TIM DREW: Some good news, but the scammers persist...

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THE latest crime news from police in Worthing is that burglary numbers are well down, and that a recent spate of vehicle crimes has subsided.

However, scams continue to proliferate and the latest of these involves people being induced to register for free trials for unapproved or substandard pharmaceuticals or supplements. The scam usually involves a ‘pop-up’ on the victim’s computer or a text message advertising a 14-day free trial.

When registering for this trial, victims are asked for their credit or debit card details and, after the 14 days have elapsed, recurring payments are taken.

Recurring payments or continuous payment authorities are similar to a direct debit, but can be much harder to cancel or identify who is debiting your account.

In most cases, victims are finding it extremely difficult to cancel the subscription and the products are either not delivered or are inferior.

Hence it is always wise to research the organisation offering the goods (which commonly involve tooth whitening products, food supplements and slimming tablets) before registering your details and financial information. It is important to remember that, in most free-trial cases, it cannot be recorded as a fraud if you have paid for a product and received it.

If you have already entered your card details on one of these websites, contact your bank immediately to stop these payments – and give Action Fraud a call on 0300 123 2040 for advice. Meanwhile, your Neighbourhood Watch executive committee is seeking to revive the area co-ordinator role and is appealing for volunteers to become area co-ordinators.

Those co-ordinators who were previously in the role will shortly be receiving an email asking if they would be happy to resume their responsibilities.

• The Goring Neighbourhood Panel meets between 7pm and 8.30pm at Worthing Leisure Centre on Wednesday, February 25, with PCSO Ben Cruise’s surgery taking place at West Worthing Baptist Church, in Tarring, between 11am and midday the following day.