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24 November 2014Cold-calling mattress sellers

From: Rhodri Williams (Nottinghamshire County Council, Trading Standards Officer, Notts)

Two Nottinghamshire residents have this week reported receiving a call at their door from a man selling cheap mattresses from a van.

Trading Standards advise not to buy supposedly ‘cheap’ mattresses from the back of a van. At worst they could be fire hazards and at best uncomfortable and dirty.

We have issued previous warnings about mattress sellers operating in the County and we have a number of concerns including the way in which these mattresses are described, the methods used to sell them and the safety of the mattresses.

Some of these traders even use the logos of well-known manufacturers and retailers on their vans to further fool consumers into believing they are purchasing a bargain.

The sales are often straight from the back of vans by rogue traders touring the area looking for opportunist sales. There are potential product safety issues with some of these mattresses and members of the public are being conned into buying something which is substandard.

Trading standards always advises residents not to purchase goods or services from cold callers.

Please stay vigilant and watch out for the more vulnerable neighbours in your area.

If you have concerns about traders please report the matter to the Citizens Advice consumer service – 03454 040506.

19 November 2014Force Launches Cyber Crime Campaign

From: Liz Webster (Nottinghamshire Police, Corporate Communication, Nottinghamshire)

Nottinghamshire Police is taking on the fight against cyber crime, by launching a new webpage www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/cybercrime to arm the public with the tools to prevent them becoming a victim.

The webpage also contains advice on what to do if you are already a victim, or if you suspect that someone else may be a victim.

Superintendent Mark Pollock, the force lead on cyber crime, said: “Many people think that the term ‘cyber crime’ only refers to hacking, but in reality it is much broader. We are seeing more and more criminals moving from traditional forms of crime into cyber crime.

“Cyber crime generally refers to any offence that takes place online. It can be anything from being coaxed into sending someone money after meeting them on an online dating website, to a criminal accessing your smart phone data and apps through an intercepted public wifi area.

“Our key message to the public is that a large majority of cyber crime is easily preventable by making small and simple changes to the way we use internet technology. The new webpage will help you do this.”

In August and September in Nottinghamshire, there were over 100 victims of cyber crime, compared to 38 victims in March and April 2014.

The youngest victim was 13 years old and the oldest 87; the average victims' age was 52.

Nationally it is anticipated that cyber crime costs the UK economy £27bn per year.

Supt Pollock continues: “You can see by the statistics just how widespread a problem cyber crime is. At Nottinghamshire Police we are taking it very seriously: it is one of our two strategic priorities for 2015, giving cyber crime the same focus as violent crime.

“We also recently saw the Nottinghamshire Police website hacked for a short time. It just goes to show that even large organisations are susceptible to cyber criminals.”

The national Anti-Bullying Week campaign, taking place this week, also brings cyber bullying into focus with recent statistics showing that 7 out of 10 young people have been victims of cyber bullying.

Supt Pollock continues: “If you are a victim of cyber bullying please talk to someone you can trust – an adult or a friend, Childline also offer help and advice.

“No one should have to suffer as a result of malicious behaviour online – if you are suffering then the key thing to realise is that you are not alone that that there a people who can help.”

17 November 2014Fraud Alert

From: Alex Mitchell (Police, PCSO 4751, Rushcliffe South)

On Thursday 13th November 2014, a resident of Keyworth reported an attempted fraud.

A male purporting to be a police officer from Hammersmith police station in the Met attempted to gain personal information in order to steal money from the victim's bank account.

He gained trust and confidence through a series of phone calls and also asked the victim to make calls to the police and a bank with the intention of verifying his story, which, unknown to the victim; were actually fictitious and part of the tactic.

Fortunately the deception was realised before any money could be taken.

If you think you may be the victim of fraud please call the police non-emergency number 101 or call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040

Thank you

PC 1603 Howard SHINN
PCSO 8309 Kathy LUCOCK
PCSO 4751 Alex MITCHELL

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