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Your spotlight on local services

Recent Scams and Frauds


Received via Thames Valley Alert.

Residents across the Bracknell & Wokingham Local Police area are being warned to be vigilant to avoid falling victim to fraudsters currently active across the area.

On Thursday 23 May yet another female was targeted by the “supermarket car park distraction thieves”. These thieves prey on women who have entered the supermarket with a shoulder or handbag. They follow the victim through the store and will be close by as she enters her PIN number at the till. Having obtained the PIN number two or more of the thieves follow the victim to her car, where they wait until she has loaded her shopping and handbag into her car. They then approach and as one engages the victim in conversation another thief quietly and unnoticed opens a car door and steals the handbag. Once the victim drives away the thieves simply use the stolen bank card and PIN to withdraw cash from a local ATM.

Over the past couple of months these offenders have targeted nearly all of the supermarkets across the area at one time or another.

To reduce the risk of becoming a victim, ensure that whenever you use a “Chip and Pin card” that you cover the key pad as you enter the 4 digit number so that no one can see/ record it.

Another scam that has been occurring quite regularly involves a lone male who knocks at the front door of an unsuspecting resident and asks if they could lend him some money as he has just left his wallet in a taxi that has driven off. Surprisingly many victims have handed over money, possibly believing that the stranger would call back and repay them. The truth is the caller is a con man and no money ever gets repaid.

And it isn’t just females or the elderly who fall victim to fraudsters. On Monday 27 a resident in Bracknell who had advertised his car for sale, allowed a man whom he didn’t know and had walked to meet him in his road, to sit in his car, and start the engine. Bye bye car….

Protect yourself and your property by following this simple safety advice:

  • If you are not sure who is at your door, don’t open it!
  • Record and Check the identity of the caller. Ask for their name and an address. Call the company they claim to be from – get the number from a local directory, don’t rely on a number the caller gives you.
  • If in doubt keep them out.
  • Don’t hand over money or allow them access to your property until you are absolutely satisfied who they are.
  • If you are suspicious call the police on 101

If you have any information about relating to these or any other Frauds/ Scams or you would like to report a crime please contact Thames Valley Police via their On Line Crime Reporting portal or by telephone using 101.

More crime prevention information can be found on the Thames Valley Police website.



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Healthwatch Bracknell Forest
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