Information of interest rom your Community Policing team.

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Devon and Cornwall Police

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Scam Alert - Fraudulent HMRC Callers


It's a scam - please talk to vulnerable relatives and friends about this

Police would like to warn the public in the South West about a phone scam that is conning vulnerable and elderly people out of thousands of pounds.
The scammers prey on victims by cold calling them and impersonating an HMRC member of staff. They tell them that they owe large amounts of tax which they can only pay off through digital vouchers and gift cards, including those used for Apple's iTunes Store. Recent calls to residents in the Torbay and Teignmouth areas apparently originate from a Manchester area code (01618).
Victims are told to go to a local shop, buy these vouchers and then read out the redemption code to the scammer who has kept them on the phone the whole time. The conmen then sell on the codes or purchase high-value products, all at the victim's expense.
The scammers frequently use intimidation to get what they want, threatening to seize the victim's property or involve the police. One caller stated that if the victim hung up then the amount payable would go up to £90,000.
HMRC would never request the settling of debt through such a method.

What can you do:

  1. Share this information and TALK to potential victims who are not on social media.
  2. If you suspect that you or a vulnerable or elderly relative has been the victim of this scam or a similar one, report it immediately to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.
  3. Check GOV.UK for information here on how to avoid and report scams and how to recognise genuine HMRC contact here.
  4. If you think you have received an HMRC related phishing/bogus email or text message, you can check it against the examples shown in this guide.
  5. Apple provides a support page reminding customers that iTunes Gift Cards can be used ONLY to purchase goods and services on the iTunes Store, App Store, iBooks Store, or for an Apple Music membership, and providing tips to avoid becoming the victim of a scam. More information is available here.
Action Fraud has previously issued advice about this fraud here.
Message Sent By
Natasha Radford (Police, Community Messaging Officer, Devon and Cornwall)


Crime on the Commons

Although car crime is thankfully rare on the commons, there have been recent reports of vehicle the s and all users are encouraged to make sure no valuables are le in their cars.

Fly Tipping

Something that does seem to be on the increase recently is y- pping. The Pebblebed Heaths are designated as a Site of Special Scien c Interest (SSSI), a Special Protec on Area (SPA) and Special Area of Conserva on (SAC). As well as being highly an -social towards other users, y- pping undermines the special nature of this European conserva on site.

The Pebblebed Conserva on Trust takes y pping very seriously and will seek to prosecute anyone found guilty of dumping their rubbish. Dealing with clearing up a er incidents is a huge waste of our resources, taking sta away from important conserva on management and educa on work. Local people have been equally annoyed about this ac vity promp ng some to make posts on social media. Whilst this has been helpful and has lately helped us to iden fy o enders, we would also encourage people to contact us (through our websites) directly allowing all evidence to be passed on to the police.

PCSO Donna Baker advises members of the public repor ng incidents on the common to use 101 if non urgent and obviously 999 in an emergency or email which is monitored 24hrs a day. The police would ask for as much detail as possible: descrip on of person (sex, colour, height, build, detail of clothing) and any vehicles (make, model, colour), obviously registra on plates are excellent as we can locate the vehicle keeper. If a picture can be taken to record the incident, without pu ng yourselves at risk, then that is always excellent evidence for them. Thank you for helping us to tackle this problem! 

Security NewsPlease phone us with any information on 101 or e-mail



This is a message from Constable Buffie Cavin. Please be aware there is a personalised scam letter circulating from a John Chenng in Hong Kong. Please ignore and do not respond. Regards, your local Beat Officer, Constable Buffie Cavin. Thank you.

Your Neighbourhood Beat Manager PC 3210 Buffie CAVIN Your Police Community Support Office PCSO Maria CLAPP Devon and Cornwall Police are reminding motorists to 'think safety' before setting out on the roads during the winter months. Many routes in and around the Force area will be the subject of attention by officers, to address complacent or arrogant driver behaviour which can lead to serious consequences. The last twelve months has seen some increases in road traffic collisions with injuries across Devon and Cornwall. 

This initiative is being run to emphasise that keeping our roads safe remains a priority for the Force. A number of marked and unmarked police patrol vehicles will be on the roads, many equipped with recording technology to deal with offences. 

The four main causes of serious injuries and deaths on the region's roads, known as the 'fatal four', are excessive or inappropriate speed, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not wearing a seat belt and driver distractions such as using mobile devices. More than 60% of fatal and serious collisions were caused by these four factors. One in five motorists in the South West admit to checking social media alerts whilst driving, making this a particular focus. Inspector Richard Pryce, Force Lead for Roads Policing, said: "In the vast majority of collisions these four are the primary causes. 

The advice is simple - drive within the speed limit and according to the conditions, always ensure you are fit to drive, wear your seat belt and do not be distracted when driving." "The most common distraction for drivers is their mobile. Making a call or sending a quick text can be lethal when driving, let alone using social media. Don't be tempted to use your phone at the wheel for any purpose - switch your phone off before you drive. Officers will deal robustly with those they detect offending. Drivers themselves have a part to play to improve road safety across Devon and Cornwall by being responsible. THE PENALTY IS 100 AND 3 POINTS ON YOUR LICENCE 

As well as motorists taking responsibility for their driving, police also urge them to check the condition of their vehicle. Basic checks are necessary on things such as tyres, wipers and lights. Before setting off, drivers are also advised to make sure the windscreen is fully cleared and headlights are on if required. "Beware of icy conditions particularly during early mornings. Consider leaving a little more time for travelling so you can take extra care. Rushing your journey can lead to errors of judgement which can easily lead to a serious crash," Inspector Pryce added. For more advice and to view a series of film clips highlighting the 'fatal four' visit or Ottery Neighbourhood Team will be doing regular stop checks through the coming months to address this. ----------------------------------------------------------