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Let’s put a Freeze on Fraud #Tell2

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North Yorkshire Police has launched a new awareness campaign to help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud during the January sales and beyond.

“Freeze on Fraud” is designed to reach a whole range of residents, young and old alike, by stressing the very real dangers of being actively targeted by fraudsters on a daily basis.

At this bargain-mania time of year especially, there comes with it a heightened level of risk when shopping online and making internet bookings for things such as holidays and concerts.

It is also known that fraudsters prey on individuals who have made New Year’s resolutions to find love using dating websites.

There are also a whole host of dastardly telephone scams doing the rounds with the sole aim of extracting your cash by whatever means necessary, including making sickening threats to vulnerable and elderly people.

During the campaign you will hear from real people who have suffered at the hands of fraudsters.  Their stories show just how shockingly easy it is to become a victim.

Our campaign will also feature on ATMs across the county and newspaper websites throughout January, encouraging members of the public to be aware of fraud and make sure they know what they can do to help prevent falling victim to fraudsters.

North Yorkshire Police is determined to tackle the ever-growing issue of personal fraud, which is a key priority for the force.

Let’s put a Freeze on Fraud this January and for the year ahead.

Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, North Yorkshire Police’s Head of Fraud and Economic Crime

“Fraud is a significant problem here in North Yorkshire with residents losing tens of thousands of pounds to very calculated and cold-hearted criminals.

“Every year we see a spike in such incidents during January to coincide with the post-Christmas sales, which are increasingly conducted online.

“This is why we are using the Freeze on Fraud campaign to make people aware of the serious risks they are taking, often without realising the imminent danger right in front of them, at their finger-tips or at the other end of a telephone line.

“It is important to realise that anyone can be a victim of fraud. Those committing the offence do not discriminate by social status or geographical location. People of all ages are affected, including those who are financially sophisticated and confident, but within this range of victims, older people are particularly vulnerable due to their reduced capacity to identify this as an attempted criminal act.

“Older people are also more at risk of scams such as doorstep fraud, bank and card account takeover, pension liberation and investment fraud. Whereas younger people are more likely to fall victim relating to online purchase fraud, albeit the older generations are catching up due to increased internet usage.

“In general, the most common enabler used in fraud is the telephone, followed by online sales and email.

“Identity crime continues to be a key enabler across all fraud types and, with the increase in cyber-enabled fraud, it has become more prevalent in terms of volume and use.

“In North Yorkshire, however, the top most reported frauds are computer software fraud and online shopping and auctions. Cheque, plastic card and online banking do not feature as prominently in our area in comparison to the national picture, but always keep on your guard.”

16 brrrrrrrrilliant tips to help put a Freeze on Fraud

1) Whether it’s at the online checkout, tradespeople at your door or a letter or phone call you have received, it’s always vital to check the legitimacy of the company or the individual you are dealing with. Don’t ever be afraid to ask a question and to get them to prove their credentials. If they are genuine they will provide the necessary identification and information. If you are not satisfied it’s best to report your concerns to the police.

2) Crucially, always keep at the forefront of your mind not to give away your personal information no matter what. This includes your name, home address, bank details, email address or phone number.

3) Many frauds start with a phishing email. Remember that banks and financial institutions will not send you an email asking you to click on a link and confirm your bank details. Do not trust such emails, even if they look genuine. You can always call your bank using the phone number on a genuine piece of correspondence, website (typed directly into the address bar) or the phone book to check if you’re not sure.

4) Please make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus software and a firewall installed. Ensure your browser is set to the highest level of security notification and monitoring to prevent malware issues and computer crimes.

5) Be extremely wary of the post, phone calls or emails offering business deals out of the blue. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always question it.

6) Always shield your PIN and be vigilant at cash machines and checkouts. Don’t ever send it over the internet or disclose it to anyone. Your bank or the police will never phone or email you to ask you to disclose it.

7) Shop only on secure websites. Before submitting card details, look for a padlock or an unbroken key symbol on your web browser. Also, check that the internet browser address changes from ‘http’ to https’ to indicate you have a secure connection.

8) When you are talking to people on social media, chat rooms or dating sites, make sure you know who it is you are talking to and never ever pass on personal or financial information to them online.

9) Sign-up to Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code whenever you are given the option while shopping online. This involves you registering a password with your card company and adds an additional layer of security to online transactions with signed-up retailers.

10) Check receipts against bank statements regularly. If you find an unfamiliar transaction contact your bank or card company immediately.

11) Shred or completely destroy all documents which contain personal details and don’t keep such documents in your car or handbag.

12) When buying tickets online, check with the venue to find out when they are being released and sent out. Also check that you know the geographic address of the website company and that they have a working landline phone number. Make sure there is a refund policy in case something goes wrong.

13) When dealing with tradespeople never hand over a cash deposit. Be wary of special offers or warnings about your home and don’t agree to a trader starting any work straight away. Take time to consult with someone you trust for a second opinion, and speak to friends, family or neighbours before making any decision.

14) Don’t be rushed into making a decision you are not comfortable with. Fraudsters use pressure to force you to make an unwise decision. This could be by saying it is a limited time offer or that money is needed due to an emergency. Be confident to tell people that you require time to think over a decision and then discuss it with people you trust.

15) Get up-to-date. Many national media outlets often broadcast fraud trends and information and advice. Check out BBC Radio 4’s “You and Yours” consumer affairs and Finance programmes. The Guardian and Telegraph online Finance and Technology sections are also very useful sources of information surrounding fraud.

16) Scammers are quick to identify new ways of conning people out of their money. You must report all incidents of fraud to Action Fraud UK and not to the police. Call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report fraud online at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

For more information and crime prevention advice regarding fraud, please go to the North Yorkshire Police website www.northyorkshire.police.uk/freezeonfraud

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John Worboys to be released in days as government refuse judicial review

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John Worboys will be released from prison in days after the government has refused a judicial review over the Parole Board’s decision to release the black-cab serial rapist back in to the community.

David Gauke told the House of Commons having sought expert legal advice the government believe there should be no judicial review into his release.

Adding that ministers should not choose to bring any legal challenge that has no reasonable prospect of success.

Victims call it a failure in the criminal justice system

The release of Worboys who just served nine years in prison has been criticised by many victims.

Worboys was jailed “indefinitely” in 2009 and would serve a minimum of 8 year term after drugging and sexually assaulting women who got into his London black cab.

he would spike his victims with champagne and a powerful sedatives to celebrate a fictional lottery win.

He was convicted of 19 offences related to attacks on 12 women, however he is suspected of being one the United Kingdoms most prolific sex offenders linked to 102 complaints.

The Crown prosecution service did not charge for those offences based on his indefinite sentence as it was not in the public interest because of this they are unable to charge on any these 102 complaints.

Now the crown faces criticism and anger because he is being released despite not all of the 102 complaints and allegations being brought to trial he was only every convicted and charged with 19 counts.

CPS have already released a statement defending why they have not taken these other complaints further and their answer is simple they do not believe there was a realistic prospect of conviction.

Their statement said, “where it was deemed there was a realistic prospect of conviction”.

Over 83 women had reported an allegation against this man and since his conviction a further 19 allegations.

The CPS had advised officers to refer any allegations of rape. Only one allegation was dismissed because it lacked evidence as it “did not pass the evidential test”, the CPS confirmed.

The statement read: “It would be unlikely that it would be in the public interest to prosecute Worboys in relation to allegations of sexual assault or administering a substance with intent, because of the maximum sentence available to the court.”

The Metropolitan Police also confirmed all of that evidence had been discounted by the CPS and detectives confirming that there is currently no live investigations into Worboys.

Now further question falls on to the Parole Board with the law in place which prevents disclosure of proceedings which allowed and granted Warboys to walk free.

The House of Commons Justice Committee has already called upon the Parole Board to explain how the decision for release within such a horrific case was reached.

 

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Hero farmer helped catch paedophile shares his pride after helping police

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A hero farmer who helped put a paedophile behind bars for ten years has spoken of his pride at being able to help police secure a conviction.

Trampoline coach Louis Murray, 22, has been sent to prison for ten years after previously admitting a string of child sex offences.

He taught hundreds of children at his trampoline club in Newcastle which is where he met his teenage victim.

But he was caught in a car with the youngster after driving to the remote Northumberland village of Belsay to engage in sexual activity.

Farmer George Common, 59, was checking on his livestock when he found the steamed-up vehicle parked in a lay-by.

He initially thought the occupant was trying to commit suicide by pumping his vehicle with fumes from his engine.

Mr Common leapt into action to try and rescue the occupant but then found Murray engaging in sexual activity with the teenage boy.

He tried to block the vehicle in with his Land Rover at which point Murray rammed the vehicle and fled the area. Police were able to trace his car and he was later arrested.

Murray was eventually charged with two counts of rape, four counts of sexual activity in presence of a child and four counts of sexual activity with a child.

The trampoline coach, of Blakelaw, Newcastle, admitted the charges at a previous hearing and he was jailed for ten years by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court on Monday.

Following the case, Superintendent Andy Huddleston paid tribute to Mr Commons for taking action and helping police put a predatory paedophile behind bars.

He said: “Louis Murray was a predatory paedophile who abused his position of trust to befriend and groom a young boy. I am glad that his behaviour has been uncovered and he is now facing a lengthy stint behind bars.

“If it wasn’t for the actions of George Commons that day then Murray’s victim may have been subjected to abuse for a much longer period.

“Mr Commons was quick to act when he thought someone was in trouble and did absolutely the right thing when he learnt exactly what was going on.

“It was a brave act that has undoubtedly helped prevent a young person from being harmed further.

“George continues to be a key member of our Farmwatch scheme and this case shows that our joint working with the rural community not only prevents traditional rural crime but also far more serious crime too.”

Mr Common, whose family has been farming in the region for 800 years, said that he was “proud of himself” for taking action and getting the young boy help.

He said: “I was checking some stock and saw the car parked up there. I carried on checking my stock and then when I came back the car was still there and I thought that something wasn’t right.

“I have come across a suicide attempt before where they were trying to gas themselves and I thought to myself I hope they weren’t trying to do something like that.

“So I went over to the car and I had a shock with what I saw. I looked in the window and saw Murray sitting next to a naked lad who just looked up at me.

“I just said ‘this isn’t right’ and I opened the door and attempted to grab the arm of the lad. That is when Murray drove off and rammed my car to try and leave. As he was doing it he was saying ‘sorry, I just have to go’.

“I would definitely do it again and as it turns out I am proud of what I have done. It could have saved a lot of other lads and saved him from going through anything further.

“But in many ways I am typical of a Northumberland farmer who was just looking after his patch. I have been part of FarmWatch for a while and I would always report something suspicious.

“I have been involved in the scheme from the very beginning and I have always been one for calling the police if I see something that is not right. We are a tight knit community and this shows how much it works.”

The judge ordered that Murray must sign the sex offenders’ register for life and also made him subject to an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

He also ordered that Mr Common be paid £400 from the public purse as a token of gratitude for his actions in bringing Murray to justice.

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Leon Ojah is aged 15 he is currently missing from his home in Newcastle

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Police are appealing for the public’s help to locate a missing 15 year old.

Leon Ojah was reported missing this morning after last being seen in Garmdonsway in Newcastle.

He is described as mixed race, slim build, 5ft 7inches tall with medium length afro hair. It’s thought he may be wearing a grey hoody over a dark blue school jumper, black nike shows and have a black Adidas bag.

Enquiries are on-going to find Leon and police are appealing for the public’s help.

Anyone who has seen him is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 228 180118.

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