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ROGUE TRADERS (January 2014)
There has recently been a rising trend in reports of people knocking on doors stating that they will or in some cases already have cleaned the gutters of the property. In many cases the work has not even been completed but payment has been requested/demanded. On other occasions the work has been done but at an extortionate price.
The majority of the reports have been just on the border of Huntingdonshire but everyone needs to be aware of this problem. Please be vigilant and should you have any concerns about this sort of incident occurring please call the Police on 101 and report it.
Also would you please pass on this information onto any elderly or vulnerable neighbours, and if you think they are being or have been a victim of these Rogue Traders again please call and report it.
Trading Standards are also very interested in these Rogue Traders and do work closely with the police. Trading Standards provide “We’re not buying it” stickers and also have details of suitable local traders; should you need any work doing they are contactable on 0845 4040506. You can also look online at www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk.
If you enter into a contract at your home and the price of the work or product is more than £35, you should be given a 7 day cancellation notice in writing.
Please remember Rogue Traders will come across as very charming and helpful when they call at the door, and will try and convince you that the work needs completing that day. Always say “no.” If you do need work doing get at least 3 quotes to be sure the work does actually need doing and that it is completed correctly and at the right price.
County Council Trading Standards Officers and the Police are committed to catching rogue traders and bringing them to justice, so they welcome your contact, even if it is just a suspicion.
VEHICLE SECURITY (January2014)
The police report a significant increase in car crime in this area during recent weeks. Remove the temptation.
Never leave anything on display in your car; even an old coat on the back seat is an invitation to a potential thief.
Take all your belongings with you when you leave your car. If you are unable to, lock them in your boot at the start of your journey.
The following items are of particular interest to the thief so should never be left in your car.
Credit and debit cards
Receipts with card numbers on
Vehicle Registration Documents
Private mail showing your address.
Locks or other Security devices will deter potential thieves; they will go for an easy target.
1. Electronic Immobilisers are a way to put thieves off. These prevent the car from being started. They must be fitted by main dealers or installers accredited by the Vehicle Security Installation Board. All new cars sold in the UK since October 1988 are fitted with electronic immobilisers.
2. Mechanical immobilisers such as steering wheel locks are a good alternative to electronic immobilisers. They are not expensive and are easy to fit.
3. Fit locking wheel nuts. Wheels can be a target for thieves. Wheel nuts are not expensive and are easy to fit.
4. An alarm can help to keep your car secure but it must be installed properly.
Keep your car keys safe.
1. When you leave the car always remove the ignition key and lock all doors – it only takes a few seconds for a thief to jump into your car and drive away.
2. On icy mornings, never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running to warm it up or defrost the windows.
3. At home, always keep your car keys in a safe place, which is out of sight and away from windows and doors.
Arrange to have your car registration number etched onto all glass surfaces, including your head lamps or the last seven digits of your Vehicle identification Number (VIN).
PHONE SCAM. This is very important as one Ellington resident has already been targeted
Fraudsters operating in our area are targeting people by calling landlines late at night or very early in the morning when the victim is in bed.
The warning comes after six people reported receiving such phone calls in the Cambridge area last week.
In the scam, the caller claims a criminal has been arrested with a substantial sum of money on them and a list of names and addresses, including the victim's.
The phoney officer then advises the victim to call their bank using a number on the back of their bank card, or the police on 101. The victim hangs up but the caller does not and the call is not terminated.
As a result and without realising it, the victim starts talking to the fraudster again, thinking they have called their bank or the police.
Following a conversation, the offender claims he will need to examine the victim's bank card and will also need their PIN number as it might be compromised.
The caller says he will send a courier to collect the card before a smartly dressed man arrives at the victim's home. The card is then taken and the PIN number used to withdraw cash.
The police are advising the public to report incidents of fraud by calling Action Fraud on 0300 1232040.
They are also advising the public that banks will never ask for their PIN numbers over the phone and they should never give it out. If they're in doubt about anyone they're speaking to on the phone, they should hang up and ensure the line has been terminated before ringing back on an official number.
Call the police on 101, or on 999 only in an emergency.
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Stay One Step Ahead of the Burglar
Please read the below advice and consider how this can be applied to your property and your circumstances:
Always keep doors and windows closed and locked or in a ventilated but locked position, even when you are inside the house.
Always check and lock doors with a key - never assume that just pushing up an internal handle will lock the door.
Remove keys from window and door locks, but keep them in a familiar and safe place where all members of the family know where to find them in the event of an emergency.
Never leave items such as keys, bags and money on show through a window, as these can prove a real temptation for an opportunist burglar.
Consider the position of key racks or shelves next to a door and ensure that they cannot be reached through the letter box.
Use timer switches to turn on lights and radios when you are going to be away from your house at dusk.
Consider the use of lights at the front and rear of your property that are activated when someone approaches.
Consider the use of bolts and padlocks on side gates. Place the bolts at the top, middle and bottom of the gate, as just a top bolt might be easy to reach and open.
Consider chaining together all high value items stored in outbuildings, as this will make it harder for them to be removed. Also consider the use of a wireless alarm or link your shed or garage into an existing home intruder alarm system.
Consider property marking your valuable and sentimental personal possessions with liquid DNA kits such as Smartwater, SelectaDNA or with an engraving kit for items such as tools and cycles.
A visible intruder alarm box can prove to be one of the biggest deterrents to an opportunist burglar, so consider installing a DIY or supplier installed system.
Homeowners are also urged to check their home insurance policies to ensure their property meets the security standards required. Insurance companies often refuse to pay out if properties do not meet these standards or are left unsecured.
For more information on home security please see the below websites: -