Information our Members may find helpful.
COUNCIL- EMERGENCY WATER WORKS – SCAM
We have had recent reports of a bogus caller pretending to be a surveyor from Thurrock Council . The caller claims that there is a need to undertake emergency works on the water mains in the road and there is a need for all residents in the road to contribute to a ‘refundable deposit’ to hire a specialist digger. The caller also states that the water supply in the road will be turned off and all residents will not have any water, until the works are completed – so it is important that the deposit is raised urgently.
This is then followed up at the same time by a telephone call, by a caller also pretending to be from the council (Finance Department?), providing details of a bank account to which the money should be transferred. The message is that the money will be transferred back to the resident once the works are completed and the specialist digging equipment is returned and the deposit refunded to the council.
THIS IS A SCAM – PLEASE DO NOT PAY ANY MONEY
Thurrock Council will never operate in this manner by doorstep caller or telephone call. If you are approached in this manner (or by post) please contact Thurrock Council to confirm validity of the request. Thurrock Trading Standards can be contacted on 01375 652477
Essex Police Crime reports
Essex Police encourage all Watch members to read through and think about all the incidents within the below/ attached crime reports. You may be able to provide Essex Police with additional information regarding an incident.
You may reside, work, walk , travel or visit family or friends in or near the areas where incidents have occurred.
Were you in the area on that day, around that time?
Did you see any suspicious activity?
Did you note a suspicious person or vehicle?
IF you noted any suspicious activity in relation to the reports then please call Essex Police on 101.
Make a note of the incident reference number and quote this when calling.
(If you have information in relation to a suspicious vehicle, please make note of the Make, Model, Colour and index number if possible).
Please do not feel that you will be wasting police time. The information you provide may proof useful in an investigation.
Remember to tell the Call taker that you are part of a Watch scheme and be proud that you are looking out for others.
If you have any queries your local Essex Watch Liaison Officer will be only to please to assist you.
Did you know that you can help to make donations to charities of your choice when placing orders on Amazon?
Those of us who order via www.amazon.co.uk will be familiar with the website and will also have set up an account on the website with log in and password details and may also have registered a chosen credit card for payment so that you do not have to re enter these details every time.
Well, Amazon have set up a parallel website “smile.amazon.co.uk” whereby Amazon will donate 0.5% of the net purchase of eligible purchases to the charitable organisations selected by customers.
When you type www.smile.amazon.co.uk into your browser you will see that it opens the Amazon website that you have been familiar with using.
You do not have to re-register or set up a new account or change your log in or password details. If you are using the same computer as usual the website will recognise it is you so that you can proceed as normal. The website has a feature where you can select a charity to benefit from your purchases. Once you have opened www.smile.amazon.co.uk and registered a charity make sure that you save it as a separate bookmark from your usual amazon bookmark.
Some popular charities are already programmed into the choices or you can select a charity of your choice. If you want to select your own charity you will have to ensure that they are registered with Amazon.
Stan and Doreen who provide the information have chosen to support South Essex Wildlife Hospital after they saw on Facebook that they had registered with Amazon and were encouraging people who wanted to support them to use amazon smile. They found it very easy to set this up.
Advice from NHS ENGLAND.
Have you had your flu vaccine this year? Click the picture to read the advice.
Lip Reading and Managing Hearing Loss classes
Register your interest now and we will let you know as soon as the dates become available
Do you find it difficult to follow a conversation with friends and family?
If you are hard of hearing, wear a hearing aid or have become deaf then Lipreading classes can help to improve your communication in any situation. See also Lip reading
Cedar Hall Clinic
Jackie Milne, the Osteopath at The Cedar Hall Clinic in Stanford le Hope was Guest Speaker at our General Meeting on 11th. January. She is offering a 10% discount to members when they go for their first treatment session. (That does not include the Consultation Session as this is free.)
In order to get the discount, mention you are a U3A member (Show your U3A membership card) when you book your sessions.
Public Health England have asked us to inform our members of the following:-
There is a vaccine that helps reduce your risk of getting shingles and reduces the severity of symptoms if you develop the disease.
People aged 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 78 and 79 years are eligible for the shingles vaccination.
Shingles can be very painful and may sometimes lead to complications, such as postherpetic neuralgia. This severe nerve pain can last for years even after the rash has gone.
Complications like this are more common in older people and those with a weakened immune system.
Please contact your GP surgery to enquire and to book your vaccination.
For more information please see Shingles
SCAMS Don't get caught out
There is currently a telephone scam where a recorded message is left, allegedly from HMRC, stating that HMRC are bringing a lawsuit against the individual and is going to sue them.
The recipient is asked to phone 0161 8508494 (other numbers are also used) and press “1” to speak to the officer dealing with the case.
Whilst the scam is becoming widely reported and seems to be targeting older people, we warn you to be extremely vigilant. If you cannot verify the identity of the person making the call you should not disclose your details. Government bodies such as HMRC will never ask you to disclose personal or financial information over the phone. Many people in Stanford-le-Hope are reporting to have received the call.
PLEASE DO NOT REPLY TO THIS SCAM MESSAGE IT IS NOT GENUINE Hang up the phone and delete the message from your answer phone.
SHARE ADVICE SCAM
A member received a cold call recently from a Financial Services company saying they were working with EQUINITI, a leading provider of share administrating services. Caller talked in a friendly way about share holding and mentioned one particular company. Caller said the member was to be made a preferential share holder which would mean increased dividends and other benefits. The member had to do nothing. All sounded TOO good. The caller asked the member to look at their share documents. The member did not but instead asked where they got their details and why the Caller Display did nor show the telephone number. Also suggested the caller was trying to SCAM them. The caller was offended and offered an implausible reason why the number had not displayed. The member did apologise to the caller for their comments. Caller suggested the member be send the details by post but the member refused.
The conversation lasted for around 7 minutes and was in general friendly and chatty. The phone suddenly went quiet and the caller hung up. The call was very convincing but some aspects of the call were worrying.
You are correct this was a SCAM.
The member reported it to EQUINITI and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The FCA had received reports of similar calls.
The advice given is:
- Don't give out more details of your personal information
- Don't give out any share holder reference numbers or account details.
- Don't accept any email or postal information from the caller.
PLEASE BE VERY CAREFULL WITH UNSOLICITED PHONE CALLS AND EMAILS. DONT GIVE ANY MORE INFORMATION THAN THEY ALREADY HAVE.
BEST TO JUST HANG UP FROM THE START OF THE CALL IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS.
See also ESSEX POLICE NEWS
PROBLEMS WITH YOUR HEARING
Do you use a hearing aid or are you officially recognised as hard of hearing?
If so are you aware that you might be eligible to buy a Disabled Persons Railcard (which is cheaper than a senior rail card)?
|This disabled rail card allows you to get a third off the cost of most rail fares throughout Great Britain, including all Standard and First Class Anytime, Off-Peak and Advance fares across the National Rail network. You also get 1/3 off London Zones 1-6 Off-Peak Day Travelcards and 1/3 off Anytime Day Travelcards, when bought as part of your ticket to London from outside London Zones 1-9. Not only do you get cheaper tickets but if you travel with another person they also get the same reduction.|
Minimum fares apply to Anytime Day and Off-Peak Day Travelcards. 1/3 off Oyster pay as you go single fares and daily caps (available to the Railcard holder only.)
The proof of your hearing loss which is required is a copy of the front page of your NHS battery book, or a copy of your dispensing prescription or other evidence that you are deaf/use a hearing aid from an official health provider or local authority. You can apply on line (if you are able to send scanned evidence) or by post using the Disabled Person Railcard forms found at railway stations. (They have a green border compared to the blue ones for Senior Railcards.) These forms also provide you with more information than is mentioned here as does disabled persons railcard
This information is not publicised at hearing aid clinics and a lot of people who are hard of hearing who I have spoken to are not aware of it. I wish to thank Jean Baker who mentioned it an interest group meeting.
The Disabled Persons Railcard is obviously also for people with other disabilities including various types of epilepsy – if you think it might apply to a disability you have, check it out.
Information from National Office
Free TV Licences for over-75s but this may change
Anyone of 75 or over can claim a free TV licence for their main address.
Apply online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk/over75info or by calling 0300 790 6073
Large print newsletters
For the last two months we have printed a few newsletters in A4 size with size 16 text for those members who have difficulty reading our handy sized versions. Only two members have put their names down to receive a copy in this format but they are both pleased with the larger versions. The son of one of them told one of our Executive Committee members how much easier his mother found reading it in large print format. The other member hand wrote a delightful letter of thanks to the Executive Committee telling them how much better the large version was for her.
If there is another member who would like to try the large size newsletter give one of the Executive Committee your name and one can be printed and saved for you.