On top of the van incidents now there have been a few instances where youngsters have been over Morgan Jones Park in Caerffili and then chased, one child all the way home, by one or two young adult males in dark hoodies.
All children have managed to run away and alert an adult as to what's just gone on, but like the van incidents, in the last two days alone, I've had cause to share three posts on facebook from three different people.
I don't know what the hell is going on out there between this and the vans, but I'm not liking it!!!
Please do send me an email if you know of any incident, no matter what it is, and you want me to share it on here and on our facebook page, and please make sure you phone the police to report every single incident, no matter how small you may think it is, or any information about any incident you have, again, no matter how small you may think it is, it may just be the information the police need - and DON'T phone the police on 101, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS on 01633 838111 then option 2 and ask for a log number, that way you know it's been logged on the computer.
Also a number of residents in Penyrheol have had an Indian sounding man phone them claiming to be from Sky telling them they're due a refund of several hundred pound then asking for a bank or credit card. Anytime you're due a refund from anyone, they will send you a cheque through the post with a letter attached explaining what the refund is for, I've never yet had anyone phone me up asking for my details to pay a refund directly into my bank account and whenever I've asked if a company that owes me a refund could pay it directly into my account if I give them my bank details, I always get told they CAN'T do that it has to be sent as a cheque...
Never give out your information, especially bank or card details to anyone on the phone that phones you UNLESS you know they're going to be phoning and you know they're genuine.
The only time I give out my personal information is if I know someone is going to be phoning me and they need my name and address confirmed to know it's me, and then I make a point of saying to them 'I'm only confirming this information for you now because I knew you were phoning and you need the information'.
Several times I've asked a company on the phone to please add a note to my account in bold somewhere near the top of my account details to let whoever intends to phone me know that I won't confirm my personal details to anyone that phones me so don't bother phoning, although these days I don't get that many calls as I have the BT8500 advanced call blocker phone and boy it's a fabulous system!
This week, I've had cause to share twice, one a letter received by a parent, and another an article from a local news page, regarding instances where children from local schools had been followed and/or approached by strangers in vans, one a blue van and one a white van, no registration numbers had been provided for either van.
These days most children, especially if they're old enough to walk to and from school alone or with friends and without adults, have mobile phones. What I say to children I know, and parents, if you see something suspicious or you think something doesn't seem right, get your phone and take a photo - if you want to do it 'secretly' so as not to raise suspicion that you are taking a photo, you could always make out you're looking something up on your phone or texting someone or something, you get the drift, and angle your phone in such a way that you're able to take a photo of the suspicious thing going on, number plate/people involved especially faces, then just walk away, now using the phone to phone the police on 01633 838111 then option 2 - NOT 101 - but that photo could be the one thing that helps the police track down these van people - and please I beg of you, each and every one of you reading this, if you see something suspicious or you've been involved in anything that's not right or dodgy or obviously criminal (as in you're the victim or you know the victim), or something that you've decided to post on facebook or twitter or whatever social media you're on because you want to let others know and be warned about or you're asking people on facebook to help you and give you information, please I cannot beg you enough, make sure you also phone the police and let them know about it too - 01633 838111 then option 2 - NOT 101 - your report could be that one report with information the police were waiting for to make a connection to another case that can now break the case, therefore helping you and others. And don't forget to let us know too so that we can post it on here and on our facebook page to let people following these two pages know also.
For those of you who have no access to Facebook to check into our new page on there - Caerphilly and District Crime Prevention Panel & Caerffili Nhw - here is some rather worrying information I've just shared on there that everyone needs to know about shared from ITV news page....
NEW 0845 MOBILE SCAM CHARGES CUSTOMERS £300 FOR CALL THEY DON'T MAKE
A sophisticated new mobile phone scam is charging customers hundreds of pounds for calls they don't make.
Victims are being hit with huge bills after being contacted by numbers beginning in 0845 or 0843.
The scam affects some people whether they answer the calls, ignore them or call the number back, an investigation by Money Mail has found.
Customers complained after receiving enormous bills with itemised logs showing outgoing calls lasting up to 12 hours to premium rate numbers.
Ofcom has confirmed it is an industry wide problem affecting customers on several networks.
One theory is that criminals are buying the premium numbers, setting fees high and then hacking customers' phones.
Vodafone customer Ruth Dance, from Bracknell, Berkshire, was billed £300 after being called from 08439800146. Another customer, Diana Dentith, From Lowestoft, in Suffolk, told the paper her usual monthly bill of £9 shot up to £375 after she missed a call from 08454290015.
She said that Vodafone initially told her that she must have called the number for 12 hours.
The firm told ITV News it has now reimbursed 'anyone that we know about' and said that customers who fear they have been targeted should dial 191.
It said it is working with regular Ofcom and other mobile operators 'to identify and close down this issue as soon as possible.'
EE customers have also complained of being hit by charges for calls they did not make.
The firm has been contacted for comment.
Telecommunications expert Ben Levitan said: 'There are people who spend their lives looking at phone companies' systems and ways to make money from them. People share these secrets online and use them, but the criminals can be very hard to trace and catch.'
Ofcom said it is 'very concerned' by the scam and said it is working with industry experts and mobile operators.
Personally on my mobile phone via the 'playstore' I've downloaded the TrueCaller, TrueMessenger and TrueDialler apps, which are free, and enable me to block calls I don't recognise, and it lets me report any calls that are nuisance and dodgy, and it lets me identify where someone is calling from anywhere in the world along with their name and company, and I recently purchased the Bt8500 advanced call blocker home phone - dual phone package with answer machine - from Amazon, which enables me to block unwanted calls and make those who are not in my phone book announce who they are then I get the choice whether to answer the phone or to block the caller and number or whether to send the call to answer machine.
There are a number of various scams around these days and they're getting cleverer and cleverer with their approach.
Whether it's by phone, text, email or letter the advice is basically the same.
If you receive a letter telling you you've won the lottery or a raffle but you need to contact someone and pay an administration fee to release your award money or prize, stop and think, did you pay for an entry into a raffle or lottery? If the answer to this question is no then think again, if I didn't pay for an entry how could I have won anything? Unfortunately no one gives us anything for free these days.
If someone you don't know phones you whether on the home phone or mobile and asks you to confirm your details to them, please stop and think, this person from this company is phoning me so they already have my number and chances are when you answered the phone they possibly asked for you by name, so they already know your name also.
These days I personally have caller display on my home phone and an answer machine attached to it, so anyone that phones me at home, everything comes up on my caller display so if I don't recognise the name of the caller, that means they're not in my address book for a reason, if I don't recognise the number it means they're not important enough for me to allocate them a slot in my phone with a number or company name attached, so everyone gets the same treatment now.....if the number is unavailable I'm unavailable to answer the call......if it's witheld, then I'm witholding my abililty to answer the phone unless they have the decency to leave a message or say who they are when the machine beeps....if it's an international caller then I'm definitely not available to answer the call and that too goes through my answer machine to be screened, and as my outgoing message on my answer machine basically says that if you're calling about neighbourhood watch or OWL then please call this other number - which I then give out on the message - or for anything else please leave your name and message after the tone....9 times out of 10 as soon as they hear neighbourhood watch they hang up...that tells me everything I need to know as in they're a nuisance or dodgy caller.
If you receive a text on your mobile phone, or an email on your computer, asking you to click on a link - even if the email seems to be from a friend or family member - DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK - chances are it's a virus that will either infect your mobile or computer or it's installing what they call a back door into your computer so that any personal information you type in or passwords or banking or card details, the person will then have all your information - this is called a phishing scam - if it seems to be from a friend or family member, then contact that person first and ask them if they sent you this email, chances are they didn't and they will need to change their password on their email account. This goes for any emails claiming to be your bank or building society - THEY WILL NEVER ASK YOU TO CONFIRM YOUR DETAILS WHETHER PERSONAL OR BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS PASSWORDS OR PINS THEY ALREADY KNOW WHAT THEY NEED TO KNOW - and if you get an email claiming to be off Paypal asking you to confirm or verify your information or that you've paid for something you haven't or you're owed a refund, forward that email onto email@example.com - emails from Paypal will always start with Hello Mr or Mrs or Miss (and your surname) or Hello Tracy (or whatever your name is) if in doubt don't reply and forward it to the spoof email address.
If anyone ever contacts you in any way wanting you to confirm or verify your personal details, tell them politely that you need to call them back, then hang up the phone - if they give you a number to phone them back on, by all means write it down BUT DO NOT PHONE IT chances are it's someone in cahoots with them, find a letter or bill you've received from the genuine company you deal with and phone them back using the number on the headed letter or bill and let them know you've had a call and ask them if they've called you, if you can get the name of the person on the original call.
The same as anyone knocking your door - charity workers etc - if they ask for your personal details and banking information just ask them for a card or any information on their group for you to look at later in your own time, if they're genuine they should be able to give you whatever you ask them for - for your own peace of mind we advise everyone to never give out your personal information on your doorstep or in a place that's public, whether that be a street or in the middle of a shop or bank even as you never know who's listening and making notes on your information. If someone on your doorstep wants money (which usually that's their reason for knocking) just tell them politely that you don't have a bank account and the next time you see one of their charity collection boxes while you're in town shopping, you'll put some money in that as again you don't know what they're going to do with any cash you give them on the doorstep or what they're going to do with your bank details. If in doubt say no.
If you have any questions about anything on here, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me by the email address here - Tracy on firstname.lastname@example.org