TIM DREW: Beware of online fraud over the festive period

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

This being my final column for this year, it represents an opportunity to pass on a few tips towards staying safe online as well as a brief review of the activities of Neighbourhood Watch and its associates during 2017.

Action Fraud reports that, during the 2016 Christmas period, 65 per cent of online frauds were linked to online auction sites, so Neighbourhood Watch provides the following advice:

• Always check you’re on the correct website. Criminals can set up fake websites that have a similar design and web address to the genuine site.

• The web pages into which you enter personal or financial details should display a locked padlock sign and have a web address starting with ‘https’. This means your connection to the website is secure.

• Don’t click on links or attachments within unsolicited emails. The number of online shopping related phishing emails increases significantly during the holiday period.

In a new initiative undertaken this year, vetted and trained volunteers from Neighbourhood Watch will help the police by offering a new crime prevention telephone advisory service.

Worthing Neighbourhood Watch members were in evidence again in the town centre during the summer, marking cycles and distributing literature, and the West Downs Neighbourhood Watch Task Force is busier than ever – and out at most hours and in most weathers. Work is coming in apace for 2018 and much of this is repeat business. And, as reported last week, the Community Speedwatch team secured the Lord Ferrers Award, which recognises the outstanding contribution of police volunteers.

However, more volunteers are needed if we are to deliver the standard of service that we wish and we also look forward to seeing more of members who attended few events this year.

The Selden Neighbourhood Panel will meet at 6.30pm on Tuesday, December 19, at the East Worthing Community Centre, Pages Lane.