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Messages for 2012

Index - click on a date
Feb 22
    High Lane Burglaries

Jun 15     Police warning after spate of thefts and burglaries through insecurities
Jul 18      Bogus Caller, Offerton
Jul 20      Residents urged to help stop scam mail
Jul 23       Beware of Council Tax Banding Appeal Companies
Jul 26      Just a Reminder
Aug 15    Test Purchasing (Alcohol)
Aug 16    Alert - duster sellers
Aug 18    Cosmetic Scam
Aug 20     United Utilities - Bogus Callers
Aug 31     Vehicle Crime Alert
Sept 04    General advice regarding Rogue Traders & Scams
Sept 27    Rogue Traders/Bogus Official
Oct 11       Early Warning Alert - scams
Oct 26       Defrosting Vehicles
Nov 27     
Council Tax Cold Callers

Message Received: 27 November 2012 17:29
Beware of Council Tax Cold Callers

Concerned householders in Stockport have contacted the Council’s Trading Standards after being targeted by a company about Council Tax re-banding.

Residents are cold called and informed that their house may be in the wrong Council Tax band.  For an upfront fee of £165 the company say they will pursue an appeal to the Valuation Office on the resident’s behalf which could secure “huge savings” of thousands of pounds.

Trading Standards have been aware of several instances where the company has made false representations by inferring they are from the Council or the Valuation office, therefore giving credence to their legitimacy. Some representatives also give the impression that the promised “savings” quoted are taken from Valuation Office data.

Trading Standards is looking into several consumer complaints and will investigate any potential criminal offences.

The company provides cancellation rights so unsatisfied customers can cancel in the prescribed period and get their money back.

Stockport Council stressed this week that any householder can apply to have their Council Tax band reviewed free of charge by contacting the local Valuation Office on 03000 501501 or by visiting their website www.voa.gov.uk.  They are happy to discuss any Council Tax matter or concern with anyone who contacts them.

Councillor Kevin Hogg, Executive Member for the Public Realm, said “This company asks residents to pay up front for a service available free of charge through the Valuation Office.  Whilst this is not illegal, residents should be aware that this is a private enterprise with no connections to the Council or the Valuation Office.  If a salesperson claims or implies otherwise, this is a criminal offence and we urge residents to report this.  Residents are advised to exercise caution before entering into any agreement with any company offering Council Tax Re-banding appeals.”

Stockport Council does not phone householders about their Council Tax and does not make unsolicited visits.  The Council Tax helpline is 0161 217 6014.

If anyone feels that they have been misled by a cold caller, please report the matter to Citizen’s Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.

Message Received: Oct 26 2012, 14:14
Defrosting Vehicles

Police are reminding people not to leave their cars unattended on the drive while defrosting them following cold weather.
Seasonally, between October and March there is an upsurge in theft of motor vehicles from driveways.
Simple crime prevention measures to protect vehicles include:
•   ensure your vehicle is securely locked, including passenger doors and sun roof, and that alarms
    or immobilisers are switched on.
•   remove all belongings from the vehicle – even a bag of rubbish could convince a thief there is
    something worth stealing.
•   take your sat nav with you remembering to remove the cradle and wipe any sucker marks off
    the dashboard or windscreen. Leaving the cradle in place tells the crooks that the sat nav might
    be in the glove box or boot.
•   park in a garage if you have one or park under street lights if possible
•   remove work equipment from your vehicle
•   keep your car keys in a safe place so if someone breaks into your home they cannot steal your
    vehicle as well.

Message Received: Oct 11 2012, 13:31
Early Warning Alert - scams

We have been made aware of a number of scams going on that could potentially affect older people in Stockport. The information is from the Action Fraud and National Fraud Intelligence Bureau. Brief details are below.

Please be as vigilant with your emails and phone calls and do not to give out personal details.

1. Ransomeware scam
2. Paypal themed scam
3. Lottery scam
4. Bogus PPI scams
5. Virus contained in supermarket voucher
6. Energy saving scam
7. Telephone warning scam

For more information please visit: Ringmaster_Scams_Sept_2012.pdf

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Message Received: Sept 27 2012, 12:41
Rogue Traders/Bogus Official

Early Warning alert - Bredbury

General Information: 

2 similar reports of cutting down trees and sharing costs with neighbour. Unknown offender knocks on the front door posing as a gardener. Offender advises householder that he is cutting down conifer trees at the rear and the neighbours have asked if householder will assist with the cost and pay half of the price. At the first address the victim gives the offender the money which she has at home. At the second address the victim states she has no money at home so it escorted to the bank. The victim hands over the money and is driven back home.

Offender/Vehicle description:

1. White Male, stocky build, aged 30-40 years, approx 5'8", round chubby face, fair cropped hair, pale blue jumper or short with long sleeves with Puma logo in black, light blue jeans.

2. White male, stocky build, approx 5’5”, aged 40-50, chubby face, light brown cropped hair.

Early Warning Alert - Hazel Grove

General Information:

2 unknown offenders attend the address and speak to the householder on the doorstep stating they are doing building work in the area, and offer to complete work to the front patio to the value of £1400.  The offenders ask for £170 up front for building materials. Victim hands over the money and the offenders leave the property and do not return.

Offender/Vehicle description:

1. White male, 5'9" in height, well built, blue eyes with blonde fine hair. Aged approx early 30'S. Wearing grey short trousers and blue Plimsoles.

2. White male, 5'10" in height, slim build, aged in his early 30'S, dressed all in grey and possibly had a hood up.

Early Warning Alert - Reddish

General Information:

2 males attended the address purporting to be gas workers and gained entry to the address stating there had been a gas emergency and they need to check her boiler. The victim has allowed them into the kitchen and she has gone into the living room and phoned her son as she is a repeat victim. It is believed the offenders have heard this conversation and left the address without having the chance to steal anything. Transco confirmed there was no gas emergency.

Offender/Vehicle description:

1. White male, middle aged, wearing dirty blue overalls, local accent.

2. White male, late teens, wearing dirty blue overalls, local accent


When answering the door, always use a door chain, check who is there by looking through a window or door viewer and always ask for identification – IF IN DOUBT KEEP THEM OUT!
Don’t do business or accept services from a cold caller on the telephone or at the door
Remind people to lock all doors and windows securely

Message Received: Sept 04 2012, 16:52
Rogue traders will often turn up unannounced and say they are doing work in your area. They will offer to do drive way work, building work, install alarms or do other work for a very cheap price as long as you agree to have the work done there and then. Don’t do business or accept services from a cold caller on the telephone or at the door.

Get another opinion; don’t just accept the word at your door.
Take time to think and shop around. A reputable firm will always be happy for you to do this.
You are in charge.  Don’t sign or agree to anything there and then unless you are completely happy, no matter what discounts are offered.
Ask to see cancellation rights.  These should be supplied in writing.
If in doubt don’t sign or agree to work being done.
Never give bank details over the phone or on the doorstep.
If you are concerned about a trader or work that has been done call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.

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Message Received: Aug 31 2012, 11:48
Vehicle Crime Alert

There have been a number of burglaries targeting car keys in the Stockport Area recently.
Car thieves are increasingly turning to new methods of car crime, particularly stealing the keys to the car first, rather than having to break in and then start the car manually.

Make sure your keys are kept in a secure place at home and at work. Burglars have been known to break into houses and offices just to steal car keys.

And at home, don't be in the habit of leaving your car keys close to the front door where they can be seen. This might make life easier for you, but it's also very handy for a car thief.

Never leave the keys in your car even for a second. This is especially important when loading or unloading your car, or at petrol stations.

Look after your car keys the same as you would your other personal possession such as cash or credit cards. Even if you are just taking shopping from the boot of your car into the house, NEVER leave your keys in the car.

A thief will take any opportunity that you give them.
If you see anyone acting suspiciously or have any information regarding vehicle crime please report this to GMP, tel no. 101 or Crimestoppers 0800 555 111

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Message Received: Aug 20 2012, 14:11
United Utilities - Bogus Callers

United Utilities have made us aware that bogus callers posing as water board officials are operating in the area.
Bogus callers are also telephoning consumers across the North West purporting to be from United Utilities and trying to secure bank details.
Never give out your bank details over the phone, and if you come across any scams of this nature, please report them to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506.

Doorstep criminals or bogus callers use all kinds of tricks to take money and valuables from householders. They may operate alone or in groups, be male or female and use a variety of guises to trick their way into your home. They may claim to be from the utility services such as water, gas or electric company. They may also claim to be from the council, a charity or the Police.

The key message is to:
LOCK: Front and back doors while at home and away
STOP: Check through a window or door viewer when you have a caller at the door
CHAIN: Put on the door chain or door bar before opening the door to strangers
CHECK: Always ask for ID and check it carefully – keep a list of official telephone numbers by the phone (Genuine callers will always be happy to wait if you want to phone and confirm their identity)


Contact your utility company and ask to join the password scheme. You provide a password and when the representative from the utility company calls they tell you your password to prove they are genuine.
Reply using our website
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Message Received: Aug 18 2012, 12:00 Noon

Cosmetic Scam

One Ringmaster member has reported the following scam (this has also been sent to Stockport Trading Standards):
The member received an offer on the internet for free cosmetics, in return for paying for postage and packing by credit card. The company then starts sending cosmetics once per month and a charge of about £70 appears on the customer’s credit card. She rang them (in USA) to cancel. However, then received a package from a "Club" in Brighton (charging £600 per year to join).

The member had already been charged £2.99 for postage and packing and subsequently rang Trading Standards (Consumer Direct) who asked if she’d bought anything from the internet.

This is known as "inertia selling". whereby the Company joins you in their club, for which an extortionate charge is made, and it is up to you to cancel within 21 days or they will go on charging you £50 per month (£600 per annum). The American company had passed the credit card details onto the Club, - no address, just a PO Box number.

Beware of free gifts and passing credit card details to pay for postage and packing. The advice given by Consumer Direct was to cancel the membership of club by letter, keep a copy of the letter and get proof of posting from Post Office.

Reply using our website

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Message Received: Aug 16 2012, 14:56 PM

Alert - duster sellers

Police and Trading Standards are concerned about reports that young men are attempting to sell household supplies such as tea-towels and dusters etc. by knocking at homes in the Borough and claiming they are recently out of prison and trying to make a living.

The goods are of poor quality but some householders are convinced to make a donation because the men claim this is part of a Probation Service initiative to help them stay on the straight and narrow.

We have confirmed that the Probation Service do not run such initiatives.

If you get a visit from such individuals, who will usually have a large black bag with them containing the goods, you are reminded that you do not have to open the door to anyone and if you do, keep the door chain on.  If you do not wish to look at the goods or speak to the person just say that you do not deal with anyone at the doorstep and shut your door.  Do not engage them in conversation.

Please make a note of the person’s appearance, any accent, and any distinguishing clothing and telephone the Police non-emergency number, 101, to report the matter.
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Message Received: Aug 15 2012, 09:55 AM

Test Purchasing (Alcohol)

Three licensed premises in the areas of Offerton, Cheadle and Heaton Chapel sold alcohol to underage volunteers in a joint Police and Trading Standards test purchasing operation on the 10th August. The three licensed premises will now face prosecution for the sale of alcohol to teenagers.

The test purchases were carried out on off-licences across Stockport, six of the establishments involved asked the volunteer teenagers for ID or refused to sell them alcohol.

The Police and Trading Standards are committed to tackling the problem of underage sales and will continue to run similar operation during the course of the year.

If you wish to report a licensed premises please contact:

Police non-emergency number - 101
Trading Standards - 08454 040506
Anti-social Behaviour Team – 0161 217 6111
Or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously - 0800 555 111
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Message Received: Jul 26 2012, 10:03 AM
101 is the new police non-emergency telephone number.
It is part of a national programme to make it easier for you to contact police in a non-emergency where you don’t require an immediate police response.

For instance:
Reporting a crime that has already happened
Getting crime prevention advice
Giving police information about crime in your area
Contacting local officers or,
Any other non-emergency

101 replaces the current GMP non-emergency number 0161 872 5050 and provides one easy to remember number that will make it easier for you to contact police wherever you are in the UK.
Call from landlines and mobile networks cost 15 pence per call, no matter what time of day or how long you are on the phone for.
Using 101 for situations that don’t require an immediate police response will help to make sure 999 calls can be dealt with speedily.

Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired callers can access the service via textphone on 18001 101.

Remember …
In an emergency, where there is a threat to life or a crime in progress, always call 999
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Message Received: Jul 23 2012, 09:46 AM

Stockport Council is alerting householders about scam Council Tax banding appeal companies.
The Council says that one company currently targeting Stockport residents makes misleading claims on its website.
Companies which offer to change Council Tax bands often ask for a fee upfront to process claims.

Stockport Council automatically refunds any over-payments and does not phone householders to ask for bank details.  If you think you may have overpaid, phone the Council on 217 6014 and ask for it to be checked.  If you want to check whether you’re in the right Council Tax band, contact the Valuation Office on 03000 50150 or visit their webpages at www.direct.gov.uk If you wish to appeal against the band you are in, this is dealt with free of charge.

The Council’s Trading Standards want to know if any companies claim that they are working with, or on behalf of, Stockport Council or the valuation office. Residents should report incidents to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506.

Trading Standards advise householders to put the phone down on these callers, and report all incidents as legal action is being considered and this helps to gather evidence.

Trading Standards advise householders to put the phone down on these callers, and report all incidents as legal action is being considered and this helps to gather evidence.
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Message Received: Jul 20 2012, 02:25 PM
Subject: Residents urged to help stop scam mail

Residents are being urged to help stop scam mail by supporting a Scams Awareness scheme.
(Editors note:  Banks and Building Societies do not send e-mail messages.  If you receive any then they are scams)

Businesses and residents are asked to 'turn them in and turn the tide' by reporting any scam mail they receive to Action Fraud - the UK's National fraud and internet crime reporting centre on 0300 123 2040 or http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Misleading mailings make false promises of huge bogus lottery wins or other high value prizes but they always insist on payment to the sender before any winnings can be claimed.  Targets of these scams are often elderly or vulnerable people who can find themselves on the receiving end of wave after wave of letters.  Mailings received in this year's 'scamnesty' will be analysed and information shared with partner enforcement agencies in the UK and abroad. This will help build a picture of what is going on and crackdown on senders and their networks.

For more information or advice contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service
on 08456 040506.
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Message Received: Jul 18 2012, 01:53 PM

Subject: Bogus Caller, Offerton

In the Offerton area, a company have approached a female resident, overcharging her for cleaning her window frames. The company used aggressive sales techniques to get her to agree to the work.  The
initial contact was made with the client by cold calling. Please report any bogus caller information to the police by ringing 101.


1.When answering the door, always use a door chain, check who is there by looking through a window or door viewer and always ask for identification – IF IN DOUBT KEEP THEM OUT!

2.Don’t do business or accept services from a cold caller on the telephone or at the door

3.Remind people to lock all doors and windows securely

4.Doorstep safety Advice can be found at www.doorstepcrime.net

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Message Received: Jun 15 2012, 04:03 PM

Subject:  Police warning after spate of thefts and burglaries through insecurities.

Residents in Stockport are being warned to keep their windows and doors secure and valuables out of view.
Throughout May in Stockport East, 27 out of 48 theft offences were recorded where offenders have stolen items from vehicles due to the doors being left unlocked or the windows left open. Items stolen include laptops, mobile phones and sat navs.

In 11 out of 25 house burglaries the offenders gained entry through open or unlocked doors and windows.  Officers say that garden sheds are also targeted at this time of year and a higher percentage is through insecurities.

Sergeant Jim Wilson from the Stockport East NPT said:
"Neighbourhood officers are patrolling hot spot areas at key times and we are conducting bail checks and home visits on our most prolific offenders.
To combat burglary and vehicle crime we really need the support of the public. They can support us by joining Home Watch and making sure they are not an easy target for thieves.
Remove valuables from display in cars and most importantly make sure they are secure when leaving them unattended.  When at home people should make sure they close and lock their windows and doors, even if they are just going out of the room to make a quick cup of tea.  It only takes an opportunistic burglar a few seconds to enter an insecure property and steal valuable items."

People can contact police with information on 101, the new national non-emergency number.

Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers is an independent charity that will not want your name, just your information.  Your call will not be traced or recorded and you do not have to go to court or give a statement.

Wendy Warburton
PCSO 65374
J Div. East NPT
Marple & High Lane
Greater Manchester Police
0161 427 0115
Ext: 69792
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Message Received: Feb 22 2012, 02:34 PM
Subject: Burglaries

Dear Neighbourhood Watch Member,

I am sorry to tell you but there have been 3 more burglaries reported this week in High Lane.
Fletcher Drive happened between 4pm and 7.45pm on Sunday evening, Castleton Drive between 8am on Sunday and 8am Monday.  The third on the A6 end of Windlehurst Road happened sometime over the
last two weeks while the resident was away on holiday.

Please report any suspicious circumstances to Greater Manchester Police on
101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

Wendy Warburton
PCSO 65374
J Div. East NPT
Marple & High Lane
Greater Manchester Police
0161 427 0115
Ext: 69792

Follow us on twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/@GMPStockEast


Remember to report anything suspicious to the police and/or your Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator.
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