How to join Online Watch Link (OWL)

OWL logoMany of you receive regular Neighbourhood Watch Newsletters. And about 8,000 Hillingdon Residents have joined the associated Online Watch Link (OWL). This is a community-focused website that keeps its members up to date on local crime and security measures.

To join, simply visit www.owl.co.uk and provide some basic details. It probably goes without saying, that the site is secure.

As a general rule, always report crime in Ickenham to the Police (999 if in progress, 101 otherwise) then email Brian Walters, our Neighbourhood Watch Deputy Community Coordinator on bw014i7079@blueyonder.co.uk

Microsoft Tech-Support Scammers using WannaCry attack to lure victims

Once again, our friends at Neighbourhood Watch have sent us some information on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau):

Action Fraud has received the first reports of Tech-Support scammers claiming to be from Microsoft who are taking advantage of the global WannaCry ransomware attack.

One victim fell for the scam after calling a ‘help’ number advertised on a pop-up window. The window which wouldn’t close said the victim had been affected by WannaCry Ransomware.

The victim granted the fraudsters remote access to their PC after being convinced there wasn’t sufficient anti-virus protection. The fraudsters then installed Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, which is actually free and took £320 as payment.

It is important to remember that Microsoft’s error and warning messages on your PC will never include a phone number.

Additionally Microsoft will never proactively reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC or technical support. Any communication they have with you must be initiated by you.

How to protect yourself:

  • Don’t call numbers from pop-up messages.
  • Never allow remote access to your computer.
  • Always be wary of unsolicited calls. If you’re unsure of a caller’s identity, hang up.
  • Never divulge passwords or pin numbers.
  • Microsoft or someone on their behalf will never call you.

If you believe you have already been a victim:

  • Get your computer checked for any additional programmes or software that may have been installed.
  • Contact your bank to stop any further payments being taken.

Report fraud and cyber crime to Actionfraud.police.uk

Watch out for Smishing frauds

Our friends at Neighbourhood Watch have asked us to beware of Smishing frauds:

This information has been sent on behalf of Action Fraud (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau):

Smishing – the term used for SMS phishing – is an activity which enables criminals to steal victims’ money or identity, or both, as a result of a response to a text message. Smishing uses your mobile phone (either a smartphone or traditional non-internet connected handset) to manipulate innocent people into taking various actions which can lead to being defrauded.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau has received information that fraudsters are targeting victims via text message, purporting to be from their credit card provider, stating a transaction has been approved on their credit card.

The text message further states to confirm if the transaction is genuine by replying ‘Y’ for Yes or ‘N’ for No.

Through this method the fraudster would receive confirmation of the victim’s active telephone number and would be able to engage further by asking for the victim’s credit card details, CVV number (the three digits on the back of your bank card) and/or other personal information.

Protect yourself:

  • Always check the validity of the text message by contacting your credit card provider through the number provided at the back of the card or on the credit card/bank statement.
  • Beware of cold calls purporting to be from banks and/or credit card providers.
  • If the phone call from the bank seems suspicious, hang up the phone and wait for 10 minutes before calling the bank back. Again, refer to the number at the back of the card or on the bank statement in order to contact your bank.

If you have been a victim of fraud or cyber crime, please report it to Action Fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ or alternatively by calling 0300 123 2040

Hillingdon Police Community Newsletter

Last July Rob Bryan, Temporary Chief Inspector for Partnership & Neighbourhoods in Hillingdon, teamed up with our Neighbourhood Watch friends to publish a monthly Hillingdon Police Community Newsletter.

If you’re not already receiving this in your email, or if you would prefer to access it directly at your own convenience, you can access current and past issues directly from the Neighbourhood Watch website.

If you’re of a technical bent, you can read copies in your browser by using the format below for the web address (remove the quote marks – I added them to stop some browsers converting the address into a hyperlink):

“www.hillingdonnhw.co.uk/v4/docs/communicator_20yy_mm.pdf”

Just substitute yy with the last two digits of the year and mm with the number of the month.

Happy reading!

 

Report crime to NHW as well as police

Neighbourhood Watch knows where lots of CCTV cameras are. If you tell them quickly enough (i.e. don’t leave it for days) then they can check the recordings and help the police to nail the villains.

Make sure you tell the police first. As so often happens, someone has just reported a burglary to NHW but it happened at the start of the month, which could mean that the recordings have already been overwritten.

Some residents don’t even bother to report car break-ins to NHW, yet these often reveal leads to bigger crimes in the area.

Contact details are:

Brian Walters (Ickenham only). More information here.

0208 246 1869

all@hillingdonnhw.co.uk

hillingdonnhw.co.uk