorstep trader in the Guildford area offered to clean a driveway which was agreed BUT then went on to start painting the walls and tried to charge for it! Advice = £100 saved 3. A caring member of staff at a bank suspected something wasn't right when a vulnerable resident from the Epsom area asked to withdraw a large amount of cash for some roofing work that started out as a cheap cleaning the gutter job. Great partnership working with Epsom & Ewell Police and intervention = £480 saved Find out more about the teams work in the link below. http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/council-services/customers-and-communities-directorate/trading-standards/about-trading-standards/rapid-action-team/frequently-asked-questions-about-our-rapid-action-team If you need help & advice please call 08454 04 05 06
Dec 19th

A 999 call and the credit card scam that cost me thousands: How an utterly plausible con-trick left John A £7,000 poorer

By Mary B

The con began with a phone call from woman claiming to be a police inspector

'DCI Seymour' told the couple someone was using their cards to buy items

She said the card had been cloned and was being used to make purchases

Con rested on clever technical trick, specialist technology and acting skills


We feel so stupid: how could my wife and I have been conned out of more than £7,000 by one phone conversation? The answer is that the scam was brilliant in design and execution.

It began with a phone call after dinner on a Friday night. My wife answered the phone and the caller announced herself as ‘DCI Jane Seymour of the Serious Fraud Office’.

The inspector was polite and matter of fact. She asked my wife if she had been in the Apple Store on Regent Street that day or the one in Covent Garden? My wife replied that she hadn’t.

But DCI Seymour reported that someone had bought expensive items from these stores using my wife’s debit card —and the transactions had been within four minutes of each other
. Anyone who knows central London knows it is almost impossible to get from Regent Street to Covent Garden in such a short time — something was definitely amiss.

The inspector then broke the news that someone had cloned my wife’s card and was using it to make major purchases. Panicked by this information, my wife called me over to the phone and asked me to speak to DCI Seymour.

The inspector explained that the Serious Fraud Office had been monitoring Apple Stores, conscious that the launch of the latest iPhone would make it a target for criminals.

‘Do you have all your cards with you?’ she asked. Yes. ‘Are you sure?’ Yes.

In the background I could hear hubbub that made me think of TV’s The Bill or Prime Suspect: the faint sound of people chatting, the sense that DCI Seymour was at one desk and other detectives were hard at work on the case, too.

Having established that neither my wife nor I had been to the Apple Store, she asked if I had noticed any strange transactions on my cards. No, I replied.

Trick: The con-artist instructed the couple to phone but stayed on the line so the call went straight back through to her

Trick: The con-artist instructed the couple to phone but stayed on the line so the call went straight back through to her

‘But we’re worried,’ said the inspector. ‘We think all your cards have been compromised. It may be that someone has hacked into the National Database. We need to block all the cards now.’

Inwardly, I shivered. Does this mean identity theft? ‘Yes, it could be. You’ll need to take part in a police investigation later. But we need to block your cards first.’

Immediately, I was suspicious. Why would she want all our cards? Was DCI Seymour who she said she was? How could we know she was really working for the Serious Fraud Office?

Her ANSWER turned us from cautious sceptics into credulous fools. ‘Call 999 and check me out,’ she urged. So we did. I put the phone down, picked it up again and dialled 999. The dialling tone was normal, the phone rang and the response was as prompt and efficient as a law-abiding citizen could wish for.

Which service did I want? The police. I’ll put you through. When a constable picked up the phone, I asked: ‘Do you have a DCI Jane Seymour of the Serious Fraud Squad?’

‘Yes, I’ll connect you.’ DCI Seymour picked up the phone — her identity verified. In fishing parlance, we were hooked — and were about to be sunk.

‘We can have your cards blocked immediately,’ said DCI Seymour to reassure us. ‘New cards can be delivered to your house in three working days, or five for the foreign cards. But first we’ll need your PIN numbers.’ That should, of course, have rung alarm bells.

How many times have we all been told, ‘Never, never give your PIN number to anyone. Your bank will never ask for it’? We hesitated — and this is where DCI Seymour scored again. ‘Don’t tell me the codes,’ she said. ‘Tap them into the phone and they will be sent straight to our technical team.’

And so, stupidly, but trusting that the digital wizardry was in our interest, we did. And, as we later discovered, using specialist technology, she recorded the numbers.


By this time, we had been on the phone for at least an hour, in a state of shock and growing despair over the hassles that apparently came with ID theft.

DCI Seymour kept reassuring us that all would be well. ‘Are you OK? Do you have enough money for the weekend? We can get you emergency funds of £300 delivered to you by 3pm tomorrow. We’ll debit it from your HSBC account and I’ll call you again tomorrow at noon.’

It was all so comforting. Her manner was solicitous, reassuring and practical. When I asked my wife to pour me a glass of wine, DCI Seymour heard me on the other end of the phone. She laughed and said she could do with one, too — but not on duty.

Stressful call: The couple were completely taken in and their shock and despair grew as the conversation went on

Stressful call: The couple were completely taken in and their shock and despair grew as the conversation went on

And when she said she would send a courier round to pick up our compromised cards, it seemed so reasonable. ‘Put them in a sealed envelope inside another envelope, and don’t tell the driver what it’s for. We’ll contact him ourselves.’

Almost as if we had been hypnotised, we did as we were told. ‘The driver’s on his way. He’ll be with you shortly.’

He was and, within minutes, as we later discovered, our accounts were being plundered, mostly, it seems, by withdrawals from ATM machines at Euston station. Meanwhile, DCI Seymour kept me on the line, supposedly keeping us abreast of the activities of the criminals who had cloned our cards.

‘There’s been a withdrawal in South London. Someone’s at Euston. We’re watching the CCTV. There’s another withdrawal . . .’

On and on it went, as my wife and I became increasingly tired and desperate, but DCI Seymour kept us hanging on, saying: ‘Don’t put the phone down. Stay on the line.’

I realise now, of course, that this was to stop us ringing the banks of our own accord. At around midnight, my wife collapsed into bed, but DCI Seymour kept me on the phone until 1.30am.

I had been speaking to her for two-and-a-half hours. To say we slept badly is an understatement. We tossed and turned, fretting about the money being siphoned out of our accounts.

Breakfast and the cold light of day brought me to my senses. ‘Perhaps, I should call 999 again, just to check,’ I thought.



The operator who answered was annoyed. She told me my case was not an emergency and I should dial 101 for my local police service. With mounting anxiety, I explained that I had dialled 999 the night before and that my call had been put through to an officer.

‘We have no record of a call,’ she said. ‘Ah, hang on a moment. I’ll talk to a colleague.’

And then, with the help of bona fide officers, the truth about the scam was revealed.

It all hinged on a clever technical trick. Quite simply, if you put the phone down, but the other party does not, they stay on the line.

Even if you dial a new number, you remain connected to the original caller. So when I dialled 999, it went back to ‘DCI Jane Seymour’. She must have had an accomplice posing as the emergency services operator and, as easy as that, we fell into their trap.

Hi-tech: Specialist technology allowed the fraudster to record the pin numbers as they were entered into the phone

Hi-tech: Specialist technology allowed the fraudster to record the pin numbers as they were entered into the phone

The Payments Council, responsible for card security, says there has been a three-fold increase this year in incidents of this scam. In the first quarter of 2012, an estimated £750,000 was lost. In total, we lost around £7,000 of our savings.

The police — the real police — have been sympathetic and tell us that the con is targeted at the well-to-do and the elderly who may not be as techno-savvy as younger account holders. Mercifully, most of the money has since been credited back to us. The banks conceded we were victims of an understandable gullibility.

Initially, only French bank BNP failed to reimburse us, but eventually (after an anguished protest on my part), it, too, paid up.

Naturally, my wife and I feel embarrassed and a little sheepish at having been fooled so easily.

In our defence, I can only say that the woman who played ‘DCI Jane Seymour’ was a brilliant actress and this particular bit of financial con-artistry was new to us.

We are lucky the damage done wasn’t permanent and that most of the money has been returned. Others may not be so lucky.

I may feel shame-faced about having been so easily deceived, but let my gullibility be a very modern cautionary tale to others.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2249752/A-999-credit-card-scam-cost-thousands.html#ixzz2FUuLnOs5
Jul 2nd

Church’s Olympic chief impersonated in lottery scam

By Mary B
Olympic lottery scammers are impersonating the Church of England’s London 2012 chief in order to swindle personal details out of unsuspecting victims, sparking a warning from Surrey County Council Trading Standards.

In a bogus letter, emblazoned with an imitation London 2012 logo and Olympic rings, recipients are told they have won more than £500,000. It requests personal details which, if received, would likely be handed over to criminal gangs, often operating from abroad.

The letter is signed the Revd Canon Duncan Green who in reality is the Church of England’s Olympics co-ordinator, responsible for the Church’s response to London 2012, and who is also LOCOG’s* head of multi-faith chaplaincy services.

So far reports of similar phoney letters, titled ‘2012 Summer Olympic Lottery, have been made in Surrey, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Merthyr Tydfil. Consumer experts fear crooks could be targeting people throughout the UK, leading to a warning from Surrey County Council Trading Standards.

Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Impersonating the Church of England and using the Olympics to swindle people out of money is beyond contempt. This is a scam and the best thing you can do if you receive such a letter is to throw it in the bin or shred it.

“All manner of criminals will be looking to use the Olympics as a chance to make money through various cons and swindles. Trust your instincts. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Mar 23rd

Surrey Police warning to the elderly after thieves pose as police officers

By Mary B

Surrey Police is warning elderly residents to be on their guard as officers investigate a series of distraction burglaries and thefts in which the offenders claim to be police officers.

 

Detectives are looking at around 30 incidents across the county where elderly people, often living alone, have been approached by offenders posing as police officers or UK Border officials to gain entry into homes.

 

Victims are approached by between one and three men in dark clothing either at their front door or discover they have entered their property through an insecure door. When confronted, the men often claim they are police officers investigating a crime and show false identification before stealing items.

 

In some cases the offenders have forced their way inside a property whilst the occupier is in another room or asleep and when challenged have claimed to be police officers.

 

Over the last three months offences have been reported in Elmbridge, Guildford, Spelthorne, Epsom, and Mole Valley. Last Friday evening (March 16) a 90-year-old woman in Hersham was targeted by thieves posing as police officers who showed her a false silver badge before stealing two handbags and a significant amount of cash. During the incident they pulled the victim’s handbag away from her causing her to fall to the floor and injure herself. She was treated in hospital for injuries to her hip.

 

In another incident in Surrey Heath, two offenders approached the home of an elderly woman and claimed to be police officers who had caught a thief in her garden. They asked to come in under the guise of needing to search the home for evidence but on this occasion nothing of value was taken.

 

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Karen Hughes said: “To target the most vulnerable members of our community in this way is despicable and cowardly. We are doing everything possible to find those responsible and anyone with information which could assist should contact police or call Crimestoppers anonymously

 

“Detectives are working closely with local Safer Neighbourhood Teams to gather information, look at CCTV and any forensic opportunities. We are also working with neighbouring police forces to see if these offences are occurring over a wider area.”

 

This week Crimestoppers offered a £5,000 reward for information about the offence in Hersham which left a woman requiring hospital treatment.

 

Neighbourhood Superintendent Sharon Bush said: “Across the county Safer Neighbourhood Teams are working with their local communities and partner agencies, particularly those who support the elderly, to raise awareness of these crimes. We need people to stay vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to us.

 

“If you live next door to someone who is vulnerable or have elderly relatives living alone please remind them to keep their doors secure even when they are at home and take precautions when answering the door to strangers. If you are not expecting the caller keep your door locked and ask to see some identification - perhaps through a window or letterbox. If you decide to open the door, engage the chain and keep it engaged until you are completely sure the caller is genuine. Genuine police officers will not mind waiting outside whilst you phone the Surrey Police switchboard on 101 to confirm their identity.

 

“If you do find intruders in your home, your personal safety is the priority. Stay calm and raise the alarm as soon as possible by calling the police.”

Feb 14th

Warning over fraud against elderly and vulnerable

By Mary B
Surrey Police is warning residents of an increase in fraud offences committed against elderly and vulnerable people. The scam involves fraudsters obtaining people’s bank cards by using false pretences. The scam works as follows: The victim gets a phone call, or indeed a number of phone calls from, someone claiming to be from their bank. The caller says that there is a problem with their bank card and it will need replacing. The victim is told a courier has been arranged to pick up the faulty card and replace it with a new bank card. The caller will also ask for their bank details, including PIN number and bank balance. Alternatively another tactic is to leave a courier-style “we have missed you” notice through the victim’s letterbox, purporting to be from the bank. The sole purpose of this is to get the victim to ring the number on the slip, but it is actually offenders who pick up the phone call. Once the victim has been drawn in to the scam, a person dressed as a courier will arrive at their front door to take the card. Significant sums of cash have been taken from victims’ accounts throughout the county. Detective Inspector Paul Rymarz of the Cross Border Investigation Team said: “We have seen a rise in the number of fraud incidents committed in the last few months. It is important that people are aware of the scam, which targets the most vulnerable. Banks do not use courier services to deliver or pick up bank cards, and you should never give your PIN number to anybody. If you are unsure if a caller is genuine, do not give them any information and say that you will call back the bank on a number you recognise, for example on the back of your bank card. "We are working closely with our partners to catch the criminals, and bring them to justice. If you suspect anything please contact the police.” Please refer to the Surrey Police website for more details and further useful information relating to policing is Surrey http://www.surrey.police.uk/home.asp
Feb 7th

Surrey Police reminds residents and visitors to stay safe in adverse weather conditions

By Mary B
Surrey Police is reminding residents and visitors to the area to stay safe, keep warm and look after vulnerable and elderly neighbours and relatives as the adverse weather conditions remain throughout the area. Detective Superintendent Ray Marley, said: “Most people have listened to early weather warnings which has meant traffic problems have been kept at a minimum throughout the county. “I would urge people to only make essential journeys and to allow additional time to get to their destination. “I would also like to ask people to check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours, friends or relatives and make sure they are safe and warm.” Surrey Police is working closely with partner agencies to make sure disruption is kept to a minimum during the cold snap and would like to thank those who have helped in anyway. Useful Information For up to date travel information in Surrey visit www.highways.gov.uk (roads), www.heathrowairport.com or www.gatwickairport.com (flights) or www.nationalrail.co.uk (rail) before you travel. Weather information can be found at www.metoffice.gov.uk. Follow @SurreyTravel on Twitter for an overview of travel in the county.
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