Jan 6, 2013

Bottesford NHW Alert: Scam Alerts / Protecting Your Gadgets

Scam Alerts
Linconshire Police recently received a telephone call from a concerned resident in the Grantham South Rural area following a sales call she had received earlier in the day. The company was claiming to be an alarm company and asked various questions about the home security such as was it detached, did they have a dog, who lived at the house etc. The sales man then pressured the lady into allowing them to attend on the pretext that the alarm was free and she would just need to pay for fitting. They made an appointment for the next day but did not provide a company contact number in case the lady wanted to cancel. The lady felt uneasy about the appointment so contacted the police. In the meantime the alarm company rang to confirm the appointment which gave her an opportunity to cancel. We cannot verify the alarm company, they may well be a genuine company that have a very pushy attitude towards sales however if you do get a sales call please be mindful of the information that you pass to them. If you are looking for a service it is often best to research and find one rather than rely on cold calling.

A number of people have also received phone calls from someone claiming to be from Windows ringing to let them know that they have a virus on their computer. Please do not divulge any information to them as it is a scam. You may also get a message when you log onto your computer that you are being monitored by the cyber crime unit, and that you need to make a payment of £100 to get it unlocked. Again this is a scam so do not give your money away!

Protecting Your Gadgets
Some very useful advice issued by Nottinghamshire Police:

Many of you will have received some valuable gifts, or may have treated yourselves to sales bargains.

Now is the perfect time to build in some protection against theft, or in the worst case, potentially recover your property should it leave your possession.

Why not make use of FREE apps and software which can be downloaded? Whilst most don't carry Police accreditation, their use is encouraged, so you should research the options available and work out which is best for you.

Prey software which can be downloaded onto your laptop, mobile phone or any other hardware and will track it if the device is lost or stolen. If there is an integral camera, it can even take a picture of the person using your gadget, as well as telling you where the device is located.

Find my iPhone/iPad

Available to all Apple iPhone/iPad owners

I-cloud  If using an I-pad, you can keep all of your documents in the 'ether'.  This way you do not lose that dissertation, vital work records or precious photos.  You can also see if someone saves their documents on your machine and they can potentially be traced this way too.

Various mobile phone manufacturers now offer their own equivalent of iCloud, such as HTC newer models, generally free of charge – always worth asking or googling "Back up online"

In addition to free products, there are also licensed products available such as LoJack, but these come attract an annual subscription cost.

Immobilise.  A secure website where you can record all the details of your valuables from TVs to power tools, cycles to jewellery. You can record serial numbers and descriptions, and even upload photos. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer a theft or burglary, just press a button and all the information is passed through to the police database. www.immobilise.com

Using PIN codes or patterns

It is very strongly recommended that any IT equipment be protected by using a password. 

Mobile phones owners should always make use of a PIN code or pattern or any other security features available in order to make accessing these devices more difficult. This is particularly important for Smart Phones on the basis that anyone finding or stealing your phone can directly access accounts such as Facebook, eBay, Email etc from the phone itself as passwords are often saved.

Circulated by:
John Shilton
Principal Coordinator
Bottesford Parish Neighbourhood Watch
Mob: 0772 5636626
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