Safe and Secure Project

by | Sep 1, 2021

Welcome to the follow up report since our time starting up the Safe and Secure Project in November 2020. The ethos of the project is to provide all of the members of Just Good Friends with advice and knowledge on scams in order to keep you and your belongings both safe and secure.

Scammers continue to try and have an impact on Just Good Friends; however, as the scheme continues it is clearly apparent that you are all becoming more aware of scams and how these scammers are attempting to scam you. There are many of you that are reporting scams to me but it has been lovely to see that you are now making other members aware with the use of social media.

Since the project began back in November 2021 there have been 77 reported scams. This is the total that has been reported directly to me. This does not include the number of scams that you may have received yourselves and dealt with accordingly.

When the reports are received by ourselves we continue to look at the information provided to us to establish primarily, if it is a scam and secondly, what we can do to help you.

During this quarter the project has taken a slightly different approach. We are confident that you are not only more alert but better equipped and confident to deal with these scammers; in particular, the scams which you receive via text. I am confident that you also know that there is someone that you can approach if you are struggling or if you are unsure. It has been encouraging to see how members have grown in confidence – remember to trust your intuition, it is usually right.

Overview of scams between April and July 2021

The below will provide you with an overview of the scams that members have reported.

  • There continues to be reported scams from a number of banks including the Halifax and the Natwest. Contact from these has been via text messages to members.
  • A new scam for this quarter was around the Census. A member received an email informing them that there had been an error in the form that they submitted and if the link was not followed there would be a fine of £1000. The member was able to spot that this was a scam due to the spelling mistake of Census. This was reported.
  • Members continued to receive texts and phone calls from people informing them that their NI was being misused. Once such member received such a call whilst live on a zoom meeting with a number of other members.
  • Amongst all of these there have been an increasing number of emails or links that members have come across telling them that they have won prizes either through Powerball, Tesco or local buy and sell sites.

There are so many more scams that have been reported and looked into. The above are just a small number of examples of what you are having to face daily.

Reassuring members

Unfortunately, scammers change their methods continuously and can be extremely manipulative. Katie and I will continue to help you in both identifying scams or to help you and offer reassurance where we can. We will continue to do our research around the most current scams and ways of reporting these to the appropriate organisations.

Recently I received an email via ‘Which’ who offers numerous pieces of advice. Their latest email referred to the resurrection of the old DPD text doing the rounds once more. As many of you will be aware the text informs the recipient that a delivery attempt was made and a link provided which will take you to a copy cat DPD website asking for personal details and a ‘small fee’ for redelivery. It is similar to the fake Royal Mail text.

‘Which’ acknowledge how complicated it can be for people to report scams. They add that it is vital that such scams are reported to aid organisations to recognise them and address them wherever possible. They have provided a link where this can be done simply, they refer to it as a scam sharer tool.
https://act.which.co.uk/page/77711/data/1?utm_medium=email&utm_source=engagingnetworks &utm_campaign=scamalert120821&utm_content=Scam+alert+newsletter+120821

Katie and I will continue to be here for you. We can still be contacted on staysafejgf@yahoo.com or via my mobile which is 07899963582. If I am unable to answer please leave a message or text me and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Other Work

We continue to work with Lancashire Constabulary. Now that restrictions are being lifted we can look at becoming more involved with outside agencies. We have already made links with the Neighborhood Policing Team and since the last submitted report contact has been made with the Police Cadets. Nicky Leigh who runs the cadets is looking forward to working with JGF. A way forward with this will be established further; however, we are looking at the cadets coming along to JGF activities and speaking with the members.

I have recently written to the new Chief Constable of Lancashire police Chris Rowley and also the new Police Crime Commissioner Mr Andrew Snowdon. As you know, Just Good Friends works closely with outside organisations and agencies including AKS school. It would be lovely if we could extend this to the police. I wrote to the Chief Constable in order to establish a closer working relationship. Mr Rowley was very keen for this to happen and has put me in touch with both the Chief Inspector and Inspector covering Fylde’s Neighbourhood Policing. I am aware that the Chief inspector is currently on annual leave and will be in touch on his return. I will keep you updated.

The good news in that the office of Mr Snowdon has been in touch and they would love to meet the members of JGF. I am currently arranging a time and place for this and again we will keep you updated. I am hopeful that this will take place sometime in September.

Similar to the cadets, I have linked in with the area coordinator of the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme. Having completed the scheme myself in my younger years I know how invaluable it can be and the skills that you pick up along the way. Katie, who works with the scheme, is undertaking this as part of her Duke of Edinburgh and it was felt that we could build on this relationship. From speaking with Lea Roberts a number of ways were discussed depending on how involved JGF wanted to be. Primarily, we will be focusing on making links with co-coordinators within the schools and offering the young people a placement where they can work with the members. AKS School in St Annes is already on board and are excited as to where this could take both the school and JGF.

As stated earlier, we can be contacted through our email address which is monitored daily. The email address to remind you is staysafejgf@yahoo.com.

Members can also contact me (Jo) on my number which is 07899963582. Due to working commitments I may not answer straight away but if you leave a message I will call back when I can.

Just Good Friends

Just Good Friends has been set up to combat loneliness and social isolation by bringing people together in friendship.