Dorset Police Ringmaster information.

This information is provided by Dorset Police, to alert the community to events in the locality.

If you have any information regarding the events in these messages, please call either Dorset Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, your call will not be traced and you may receive a cash reward.

You may copy the information contained within these messages and pass it on to friends and neighbours.

If you have information on possible terrorist activity call the anti-terrorism hotline in confidence on 0800 789 321

Please visit us at www.dorset.police.uk or give feedback at www.feedback.dorset.police.uk

Your Safer Neighbourhood Team would like you to contact the Dorset Police on 101, if you have any information that can help identify those responsible for these crimes, or can help recover any of the stolen property You are also asked to report all suspicious incidents as soon as practical.

You can also contact the Police (including specific Officers, if necessary) via www.dorset.police.uk/do-it-online where you can email, message and report issues.

PCSO Ali Donnison

Your Safer Neighbourhood Police Officers (Dorchester East section) are led by Sergeant 1824 Ged Want. The three officers working on the team are PC 1316 Jim Long, PCSO 5301 Sarah Hart and - for the Valley - PCSO 6500 Alison Donnison

Alison is making regular visits to Piddletrenthide Shop & PO and Piddlehinton Village Hall on alternate 3rd Fridays of the month, 1430-1500hrs, if you wish to meet her.She will be at the Shop on 17 August, October,December 2017 and the Village Hall on the 21st September, November and January 2018 and alternating thereafter. If she is not at the location, she may be on foot in the village.

Call them at Dorset Police on: 101 or use www.dorset.police.uk/do-it-online where you can email, message and report issues. For emergencies, always call 999

Further information can be found on the Police website www.dorset.police.uk/neighbourhood-policing/dorchester-sherborne/dorchester-east-rural/


Crimes & News notified

Scams, Frauds & Bogus Callers warnings notified

Safer Neighbourhood website link.

Dorset Horsewatch website link or   



Matters which should be notified to the Local Council, NOT the Police, are:

Roads and transport

  • Report a road issue
  • Live travel alerts
  • Parking issues
  • Driveway obstructions
  • Recycling and rubbish

  • Bin collections
  • Recycling
  • Litter
  • Planning and housing

  • Street lighting
  • Leisure and culture

  • Parks
  • Environmental Health

  • Noise complaints including parties
  • Pest control
  • Lost/found animals
  • Fly tipping
  • Bonfires and fireworks
  • Trading standards

Crimes & News items
Theft of Landrover Diwcovery WF62DYN

Overnight 8-9 Nov, Offenders have reached in through an open kitchen window on a farm in Martock, removed car keys and then stolen a Landrover Discovery WF62DYN parked in the yard. Any sightings or information please contact Avon and Somerset Police on 101 or text the info line 07492888109. Crime ref 5217256329.


Suspicious Vehicle - White Van.

Dorset Police Rural Crime Team would like you to be aware of a suspicious vehicle which is a White Ford Transit Custom Van P*14*SL van.

This vehicle has been seen in suspicious circumstances in the Sturminster Newton area over the last few days and it is believed that this vehicle and its occupants are involved in poaching.

If this vehicle or other vehicles are sited acting suspiciously please gather as much information as possible such as the registration number and descriptions of the driver and any passengers and contact Dorset Police immediately.


Theft of Partridges, Sherborne.

An unknown number of partridges have been stolen from a farm in Trent near Sherborne. Thieves broke into the partridge pens and as well as stealing the birds, an electric fence unit and battery were also stolen. Please be vigilant and recheck your security arrangements. Consider fitting an audible alarm to sheds and outbuildings if you do not already have one.

If you have any information regarding this crime, please contact Dorset Police via our 'Do it Online' webpage here: www.dorset.police.uk/do-it-online/ or by telephoning the Dorset Police non-emergency number 101 and quote Dorset Police incident number 30:0199


Theft of Telehandler, Sherborne - 29/10/17

Witness appeal following the theft of a JCB Telehandler from a farm near Sherborne. Officers are now appealing for witnesses to the incident. The theft of this machine occurred overnight between 18.30 on Sunday, October 29 and 8am on Monday, 30 from a farm near Sandford Orcas Near Sherborne.

The telehandler is a JCB 536-60 which was bearing the registration HF08OYK the machine was also stolen without the keys and was stolen with a Strimech bucket attached. The vehicle also has a scrape to the bonnet of the machine and a cracked number plate guard. The vehicle is also fitted with an aftermarket LED spotlight on the roof.

Anyone with any information or sighting please contact Dorset Police quoting occurrence number 55170169282.


Theft from Valley Pub - 24/10/2017

Between 23:00 on Tuesday 24th October and 07:30 on Wednesday 25th October a pub in the Piddle Valley was broken into. A number of bottles of alcohol were taken as well as keys to three vehicles. There was an unsuccessful attempt to remove cash from the pool table and fruit machine. The tills were entered but contained no cash.

If you have any information that may assist with our enquiries please contact Dorset Police on 101 or via the "Contact Us" section on the Dorset Police website quoting occurrence number 55170166625.


Theft of Ifor trailer at Higher Waterston - 12/10/2017

Between 21:00 on 11th October 2017 and 08:00 on 12th October 2017 a trailer was taken from a layby, opposite the owners property, in Higher Waterston.

The trailer was a twin axle IFOR GD84 model. The outside of the trailer is painted black rather than kept as the standard aluminium silver colour. The twin axle is covered by one aluminium wheel arch as opposed to the standard two individual plastic wheel arches.

If you have any information that can assist with our enquires please contact Dorset Police on 101 quoting occurrence number 55170159349


Tractor Thefts - 16/09/2017

Witness appeal following the theft of two tractors from farms in West Dorset.

The first incident happened overnight sometime between 5pm on Saturday, September 16 and 10am on Sunday, 17 at a farm near Buckland Newton Nr Dorchester.

The tractor is a Blue New Holland TC27D compact tractor, the tractor isn't road registered and was stolen from within a barn without the keys. Anyone with any information please contact Dorset Police quoting occurrence number 55170144963.

The second theft was of a cab-less vintage tractor and it happened at a farm near Frome St Quintin, Nr Dorchester. It is believed that the theft possibly occurred around 2315-2330hrs on Saturday 16th as a tractor was heard being followed by a 4X4 vehicle.

The vintage tractor was a 1968 Ford 4000 with a registration of SKK937G which was again stolen without keys. The tractor has a brass plate on the rear left side saying "Supplied by Hayes, Maidstone, Kent". Please contact Dorset Police quoting occurrence number 55170145553.

Dorset Police Rural Crime Team, said: "We are appealing to anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the areas mentioned above between the relevant times to please contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.on 0800 555111"

"We also keen to hear from anyone who has witnessed any suspicious vehicles in the area over the last week or knows of the tractors current whereabouts. We would also urge anyone with CCTV in the area to review their footage to see if any person or a vehicle can be seen passing any cameras during the relevant times."


Theft of diesel and a wheelbarrow - Piddlehinton 22/08/2014
picture of wheelbarrow

Between the evening of Tuesday 22nd August and morning of Wednesday 23rd August a stable barrow (similiar to the image attached) and 7 containers of diesel were taken from a farm in the Piddlehinton area. The wheel barrow had green and yellow insulation tape wrapped around the right handle.

If anyone has any information that may assist with our enquires please contact Dorset Police quoting occurrence number 55170131471


Break-in, Enterprise Park, 14 July 2017

Over the weekend of 14th July 2017 - 17th July 2017 a commercial unit has been broken into at Enterprise Park Piddlehinton.

The offenders had taken a large amount of cash and crates of beer were taken from the premises. The padlocks to the yard were still in place and the offenders appear to have gained access by using items that were outside a neighbouring unit to climb over the fenced area into the yard.

If you have any information that can assist us with our enquiries please call 101 quoting occurrence number 55170108747


Bike & strimmer theft - Hummer, 06/06/17

A bicycle and lawn mower have been stolen from an insecure shed in the area of Hummer. The bicycle was a black Merida cycle with white wheel trims and Merida tyres. The lawnmower was a red and black Mountfield mower. This theft occurred sometime between Monday the 5th of June and Friday the 9th of June, and has only just been discovered by the owner.

If you have any information regarding this crime, please contact Dorset Police via our 'Do it Online' webpage here: www.dorset.police.uk/do-it-online/ or by telephoning the Dorset Police non-emergency number 101 and quote Dorset Police incident number 16:0287


Local Thefts - 22/6/17

A shed has been broken into in the area of Holwell. A strimmer, chainsaw and battery charger were stolen.

In a separate incident a garage was broken into in the same area, and a Stihl strimmer and a jerry can of fuel were stolen.

Farm outbuildings were also broken into and a strimmer and fuel can was taken.

These incidents occurred over night in the area of Holwell, sometime between the evening of Wednesday the 21st of June and Thursday the 22nd of June. Please be vigilant and recheck your security arrangements. Consider fitting an audible alarm to sheds and outbuildings if you do not already have one. It assists the police if you maintain a list of serial numbers and detailed descriptions of all of your valuable items and equipment.

If you have any information regarding this crime, please contact Dorset Police via our 'Do it Online' webpage here: www.dorset.police.uk/do-it-online/ or by telephoning the Dorset Police non-emergency number 101 and quote Dorset Police incidents 22:0073, 22:0382 & 22:0093


Suspicious Vehicles

(25/6/17) Dorset Police Rural Crime Team would like you to be aware that a White Ford Transit high top 57 Plate van N*57*KG has been seen in suspicious circumstances near rivers and rural premises near Dorchester over the last few days. It is believed that this vehicle and its occupants are involved in fish poaching and burglary.

A white transit van part registration JHL has been seen in suspicious circumstances around the rural communities, asking for scrap metal and batteries.

A White Ford Transit Van 58 Plate **58KUJ

A 53 Plate white Ford KA Van - **53OXL

A W Plate silver Honda HRV - W**PDP

A white Ford Transit Van 55 Plate F*55*TX has been seen in suspicious circumstances has been seen in Wareham and Dorchester areas.

If this vehicle or other vehicles are seen acting suspiciously please gather as much information as possible such as the registration number and descriptions of the driver and any passengers and contact Dorset Police immediately by calling 101, at www.dorset.police.uk, via email enquires@dorset.pnn.police.uk , Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org


Generator found! 11/6/17

A generator has been found in the Sherborne area. It is in used condition but perfectly serviceable. The generator has identification regarding its manufacturer and a serial number.

If you have lost a generator or had one stolen please contact Dorset Police on non-emergency number 101 or contact Dorset Police via our Do It Online portal with a description of your lost/stolen generator and quote incident number 06:0030


Theft of mower, Piddletrenthide - 17/05/2017

Between 22:00 on Saturday 3rd June 2017 and 08:30 on Sunday 4th June 2017 a red Mountsfield Petrol Lawnmower was taken from an insecure shed in the Piddletrenthide area. If you have any information that can assist with our enquiries please contact 101 quoting occurrence number 55170083032.


Theft of Tools from Van, Piddlehinton. - 17/05/2017

In the Piddlehinton area, between 16:00 on 17th May 2017 and 07:00 on 18th May a van had tools taken while it was parked on the road. Unfortunately the van was discovered unlocked and several items were taken including a Bell 400 Compactor Plate, Dewalt Bag of Drills and Saws, Welder, Gerry can and STS Drills and drill bits.

If you have any information that can assist with our enquiries please contact 101 quoting occurrence 55170072882.


Tack theft - 06/05/2017

During the night of Saturday 6th May 2017 a locked tack room was broken into and saddles and tack stolen from stables in the Martinstown area.Saddles stolen were as follows- Albion K2 GP, Shire Hilite Elite GP

This Dorset Alert is a reminder to review your tack room security. Either take high value articles home with you or consider multiple levels of security for locked premises to make them hard targets.

Please contact Dorset Police quoting occurrence number 55170066454 if you have any information connected to this crime or you have any suspicions about secondhand saddles.


Vandalism at Millennium Green

Sadly there has been another report of vandalism on the Millennium Green in Piddlhinton. It is not know exactly when this occurred but it has happened within the last two weeks. A notice board had been broken on one of the gates, graffiti sprayed on the information board and on a bench, weatherproof bolt covers removed from the see-saw and wooden planks thrown into the river.

If anyone has any information that may assist with our enquiries please contact Dorset Police on 101 or via the Dorset Police website www.dorset.police.uk/do-it-online under the "Contact Us" section quoting occurrence number 55170065669


Farm Tools theft. 30/4/2017

Between 22:30 on 30th April 2017 and 03:00 on 1st May 2017 a burglary took place at a farm in the Alton Pancras area.

A number of tools including drills, saws, nail gun, bench with clamp, angle grinders & concrete breaker were taken. Some of these tools were brand new, but the boxes were left at the scene.

If you have seen or heard anything that may assist with our enquires please contact 101 quoting occurrence 55170063148


Theft of Quad Bike, Puddletown. 11/04/2017

Between 18:00 on Tuesday 11th April 2017 and 09.30 Wednesday 12th April 2017 a quad bike was stolen from a locked farm building at a farm the Puddletown area near Dorchester.

The Quad Bike is a Yamaha Grizzly in dark green and not road registered.

If you have any information that may assist Dorset Police with our enquiries please quote 55170053364 when contacting us via www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk, by calling 101, 999 for a crime in progress. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org


Suspicious Vehicle - 13/04/2017

Dorset Police Rural Crime Team would like you to be aware that a White Ford Transit Van H*06*XS has been seen in suspicious circumstances on a farms and businesses across the county during the last few days and has been seen in Blandford, Wareham, Dorchester and Verwood.

If this vehicle or other vehicles are seen acting suspiciously please gather as much information as possible such as the registration number and descriptions of the driver and any passengers and contact Dorset Police immediately by calling 101, at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk , Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org


Burglary at Piddletrenthide Post Office - 04/04/2017

On Tuesday 4th April 2017 at approximately 06:00 a male was disturbed while inside the Piddletrenthide Post Office. The male exited via the rear of the property and a car was heard starting up but it is not known if this was connected to the burglary. Items taken included Blue Windsor cigarettes in packs of 10.

If you have information that can assist with our enquiries please call 101 quoting occurrence number 55170048681


Suspicious Vehicle - Green Vauxhall Zafira - 04/04/2017

Dorset Police Rural Crime Team would like you to be aware that a Green Vauxhall Zafira partial number of VO58 *** has been seen in suspicious circumstances during the last few days. It is believed to be hare coursing around North and East Dorset.

If this vehicle or other vehicles are seen acting suspiciously please contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk , by calling 101, 999 for a crime in progress. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org


Suspicious vehicle - White 04 plate Volkswagen Tipper - 01/04/2017

Dorset Police Rural Crime Team would like you to be aware that a White 04 plate Volkswagen Tipper has been seen in suspicious circumstances near Blandford this morning.

If this vehicle or other vehicles are seen acting suspiciously please contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk , by calling 101, 999 for a crime in progress. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org


Suspicious Vehicle - dark green Landrover Discovery P436 *** - 30/03/2017

Dorset Police Rural Crime Team would like you to be aware that a dark green Landrover Discovery, partial number of P436 *** has been seen in suspicious circumstances near Moreton and Thornicombe during the last few days.

If this vehicle or other vehicles are seen acting suspiciously please contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk , by calling 101, 999 for a crime in progress. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org


Suspicious vehicle - 23/03/2017

Dorset Police Rural Crime Team would like you to be aware that a 06 Plate White Ford Transit Van has been seen in suspicious circumstances on a farm near Dorchester during the last week. If this vehicle or other vehicles are seen acting suspiciously please contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org


Theft of Metal detector - 11/03/2017

During the night of Saturday 11th March 2017 a Metal detector was stolen from a car which was parked outside a property in a residential area of Abbotsbury. It was a G Max model with the brand name WHITES and owners estimate it was worth approximately £1000.

If this stolen item is seen for sale second hand locally or if you have information connected to this crime please report to Dorset Police quoting occurence number 55170036411


Theft of Roofing Lead - 11/03/2017

It has been reported to Dorchester Police that a local business (GOULDS) within the town has been a victim of roof lead theft. It is not known when this theft occurred but a large amount of lead was removed from their roof. If you have lead on your roof please check on a regular basis and if you have any concerns call us on 101. Also if you have any information regarding this latest theft please call us quoting reference crime number 55170015239.

Additionally we can provide crime prevention advice and attend your location if you deem it necessary.


Theft of tools - 09/02/2017

Between 14:00 and 15:00 on Thursday 9th February some tools were taken from the back of a work's van that was parked on the drive of a property in the Piddletrenthide area. The items taken were a green & white Makita 240 SDV drill and an orange & white chainsaw MS240.

If anyone saw or heard anything which may assist with our enquiries please contact 101 quoting occurrence number 55170020798.


Theft of Cattle Handling Equipment, 07/02/2017

On Tuesday 07/02/2017 between 20:00 hours and 23:00 hours, some cattle handling equipment was stolen from a farm in the Puddletown area. It is approximately 1 metre wide and 3 metres long and weighs approximately 1 tonne. The equipment was visible from the road and was bolted down to a metal frame. It is assumed that some heavy duty equipment was used to remove it from the frame and potentially a small crane and a trailer would have been used to be able to lift it.

If anyone saw or heard anything suspicious or are offered this equipment to buy, please contact 101 quoting occurrence number 55170019572


Vehicle Thefts near Somerset/Dorset Border

Police colleagues at Avon & Somerset Constabulary have reported a number of vehicle thefts near the Dorset border. The stolen vehicles comprise 8 Land Rover / 4x4 type vehicles and 2 tractors. Most of the vehicles were stolen during the day along with their keys. These vehicles were stolen over period from the 31st of October to the 1st of December.

As these thefts occurred close to the Dorset border, Sherborne Rural Neighbourhood Policing Team are advising all farms, garages and rural residents to recheck their security arrangements. Please do not leave keys anywhere in your vehicle, and don't leave them hanging in any unattended office or outbuilding.

Make sure you lock your vehicle and remove any items of value. Do not hide keys or valuable items under car seats or in glove compartments as this is the first place a thief will look after gaining access to an insecure vehicle.

A convicted car thief, who has served time in prison for committing numerous offences, but is now working with Dorset Police, has offered the following advice for motorists, based on what he looked for before breaking into a vehicle: https://www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/crime-prevention-help-advice/protect-your-property/vehicle-crime-removeitlockit/



Scams & Bogus Callers

The Dorset Police 'scam busters' website http://www.dorset.police.uk/Default.aspx?page=4821 will display confirmed scams in the area and is worth checking for information prior to reporting or passing on any information to others.

The Metropolitan Police have produced a useful booklet regarding scams and the link to this, and other advice, is https://www.met.police.uk/search?q=scams.

If you believe you have become the victim of a fraud or cyber crime, or have received a suspicious email, report it at: www.actionfraud.police.uk


Wonga Data Breach - 13/04/2017

Wonga has confirmed a data breach where up to 250,000 accounts have been compromised. The incident is now being investigated by the police and has been reported to the Financial Conduct Authority.

Wonga has updated their website with further information and confirmed that they are contacting all those affected and are taking steps to protect them, but there are also some things you can do to keep your information secure.

Here's what you can do to make yourself safer:

If any of your financial details were compromised, notify your bank or card company as soon as possible. Review your financial statements regularly for any unusual activity.

Criminals can use personal data obtained from a data breach to commit identity fraud. Consider using credit reference agencies, such as Experian or Equifax, to regularly monitor your credit file for unusual activity.

Be suspicious of any unsolicited calls, emails or texts, even if it appears to be from a company you know of. Don't open the attachments or click on links within unsolicited emails, and never disclose any personal or financial details during a cold call.

If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to us: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud


Phishing Scam - 04/04/2017

Fraudsters are sending out a high volume of phishing emails to personal and business email addresses, pretending to come from various email addresses, which have been compromised.

The subject line contains the recipient's name, and the main body of text is as below:

"Hi, [name]!

I am disturbing you for a very serious reason. Although we are not familiar, but I have significant amount of individual info concerning you. The thing is that, most likely mistakenly, the data of your account has been emailed to me.

For instance, your address is: [real home address]

I am a law-abiding citizen, so I decided to personal data may have been hacked. I attached the file - [surname].dot that I received, that you could explore what info has become obtainable for scammers. File password is - 2811

Best Wishes,"

The emails include an attachment - a '.dot' file usually titled with the recipient's name.

This attachment is thought to contain the Banking Trojan Ursniff/Gozi, hidden within an image in the document. The Ursniff Banking Trojan attempts to obtain sensitive data from victims, such as banking credentials and passwords. The data is subsequently used by criminals for monetary gain.

Protect Yourself:

Having up-to-date virus protection is essential; however it will not always prevent your device(s) from becoming infected.

Please consider the following actions:

  • Don't click on links or open any attachments you receive in unsolicited emails or SMS messages: Remember that fraudsters can 'spoof' an email address to make it look like one used by someone you trust. If you are unsure, check the email header to identify the true source of communication (you can find out how by searching the internet for relevant advice for your email provider).
  • Do not enable macros in downloads; enabling macros will allow Trojan/malware to be installed onto your device.
  • Always install software updates as soon as they become available. Whether you are updating the operating system or an application, the update will often include fixes for critical security vulnerabilities.
  • Create regular backups of your important files to an external hard drive, memory stick or online storage provider. It is important that the device you back up to is not permanently connected to your computer as any malware infection could spread to that as well.
  • If you think your bank details have been compromised, you should contact your bank immediately.

Fake Amazon emails - Fraud Jan 2017

Action Fraud has received several reports from victims who have been sent convincing looking emails claiming to be from Amazon. The spoofed emails from "service@amazon.co.uk" claim recipients have made an order online and mimic an automatic customer email notification.

The scam email claims recipients have ordered an expensive vintage chandelier. Other reported examples include: Bose stereos, iPhones and luxury watches.

The emails cleverly state that if recipients haven't authorised the transaction they can click on the help centre link to receive a full refund. The link leads to an authentic-looking website, which asks victims to confirm their name, address, and bank card information.

Amazon says that suspicious e-mails will often contain:

  • Links to websites that look like Amazon.co.uk, but aren't Amazon.co.uk.
  • Attachments or prompts to install software on your computer.
  • Typos or grammatical errors.
  • Forged (or spoofed) e-mail addresses to make it look like the e-mail is coming from Amazon.co.uk
  • +

Amazon will never ask for personal information to be supplied by e-mail.

You can read more about identifying suspicious emails claiming to be from Amazon by visiting https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201489210

To report a fraud or cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040.


Fake letters from Banks - Dec 2016

Lloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters.

The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative.

The letter tells recipients that there have been some "unusual transactions" on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine. When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth.Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number.

The fraud was spotted by the Daily Telegraph who was alerted to it by a reader who had three identical letters sent to an office address. On separate occasions the Daily Telegraph ran some tests using fake details and were passed to fraudsters who claimed to be from a Lloyds contact centre. The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake.

The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks.

If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card. To report a fraud and cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud


Latest Scams - Nov 2016

Dorset Police is alerting local residents about the latest phone and online scams, after seeing a large increase in the number of reports compared to previous years.

The two most common companies criminals are pretending to be from are currently HER MAJESTY'S REVENUE AND CUSTOMS (HMRC) and TALK TALK.

Over the last couple of years, fraudsters have pretended to be police officers and bank workers when they've called their victims, but the latest phone scam involves criminals pretending to be from HMRC. Fraudsters are cold calling members of the public to tell them that they owe HMRC a sum of money or that HMRC owe them a refund. Criminals then obtain bank details and personal information from their unsuspecting victims and commit fraudulent activity on their bank accounts.

Some individuals have received an answerphone message and are advised to call 01202 281260 and 01202 834780, but these numbers are not connected with the real HMRC.

The vast majority of people who have been contacted have not suffered any financial loss, but it can leave them feeling vulnerable and unsure about what has happened, which causes stress and anxiety.

Criminals contact their victims by telephone, mail, over the internet, social media, email and on people's doorsteps. They are always thinking of new ways to steal money from people, particularly the elderly.

Remember - never give out bank details or bank cards in person, email, in the mail or over the phone - no matter where people say they are from and don't let anyone into your property if you don't know them.

Dorset Police has also received an increase in the number of reports for online scams - most recently about criminals pretending to be from telecoms company Talk Talk.

A 70-year-old man from Wimborne was recently targeted by fraudsters who pretended to be from Talk Talk. He lost approximately £6,000. Police are still investigating this crime.

"Having access to private information allows the offender(s) to manipulate the victim by appearing to know some of their basic details - convincing them that they are genuinely from the company they claim to represent. This can then lead to the victim allowing themselves to be directed to a webpage or link that allows the criminal to watch their online activity remotely and often leads to the gathering of bank details and in due course loss of money from the accounts.

We'd like people to continue reporting it so that we can build an intelligence picture and catch those responsible for causing misery to thousands of people.

The MICROSOFT brand name is also used in a similar way in this type of scam call. If anyone calls you unexpectedly and asks you to do something on your computer, please hang up and contact the company yourself to verify the call. Make sure you find the correct number on their Website and don't use the number the caller supplies.

Many of the telecom providers offer services that prevent unrecognised numbers getting through and just this simple step can often be enough to deter these heartless individuals.

To prevent unwanted calls, mail and emails, register for free with the following services:

  • Mail Preference Service - call 08457 034 599
  • Telephone Preference Service - call 08450 700 707
  • Fax Preference Service - call 08450 700 702
  • Email preferences - visit www.dmachoice.org

If you think you've been a victim of fraud, of any description, contact Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visit their website, www.actionfraud.police.uk.

There has also been a report of a text message purporting to be from HSBC. The text message was received from the same number as a previously genuine text message from HSBC and stated: "We identified an unusual login attempt on your account. Log in via the secure link to avoid suspension."

The recipient did click on the link but when personal information was requested they did not enter any details and closed the link because they became aware it was a scam.

PLEASE REMEMBER YOUR BANK WILL NEVER ASK YOU TO CONFIRM YOUR LOG ON OR SECURITY DETAILS VIA A LINK.


Bogus "Good Citizen Award" scam

Action Fraud has been receiving reports of an advanced fee fraud whereby suspects phone a member of the public and claim to be calling on behalf of the UK (or British) Government Grant Department.

They go on to state that the individual has won a Good Citizen Award - of typically £8,000 - and that the grant can be released for a fee (of around £210).

Fortunately, very few members of the public have lost any money as a result of this scam but have reported to Action Fraud in order to help build a picture of this fraud and protect others from falling victim to it.

There is no genuine 'Good Citizen Award' scheme in the UK that operates by cold calling 'winners' and asking for an upfront fee to release a grant. If you receive a call that claims to represent such a scheme, it is a scam. End the phone call -do not give out any personal or financial data.

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.


Scam "Royal Mail" parcel email

Message sent by the Police Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Fraudsters are sending out virus infected emails that claim a package has been seized by HM Revenue & Customs upon arrival into the United Kingdom. The official looking scam emails claiming to be from Royal Mail contain a link to a document which will install malicious software on your computer designed to steal credentials like account names, email addresses and passwords.

An example email reads:

Title: Your parcel has been seized.

Royal Mail is sorry to inform you that a package addressed to you was seized by HM Revenue & Customs upon arrival into the United Kingdom.

A close inspection deemed your items as counterfeit and the manufacturers have been notified. If your items are declared genuine then they will be returned back to you with the appropriate custom charges.

You may have been a victim of counterfeit merchandise and the RM Group UK will notify you on how to get your money back. Please review the attached PDF document for more information.

Document (RM7002137GB).Zip

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

To help the spread of the virus, the email also says: "you will need to have access to a computer to download and open the Zip file".

If you receive one of these emails, do not click on any links or download any attachments and report it to Action Fraud on www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone: 0300 123 2040


Pension Funds Release scam. Oct 2015

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has been alerted to a pension scam whereby cold callers continue to target members of the public aged 50 to 60 years old to release and transfer their pension early. Suspected firms who advertise and arrange pensions are offering investments in alternative commodities such as hotel developments or property in Cape Verde, and operate as unregulated collective investment schemes.

Often, the cold calling 'pension companies' involved are neither regulated nor qualified to give financial advice and classify themselves as a 'trustee', 'consultant' or an 'independent advisor' and offer exceptionally high return rates for investors.

Some victims have signed documents that authorises a limited company to be set up using their personal details, including utilising a Small Self-Administered Scheme (SSAS). Whilst SSAS accounts and limited companies are essential for legitimate schemes, the fact that victims are unaware that this will happen suggests that the scheme may not have been fully explained to them, increasing the likelihood that there may be an element of fraud involved.

Ensure that you request that the risks and growth rates are explained and that you fully understand them before transferring your pension. If it sounds too good, it probably is - so please check whether the pension arrangement company is registered with the FCA. Registered companies can be checked using the FCA register online at: www.register.fca.org.uk/.


Council Tax Rebate scam - Oct 2015

Fraudsters have been phoning victims telling them that they have been placed in the wrong council tax bracket for a number of years and are entitled to a rebate. They normally say that this rebate should be worth about £7,000. Once the victim is convinced, the fraudster tells them that in order to receive the rebate they will need to pay an administration fee in advance. The payment they ask for varies between £60-£350. The victim provides the details and makes the payment, but then is no longer able to make contact with the person they spoke to on the phone. When they phone their council about the rebate and the fact that they are in the wrong tax bracket, the council will confirm that they know nothing about it and that they have been contacted by fraudsters.

The fraudsters have mainly been targeting both male and female victims who are aged 60 and over and live in the Sussex area, but it is likely that the fraudsters will also start to target victims in other areas.


Computer & Phone scams from July 2015
Scam calls from "Microsoft" offering help

Dorset Police are warning the public after reports of phone scams, with offenders claiming to be from Microsoft, and are appealing for other victims to come forward.

One incident occurred , Wednesday 5 August 2015, in the Weymouth area.

A male offender called the victim, a local man in his 40s, claiming he was from Microsoft and could assist with a virus on the victim's computer.

The fraudster tried to trick the victim into paying an amount of money into a foreign bank account for the services and requested his bank account details.

A similar incident occurred on Tuesday 4 August 2015 in the Bournemouth area. The victim, a local man in his 80s who had recently bought a new laptop, received a call from a man also claiming to be from Microsoft.

In this incident, the offender gained remote access to the victim's computer and said he would help with the setting up process. He then requested a significant sum of money from the victim for the services. This was paid in to a foreign bank.

Professional analysis of the victim's laptop, after the incident, showed that it had been attacked maliciously by the offender.

On both occasions the offender is said to have spoken with an Indian accent.

Detective Sergeant Alan Marks, of Dorset Police's Force Intelligence Bureau, said: "I would like to bring these incidents to the public's awareness. As with all phone scams, offenders can be highly convincing and I ask people to remain vigilant and ensure friends and family are also aware of such offences. I am also appealing to anyone in the county who has been targeted by these scams to report them to the police."


Torrentlocker

A scam email is currently being sent to victims fraudulently claiming to be from British Gas or The Ministry of Justice. The attached document or link leads to the TorrentLocker ransomware.

This malware encrypts files on the victim's system and requests a ransom be paid in order for the files to be decrypted; one reported amount has been £330 worth of Bitcoins.

It has been reported that some anti-virus vendors are detecting this and stopping the pages and or documents from being opened.

Protect yourself

  • If you receive an email that you are suspicious of do not follow any links or open attachments until you can verify that the email is genuine. To do this contact the organisation that the email has come from by sourcing the number independently from the email received.
  • If you believe the email to be fake, report it to your email provider as spam.
  • Ensure your anti-virus software is up to date this will help to mitigate the potential for virus to be downloaded. It should be noted that anti-virus software is constantly being updated and may not stop all viruses especially if they are new or been adapted. It has been reported that some anti-virus vendors are detecting this and stopping the pages and or documents from being opened.
  • If you have opened an attachment or followed a link which you believe to be suspicious it is recommended that you run your anti-virus and/or take your machine to a reputable company to have it cleaned.
  • In cases where files have been encrypted it can be very difficult to retrieve them, and in most cases they will be lost. It is recommended that you always back up all files on a separate device or cloud storage to ensure they are not lost. Please remember that if a device is attached to the infected machine the files on this could also be encrypted with the virus so ensure they are kept separate.

If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.

Courier fraudsters have been identifying themselves to victims on the telephone as "Detective Constable Martin Benton of New Scotland Yard Fraud Department". The fraudsters will invent a story regarding fraudulent activity on your card and request your bank/card details.

No such person exists at the Metropolitan Police. If you receive a call from someone purporting to be this individual, terminate the call immediately.

Protect yourself:

  • Your bank will never send a courier to your home
  • Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card
  • Your bank and the police will never ask for your PIN
  • If you receive one of these calls end it immediately
  • If you have handed over any details to the fraudster, call your bank and cancel your cards immediately.
  • If you want to call your bank, then do it from another telephone.

Online Loans Fraudsters are targeting individuals who have recently expressed an interest in an online loan. Unsolicited calls are made by fraudsters who appear to be calling from a genuine company. They state that the recently applied for loan has been agreed, but an "advance fee" is required before the money can be transferred.

Once these "fees" have been paid, either directly to the fraudsters' bank accounts or through a money service bureau, they are unrecoverable. In many cases, fraudsters have asked for multiple upfront "fees" to address issues arising with the loan.

Protect yourself:

  • Authentic credit companies do not charge fees in advance.
  • Be wary of anyone calling who says they represent a credit company.
  • Report any instances of a credit company attempting to request fees in advance of a loan to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

'Apple Pay' Classified advertisement websites like AutoTrader are being targeted by fraudsters to advertise vehicles for sale. Buyers are then contacting these 'sellers' to find out more about the vehicles and are being told to pay for them via 'Apple Pay'. In this case the fraudsters are not using the genuine Apple Pay service and potential victims pay money directly to bank accounts in control of the fraudsters. Individuals receive emails claiming to be from Apple Pay with a web link to a cloned website with false terms and conditions of the 'escrow' service. Any money remitted to the fraudsters is then unrecoverable and the vehicles are not delivered.

Protect yourself:

  • the seller 'face to face' and view the vehicle before parting with any money.
  • Be cautious of web links in an email. They may not direct you to the genuine website.
  • Report scam advertisements to the classified advertisement websites.
  • If the vehicle is below market value, consider whether this is an opportunity too good to be true!

A Royal Mail Scam Email is currently being sent to victims fraudulently claiming to be from the Royal Mail. Attached to the email is the CryptoLocker virus.

The victim receives an email purporting to be from the Royal Mail stating that they are holding a parcel/letter for the victim. The victim is then required to contact the Royal Mail to arrange for the item to be resent/collected.

By following the instructions within the email the CryptoLocker virus is subsequently downloaded to the victim's computer. This virus encrypts files on the victim's system and requests a ransom be paid in order for the files to be decrypted.

Additional incentive is added for early repayment as the ransomware states that the cost of decrypting the files will increase the longer the fine is outstanding.

Protect yourself:

  • Look at who the email is addressed to. Is it generic or specifically addressed?
  • Look at the quality of the images included on the email. Are they of sufficient high quality that they could come from Royal Mail?
  • Do not open attachments from unsolicited emails regardless of who they are from.
  • Do not click on the link supplied. Instead, go to the relevant website and log in from there.
  • Check the address of any email received to see if it appears legitimate.

Rental Frauds (1)

Seasonal rental fraud is an emerging trend with students looking for suitable accommodation around August, before the start of the new term.

Fraudsters use a variety of websites to advertise available properties to rent. often at attractive rates and convenient locations. Adverts will seem genuine, accompanied by a number of photos and contact information to discuss your interest.

Due to demand, students will often agree to pay upfront fees to secure the property quickly, without viewing the property, only to discover that the fraudster posing as the landlord does not have ownership of the property, or often there are already tenants living there.

Protect Yourself

  • Only use reputable letting companies.
  • Do some online research such as using Google maps to check the property does exist.
  • Make an appointment to view the property in person.
  • Always view the property prior to paying any advance fees.
  • Look out for warning signs, such as landlords requesting a 'holding deposit' due to the property being in high demand.
  • A landlord will usually conduct some due diligence on any successful applicant. Be wary of handing over cash without the landlord requesting employment or character references.
Rental Frauds (2)

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has received several reports of rental fraud whereby empty premises are being targeted and the locks are being changed for the purpose of adding legitimacy to a rental fraud.

The suspect(s) will find and enter an empty property for the purposes of changing the locks and then advertising it on online platforms, such as Gumtree, as a rental property. The suspect(s) then invite interested victims to visit the property for a viewing. Those victims which are interested in renting the property are then requested to pay a deposit and/or rent upfront in cash.

In some instances the victims have moved into the property only to be evicted by the real property owner, or have found that the locks have been changed, once they have received the keys. There are several instances where this fraud has left victims homeless.

Property Owners:

  • If you or someone you know currently has an empty property, encourage them to visit the property regularly to make sure that the locks have not been changed and no damage has occurred.
  • Avoid communication with only email or mobile phone, request to see the property owner and ask for valid ID. You can also check ownership of the property using the Land Registry.
  • The landlord will carry out their own due diligence and should request all of your details, references and proof that you will be able to afford to rent the property. Make sure that these checks are completed prior to paying a deposit / rent.
  • Always view the property and the tenancy agreement before paying any upfront costs.

"Bogus Baliff" threats

Action Fraud has seen an increase in the number of small to medium sized businesses being contacted by fake bailiffs requesting payments for a phantom debt.

The scam involves the business being cold called from someone purporting they are bailiffs working on behalf of a court, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. The caller will then request payment by means of bank transfer and if this is refused, will threaten to visit the premises to recover the debt that is owed.

A range of different businesses are being targeted; including Nurseries, Manufacturers, Hotels and Taxi Services.

Protect Yourself

  • Confirm what the debt is regarding; bailiffs are only used to recover certain debts such as council tax, child support and compensation orders. Bailiffs are not used to recover debts relating to private advertisement; these would be collected by debt collectors. Debt collectors do not have the same legal powers as bailiffs and will not have special court authorisation to act. For more details regarding this, please look at the Citizens Advice website.
  • Double check with the Court or originating company to confirm whether the suspects are legitimate; if you use a landline make sure you hear the dialling tone prior to dialling as the suspects could still be on the line.
  • Request details of the debt in writing to access its legitimacy.
  • Do not feel rushed or intimidated to make a decision based on a phone call.

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk


"Paypal" frauds

Fraudsters often target 'goods for sale' adverts on popular online auctions sites, so watch out whenever you're selling anything online.

How does the fraudster operate?

The fraudster will contact the seller to say that they want to buy the advertised item. The seller then receives what looks like a genuine PayPal email, to confirm that the money has been paid by the buyer into their account.

With confirmation of payment, the seller will then send the item to the buyer's address. The seller will later find that the PayPal email is fake and that the money has not been paid. The seller ends up losing out twice as not only do they not have the money, but they no longer have the item to sell.

Protect yourself:

  • Check your PayPal account to ensure that the money has been paid in and has cleared into your bank account before you send the item to the buyer.
  • Do not be bullied or rushed into sending items before you know that the payment has cleared - a genuine purchaser will not mind waiting a day or two for you to send them their item.
  • If you are selling a vehicle, think carefully when selling to overseas purchasers - especially if they tell you they will send an extra payment for shipping - check that the funds have cleared before arranging this.

Bogus "offers"
Free trials for unapproved or misleading pharmaceuticals or supplements.

The scam usually involves a 'pop up' on your computer or a text message advertising a free 14-day trial. In signing up to this trial you are asked for your credit or debit card details and after the 14 days have elapsed, recurring payments are taken.

Recurring payments or continuous payment authorities are similar to a direct debit, but can be much harder to cancel or identify who is debiting your account. In most cases victims are finding it extremely difficult to cancel the subscription and the products are either not delivered or are inferior.

Common pharmaceuticals or supplements being advertised are teeth whitening products, food supplements and slimming tablets.

Protect Yourself

  • If you desire such products speak to your GP or a local pharmacist.
  • Be vigilant of free trials and always read the Terms and Conditions.
  • Conduct basic online research of the company before registering your details and financial information.

It is important to remember that in most free-trial cases because you have paid for a product and received it, this cannot be recorded as a fraud. If you have already entered your card details on one of these websites, call up you bank immediately to stop these payments and give us a call on 0300 123 2040 for advice.


Parcel awaiting delivery postcardsare being delivered to UK residents' homes claiming that a parcel containing "jewellery" is waiting for the homeowner.

Find out how to protect yourself and report to Action Fraud if you have received one.


Empoyment scams
"Parcel Mules" - Sep '15

People are being targeted to become "Parcel Mules" as part of a reshipping scam, which results in them handling stolen goods and losing out financially.

Victims are predominantly recruited through job advertisements and dating websites. They are persuaded to have items delivered to their addresses, and to pay for postage before sending the items elsewhere. Victims are contacted through Freelancer websites and invited to become a "Freight Forwarder" as an employment opportunity. The work is advertised as processing packages and forwarding them to clients.

The items being delivered have been purchased through fraudulent means, including the use of stolen/fraudulently obtained cards. The items being delivered are often pieces of electrical equipment or high value goods such as trainers, perfume and the latest phones.

If you act as a "mule" you are not only handling stolen goods, but also losing out financially. You will not get paid the promised salary and you pay for the postage and delivery of the packages personally. Additionally, you will have provided enough of your personal details to allow identity theft to occur.

How To Protect Yourself:

  • Do not agree to receive packages at your address for someone that you do not know and trust.
  • Be cautious of unsolicited job offers or opportunities to make easy money.
  • When accepting a job offer, verify the company details provided to you and check whether they have been registered in the UK.
  • Be wary of someone that you have met only online who asks you to send money or to receive items. Protect your privacy and do not give your personal details to someone that you do not know and trust.

Advance Fee scam

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has been alerted to an Advance Fee Fraud in which individuals believe they are being recruited by Business Loan Scanner who will be moving to 34 Lime Street, London on 24th August.

Applicants receive a job offer and are then asked to pay an upfront fee for CRB checks etc. However, please be aware that there is NO such company at this location and this activity is a fraud.

If you, or anyone you know, have been affected by this fraud or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk

Looking for jobs online - take precautions whilst looking for jobs online, to avoid falling victim to scammers.

There are a number of different ways in which job-seekers could be defrauded. These range from direct financial scams to misleading job descriptions.

Safer-Jobs, the recruitment industry's counter fraud forum, provide free advice to ensure that people have a safer job search. They suggest several steps which any other job-seeker should take when dealing with a potential employer:

1. Never part with money - employers should pay you, not the other way round. If asked to pay for security checks, visas, training, or anything else, you should research the job, the company, and never use any associated company suggested to you without conducting independent thorough research.

2. Never take it on face value- have you received an 'out of the blue', 'too good to be true' job offer? Be sceptical and ask questions. Why and how have you been contacted, what is the job, did you apply? Be wary of any non-business, generic email address (such as hotmail and yahoo), poorly written job adverts or job descriptions, and emails or contact at unusual times of the day (unless pre-arranged).

3. Never do everything online - whilst technology is a great enabler to help people find work, at some point your job discussion should lead to an interview or a meeting. Hiring agents who keep the relationship solely on email must be treated extremely cautiously.

4. Never fail to do research - find out about the company that the job is with and do your research! Check landline telephone numbers and call the end employer to check the job exists. Use social media and sources such as Companies House and LinkedIn to dig deeper into the organisations and people you are interacting with.

5. Never phone them for an interview - premium rate phone scams are common. This is where an individual calls a pay-for number thinking it's an interview, when actually they are paying for every minute they stay on hold. If an employer wants you to work for them, they will call you.

6. Never accept money for nothing - with money mule scams on the increase, beware of any employer promising 'get rich quick' or 'earn thousands working from home'. When cheques begin arriving it is easy to be fooled into being used as a money mule.

7. Never provide personal details - be suspicious of any requests for personal data ahead of an interview or registration meeting (if an agency). Until you have the job, keep bank details safe and only provide identity details once you have met face to face.

For more information visit:

www.actionfraud.police.uk/node/288

www.getsafeonline.org

www.safer-jobs.com


"Work from Home" - Fraudsters are targeting people to list items on their behalf on popular online auction sites. The scam involves a job offer to sell desirable items at below market value and receive money from any potential buyers. The 'work from home' job will usually require retaining 10% of the money received as a "salary" and fraudsters will ask that the remaining funds are sent to them via bank transfer or money transfer.

In these cases the proposed items being sold do not exist and are therefore not dispatched to the proposed buyers. This will usually result in the buyer making a complaint concerning the individual who has listed the items. This can result in your bank account being closed by the bank for suspected fraud or money laundering and being held accountable for reimbursing the potential buyers.

Protect yourself:

  • Do not list items on online auction sites on behalf of others you do not know or trust.
  • Be vigilant of 'work from home' jobs which involve passing funds through your bank account.
  • Meet face to face with any potential employer
  • Question job offers which seem "too good to be true".

Computer based frauds
"Adobe" and "Linkedin" scams - March 2015

Current spam email campaigns are trying to infiltrate or infect email accounts by pretending to come from either Adobe or LinkedIn Support. The emails from LinkedIn claim 'Irregular activities have prompted a compulsory security update'. With the Adobe emails attempt to direct the user to the latest updates.

Phishing is an attempt by a fraudster to steal valuable information by pretending to be a company that you know and use. It relies on people to think the message is genuine. Victims are initially sent an email that will have either a link to a website, or contain an attachment. What the fraudsters want you to do is click on the link or attachment so that they can steal valuable information from your computer, like your bank account or credit card details

Protect yourself:

  • Look at who the email is addressed to - many will say "Dear user" or "Dear valued customer" and will not be addressed directly to you.
  • If there are images included in the email they may be of a poor quality but will try to look like the company they are trying to represent.
  • The message may have a few spelling mistakes.
  • Do not click on the link supplied. Instead, go to the relevant website and log in from there.

Malicious computer related calls

Can I please remind you to reject any call from someone asking you to allow them remote access to your computer for any reason.

I personally know two people now, and there was a report in a local paper again recently of another person, who have been rung by someone claiming to be from either the Metroplolitan Police, Microsoft customer support or some other reputable organisation, claiming that your computer has been hacked into and they need to access your machine to update your security or some other excuse. They often have a small amount of information about you already, so they can make it seem plausible that they are genuine. They often offer you a phone number to ring to check bona-fides, but these are also fake.

If you permit them acess they will disable your computer, scramble files and harvest personal information like log-ins, passwords etc which will be used for fraud. They will also want payment from you in exchange for "a password to unlock your computer". DO NOT give them any details - they will take the money and the password will not work. The only thing you can then do is immediately un-plug yor computer from the mains and any network and contact a professional firm who specialise in disaster recovery. They may be able to help, or you may have to buy a new computer and will lose all the files that were on your old machine. Do not try to recover things yourself, it will generally only make the situation worse.


Computer Virus Warning

[Editor - this is a genuine warning from Dorset Police and I have also independantly checked it out]

You may well have read in the media about the successful international operation led by the FBI that had taken control of the GameOver Zeus botnet, a network of captured computers used to steal millions of pounds from individuals and small businesses around the world. An infected computer can also suffer a secondary attack by a piece of malware referred to as CryptoLocker which results is a victims files all being encrypted. Once encrypted a message appears seeking payment of a ransom if the user wants to access their files again. This encryption cannot be broken without the password (or key) held by criminals.

Dorset Police is strongly advising computer owners, who may not even realise they have the malware, to take steps now to remove the infection and protect themselves from future attacks. It is estimated that the criminals will probably be up and running again in about two week.

Whilst it is hoped that the owners of infected systems will be advised that they have of the malware by their ISP, Dorset Police strongly recommends that computers users go to:

https://www.cert.gov.uk/resources/alerts/nca-alert-two-week-opportunity-for-uk-to-reduce-threat-from-powerful-computer-attack/

or

https://www.getsafeonline.org/nca/

and follow the instructions given to check for and remove the malware.

This warning is not intended to cause you panic but we cannot over-stress the importance of taking these steps immediately.

And remember, if you don't make an effort to clean up malware from your own computer, you may become a victim or at the very least your computer will become part of the problem.

A/DCI P Little, Public Protection, Dorset Police


Malicious Telephone calls
Bogus Police telephone calls - September 2015

We have received a report that someone is sending text messages purporting to be from Dorset Police. If you receive any of these please call 101 with the details.

If you are expecting contact from us then verify this with a 101 call.

Bogus Police telephone calls

September 2014

Dorchester police wish to bring to your attention a fraudulent telephone call that was made to an elderly lady living in the area.

The call was alleged to have come from a police officer who was working for the Fraud Squad in Tooting.The information given was that a man was in custody who had admitted stealing from the ladies bank account. The lady was given bank account details into which she was to transfer the rest of her money as this would protect it from others who may have access to her account.

THIS STORY WAS COMPLETELY FICTITIOUS; BUT CONVINCING AT THE TIME OF THE ORIGINAL CALL.

Do not "hang up" and then call any number given by the caller "to check the story" - The caller will have stayed on the line and will pretend to be the Police.

No Police Officer will ask for money to be transferred and neither will they ask for PIN numbers. Please hang up if you are concerned about a caller but it would be very helpful to check the callers telephone number by dialling 1471. You are then asked to call the police on 101 as soon as possible, preferably from a different telephone, as the information you provide may prevent someone else becoming a victim of this caller.

Message sent by Chris Meade (Dorset Police, PC 2688, Dorchester North & South Town, Dorchester East & West Rural)


Calls from 02043 095294 - Scams

There are persistent calls being made from what appears to be this number, by people seeking personal data. It is a known scam. The number does not exist. If you have caller display, please do not answer. If you can block calls, please add this number to the list. DO NOT GIVE AWAY ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION WHATSOEVER for any reason - Just hang up!.

More details area available if you Google the phone number.


Telephone call claiming to be "from your bank"

Police are warning the public after a spate of telephone money scams targeting the Weymouth and Dorchester areas yesterday (30 March 2015).

In one incident that happened today at around 10.30am a pensioner from Dorchester was targeted. During the incident the offender, calling himself Derek, claimed the woman's bank account had been compromised in some way. She was then encouraged to call the number on the back of her bank card and provide her bank details.

The offender, unbeknown to the victim, had remained on the line and pretended to be her bank.

Inspector Pete Browning, of Dorchester police, said: "Offenders are highly convincing and have conned many victims into handing over thousands of pounds in recent months. I ask people to remain vigilant and report any such incidents to the police."

Do not reveal your bank details including PIN to anyone - banks will already have these details and will never ask for your card back.

If you receive an unexpected call from someone claiming to be from your bank, do not give them any details, hang up and call your bank on their regular contact telephone number and the police - wait at least 2 minutes after hanging up to make the calls to ensure that the line is clear, or use a different telephone.

Do not give your bank cards to strangers whatever reason they may give you to part with them.

Do not allow any unknown or unexpected callers inside your home. If you are suspicious, call 999 immediately.

Do not hand over any cash to people unknown to you.

Anyone with information about such scams should call us on 101 quoting incident number 30:181. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.


Fraudsters want your PIN, bank card or cash:
  1. A fraudster phones claiming to be from your bank or the police, to say your band card has been used fraudulently.
  2. They may tell you to hang up the call back to ensure the call is genuine. But, they stay on the line so your call goes straight back to the fraudster.
  3. The fraudster then asks you for your PIN or tells you to withdraw cash from your account.
  4. They arrange to send a courier/taxi to collect your bank card or your cash.
  5. They now have the ability to access your account and spend your money.

What to do if you receive a suspicious call:

  • Hang up - dial 1471 and note the number used.
  • Report to the Police by email or different phone, quoting Op Luna.
  • If you need to use the same phone, WAIT 5 minutes, as the fraudster could still be on the line.

Remember:

NEVER give your PIN or bank details out over the phone.

NEVER withdraw cash and send it anywhere via courier or taxi.

NEVER send bank cards anywhere via courier or taxi.

NEITHER the Police nor your bank will EVER ask for you to do any of the above.

For help and advice, to report an incident or if you have been a victim of telephone fraud contact Dorset Police on: Telephone: 101 Non-emergency, Email: 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk or Online: www.dorset.police.uk.


Telephone Preference Service Scam - 10/04/14

The telephone preference service (TPS) is a valuable resource and is supported by the Dorset Police but recent instances have occurred where members of the public have registered on the TPS website and have later received a telephone call from a person who stated they are responding to the TPS registration and asking for a fee of £39 to complete the registration.

THIS IS A SCAM AND YOU SHOULD NOT PASS YOUR BANK OR CREDIT CARD DETAILS.

If you have been contacted by a person stating they are from the Telephone Preference Service and have paid money for this free service it is strongly advised that you report the incident to ACTION FRAUD on 0300 123 2040 as well as contacting your bank as soon as practical.

NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) - 03/04/14

Officers are advising the public to be wary of emails purporting to be from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Thousands of people nationwide have been targeted by hoax emails, claiming to be from NICE.

The email informs them that as a result of a recent blood test, cancer was suspected and they should contact their GP. The recipients are advised to download their results from an attached link, which may contain malware that displays a false security warning to entice the victim to buy rogue anti-spyware products.

Inspector Pete Little, of Bournemouth and Poole CID, said: "This type of hoax email can be very distressing for the victim.

"Currently, there haven't been any reports of this hoax to Dorset Police but I would still urge people to be wary of emails of this nature.

"If you receive one, delete it and don't download the attachment as it is likely to contain malware.

"In any case, email attachments should always be checked carefully. Anti-Virus products can help to keep your computer safe and should be used to check your security regularly. If you have further concerns, you could always take your computer to a local security specialist.

"We urge people to delete any emails they receive like this and report them to police by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040."

Further advice on protecting your computer can be found at http://www.getsafeonline.org