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Police offer tips to help locals avoid email phishing scams

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is urging business owners to be on their guard to stay safe online over the festive period.

The force’s fraud prevention team has pulled together some top tips to help people avoid getting caught out by phishing as a new government grant scam is doing the rounds.

Phishing are email scams that can see people hand over bank and card details. The scam email presents itself as a trusted brand, such as GOV.UK, or various government agencies such as DVLA,  and will often say the intended victim is due money in a rebate or grant.

One currently being used to try and catch people out claims to be from the HMRC Government Gateway and is offering grants of up to £7,500, for businesses during the latest coronavirus lockdown.

Dyfed Powys Police Protect Officer DC Gareth Jordan said: “It is very easy to fall victim, the scammers have tried and tested methods to trick people into handing over their details.

Please, just take the time to think it through. It may look genuine but if you look a little closer there are clues to show they are not.”

He said there were often small clues to show the email is a scam.

Grammar

As is often the case, the grammar in the government grant scam is not correct, saying the “money are set to land in your bank accounts within six working days”.

Hyperlink

Another clue that something isn’t right, is to look closer at the link they want you to click. If you hover over it the web address is something obscure and not GOV.UK.

But if you click on the link it takes you to a website that appears to be GOV.UK.

No sign-in

Remember, Government Gateway would require you to log into your account in order to process any transaction. The scam site simply asks you to input details.

You can also test the authenticity of the site by inputting false details – such as a date of birth. For example, 31/02/1972. Any reputable site would not allow this as there isn’t 31 days in February.

Card details – ask yourself why they need them?

When processing the claim in the scam site, it then asks for that the government simply wouldn’t ask for – full card details, including name, the long card number, expiry date and the three-digit CVV code from the signature panel on the back. They also ask for your mother’s maiden name, your bank account number and sort code.

DC Jordan said that if you were to fill out these details – you would be giving the criminals all the information they need to start taking over your online life.

“We deal with so many people who have been conned into handing over thousands of pounds online,” said DC Jordan.

“Please take care. Don’t get caught out this Christmas.”

Top tips for spotting phishing scams:

Check the URL (website address): It may claim to be a trusted source but the weblink will tell you differently. Never click on the hyperlink. If the email claims to be from GOV.UK, type that into the address bar and you know you’re on the right page.

Stop: Take a moment to think before parting with your money or information – it could keep you safe.

Challenge: Could it be fake? It’s okay to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.

Protect: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam and report it to the police.

Report suspicious emails to: report@phishing.gov.uk (forward the suspicious email to this address).
You can also report suspicious texts by forwarding the original message to 7726, which spells SPAM on your keypad.

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Police launch public appeal following Carmarthenshire burglary

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE is investigating a burglary at a property in Ponthenry.

People broke into a shed at a home in Victoria Road at around 8.30pm on Monday, 31 October, before leaving after spotting a CCTV camera.

They returned at around 10.15pm and again at around 10.55pm.

During their raids they tooka green Wolf motocross helmet with a full face with a peak and line green motocross goggles.

Officers are appealing for help to identify two people they would like to speak to over the incident.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Quote reference: DPP/0756/01/11/2022/02/C. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Morrisons Foundation supports children’s charity with grant for vital equipment

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The Morrisons Foundation supports registered charities that make a positive difference. They recently awarded national children’s disability charity, Cerebra, based in Carmarthen, a grant of £11,109.

This will fund the creation of writing slopes through the Cerebra Innovation Centre, which is partnered with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and designs wonderful toys and equipment to help children living with a brain condition to learn and play.

The writing slopes are designed to help children who struggle with posture and fine motor skills. They also aid children with writing, drawing and hand control. Ross Head, Product Design Manager at the Cerebra Innovation Centre explains;

‘The slopes include a lovely wipe-clean surface for children to experiment with mark making, their own set of pens and a clever lid-free pen store to remove the challenge of removing lids for some children. We are so lucky to be able to do what we do and funding like this is so important to allow us to push boundaries and provide vital equipment that looks beautiful.’

At the start of 2022, the Cerebra Innovation Centre highlighted that they anticipated the need for an additional 20 writing slopes for children. Cerebra Fundraising Manager, James Hay then worked with the grants team at the Morrisons Foundation, who were delighted to support this project. David Scott, Morrisons Foundation Trustee said:

‘Cerebra is dedicated to helping families who have a child with a brain condition to discover a better life together, that’s why I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide this support. The specialised writing slopes will make a huge positive impact on children with sensory and mobility issues, providing a great opportunity to develop their skills, which will last a lifetime.’

Grants like this are a vital source of funding for Cerebra so that they are able to continue to support children living with a brain condition and their families who face challenges every day. The Cerebra Innovation Centre is one of the many support services provided by the charity that so many families have come to rely on. James Hay adds;

‘Thank you so much to the Morrisons Foundation for this generous grant! We are over the moon as we know how much this project will change young lives. These are particularly challenging times for charities and so this funding from Morrisons for the creation of 20 writing slopes is warmly welcomed.’

You can find out more about Cerebra and how they help children and families by visiting www.cerebra.org.uk 

Writing Slope
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White Ribbon campaign supported by Carmarthenshire County Council

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL says it is again showing its support for the White Ribbon campaign, which takes place on Friday, November 25 and is followed by 16 Days of Action.

White Ribbon is the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls.

While domestic abuse affects both sexes, the largest number of violent incidents involve men against women. But ultimately male violence against women is everyone’s issue, not just women’s.

The council was awarded White Ribbon UK accredited status for the first time in 2018 and is continuing to work to tackle such violence.

White Ribbon flags will be flying at County Hall in Carmarthen and town halls in Llanelli and Ammanford on White Ribbon Day (Friday, November 25). County Hall will also be lit up on the evening to show support.

The council is working alongside partners to raise awareness of the campaign across the county – from sports clubs, joint visits with the Police to licensed premises, our leisure centres and libraries to bus stations.

With this year’s White Ribbon Day falling on the same week as the start of the FIFA men’s World Cup, there has never been a better time to come together and start playing as a team to end violence against women and girls.

The council will be raising awareness of the campaign at special events including a Walking Football session at Amman Valley Leisure Centre on November 30 and at “An Evening with Sam Warburton” at the Lyric Theatre in Carmarthen on White Ribbon Day (November 25).

Cabinet Member responsible for Community Safety, Cllr Philip Hughes, said: “It’s vital that we raise more awareness about domestic abuse so that anyone affected can get help and support from one of our local services.”

Support locally can be found at: Threshold (Llanelli) on 01554 752 422 or www.threshold-das.org.uk; Calan DVS (Ammanford) on 01269 597 474 or www.calandvs.org.uk; Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service on 01267 238 410 or www.carmdas.org and Goleudy on 0300 123 2996 or www.goleudyvictimandwitnessservice.org.uk or call the Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800 or visit https://gov.wales/live-fear-free for free advice and support 24/7

For more information on the White Ribbon campaign visit www.whiteribbon.org.uk

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