Public urged to be vigilant after people scammed on Facebook Marketplace
Police are warning people to be vigilant after a number of scams involving items being sold on Facebook Marketplace.
Officers across the county have recorded a spate of crimes in recent months in which the buyer, known as Peter Shyne, arrives at people’s houses after agreeing to purchase an item they advertised for sale.
Once they agree on a price, Shyne shows a payment being made using a banking app on his phone followed by confirmation the transaction has gone through. When the money does not arrive in the buyer’s account immediately, he explains it sometimes takes a while and then leaves with the item. The seller later realises it was a fake account.
So far, scams have been reported involving an Apple Watch, a Nikon Camera and accessories worth £1800, among other items.
Officers investigating the incident have warned people to be alert.
PC Clare Horner-Locko said: “We have had at least eight of these reported to us in West Sussex, with another in East Sussex.
“The concern is there are more victims out there. We’d like to hear from anyone who has been affected by incident like this, so we can gather as much information as possible and stop this scam from carrying on.”
The suspect is described as white, 5’10” to 6’ tall, of heavy build and with a strong Irish accent. He is usually wearing a baseball cap and facemask.
Anyone with information is asked to report it online or call 101 quoting serial 664 of 03/09.
For more information visit the Sussex Police website here.
Police and banks working to stop fraud against vulnerable people
Banking Protocol scheme alerts local police to suspected scams.
202 emergency calls were made in Sussex between January and June 2021, protecting customers from losing an average of £11,115 to criminals.
Use of the scheme has led to 10 arrests in Sussex in the first half of this year.
Branch staff at banks, building societies and Post Offices worked with the police to stop £1,268.182 of fraud through the Banking Protocol rapid scam response in Sussex in the first half of this year, according to the latest figures from UK Finance. In total, the scheme has prevented £174 million of fraud and led to 934 arrests since its national launch in 2016.
The Banking Protocol is a UK-wide scheme, launched by UK Finance, National Trading Standards and local police forces. Banking staff are trained to spot the warning signs that suggest a customer may be falling victim to a scam, before alerting their local police force to intervene and investigate.
For more information and to read some case studies where the Protocol has been used visit our website here. Burglary Summary
A burglary has been reported at a residential building off of Eversfield Place, St Leonards (848 of the 15/09).
There has been a burglary reported at a commercial building off of Old London Road Hastings (1107 of the 16/09).
A burglary has been reported to us at a residential building off of Essex Road, St Leonards (125 17/09).
There has been a burglary reported at a residential property off of Chatfield Close, St Leonards (486 19/09).
A burglary has been reported at commercial property off of Elphinstone Road, Hastings (293 of the 20/09).
Members of the community are asked to remain vigilant to any suspicious activity in their area, and to report any concerns to police.
You can visit out crime prevention pages on home security here for ways you can protect your home and belongings.
Arrests Made Across Hastings This Week
There have been a number of arrests made across Hastings this week for offences including drink and drug driving, criminal damage and common assault.
If your report is not urgent you can call us on 101 or through our website service here.
Online reports are triaged in the same way as 101 calls but keep our phone lines free for those who can only contact us by phone.
In the case of an emergency, crime in action or where there is a threat to life always call 999.
Out and About in the Community
As always, our teams have been out and about in the community. You may have seen them at some of the following places.
This week we have once again been supporting Project Edward, (Everyday Without A Road Death) officers have been conducting speed checks across Hastings and St Leonards. The theme of this year’s Project was ‘Fit For The Road’, and making sure you and your vehicle are safe on the roads.
On Tuesday the 14th September Police forensically marked a number of cars to protect their catalytic converters. For information about how you can keep your vehicle safe visit our website here. Further dates for smart water marking to be confirmed.
Action Fraud Scam and Fraud Reminders
New police warning about ‘courier fraud’ phone callers
Residents are being urged to stay alert following cases of courier fraud being reported in Sussex.
The warning comes as a new national social media campaign is launched by Action Fraud with victims nationwide reporting a total loss of over £10 million so far this year.
Courier or impersonator fraud is when a fraudster calls the victim pretending to be from the police or a bank and ask for money under false pretences of many kinds. They will arrange for someone to pick up the money from victim’s home, leaving the victim out of pocket. Many recent cases have involved the suspect taking the victim’s bank card and withdrawing money from their account.
To protect yourself from courier fraud, we advise you follow the below steps:
Act with care if you get an unsolicited call
The police or your bank will never ask you to withdraw money or hand over your bank cards
Never transfer funds into a new account on the instruction of an unexpected caller, even if they tell you the account is in your name
Always check your phone line has properly disconnected before making another call. Wait five minutes after the suspicious call before making another
Never share your PIN numbers or enter your PIN into a telephone
Never withdraw money and hand it to a courier or anyone who comes to your door
Never give your bank cards to a courier or anyone who comes to your door.
Please pass this advice onto your loved ones, particularly those who are elderly or vulnerable.
For more information visit the Sussex Police website here.
You can also visit the Action Fraud website here for more advice and information.
Roads Policing Update
Sussex Police is committed to reducing casualties on the roads and making them a safer place for all road users. You can find a snapshot of activity from across Sussex that our teams and volunteers have been doing in response to local issues on our website here.
As we enter autumn and the darker nights draw in, the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership are reminding road users to take extra care on the roads.
Motorists are being urged to look carefully for other road users and to ensure that their vehicle is in a roadworthy condition and basic checks are undertaken to prepare their vehicle for the colder, wetter months. Amongst other things, motorists should ensure that they check their brakes, tyres, oil, water, wipers and antifreeze and check lights are operating and are in good working order.
We work closely with Neighbourhood Watch and you can find more about your local scheme online.
Visit the Hastings and St Leonards Neighbourhood Watch website here. Help Us Keep Sussex Safe
If you have seen or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact us online, or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crime stoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online.
You can also visit our website where you can find our easy to use online forms to report all non-emergencies to us.
You can also find police advice to keep you safe and help you understand the law, and also browse our crime prevention pages for first-hand knowledge, industry best practices and practical crime prevention advice from officers and specialist teams all across the police.
Have you ever had a policing question that doesn’t actually require direct police involvement to answer?
Ask the police is a great online source of information for the most frequently asked policing questions. Visit the website here for more information.
Your Local Teams
You can find your local PCSO by entering your postcode on our website.
You can also follow your local Police team on Social Media, click below: Facebook Twitter Link and Attachments
Sussex Police will only ever link you to secure websites we trust. We will only send you attachments where we believe it is absolutely necessary.
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Alexandra Hawkins (Police, District Engagement Officer, Hastings & Rother)