Magazine Advertise Debt Alert
Victims receive a telephone call from someone purporting to be a bailiff enforcing a court judgement, attempting to recover funds for a non-existent debt. The fraudsters state the debt originates from the victim not paying a magazine advertisement subscription.
A variety of magazine names and publishers are being used by the fraudsters, who also commonly use the names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents such “Scott Davis”, “Stephen King” and “Mark Taylor”. These are names of certified Bailiff Enforcement Agents employed by debt enforcement companies.
The fraudsters request that the debt be repaid by bank transfer. If the victim refuses, they threaten to visit the victim’s home or place of work to recover the debt that is owed.
Once the money has been transferred, victims are not provided with receipt details of the payment or contact details. Later when victims make enquiries, they’ll discover that the debt did not exist, and often that no advertisement was placed.
This type of fraud is nationwide. Since 2017, there have been 52 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud. From the reports received, there are a range of different businesses and individuals being targeted.
1. Listen to your instinct: just because someone knows your basic details, such as your name and address, it doesn’t mean they are genuine.
2. Stay in control: always question cold callers: always contact the companies directly using a known email or phone number.
3. Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision: a legitimate company will be prepared to wait whilst you verify information.
If you have been affected by this, or any other type of fraud, report it to Action Fraud by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.
Visit Take Five (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/) and Cyber Aware (cyberaware.gov.uk) for more information about how to protect yourself online.
Essex Police has a new-look website giving people greater and easier access to services.
The new site, which still operates from their www.essex.police.uk address, allows people to report non-emergency crimes and road traffic collisions, as well as lost and found property.
The website is easier to navigate, more accessible and is designed to be smartphone and tablet friendly. The site will also allow people to access online reporting services for fraud, hate crime, potholes, abandoned cars, street lighting and noise nuisance issues. The site also incorporates a link to the “AskThePolice" national website which provides answers to frequently asked policing questions, avoiding the need for people to phone thems.
In 2009, when the previous Essex Police website was designed, more than 99% of people using it accessed the site via a desktop computer. In 2015, 75% of visits to the Essex Police website were made via smartphones and tablets. The new website, created by Reading Room following a competitive tender process, has been developed in collaboration with Kent Police to reduce costs. Each page of the site has been designed to offer users the opportunity to share to popular social media networks.
Essex Police continue to develop the website and users can comment about the site as each page has a simple feedback feature. This will not only help to understand what features of the site are popular, but will enable people to highlight anything they don’t understand or any technical issues.
Use the calendar or list of months to view entries made on those dates.