Southend on Sea

News

Update June/July 2020

Hello All,
Again thanks for all the messages.
Thanks to all of you who have become FRIENDS INDEED and are helping other members with shopping, a chat or visit. Every gesture helps us survive a little easier……keep it up.
I hope you are all still keeping well and coping with these very strange times, although things are now beginning to relax a lot……..Maybe too quickly??? Unfortunately some people seem to be unable to keep to the rules and so put themselves and others at risk.. We will have to wait and see.
June started off not quite so good then the real scorchers and now thunderstorms!!!!but the gardens need the rain. It has been lovely to be able to sit in the garden and see friends at a sensible distance.
I am still managing to stay busy as are many of you. Many are really keen for the hairdressers to reopen! My hair still getting longer, my nails a variety of colours!! I have (by some mistake, managed to find smiling face emojis on my phone, so be prepared!!!!!! Some of my friends think this is taking it too far…….me being pulled into the 21st century and getting to grips (very slowly) with technology. (Don’t panic…..well not yet anyway)
I have once again managed to speak to many of our members and have caught up with how they are dealing with life. Some are hoping more shops etc will be reopening soon.
We’ll be able to have our own “Homes and Gardens, and Craft shows with all the good work that is being carried out. Members are still finding new hobbies and talents!
My latest problem is a water stain from the flat upstairs bathroom on my kitchen ceiling, (I really could have done without it!)Builders have been in….. found causes….hopefully solved….sealed the ceiling….waiting for it to dry before painting. A case of watch this space.
I hope you will all be joining in the clap for NHS on 5th July. Something positive to look forward to, in these times of unsettling news.
Hopefully as the weeks go on more and more “normality” will come into our lives, maybe some of you are thinking of booking a holiday? But U3A as we knew it won’t be for some time yet.

SOUTHEND U3A June Cards and Messages sent to/for-

POORLY(not of corona)
Chris Bailey – at home but still poorly but some signs of improvement.
Jean Westhead- having more treatment for her foot.
J
Jean Westhead- husband Adrian – had operation due for another soon.

CORONA SYMPTOMS
Pauline Cuthbert- in care home- seems to be recovering, now testing negative.
Jan Fletcher- daughter front line nurse, caught covid, still improving.
Betty Boote- grand daughter- frontline nurse- symptoms but recovering slowly.
JUNE- (not corona virus)
Pauline Rayment- nasty trip over paving stone, been to hospital over night, bad cuts and bruises, having physio, steadily recovering.

Several of us are having tests and awaiting results for ongoing health issues. Several have had results and continuing with various treatments. Good luck to all.
Several – in particular Fiona Warin, Pauline Rayment and Barbara Wallen are anxiously waiting for the dentists to be able to open again.
Take care all of you, stay safe, look after yourselves, keep in touch with each other. Until we’ re able to meet again.
Best wishes from Diane Silverston

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June Poems

Oh For A Haircut!!
Why didn’t I get my hair cut,
At the start of March when I had a chance?
Before the Corona Virus really hit,
And Lockdown suddenly started.
Now when I look into the mirror,
I don’t recognise myself at a glance.
I can’t see where my hair used to be parted.
It has grown so long, I can get it into a ponytail or bun,
I’ve had to but curlers again and also clips.
It’s now really going white, which isn’t much fun.
People have given me scrunchies and a slide that grips.
When oh when do you think it might be,
That the “powers that be” relax the lockdown more?
I’ll be one of the first in the queue, you’ll see,
Waiting patiently in line at the hairdressers’ door,
To be invited in, and allowed to take a seat.
And watch those scissors work, as hair falls to the floor.
Then you’ll see me, once again back to looking neat.

DMS

Painted Nails
It all started with calcium tablets I had to chew,
I noticed my nails had started to grow,
Without the splits and nasty cracks.
I was able to file them into some shape.
Then whilst clearing out a bedroom drawer,
I found a half bottle of clear varnish,
Which I decided to use.
When a friend saw my shiny nails,
She gave me a bottle of deep purple.
As I waited in the chemist one day,
A bottle of pink I decided to buy,
And my nails became alternative shades.
Then I was given a lovely pale purple,
And so my fingers became mixed!
Where will this change end up?
Well…… there’s always my toes!!

DMS

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Latest Advice from Essex Police – June 2020

If you or someone you know is vulnerable and has been a victim of fraud, please call Essex Police on 101. Report fraud or attempted fraud by contacting Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.

NHS TRACK AND TRACE

With the development of Track and Trace, many people have been asking for advice around how this works.
Please find below the official advice from the GOV.UK website on how the system works and advice on how to avoid being the victim of any possible scams as a result of the implementation of this system.

When we contact you

If the NHS test and trace service contacts you, the service will use text messages, email or phone.
All texts or emails will ask you to sign into the NHS test and trace contact-tracing website.
If NHS test and trace calls you by phone, the service will be using a single phone number: 0300 013 5000.
All information you provide to the NHS test and trace service is held in strict confidence and will only be kept and used in line with the Data Protection Act 2018.

Contact tracers will:

• call you from 0300 013 5000
• send you text messages from ‘NHS’
• ask for your full name and date of birth to confirm your identity, and postcode to offer support while self-
isolating
• ask if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms
• provide advice on what you must do as you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for
coronavirus

Contact tracers will never:

• ask you to dial a premium rate number to speak to us (for example, those starting 09 or 087)
• ask you to make any form of payment or purchase a product of any kind
• ask for any details about your bank account
• ask for your social media identities or login details, or those of your contacts
• ask you for any passwords or PINs, or ask you to set up any passwords or PINs over the phone
• disclose any of your personal or medical information to your contacts
• provide medical advice on the treatment of any potential coronavirus symptoms
• ask you to download any software to your PC or ask you to hand over control of your PC, smartphone or tablet
to anyone else
• ask you to access any website that does not belong to the government or NHS

For the full guidance/information please check the GOV.UK website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works

Remember our advice
If in doubt use the A, B, C of scam awareness:
A- Never Assume a caller, email or text is genuine.
B- Never Believe a caller, email or text is genuine.
C- Always Confirm by contacting a trusted number, family member, friend, your bank’s fraud department or the police to check if it’s genuine.

‘Tell2, protect many’ is a communication initiative that empowers you to spread crime prevention messages to others in your life, who otherwise may never know. Start with ‘tell2’ and ask them to do the same. It starts with YOU!

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Some members have been asking about whether it is time to resume some face to face meetings. It is really important that we all continue to follow the government and NHS guidance.

The U3A movement has been guided throughout this time by that advice and should continue to do so – for the safety and wellbeing of all our members.

We have been advised by our insurers that this is crucial from a public liability insurance perspective.

A Note from our Insurers - 20/05/20

All U3A activities should have an appropriate risk assessment / checklist to ensure they are safe for U3A members to participate in. Government input about Covid19 is central to any risk assessment and given the advice remains “stay at home as much as possible” and “limit contact with other people” it follows that face-to-face U3A activity should not be undertaken at present. The government reasons for leaving home remain very limited and do not include for leisure activities such as provided by the U3A.

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LOCKDOWN

Life at present is so strange,
Ordinary routines no longer exist.
Captives in our own homes,
Keeping friends and relatives at bay.
Drawing on our hidden strengths,
Opportunities made fort different skills.
Waiting for this virus to diminish,
Neighbours now considered friends.

DMS May 2020

IN FUTURE MONTHS

In future months what will we consider normal?
Will our methods become more relaxed, less formal?
Will we start to realise
Things will be seen with different eyes?
Will this kindness and consideration
Remain intact within our nation?
Will we appreciate the sacrifices made,
And the part those Key workers played?
In future months will WE be able to say
That we did our best, every day?

DMS May 2020

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COVID-19 CYBER & FRAUD PROTECT MESSAGES
FROM EASTERN REGION SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIT REGIONAL ORGANISED CRIME UNIT

Monday 20th April 2020

Latest NCSC scam advice

There is evidence of cyber criminals using a range of online techniques to trick people into handing over money or reveal sensitive information.
Criminals rely on social engineering methods, taking advantage of human traits such as curiosity and concern in order to persuade them to:
• Click on a link that may lead to a phishing website. • Download an app containing malware or ransomware • Open a file (such as an email attachment) which contains malware.
Any of the above could result in personal and financial data being stolen.
Advice - Never click on a link in an unsolicited email.

It’s not just online that criminals will try to take advantage of people and the government has issued plenty of other useful advice to help prevent common scams:
Stop: Take a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information. • Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. • Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.

Hot Topics
Over 100 reports were sent to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) of phishing emails claiming to be from TV Licencing between 10-13 April 2020. It is believed that they are attempting to steal the recipient’s personal and financial details through a fraudulent link.
Latest examples of COVID19 related phishing email subject lines include:
• 2020 Coronavirus Updates • Coronavirus Updates • 2019-nCov: New confirmed cases in your City • 2019-nCov: Coronavirus outbreak in your city (Emergency

A COVID-19 variation on the ‘Nigerian Prince’ scam has been discovered in which digital fraudsters impersonated the U.S. Department of Treasury. Victims are being told to release all unclaimed ATM cards to curtail the recession because of the virus outbreak, for a $50 upfront fee. Although this is an American report, it may be seen within the UK in the future.
There have been recent incidents where victims have received an email threatening them with releasing a compromising video of them at their computer unless they send $3500 worth of bitcoin. Some of the intended victims didn’t even have web cams! It would appear to be a randomly targeted email.
A data breach occurred of an individual working in payroll services for a company who pay over 200 workers. The individual was working from home due to the outbreak, and both their mobile phone and laptop were potentially compromised as the two were connected at the time.

Top tip – always have your device software and anti-virus software up to date. Reports also received of website offering COVID-19 antibody blood tests.
Cyber criminals recently exploited the move to working from home during the lockdown. As less security checks were being made the fraudsters were able to hack a senior employee’s business email address and persuade the accounts department to redirect payments to accounts they controlled.

Reporting
Reporting to Action Fraud can be done online or by calling 0300 123 2040. To report offers of financial assistance from HMRC, contact phishing@hmrc.gov.uk.

This advice has been collated by the East Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) and is intended for wider distribution to raise awareness among businesses and the public.

Advice and information is changing daily as we navigate our way through the COVID19 pandemic, so please ensure you only take information from reputable sources.

If you require any further information, assistance or guidance please contact the ERSOU Protect Team CyberProtect@ERSOU.pnn.police.uk or your local Force protect team.

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FRIDAY 17th April 2020 HAIKU DAY - form of poetry from Japan. 3 lines. Doesn’t have to rhyme.
1st line 5 syllables 2nd line 7 syllables 3rd line 5 syllables

Good morning to you,
A beautiful sky of blue,
And garden to do.
DMS

Lockdown still on.
But the weather is good,
And Springtime is here.
DMS

Phone call to a friend,
Kind messages to them send,
Wish them all the best.
DMS

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Latest Scam Information from Essex Police

If you or someone you know is vulnerable and has been a victim of fraud, please call Essex Police on 101.
Report fraud or attempted fraud by contacting Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.

SMISHING/PHISHING

There have been a number of fake text messages and emails circulating and to draw your attention to the following two:

DANSKE BANK WHATSAPP MESSAGE
There have been a recent message circulating via Whatsapp, text and social media claiming to have come from the City of London Fraud Team and ‘the most advanced scam the banks have ever seen’.
The contact of this message is false.
However, the information about not clicking on suspicious links is the advice that we should all be following.

FAKE NHS EMAILS
As of yesterday (02/04/2020) Action Fraud had received 41 reports of this scam in two days. The email purports be from HM Government asking for donations to the NHS to combat COVID-19.
The NHS will never ask for donations of money in this way – if you would like to donate to the NHS you can do so via the official channels.
Remember to be wary of any emails asking you to click on links or requesting money.

With regards to both of these messages remember – do not click on links in unsolicited or unexpected messages.

And finally remember ABC:

Never Assume they are legitimate.
Never Believe they are legitimate.
Always Confirm using a trusted number or asking friends and family.

(9 Apr 2020)

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New SCAM Warning
This is a press release by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute:

New COVID-19 coronavirus scam voucher doing the rounds

The past three weeks have seen umpteen scams themed around the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK. The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has issued warnings about new scams arriving in digital inboxes and at front doors, in what is nothing short of an avalanche of scams targeted at the vulnerable public.

CTSI has now received evidence of a voucher scam themed around the pandemic quarantine. The scammers cloak the email in the branding of a popular supermarket chain and inform the recipient that they have received a money off voucher to assist with purchases during the quarantine.

The email then directs the recipient to click a link so that they may claim the coupon. Rather than being a kind offer from some of Britain's most popular chains, it is a fraudulent email which aims to steal the credit card details of the recipient.

CTSI Lead Officer, Katherine Hart, said: "This particular kind of scam is an old one, but the scammers have updated the theme to reflect the coronavirus pandemic.

"I am particularly concerned that many may jump at this opportunity to get money off their shopping while many people are newly unemployed, or facing a reduction in their salaries during the lockdown.

"Sometimes, there are telltale signs that the voucher offer is a scam, such as poor spelling and grammar; however, this is not always the case, and many look identical to official supermarket emails.

"The public should never click the links or input their card details. If an offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Everyone must be extra vigilant and sceptical of what they receive in their email inbox, on their phones and at the front door at this time."

(3 Apr 2020)

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Message from John Smart.

If like me you reel in need of some exercise can I direct your attention to web site 10today.co.uk. This has a nice easy 10 minute workout for seniors to do either standing or sitting. For intellectual stimulation Gresham College London is putting some of their public lectures on line, go to gresham.ac.uk Best wishes John S