Building Scam warning

Staying safe advice
Staying Safe Advice

Tendring Neighbourhood Watch would like to remind people that leaflets that come through your letterbox from businesses offering building, roofing, painting and decorating, gardening and other services are not always from reputable businesses.

While most of these leaflets are a business’s way of advertising legitimate services, there are however some that are targeted at the elderly and most vulnerable members of our communities. 

Neighbourhood Watch advise people to get quotations, not estimates, from at least 3 different businesses for any work you may require doing.  Try and get recommendations from friends, neighbours and family before deciding on the business to carry out the work, normally when people recommend a business, they will have had a positive experience with that business.

Check if the business is registered with a trade body or has approval from Trading Standards, this can be done by visiting the relevant trade body on line and checking that businesses registration, google the business name and see what comes up. 

Check your home insurance policies it may be that you are covered for any particular damage that has occurred to your property and if so, contact your insurer. Your insurer may even make arrangements for one of their approved contractors to do the work.

If you are being pressured by a business that is doing work for you to pay up front whether in cash or some other means, DON’T, a reputable business will never ask for money before the job is completed.  If you are feeling threatened, you should inform the police.

Read more about Doorstep Scams and how to avoid becoming a victim of them at Neighbourhood Watch’s website https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/crime-prevention/crime-prevention-toolkits/scams/common-scams/doorstep-scammers

Business Crime Unit supporting the reopening of public facing businesses

Essex Police Business Crime Prevention Unit Newsletter
Essex Police Business Crime Unit Newsletter No.10 March 2021 page 1

The past year is not one we hope to face again! -It has been bitter-sweet for policing in general; offences such as dwelling burglaries and street robberies have decreased significantly, however shoplifting has become more concentrated on areas of the retail sector still open and online fraud has increased as more people are buying online. We have also seen an increase in incidents of abuse and violence towards shop staff.

The police service now have to anticipate how society is likely to react to the lifting of restrictions and what resources might need to be available to cope with demand.


Monday 12th April 2021 sees the re-opening of non-essential retail. It will also see the launch of the Business Crime Unit ‘Closed for Crime’ campaign. The objective of this campaign is to raise awareness of incidents of abuse and violence towards retail staff and offer assistance to businesses to create the best prevention. We will also be identifying prolific repeat offenders and ensuring where possible that Criminal Behaviour Orders are presented to Magistrates courts against these offenders, therefore limiting their actions and giving us more powers.

We are launching the campaign with McColls newsagents, who unfortunately have suffered a number of violent incidents so we are working together to deter crime and protect their staff.

The Business Crime Unit has identified areas where criminal activity has increased and are holding focus groups with frontline retail staff to establish how we can continue to tackle violence and abuse together during the reopening phase.

17th May 2021 sees the reopening of the indoor hospitality sector. This may pose the greatest challenge to policing. The Night Time Economy generally is extremely labour intensive as officers deal with intoxicated people and public order on our streets. Drawing from the past years’ experiences, we anticipate that people may forget COVID restrictions once intoxicated and this could be the biggest threat to seeing the end of the crisis. Plus generally people will want to go out again after being restricted from hospitality for so long.

There will be restrictions on how people gather once inside a hospitality venue and we need to show support to businesses putting appropriate measures in place.

The public may see an increase in police activity around shops and hospitality premises during the reopening period, but our main objective, as seen throughout the pandemic, is to Engage, Encourage, Educate and then if necessary Enforce.

We are offering assistance to the retail and hospitality sectors on reopening plans and regulations set out by the government, so if we can offer any advice please do contact us at business.crime.unit@essex.police.uk

Launch of the Business Security Guide
We will never stop crime entirely, but we have been working with
businesses to try and make premises as secure as possible and
prevent crime. We have produced the business security guide.
Inside If you would like an electronic copy, please email us at
business.crime.unit@essex.police.uk

Essex Police Business Crime Unit Newsletter No.10 March 2021 page 2

Throughout the pandemic, the use of computers for remote working and for online sales has increased more than at any other time in history.

This, unfortunately, also means that fraudsters are working from home trying to come up with new ways to affect your life. There has been a noticeable increase in attempts which has prompted us to seek guidance from our sister team at Essex Police, the Fraud Co-ordinators who give advice and support to victims of cyber crime.

The guidance we would like to share with you is simple:

• Improve your password security: Create separate and different passwords for all your business and personal accounts. Use three separate random words that are easy for your to remember but not linked to any of your personal information.

Do not use names of family members, names of places linked to you or things that interest you. Make it as random as possible, for example; RedLeopardOcean. You can then go one step further by exchanging some letters for special characters, like; R3dL3op@Rd0ceAN

• Change your passwords regularly. Using the example above, you might want to increase the numbers you use in the password each time you change, for example; R4dL4op@Rd1ceaAN

• Create ’Two Step’ password authentication where you can. Some applications now ask for a telephone number or email address to be linked to it and will send you a code that is required to enter the site or application. This increases security. Also in the event of forgetting a password a link can be sent to your email address or phone for you to change the password and still be able to gain access to your information.

• National Cyber Security Centre guidance states that it is safe to save passwords to your browser. Your internet browser will often give you the option and it then gives you the opportunity to create strong, unique passwords without having to remember them all.

• Remember to update your devices when prompted to do so. Software manufacturers are constantly coming up with ways to keep their products and users safe. If you skip updates you may be missing out on vital protection.

Worried About Getting Hacked?

Crime Prevention Advice
Crime Prevention Advice header image

Over 15,000 hacked email and social media accounts reported in one year.

If a hacker got into your email or social media account, what would they find? Health and banking information? Names and contact details for your friends and family? Private photos and messages? For most people, it’s at least one of those.

Your email and social media accounts contain a wealth of personal information about you, which makes them a lucrative target for cyber criminals. Between February 2020 and February 2021, Action Fraud received 15,214 reports about email and social media account hacking. The majority of reports (88%) were made by individuals, with 12% of reports being made by businesses. Analysis of the crime reports revealed that Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat were the most affected social media accounts, with phishing messages being the most common tactic used by cyber criminals to lure unsuspecting victims.

The motivation behind the hacks are varied and can range from financial gain, to revenge or personal amusement. Some victims are extorted for money, whilst others have their accounts used to send malicious links to their contacts. One victim who had multiple email and social media accounts hacked paid over £2,000 to regain access to them. Another victim reported that her hacked Facebook account was used to trick her friends into sending money into a PayPal account they thought belonged to her.

Secure your email and social media accounts in just a few minutes. Here’s what you need to do:

1: Use a strong and separate password for your email, as well as other important accounts, such as  your banking or social media accounts.

2: Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). It will help to stop hackers from getting into your online accounts, even if they have your password.

3: If you can’t access your account, search the company’s online support or help pages. You’ll find information about how to recover your account.

For detailed instructions on how to reset your password or enable 2FA on your accounts, visit: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/secureyouraccounts

This information is provided from Action Fraud via Neighbourhoodalert’s newsletter w/b 22/3/21