Crime & Police News September 2016

Click here for the August SNT Police Crime Newsletter, the Police apologise for the late arrival of this newsletter.

Theft of vehicle from Church Road, Long Itchington

Please be aware that at just before 6pm on 20 September, the driver of a Mitsubishi vehicle was working outside a home in Church Road, Long Itchington and had left the keys to the vehicle on a nearby external windowsill.

An offender stole the keys from the windowsill and used them to drive the vehicle away, heading towards Leamington.  The offender in the Mitsubishi was joined by a Peugeot vehicle with the partial registration of WV03 ???, which was parked around the corner, and they drove off together.

Scam alert – Bogus HMRC phone calls

13/09/2016 More bogus HMRC phone calls

– targeting older people


More reports have been received about the current HMRC scam. A recorded telephone call, allegedly from HM Revenue and Customs, states that HMRC are bringing a lawsuit against the recipient of the phone call and will be suing them.

The recipient is asked to phone an 0161 number and press ?1? to speak to the officer dealing with the case. Some victims of the scam have reported being asked to pay a fine using an iTunes gift card.

This scam is becoming widely reported and seems to be targeting older people. Please do not reply to the message.

Make a scam/rogue trader complaint to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.


08/09/2016 Door to door rogue fish seller warning

Stratford upon Avon and South Warwickshire residents are warned to beware of rogue traders selling fish and shellfish door to door in the local area.

Reports have been received that the sellers were using high pressure/aggressive selling techniques. These are not local traders with regular rounds. These fish sellers load up often un-refrigerated vans with fish from ports many miles away before driving them to other areas to sell.

The experience of Trading Standards is that fish sold in this way by rogue doorstep sellers is often misdescribed (cheaper fish sold as more expensive species) overpriced and not properly weighed, leaving consumers to pay over the odds. The fish may not even be edible.

09/09/2016 Art investment scam warning

A Warwickshire resident reported receiving an unexpected phone call from someone claiming to work for the investment arm of a well known insurance company. The caller offered the resident an ‘opportunity’ to invest in a fund based on an artwork auction sale.

The caller claimed that an investment of £2000 would yield a profit of between £700 and £900 within a couple of months!

NEVER respond to cold calls offering investment opportunities, even if you believe the call is genuine and to your advantage, (in which case take appropriate independent financial advice before phoning the business back on a publicly listed telephone number).

NEVER reveal any personal or financial information to cold callers.

REMEMBER, art, land banks, rare earth metals, fine wine and similar investments are likely to be unregulated and potentially high risk investments. They may also be scams. If something goes wrong you could lose all you money!

The Financial Conduct Authority has a range of information in its website about common investment scams. It also has a list of firms to avoid.

Warwickshire Ebay sellers targeted by fraudsters

Warwickshire Trading Standards has received a number of complaints from sellers on Ebay that they have become victims of fraud.

In one case an Ebay seller was advertising sports equipment. The equipment was purchased and paid for using PayPal. They were then collected in person by the buyer. Some time later the seller then received an email from PayPal stating that a chargeback was being made and the payment for the equipment was being removed from their (the sellers) account.

The reason given by PayPal was that the buyer had claimed they had not received the goods, despite having collected them and telling the seller that he was happy with his purchase. To further cover his tracks, the purchaser had claimed that he was experiencing problems with his Paypal account.

This is an example of chargeback fraud. Fraudsters purchase goods on Ebay and other auction websites and pay using PayPal. As soon as they have received the goods they claim they were never sent and seek to get their money back via a Paypal chargeback, leaving the seller without his/her goods and payment.

Sellers can help protect themselves by shipping to a confirmed address using a trackable service. Fraudsters will seek to target sellers who send their goods via untracked services or try to collect the goods in person.

Sellers are strongly advised to send high value items via recorded delivery. If the buyer is collecting the goods, consider asking for payment in cash on collection. Sellers should also scrutinise the buyer’s feedback carefully, to see if there is any previous evidence of chargeback activity, especially before sending high value items.

12/09/2016 Money mule warning to new and returning students

Students are warned to beware of criminal gangs targeting them to become money mules. Money mules are recruited to launder money obtained illegally.

Money laundering is a criminal offence and can lead to prosecution and a custodial sentence. Research conducted by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has identified a number of bank accounts that are operated by ?money mules? and are being used for the purposes of laundering illegitimate money.

It is understood that students are being recruited, sometimes unwittingly, as ?mules? by criminals to transfer illegally obtained money between different bank accounts.

What is a money mule?

A money mule is someone who is recruited by those needing to launder money obtained illegally. Criminals advertise fake jobs in newspapers and on the internet, in a number of ways; usually offering opportunities to make money quickly, in order to lure potential money mule recruits.

These include: – Social media posts – Copying genuine company?s websites to create impression of legitimacy – Sending mass emails offering employment – Targeting individuals that have posted their CVs on employment websites

Students are particularly susceptible to adverts of this nature. For someone in full-time education, the opportunity for making money quickly can understandably be an attractive one. The mule will accept money into their bank account, before following further instructions on what to do with the funds. Instructions could include transferring the money into a separate specified account or withdrawing the cash and forwarding it on via money transfer service companies like Western Union or MoneyGram.

The mule is generally paid a small percentage of the funds as they pass through their account.

Money Laundering is a criminal offence which can lead to prosecution and a custodial sentence. Furthermore, it can lead to the mule being unable to obtain credit in the UK and prevented from holding a bank account.


  • Be aware that the offence of money laundering carries a maximum prison sentence, in the UK, of 14 years.
  • Never give the details of your bank account to anyone that you do not trust. No legitimate company will ever ask you to use your own bank account to transfer their money.
  • Don?t accept any job offers that ask you to do this.
  • Be wary of unsolicited emails or social media posts promising ways of earning easy money. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don?t be afraid to question the legitimacy of any businesses that make you a job offer, especially if the recruitment procedure strays from the conventional.

05/09/2016 Student rental scam warning

Students looking for rental accommodation are warned to beware fraudulent landlords. Fraudsters use a variety of websites to advertise available properties to rent, often at attractive rates and convenient locations.

Adverts will seem genuine, accompanied by a number of photos and contact information to discuss your interest.

Due to demand, students will often agree to pay upfront fees to secure the property quickly, without viewing the property, only to discover that the fraudster posing as the landlord does not have ownership of the property, or often there are already tenants living there.

  • Protect Yourself: Only use reputable letting companies.
  • Do some online research such as using Google maps to check the property does exist.
  • Make an appointment to view the property in person.
  • Always view the property prior to paying any advance fees.
  • Look out for warning signs, such as landlords requesting a ?holding deposit? due to the property being in high demand.

A landlord will usually conduct some due diligence on any successful applicant. Be wary of handing over cash without the landlord requesting employment or character references.



Police Ref: WK-20160903-0337  Crime Ref: 23S6/30697Q/16

Occurred 6.15pm 03/09/16

Offender(s) have gained entry to an insecure outbuilding and have proceeded to remove a Green Kawasaki Quad bike which was subsequently found near the roadside.  Offender(s) disturbed by IP.