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Sat, 22 Oct 2016 16:15 by Dick Stephen
People in South Northants are being urged to consider five easy steps that well help keep them out of reach of fraudsters.
South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) strongly supports driving down fraud in the district and is backing the Take Five national campaign to tackle the issue.
Cllr Peter Rawlinson, SNC's portfolio holder for finance and procurement, said: "Not only are individuals subject to increasing attempts at fraud, but so is the Council. Some people see fraud as a victimless crime, but with public finances at full stretch, anyone who believes that, puts even more financial pressure on our vital front line services." More »
The Take Five campaign is designed to encourage people to stop and think when being asked for personal financial information.
1. Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full password - it's never okay to reveal these details
2. Don't assume an email request or caller is genuine - people aren't always who they say they are
3. Don't be rushed – a genuine bank or organisation won't mind waiting to give you time to stop and think
4. Listen to your instincts – if something feels wrong then it is usually right to pause and question it
5. Stay in control – have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for information
SNC Corporate Fraud Department creates and promotes a robust anti-fraud culture in the community, and works in partnership with other local fraud enforcement agencies.
The Council's Corporate Fraud Team are actively investigating allegations in relation to Council Tax reduction, single occupier discount and tenancy fraud, along with many other issues related to the Council's finances.
Last week the Council launched Trust ID, a document scanner that will help check any documents presented to the authority as proof of identity.
If you wish to report an allegation of fraud, please contact the SNC Fraud Team by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call the Senior Corporate Fraud Officer on 01327-322195 » Less
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 12:01 by Dick Stephen
POLICE are reminding people never to open their doors to unexpected callers following distraction burglaries in Hartwell and Bugbrooke earlier today.
Two men called at the victims' homes offering to do some hedge cutting, before then asking for a drink. While the elderly home owners have gone to get a drink the men have entered the property and stolen items, including cash from within.
The offenders were two white men in a mauve coloured Transit van. More »
Officers are appealing for information and are urging people never to open the door to anyone they are not expecting, whoever they say they are, and are asking people share the following advice with family and friends:
• Make sure you can see who is at the door before you answer it – and if you don't know who it is, don't answer it.
• Where possible fit a spy-hole to identify callers. Alternatively talk to them through an adjacent window.
• Don't feel pressured into opening the door. Don't feel you are being rude, genuine callers won't mind. If you're not sure, don't open the door.
• Set up passwords with your utility companies – genuine callers will need to recite this password to you.
• Don't use telephone numbers on ID cards – if the person isn't genuine the ID and the telephone number won't be either. Obtain telephone numbers direct from the phone directory. Alternatively make a list of your important numbers and keep them near the phone.
• If someone is knocking on the door saying they are the police, call 101 and check the identity with the police control room. In an emergency call 999.
• Look out for those who are vulnerable within your family or neighbourhood.
Anyone who has suspicions or concerns that distraction burglars are operating in their neighbourhood or targeting someone they know, should call 101 or the dedicated doorstep crime number on 0345 23 07 702.
Witnesses to this incident, or anyone with information, are asked to call Northamptonshire Police on 101. Alternatively, they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. » Less
Sun, 16 Oct 2016 11:38 by Dick Stephen
Many people don't know who to contact during a power cut and wrongly call the electricity supplier they pay their bill to. 105 has been set up to help people get through their local electricity network operator – the company responsible for the power network that delivers electricity to their door.
It is a free, easy-to-remember number that people can call to report or get information about a power cut in their area. It puts callers through to the people who will repair their local power network and restore their power. More »
105 is jointly funded by electricity network operators - the companies that manage the cables, wires and substations that bring electricity into homes and businesses.
The public can also call 105 if they spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put them, or someone else, in danger. If there's a serious immediate risk, the emergency services should be called too.