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Cancer Cafe in Ashford

Open on the first Friday monthly, the group at Ashford Volunteer Centre, Berwick House 8 Elwick Road, Ashford TN23 1PF is for anyone who may have been touched by cancer. All welcome for a chat, tea, cake. Already we have seen the benefits the group can have for those who just want a safe and peaceful space for a chat.

We would also welcome any individuals or organisations who might want to be a Guest Speaker at one of the events. If so contact the Centre on or 01233 665535.

KCC Highways & Transportation’s Winter Service 2018/19

As we are now entering the winter period for 2018/19 Kent Highways would like to take this opportunity to remind you about Highways & Transportation’s winter service provisions.

Please take time to visit our website below:

Read this letter with more information.

Online Crime and Non-Injury Collision Reporting

Updates made recently to the Kent Police website now enable you to report crimes and incidents as well as non-injury road traffic collisions ONLINE directly to the police through the website (

Once a report is made to Kent Police online, the user will receive a unique reference number and a return email confirming receipt.

Note that this online reporting is a test/pilot at this stage. At the end of each form is the opportunity for the public making a report to give us feedback on using the forms.

The overall aim is to provide another choice for how the public can report crime or incidents as well as try to reduce the number of people calling 101 on non-urgent issues that could easily be dealt with through digital contact.

[8 December 2017]

Want to Know More about the Air Ambulance?

The Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance is inviting local groups, clubs, societies and other organisations to book a talk (free of charge) to find our more about the work of the charity.

By inviting one of the air ambulance volunteer speakers to your group, you will be helping to raise awareness of our work and therefore ensuring we can be there for those who need us, now and in the future.

For more information or to book a talk, please contact us on: 01622 833 833 or email

UK Power Networks -- Supply Disruption Reporting

September 2016 saw a new national telephone number “105” launched by electricity network operators for customers to call should they need to report or get information about a power cut in their area.

Key points to note about this service are:

· Dialling 105 will put customers through to their local electricity network operator – the company that manages the cables, power lines and substations that deliver electricity into homes and businesses in their area.

· 105 is just one of the ways that customers can contact their electricity network operator. They can also contact them by phone or via their website, and most network operators are on social media too.

· 105 is a free service for people in England, Scotland and Wales.

· Customers can call 105 no matter who they choose to buy electricity from.

· Customers can also call 105 if they spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put anyone in danger. If there’s a serious immediate risk, they should call the emergency services too.

Dealing with unexpected visitors

Some safety advice for residents to guard against possible distraction Burglaries:-

• Lock your back doors and windows before answering your front door - thieves are known to work in pairs, one entering through the back door while the other knocks at the front.
Use a spyhole and ask who the caller is through the door first, then keep the door on the chain.
Check their identification, even if they have a pre-arranged appointment.
If you're not expecting the caller and they do not carry an ID card, do not let them in.
To check a caller is genuine, you can look up the number in the phone book or a recent bill and check it against the card the caller has given you.
Don't just ring the number on the card - it may be fake.
If you have any doubts about whether the caller is genuine, ask them to leave and come back at a time convenient to you and when you've had a chance to ask someone to be with you.
Never leave your front door unattended. If you need to get something, close the door until you return.

Do your elderly parents, neighbours or friends worry about bogus callers? Would they know what to do if an unexpected visitor calls?  You can support them by visiting...

... for tips on protecting your home and what to do if someone unexpected stops by.

Bogus Charity Collectors

Please be aware that there are bogus charity collectors purporting to be from SSAFA operating on a door to door basis in Kent.  Read more details...

Beware of New Internet Banking Scams

Kent County Council Public Protection have received reports of fraudsters tricking people into giving them access to their internet banking.

The criminals pose as employees from broadband providers and claim that someone has hacked into their account, the user is then tricked into giving access to their computer and told to log into their internet banking.

So far, Police have identified 45 victims with a combined loss of £128,000.

A current trend (July 2018) is for victims to be sent an automated message stating that their router has been compromised. Please do not respond to this message but instead contact your broadband provider directly for advice.

Never allow a caller access to your computer. An internet provider will never ask for your bank details.


Further information from Kent Police warn residents about another banking scam and a courier fraud which involves criminals persuading victims into certain actions.

The Banking Scam

The following describes how scammers have recently targeted a vulnerable victim:-

A telephone call was received on a landline in late November 2017 from scammers advising that they were calling from a bank – they did not specify which bank and this was not questioned.

The caller stated he was conducting an internal investigation into bank staff and that the victim was to tell no one that they were assisting with the investigation. He stated that counterfeit money had been put into accounts and that the victim was to withdraw two separate sums on consecutive days, and that once withdrawn he would ring them and check random numbers on some of the bank notes to determine if they were the ones that they had introduced and were circulating in the system. The victim was told that a courier from the bank would collect the money and then the bank account would be re-credited with genuine notes. The victim was to leave their phone off the hook when they were communicating so that they would not be contacted by anyone and they were to tell no one why they was withdrawing the money, including the bank staff. Money was withdrawn and the courier, described as male in his 20s and of Mediterranean appearance, collected the money the same day.

Needless to say the money was not re-credited.”

Please be aware of any such attempts to obtain cash in circumstances as above, not just for yourselves but for any of your family, friends or neighbours who may be vulnerable to such scams.

What to do

  • Hang up if you receive one of these calls.
  • If you think you have been a victim of this scam, contact the Police.

Stay vigilant.

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The Rolex watch courier fraud - how it works

  • The criminal calls or visits the resident claiming to be a Police Officer.
  • They tell the resident they have been a victim of some type of fraud and they need to help the Police with their enquiry.
  • The resident is told their bank account is being used by criminals. To help with the investigation they need to withdraw money and buy a valuable item, like a Rolex watch.  
  • The criminal arranges for a taxi driver or courier to collect the item which will be used as evidence in the investigation.
  • The resident is told they will be refunded when the investigation is over.  
  • The courier is also a criminal involved in the fraud.  

What to do

  • Hang up if you receive one of these calls.
  • If they are at your door politely say you need to go and close the door.  If you are worried contact a friend or neighbour and tell them about the visitor.
  • If you think you have been a victim of this fraud contact the Police.

REMEMBER: The Police will NEVER ask for cash, valuables or PIN numbers.  

WARNING: Telephone callers may insist you hang up and check their ID by calling a number they give to you.  This is part of the fraud. Criminals stay on the line and pretend to be Trading Standards to verify the caller.  Report these calls to Kent Police at your local Police station.  

These criminals often target elderly residents so please warn neighbours, friends and/or relatives if you think they may be targeted.
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There has been a large increase in reports of scam phone calls from people claiming to be HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

How it works:

•   The scammer claims there an overdue tax bill or the resident has been overpaid tax credits.
•   They say the resident must pay up immediately or they will be taken to court where they could face 5 years in prison or someone will come to their address and collect goods to that value.

In some calls the scammer claimed to be a police officer and said there is a warrant for their arrest!

How they are asking for payment:

•   By bank transfer and to send a photo via WhatsAPP to prove the transfer has been done or
•   Buying iTunes or Amazon vouchers and sending a photo of the voucher codes via WhatsAPP

One victim could only pay cash and was given directions on where to leave the money!

These calls are not being made by HMRC!

What to do:

•   Hang up and don't return their calls.
•   NEVER disclose any personal information such as bank details or date of birth, no matter who the person claims to be.
•   Contact HMRC if you're worried about a call you've received
•   If you have already given money to the scammers, contact Kent Police by calling 101

Report fraud online to Kent Police

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

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Doorstep Criminal Impersonating A Police Officer

There are reports of a male doorstep criminal who is impersonating a Police Officer in the Herne Bay area.

How It Works

•   The resident was shown a fake ID.
•   The criminal claimed to be following up on a company that completed work for the resident 6 years ago.
•   He stated that the company did not pay any VAT and the resident was now liable.
•   The resident was told if they didn’t pay, they would have to go to court.

What To Do

•   Call Kent Police on 101 to check the identity of the cold caller.
•   Do not open the door until this has been confirmed.
•   If an officer is genuine they will happily wait.
•   If they are not who they say they are it will alert the police to the doorstep criminal.
•   Warn vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours living in the area.

If you feel afraid or threatened by a doorstep caller, phone 999.

Please report any suspicious doorstep callers to us.

>>> Report it <<<


Online Safety Tips for Shopping
Neighbourhood Watch logo

The Risks

Fraud resulting from making payments over unsecured web pages.
•Bogus online stores/shops – fake websites and email offers for goods and services that do not exist.
•Buying fake goods intentionally or unintentionally - finding they are of inferior quality and also possibly funding more serious crimes in the process.
•Receiving goods or services which do not match the advertiser’s description.
•Being offered tailored prices based on information gathered by the retailer about your online shopping habits and websites visited.  Safe Shopping

•Choose reputable shopping sites.
•Ensure the website is secure before entering payment details.
•Ensure that any online retailer unfamiliar to you is reputable by researching them. Establish a physical address and telephone contact details. Remember that the best way to find a reputable retailer is via recommendation from a trusted source.
•Remember that paying by credit card offers greater protection than with other methods in terms of fraud, guarantees and non-delivery.
•Double check all details of your purchase before confirming payment.
•Do not reply to unsolicited emails from companies you don’t recognise.
•Before entering payment card details on a website, ensure that the link is secure, in three ways:

1.There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame, which appears when you attempt to log in or register. Be sure that the padlock is not on the page itself ... this will probably indicate a fraudulent site.
2.The web address should begin with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.
3.If using the latest version of your browser, the address bar or the name of the site owner will turn green.
•Some websites will redirect you to a third-party payment service (such as WorldPay). Ensure that these sites are secure before you make your payment.
•Safeguard and remember the password you have chosen for the extra verification services used on some websites, such as Verified by Visa.
•When making a payment to an individual, never transfer the money directly into their bank account but use a secure payment site such as PayPal, where money is transferred between two electronic accounts.
•Check sellers’ privacy policy and returns policy.
•Always log out of sites into which you have logged in or registered details. Simply closing your browser is not enough to ensure privacy.
•Keep receipts.
•Check credit card and bank statements carefully after shopping to ensure that the correct amount has been debited, and also that no fraud has taken place as a result of the transaction.
•Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running before you go online.
•Where possible, check that the price listed by the retailer on your browser is the same as that quoted on other people's browsers, to ensure you are not being monitored and overcharged.

Article Courtesy of Get Safe Online & South East Kent Police Neighbourhood Watch

Kent Highways' Winter Preparations

Long dark days means KCC Highways, who maintain the roads and lanes, receive many enquiries throughout the seasons about road conditions.
Please read this winter service information letter  from KCC and see how you can help prevent road and travel problems. 

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