NHW in Spain

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Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:23

Scams Aimed at Emptying Your Bank Account

BANK SCAMS After an apparent lull, email bank scams appear to be on the increase again. People are going on line to discover they have been sent an email purporting to originate from one of several well-known banks including, Nat west, Barclays, Lloyds, Santander and CAM. The email, complete with authentic looking bank headings, explains that the bank are either updating their information or improving their Internet security. The email asks the receiver to complete the attached form or visit a web site and do the same, the form asks for confirmation of their various personal bank account details. If these details are supplied they are then used to take money from the account. The police in Britain believe that the crooks stole over £75 million from bank accounts last year and the Spanish police have also quoted a similar figure. A recent development has seen people receiving telephone calls where the caller says he is from a certain bank and asks personal questions in perfect English. If you receive such a call just hang up and if you telephone has a call identification facility make a note of the number and pass it on to either the police or your local Neighbourhood Watch. LOTTERY WINS Many people have received either emails or letters telling them that they have won a share of a promotional lottery. The scam then takes one of two courses: The recipient is asked, as in the bank scam, to fill in a form giving details of the account into which the money will be paid or a holding fee is requested, which of course disappears into the crook’s bank account. THE NIGERIAN SCAM This scam is at least 10 years old but greedy people are still being conned out of thousands of pounds. The scam takes the form of an email or a letter from someone who has somehow obtained several million pounds but needs to get it out of the country without raising suspicions and for allowing that person to use your bank account you will receive a percentage of the money. Needless to say the money only goes one way, out of your account. Its called the Nigerian scam as that is where it first started and even now many of the emails or letters give a Nigerian address. PREVENTION ADVICE In no circumstances should you ever supply any information over the Internet or by post about any account, no matter how authentic the request appears. NO BANK WILL EVER MAKE THIS TYPE OF REQUEST. The only time you should supply any information is when using a credit card for purchases that you have personally instigated. Remember if it seems too good to be true it is!!
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:12

Home Security

HOME SECURITY Most burglars are opportunistic thieves; they do not leave home planning to raid a certain house, but are on the lookout for any easy target. By taking note of the following common sense advice you can make it more difficult for the burglar and so reduce the chance of your home being selected. ALARMS If five out of six houses have an alarm fitted then the one without is most likely to be targeted. An external siren is an obvious deterrent but make sure it is positioned high enough to prevent it being smashed with, say, a baseball bat. Always remember to set the alarm whenever you leave the house, even if it is only to visit a neighbour two houses away and if your alarm has zones, set the unused zones when retiring to bed at night. DOORS AND WINDOWS Keep all doors and windows shut and locked at night and when the house is unoccupied, this includes garage doors, pet flaps and windows and doors accessible via an upstairs patio or veranda. Patio doors are an especially weak point, so fit locks of the simple bolt type that go through one door frame and into the next, this prevents them being lifted from their track and opened. Make sure all your locks are strong and sturdy, especially ground floor entrances. If you must leave windows open at night make sure that there are no keys, handbags or other valuables in sight that may be fished out using a rod and hook. Many people have lost their cars this way or had burglars walk in whilst they slept. BLINDS Most blinds are for keeping the house cool in summer and have very little security benefit so always leave some at least partially open with the curtains drawn. This gives the appearance that the house is occupied. GARDENS We all like our privacy but remember if you cannot see out of your garden no-one can see in and a thief could break into your home without the danger of being seen by a neighbour. On long absences from your home make sure your neighbours know and arrange for someone to keep the garden tidy – again giving the appearance that the property is occupied. LIGHTING Indoor. Use timers on table lamps so that they switch on at dusk and off late at night. When away leave a hall or passage lamp on so that it can be see through a window. Outdoors. Lamps by your entrance gate and on the wall of your house can be replaced with low wattage bulbs with a daylight sensor so that they come on at dusk and go off at dawn. Apart from giving the impression the house is occupied it helps getting the key into the lock when returning home in darkness. HOUSEKEYS Never, ever hide spare keys under a mat or in a flowerpot, thieves know all the hiding places. Instead give a spare set of keys to a neighbour who can periodically check your house when you are away. MAILBOXES AND FLYERS If you are one of the lucky ones with a mail delivery to your house ask a neighbour to ensure the mailbox does not become overfull. An overfull mailbox indicates that the house is unoccupied and makes it easier for anyone to steal mail. At the same time ask your neighbours to remove the many flyers that are constantly being wedged into gates. TELEPHONE If you use a personal message on an answer phone do not indicate that you are away in the UK or on holiday. Use words to give the impression that you are currently unable to take the call will get back to the caller as soon as possible. AT HOME There have been instances where opportunistic thieves walking past a house with its gates unlocked, front door open and the householders occupied elsewhere have, in broad daylight, walked in, picked up a handbag, lap top or wallet and walked out without anyone seeing or hearing a thing. When in the garden, sitting on the patio and especially when using the pool, keep all your windows and doors locked unless they are in full view ALL the time. Lastly do not get paranoid over burglary – the incidence of this crime in Spain is still much less then it is in the UK.
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 15:09

Airport Security

NHW AIRPORT SECURITY ADVICE The warmer weather usually brings with it family and friends escaping the cold and damp of more northern parts. Our local airports have been targeted by thieves who sense that people arriving on holiday tend to let their guard down. The following simple advice if followed will hopefully prevent you and your visitors from becoming victims of these individuals and gangs at Alicante or any other airport. WHEN ARRIVING OR DEPARTING a. DO NOT put handbags, briefcases, computer cases or other small or lightweight bags on your baggage trolley. Either keep them in your hand or place them in the smaller compartment, keeping hold of the handle. b. DO NOT put money, passports, wallets, purses, credit cards or other valuable in your luggage, keep them secure on your person inside a closed, buttoned or zipped inner pocket. WHEN COLLECTING YOUR CAR a. If picking up a hire car DO NOT accept offers of help with your baggage from someone purporting to be from the hire company. b. When loading your luggage in or out of the car boot DO NOT put handbags or other small items on the front seats and at all times keep the luggage trolley close to the rear of the car. c. BE AWARE of distraction thieves who may approach and ask for change for the parking meter, ask for directions or point out a supposed flat tyre or scratch on your car. Their aim is to distract you whilst they or an accomplice snatches an item(s) of luggage. d. When returning your trolley remember to lock your car doors first. e. Remove the Hire Company sticker from the rear window of the car, this marks you out as a tourist and so more susceptible to a theft attempt. WHEN LEAVING THE AIRPORT Firstly lock your car doors as soon as you move off and DO NOT STOP: a. If flashed by another car. b. If someone points to one of your wheels indicating a problem c. To help anyone who apparently has broken down. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY d. If bumped by another car drive to a well-lit area with plenty of people around before checking your vehicle. WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT YOUR HOLIDAY HOME Do not leave the car unattended or the boot open whist unloading your luggage. If any of the above happens note the other car registration number and make a big show of using your mobile phone. Remember despite the horror stories, thousands of passengers pass through Alicante and other local airports each week without mishap.

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