Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Beware of Scam Advertisements

Joint warning from City of London Police, Metropolitan Police Service and Trading Standards

Police and Trading Standards Officers are advising the public not to reply to bogus adverts placed in local and national press by a company claiming to sell high value electrical goods at reduced prices. Customers who have attempted to buy goods from the advert have been asked to pay or transfer cash into a bank account. They are told that the items will be sent to them only to find that the purchases never arrive.

The adverts have been placed in local papers and magazines nationwide under a variety of names including Arash Ltd, The Gadget Company, Gadget Limited, Office Bits Warehouse, Office Supplies Cabin and Office Brands Megastore. The only contact details are telephone and fax numbers and occasionally an email address that is based on the URL @easymailorders.com.

(It should be noted that there are companies in the UK trading legitimately under names similar to ‘The Gadget Company’.)

Another aspect of the scam is that cards from company’s calling themselves ‘Parcel Express UK’ and ‘Network Link Couriers’ are posted through random front doors telling the householder that they have missed delivery of a parcel. It asks the recipient to phone a number and pay for a customs charge of the product by credit or debit card. Once this is done the parcel fails to arrive. Although money is not debited from the victims’ account, the card details are later used fraudulently.

Parcel Express UK and Network Link Couriers are not legitimate companies. As a matter of course unless you are confident of the legitimacy of the company contacting you then do not provide your card or bank details to organisations or people not known to you. If you have placed an order in response to one of the newspaper adverts concerned, or called ‘Parcel Express UK’ or ‘Network link Couriers’, you should inform your bank immediately and cancel your card.

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Head, head of the Economic Crime Directorate at the City of London Police and the force investigating the frauds, said:

"The City of London Police Economic Crime Directorate is working closely with Westminster Trading Standards Office and the Metropolitan Police to identify those responsible for this fraud. We are at an early stage, however it is evident victims have been duped by bogus advertisements for reduced price goods, placed in trusted newspapers and national magazines. Our advice to people is this: only ever part with your financial details to a known and trusted company. Likewise if an approach for delivery of a parcel is unexpected or unsolicited, be wary, question the reasons why and take time out to consider the validity of the request. Trading Standards or Consumer Direct can offer advice."

If you suspect you have been a victim of this crime please report it to the City of London Police at ophukka@cityoflondon.police.uk or phone their fraud line on 020 7601 6999 or contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.

Monday, 29 June 2009

iBar Licence Application Update

Due to errors in the advertisement of the variation application for the above premises the period in which representations for or against the application may be made has been extended. This means, whilst your representation still stands, further representation may be accepted up until the 21st July 2009.

I can confirm that the application will be re-advertised to show the activities and standard hours applied for within the application which are:
  1. To permit the sale of alcohol, the exhibition of films, the performance of live music, the playing of recorded music, Karaoke and the provision of facilities for dancing from 10:00hrs until 02:00hrs the following morning on Mondays to Sundays.

  2. To permit late night refreshment Monday to Sunday 23:00hrs until 02:00hrs the following morning.

  3. An additional thirty minutes drinking up time on top of the last permitted sale of alcohol.

  4. For all of the above an additional hour on specific days identified in the application form (e.g. Bank Holidays)
Should you have any questions or queries with regards this or any other matter regarding the application or hearing process please do not hesitate to contact me.

Michelle Rudland
Licensing Officer
Community Protection Group
Corporate Governance
London Borough of Barnet
North London Business Park
Oakleigh Road South
London N11 1NP
t. 020 8359 7452
f. 020 8361 7650
e. michelle.rudland@barnet.gov.uk

BT Scam

This has been passed to us by one of our members:

A guy calls up saying he's from BT. The bill needs paying and he will cut you off if you don't pay up now. Says if you don't believe him, he will suspend your line now and try calling out in 15 seconds. If you don't pay up, it will cost £75 and you will have to have a new number. If you say you're on direct debit, he says it failed and they have written to you three times as a warning.

You pick up the phone 15 seconds later and there is a dead line. You hang up and he calls back after 1 minute. You try to pay, but he says that the credit card has been declined and asks for another (one lady gave SEVEN). Points to note:
  1. If someone calls into your line, you cannot make calls out until they hang up. Anyone can do it and they can leave your line blocked for hours if they forget to hang up the extension. It's been like that in the UK for ever.

  2. BT don't do this. If they are going to do something like this, they divert all outgoing calls to their billing office, where they then sort it all out.

  3. BT won't change you number out of spite, only if you want it changed or you are getting funny phone calls or at the request of the Police with the subscribers consent.
BT are aware of this scam and advise anyone who receives one of these calls to report it to the:

Nuisance Call Bureau on 0800 411 422 and police

In any event, do not give any personal or financial details over the phone.

Paul Hammond, Barnet Boroughwatch

Rogue Trader Alert

Here's another Rogue trader alert. Two men calling themselves Tree and Garden Care have been active in the EN5 area of Barnet using two phone numbers: 01582 760623 and 07958 273441.

Sorry about the scant details but, if you get one of their leaflets or they cold call, do not engage them in any work. If they do anything without your permission, harass or threaten you, call the Police on 999.

Paul Hammond, Barnet Boroughwatch

Monday, 22 June 2009

iBar 2 am Club Licence Application

Action required before 30th June

The iBar, previously The Real Music Club and The Bull & Butcher pub situated in the High Road next to Boots, has applied to Barnet Council for a club style venue licence for alcohol, music, live bands, dancing, etc. with a terminal hour for the premises to be cleared of 2:30 am extended to 3 am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with premises closing at 4 am.

If such a licence is granted there may be a high risk of anti social behaviour and nuisance from the effects of intoxication leading to a possibly increased risk of crime and disorder including drink and drug related offences which may threaten public safety.

If you wish to object to this application, your objection must be submitted to the London Borough of Barnet no later than 30th June and there will be a hearing 20 working days after this deadline. Submit your objection to:

Michelle Rudland
Licensing Team
London Borough of Barnet
North London Business Park
Oakleigh Road South
N11 1NP

Or by email to michelle.rudland@barnet.gov.uk

There are four main grounds for objection:
  1. Public safety
  2. The prevention of crime and disorder
  3. The prevention of public nuisance
  4. The protection of children from harm
Download an example letter of objection here and read Barnet Council's licensing policy here.

Sergeant Mark Altman
Licensing Officer

t. 020 8733 5261
e. mark.altman@met.police.uk

Friday, 12 June 2009

Beware False Courier Note Scam

The false courier note has come back again. This time to 4 victims in Edgware that we know about.

The note, which is posted through the door is on behalf of "NETWORK LINK COURIERS" of SW20, tells you that they tried to deliver a package whilst you were out and that to receive it you must pay a small fee of £2.20 on your credit card.

But if you phone the number you will be charged many hundreds of pounds!!!

Needless to say the address is false.

I've attached a pdf of the note but of course we have removed the victims details. Click on it to enlarge.

If you get one of these do not reply or contact the company but inform the police on 020 8200 1212.

Paul Hammond, Barnet Boroughwatch

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Oakleigh Ward Newsletter - June 2009

This newsletter is to keep you informed updated with some of the latest events on the Oakleigh Ward.


At the end of April two members of the team witnessed a local off license selling alcohol to a group of youths. On being challenged by officers, police found that two of them were if fact only 14 years old. Subsequently the owner of the off license received a Fixed Penalty Notice and has been reported for the offence. This is the second time in just over a year and on that occasion the youngest person was 15 years of age. This has been taken to our licensing team and they are going meeting with the council and review the off licenses liquor license.

Artifice Burglars

Recently the ward was once again visited by artifice burglars. On one of the occasion a man posing as a window cleaner, conned his way into the house of a 94 year old male. The male did have window cleaning equipment with him. After persuading the man to have his rear windows cleaned the resident went into another room whilst the work was apparently completed the window cleaner even came into to show the resident the dirty cloth he had used. When he left the elderly resident found that money has been taken from a room at the back of the house.

The second incident has a completely different MO, A male knocked on the door of a 92 year old woman stated that he was from the council and was checking on her decorations. He flashed an ID card at the resident, but she was unable to see what was on the card. He entered the flat and struck up general conversation about potential work that might need to be done, he went in and out of different rooms in the flat and then was asked to leave by the resident as her carer was about to arrive. After the suspect left she noticed a few things had been moved. Growing concerned check other rooms and found that cupboards and draws had been open and things thrown about. She that checked her purse and found money missing.

We would like everyone to remain extremely vigilant as there is always a risk from these perpetrators. Both of the Victims have been visited by the Safer Neighbourhood Team and all residents in these roads have received bogus caller leaflets.

Car Crime

On the whole over the last month car crime has remained low with only 10 offences. Primarily these offences are where number plates have been taken; we believe that the suspects are using them for avoiding the congestion charge and speed cameras and to avoid other such traffic prosecutions. At the end of April the Oakleigh Team came into the knowledge that a very prolific thief has just been released from prison. Given past experience his is extremely likely to re-offend.

Crime Stats May 2009

On the whole there have been a low number of crimes on the ward in the last couple of months:

· 21 Burglaries (both dwelling and non dwelling)
· 10 Thefts from Motor Vehicles
· 57 Stop & Accounts

The team have made 3 arrests for Actually Bodily Harm and one for robbery.

Locally agreed priorities

· Road Safety
· Burglary
· Anti Social Behaviour

Up coming meetings

There will be a Police Surgery at Marks and Spencer, 1430 High Road, Whetstone on:

Friday 3rd July 2009 from 10 am to 4 pm
Friday 17th July 2009 from 10 am to 4 pm

James Avey, Metropolitan Police
e. james.avey@met.police.uk

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Home Insulation Scam in Barnet

If you are contacted by someone calling themselves James Stewart (not the actor or pretender to the throne) who claims to work for a home insulation company in Barnet, please contact me ASAP.

Paul Hammond, Barnet Borough Watch
e. paul.hammond@barnet.police.uk
m. 07921 09 09 36

Barnet News