Please Click on the Link to read the content of the item/incident:

 


 

iTunes Scam Leaflets

 

Courier Fraud : Advice


Rural Meeting with Your Police and Crime Commissioner

 

Fake TV Licence Refund Offers

 

 Incident of Theft : Calveley Hall Lane : August 2018

 

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BREAK-IN AT DAVENPORT BUILDING SITE NIGHT OF 12TH MARCH 2018

During the night of Monday 12th March the Davenport building site suffered a break-in and the joiners tools have been stolen.  If anyone saw anything please contact the police.

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


With the upcoming “Wedding Season”, and for those individuals who are considering making plans for next year and beyond, you should be aware of the potential risks of fraud involved.

According to ‘bridesmagazine.co.uk’, in 2017 the average wedding cost spend is approximately £30,111. This will be paid out to multiple vendors, including; photographers, caterers, reception venues and travel companies, to name a few. Many of these services will require booking at least several months in advance and you may be obliged to pay a deposit or even the full balance at the time.

Being aware of the potential risks and following the below prevention advice could minimise the likelihood of fraud:

Paying by Credit Card will provide you with protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, for purchases above £100 and below £30,000. This means that even if a Company goes into liquidation before your big day, you could claim a refund through your Credit Card Company.

Social Media - Some Companies run their businesses entirely via social media sites, offering low cost services. Whilst many are genuine, some may not be insured or may even be fraudulent. There are a few things you can do to protect yourself;
• Ensure you obtain a physical address and contact details for the vendor and verify this information. Should you experience any problems, you will then be able to make a complaint to Trading Standards or consider pursuing via the Small Claims Court.
• Ensure you obtain a contract before paying money for services. Make certain you fully read and understand what you are signing and note the terms of cancellation.

Consider purchasing Wedding Insurance - Policies vary in cover and can be purchased up to two years in advance. They can protect you from events that would not be covered under the Consumer Credit Act.

Complete research on each vendor, ensuring you are dealing with a bona fide person or company. Explore the internet for reviews and ratings and ask the vendor to provide details of past clients you can speak to. You should do this even if using companies recommended by a trustworthy friend or source.

For services such as wedding photographers, beware of websites using fake images. Look for inconsistencies in style; Meet the photographer in person and ask to view sample albums. If you like an image from a wedding, ask to view the photographs taken of the whole event so you can see the overall quality.

Remember, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is!

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Message sent by

Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)


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

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Message sent byDan Hind (Police, Media, Chesh Engagement Unit)


Cheshire Police are urging residents to lock it or lose it following a number of burglaries across the county.

The simple step of locking your door whether you’re in, or out, is vital in keeping opportunist thieves from your door.

Between 13 and 15 January 2017 police received a number of reports of burglaries in the north and east of the county. Out of the seven burglaries five of the properties were unlocked at the time.

Superintendent Peter Crowcroft said: "It’s important to take some time to assess your current security measures at home and see if they could be improved. However, the first rule of crime prevention, and you might think is obvious, is to keep the door locked and secure, whether it is your home, shed or outbuilding. That applies whether you’re in or out.

“We all have busy lives and some things get overlooked and locking the door seems to be one of them, giving opportunist thieves access to your hard earned goods. So take the time to check, have you locked your door?

“You might think it’s okay to leave the door unlocked because you’re in the house, but that doesn’t stop brazen thieves who often sneak in unnoticed, undeterred that you’re home.

“As well as locking your doors and windows, we also advise you don’t leave valuables, or keys, near windows where they can be seen from the outside. It’s an added incentive for a burglar if he knows there’s something good on offer before he goes in.

"And if you see anyone acting suspiciously, call police on 101 and report it. You may be doing your neighbours − or yourself- a big favour.”

You can make your house look lived in and keep your home safe and secure, by taking a few simple steps:
• Consider using a timer to set your lights and radio to come on while you’re out
• Make sure all your doors and windows are secure
• Don’t leave valuables including purses, handbags and car keys on display or near external doors
• Don’t leave keys near the door or in view
• Consider security marking valuable items with your house number and postcode with a UV pen, or mark it using property marking kits which consist of a traceable liquid to forensically mark valuables


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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

 

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 INHERITANCE FRAUD

Inheritance fraud usually occurs when you are told that someone very rich has died and you are in line to receive a huge inheritance. A fraudster who claims to be a Business Relations Manager from an overseas bank or legal official contacts you through email or a letter stating that a person sharing your family name has died and left behind a vast amount of money. The fraudster suggests that as you share the same family name as the deceased, you can be the beneficiary of the estate and rather than handing any ‘Inheritance Tax’ over to the government you can split the inheritance with the fraudster.

The fraudster will emphasise the need for secrecy and warn you not to tell anyone else about the deal. To hurry you into making a hasty decision, they will also stress the need to act quickly. 

If you respond to the fraudster, they will ask you to pay various fees – for example: taxes, legal fees, banking fees etc. – so they can release your non-existent inheritance. Each time you make a payment, the fraudsters will come up with a reason why the inheritance cannot be paid out unless you make another payment. If you ask, they will also give you reasons why the fees cannot be taken from your inheritance and have to be paid up front.

If you become reluctant to pay a fee or suggest you cannot afford it, the fraudsters will put pressure on you by reminding you how close you are to receiving a sum of money much greater than the fees you’ve already handed over, and of how much you’ve already paid out. The fraudsters may also ask for your bank details so they can pay the inheritance directly into your bank account. If you hand over your bank details, the fraudsters can use them to empty your account.
 
You could be a victim of inheritance fraud if: 

You’ve received an email or letter informing you that someone you may be related to has died without leaving a will and you may be in line to inherit.

You’ve paid fees to ‘research specialists’ who offer to sell you an estate report that includes information on the inheritance and how you can claim it.
 
What should you do if you’re a victim of inheritance fraud?
End all further contact with the fraudsters. Don’t send them any more money. Don’t give them your bank details. If you have already given the fraudsters your bank account details, alert your bank immediately. If you receive any threats from the fraudsters once you have stopped co-operating with them, alert the police immediately. Be aware that you’re now likely to be a target for other frauds. Fraudsters often share details about people they have successfully targeted or approached, using different identities to commit further frauds. People who have already fallen victim to fraudsters are particularly vulnerable to the fraud recovery fraud. This is when fraudsters contact people who’ve already lost money through fraud and claim to be law enforcement officers or lawyers. They’ll advise the victim that they can help them recover their lost money – but request a fee. 

Protect yourself against inheritance fraud

Although there are legitimate companies who make a living by tracking down heirs, they do not do it in this way. If you are asked for a fee for a report, it is very likely to be bogus. Letters/documents provided by the fraudsters are generally badly written. Look out for spelling mistakes and poor grammar. Beware if you are asked to contact a webmail address such as @Yahoo or @Hotmail. As a rule, legitimate law firms do not use them. As in most cases of fraud, if the promise seems too good to be true, it most probably is. If you 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

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Protect yourself

When purchasing from another company or individual, ask questions; specifically when you will receive the ticket and what type of ticket you are purchasing. Pay for tickets by using a credit card or trusted payment service. Payments made by bank transfer may not be recoverable. Always check that the payment screen is secure by looking for the padlock symbol or making sure the website/url begins with “https”. If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk

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

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has noticed an increase in reports of fraudsters placing fake letter boxes on residential properties in an attempt to harvest the mail. Residents are sometimes unaware of the fake letterbox as the fraudsters will periodically remove the item, which may leave notable markings. The mail is then used to open various lines of credit with financial providers in the name of the innocent resident.

 
Protect Yourself
Be vigilant and check for any suspicious activity, tampering of your post/letterbox or for suspicious glue markings on the wall. Check all post received from financial institutions, even if it appears unsolicited. Consider reporting theft of mail to your local police force and any cases of identity fraud to Action Fraud. If you have been a victim of identity fraud consider Cifas Protection Registration (https://www.cifas.org.uk/protective_registration_form) If
you, or anyone you know, has 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.

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

A new phishing campaign which has hit students of UK universities claims that the student has been awarded an educational grant by the Department for Education. The email purports to have come from the finance department of the student’s university and tricks the recipient into clicking on a link contained in the message to provide personal and banking details. 

One victim reported that after submitting their sensitive information (including name, address, date of birth, contact details, telephone provider, bank account details, student ID, National Insurance Number, driving licence number and mother’s maiden name), they were taken to a spoofed website which appeared like a genuine website of their bank, where they were asked to type in their online banking login credentials.

Protect Yourself: 
Do not click on any links or open attachments contained within unsolicited emails. Do not reply to scam emails or contact the senders in any way. If an email appears to have come from a person or organisation you know of but the message is unexpected or unusual, contact them directly via another method to confirm that they sent you the email. If you receive an email which asks you to login to an online account via a link provided in the email, instead of clicking on the link, open your browser and go directly to the company’s website yourself. If you have clicked on a link in the email, do not supply any information on the website that may open.

If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank, and report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk.

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Social Media Ticket Fraud

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has recently received an influx of reports that fraudsters are targeting the public, via social media, in relation to football tickets.

Fraudsters are posting pictures or statuses online telling members of the public to contact them via Direct Message for football tickets. This then leads to a mobile messaging conversation. During the conversation, bank details are provided by the suspect so that the tickets can be purchased.

After the victim has paid for the ticket the fraudster blocks them to stop further conversation, leaving victims without the tickets and out of pocket.

Protect yourself:
Check the security of the website and validity of the post Avoid taking the conversation offline to private messages When purchasing any products over the internet always try to make the payment via PayPal or a credit card where you have some sort of payment cover
 
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.

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HMRC Tax Rebate Scam

Fraudsters are texting members of the public offering a tax rebate. The text message contains a link to a website and requests to provide personal information, such as bank account information, to claim the nonexistent rebate.

Protect Yourself
Don’t click on web links contained in unsolicited texts or emails. Never provide your personal information to a third party from an unsolicited communication. Obtain the genuine number of the organisation being represented and verify the legitimacy of the communication. HMRC will never use texts or emails or tell you about a potential rebate or ask for personal information. If you have provided personal information and you are concerned that your identity may be compromised consider Cifas Protection Registration.

 

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Wine Investment Fraud

A new investment fraud trend is targeting members of the public who are seeking to sell their wine investment.  Fraudsters agree to purchase the victim’s wine, but instead transfer the stock into their own account without paying the victim.  The fraudulently obtained wine is then believed to be sold on to other, unsuspecting victims. 

How does it work?

Fraudsters set up fake companies and websites as well as exploit the names of legitimate, established companies to facilitate this fraud.  They cold-call the victims and offer to purchase their wine for significantly more than the actual market value.  

Fraudulent documents, such as purchase agreements, are used to facilitate the fraud and are sent to the victims via post and email.  Some fraudsters have gone as far as setting up fake escrow services in order to fool the potential sellers that the payments have been  transferred.   

The fraudsters send the victims instructions to transfer their wine into storage accounts held within legitimate bonded warehouses.  The victims are informed that upon doing this they will be paid the agreed amount.  The use of storage accounts held within legitimate bonded warehouses adds an air of legitimacy to the process but in actual fact these storage accounts are controlled by the fraudsters.     

Once the wine is transferred into the new storage accounts the suspects break off all contact with the victims.  The wine is then moved again, normally within days and often abroad, and, needless to say, the victim never receives the money from the agreed sale.


Protect Yourself: 
Never respond to unsolicited phone calls – if in doubt, hang up Always check that the details of the organisation or company contacting you (such as website, address and phone number) are correct – the fraudsters may be masquerading as a legitimate organisation Never sign over your wine (or any other investment) to another party without first checking they are authentic Don’t be fooled by a professional looking website, as the cost of creating a professional website is easily affordable Escrow services are regulated by the FCA under the Payment Services Directive 2009.  Only deal with a registered Authorised Payment Institution.  You can check the FCA register online at www.fca.org.uk/register Consider seeking independent legal and/or financial advice before making a decision If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk

 

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OPERATION SHIELD

3 main areas: property marking, transferable marking and grease. 

Basic principles you mark items with Dna based liquid, unique to you. Enter items on a database and in the event of these items being taken then recovered by police they will be returned to you. Only you can view/update your database, info is not shared with anyone.

Each pack can mark around 50 items and you have stickers and signs inc for display. Local police visit each house and do marking signs are provided by police.

I have price list for this should anyone want to buy. Can be done individually or residents group together buy bulk at lower price. 

This has been in use for last 12 months rural communities are now in phase 2. The initial results have been significant a drop in house burglaries of 14%.  Vehicles 17%.  

They have also found that by property marking items it is serving as a huge deterant and criminals are going elsewhere. 

Their biggest advertisement for this was a Close in Hatton. 38 properties 35 joined this scheme. Two out of the remaining three properties were burgled!

PC Ian Wilson said that they were working with council and other partners and funding of £1000. Could be obtained which would buy 100 kits and 10 signs. I checked this out with Caroline hill CE lap who was in attendance and CE have not been one of the partners in this project! 

Benefits of this to residents are:

Less change of becoming a target

Better links with local police

Insurance companies approve may offer discounts

RURAL CRIME

National crime rural crime survey conducted in 2015 drew the following conclusions:


There is under reporting of incidents.

Low satisfaction with police

High fear of crime in rural communities

These conclusions resulted in a '100 days of target' where police concentrated on rural crime continually for 100 days. Results can be found on their website but they saw 39% solved rate of crimes investigated and they learnt that poaching was now part of organised crime.  It has also resulted in a more dedicated coverage accross the county.

Their aim now is to make is harder for criminals to operate.

Operation soapstone - focused on theft of quads. Where a sting quad was placed and stolen. Tracking allowed criminals to be charged and prosecuted. 

FARMWATCH/RURAL WATCH - this can be signed up to via Cheshire alert system.

Basically, groups form in communities receive training to identify suspicious activity inform police for investigation.  This is in operation  in Knutsford and resulted in 3 burglars being sentenced to 15 each because they were seen acting suspiciously and their vehicle reg  as noted on a post it and police where contacted.  Because of the training received by the rural co-ordinator, he did not need to attend   court but the post it note was used as avital piece of evidence and a number of high value burglaries were solved.

Ceasar marking - this one method for marking tractor and farm equipment. Developed by the home office working with police and NFU. Reduces premiums by 12.5%. Results indicate that this is again a big deterant to criminals. Companies such as John Deere, JCB are putting this on new tractors and plant when building.

RURAL NATIONAL CRIME NETWORK - a survey based on 13000 respondents with rural post codes was conducted and it concluded that:

Insurance claims were not always made

Crimes were not being reported

Farmers were suffering the most

The highest risk of crimes were isolated properties near urban areas

Rural communities were resilient but were fearful of crime

Local authorities weren't paying attention to rural communities biggest problems:

Road safety 63% of respondents 

Fly tipping 61% of respondents

Total cost of rural crime is around 800 million. £200 p/household or £2,400 plus per business.

Police are addressing these area with a new budget and website www.nationalruralcrimewatch.

I also met with Neil Lewis, who is campaigning to replace current commissioner, he wants to target rural road safety and wants to meet with us and identify problems we are encountering on the back lanes and use in his campaign. I will forward updates accordingly.

AGRICULTURAL MACHINERY - thefts valued at around 37.8 million 2014. New measures introduced in 2015 saw 15% decrease. 

A national dedicated team now work on analysing reported thefts and identify patterns then liaise with local police to target key areas. Training now offered to Cheshire police.

Highest ranking thefts:

1st tools

2nd quads

3rd oil/diseal

4th machinery

10th tractors

Farmers are being encouraged to fit Trackers, markings and tamper evidence labels on equipment to increase chance of recovery. 

NFU offers up to 25% discount if trackers and Ceasar markings are used.

Key dates for thefts appear to be fri/sat/sun. 

Alerts can be made to mobiles if tracker moves. At a cost of £100 p/a. As said JCB have now fitted this in new models and their recovery rate is 60%

WILDLIFE CRIME

Our local officer is Sarah MArsden, however, she is also full time police officer. 

Questionnaire was developed regarding farm security and given to students at local college for completion at their workplace.  Results  are due March 2016.

Other schemes which are in operation are:

Operation meteoroid - Nantwich based concentrating on agricultural machinery theft and wild life offences

Operation seek -Macclesfield Concentrating on deer poaching

Operation soapstone -Knutsford Already mentioned

Operation lambs wool -all over operational now till late spring Targeting theft of live stock

Operation leviathan - working with environmental agency - national Targeting poaching -licensing and anti social behaviour

This has resulted in a poaching app being developed. It is free, poaching laws, reported incidents and countryside laws can be found.

A glossary of terms developed for 101/999 dispatchers as lamping in this case does not mean assault!

Posters can be downloaded.

Raising awareness with landowners,public and police

Poaching has not been a recorded crime but after realising links to organised crime it will be!.

Most recent case happened in Nantwich and covered badger baiting. Again the information obtained from the witness was reported so quick 4males caught and arrested the witness was not needed for prosecution.

Finally, the police are organising 'a day of action' in the next few weeks where we, farmers, whoever are invited to join police on a shift to attend team briefing, receive info on criminals, their cars etc and then go on patrol and catch them.  It has been in operation in Durham with amazing results displacing and detecting crime and Cheshire police want to introduce it here. More info on this to follow.

Other general policing points to note:

2000 more iPads will be issued to local police and special so they will be more visible on their patch.

Rural crime figure do seem low but this is vecause its not been reported this needs to change.

Police have a dedicated Operations room and patrols will be moved around on receipt ofan info to target, capture and be more visible to  criminals.Road safety -concerns to be raised with local police and assistance and advice sought.

There is an imminent badge cull within Cheshire.

Hope the above is informative.  

Jo Kenwright


 


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COURIER SCAM

The courier scam is when fraudsters call and trick you into handing your cards and PIN  or cash to a courier on your doorstep. There are many variations of the scam, but it usually follows this method:
 
A fraudster will cold call you on a landline, claiming to be from your bank or the police. They state their systems have spotted a fraudulent payment on your card or that they have a suspect in custody for fraud relating to your account. In order to reassure you that they are genuine, they often suggest that you hang up and ring the bank/police back straight away. However, they don’t disconnect the call from the landline so that when you dial the real phone number, you are actually still speaking to the fraudster.

They then may either ask you to read out your PIN or type it on your phone keypad, suggest that you make a bank transfer to them to ensure safe keeping of your money or in some cases ask you to visit your local banking branch to withdraw cash. They may also ask for details of other accounts you hold with the bank or financial service provider.

Finally, they either provide details for you to make the bank transfer or send a courier/state a police officer will attend to collect your bank cards and/or the cash. The fraudster will have then obtained your name, address, full bank details and potentially your card and PIN.
 
Protect Yourself:
Your bank will never send a courier to your home Your bank and the police will never collect your bank card or cash 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.‚ÄčIf you want to call your bank, then do it from another telephone.

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

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Fraudsters have set up a high specification website template advertising various electrical goods and domestic appliances. These goods are below market value and do not exist. The fraudsters will request your card details via the website; however the purchaser will then receive an email stating the payment failed and they must pay via bank transfer.

The fraudsters entice the purchaser and reassure them it is a legitimate purchase by using the widely recognised Trusted Shop Trustmark. The fraudsters are using the Trustmark fraudulently and have not been certified by Trusted Shops and therefore the purchaser is not covered by the Trusted Shop money-back guarantee. 

Protect yourself:
Check the authenticity of the websites before making any purchases. Conduct a ‘whois’ search on the website which will identify when the website has been created, be wary of newly formed domains. You can conduct this search using the following website - https://who.is/.

Carry out online research in relation to the website, company name and the business address provided to identify any poor feedback or possible irregularities.

Check the Trusted Shops Facebook page where warnings about websites using their Trustmark are published. If you are in doubt about the legitimacy of a Trustmark then you can contact Trusted Shops on 0203 364 5906 or by email service@trustedshops.co.uk. They will confirm whether they have certified that website. Payments made via bank transfer are not protected should you not received the item. Therefore always try to make the payment via PayPal or a credit card where you have some payment cover should you not receive your product. If the item advertised seems too good to be true, then it probably is. 

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


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