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Neighbourhood Alert Update
Ref: 422

Date: Wed 30 Jan 2019 14:57

Theft Of Handbags In Reading Town Centre

Police report that there has been a number of thefts of handbags from pubs and clubs in Reading Town Centre.

Your Local Neighbourhood Policing Team would like to you to follow the following crime prevention advice:
  • Keep your handbag on you, zipped with no valuable items on display ( this includes your mobile phone). Do not leave it unattended.
  • Keep your handbag close to your body.
  • In restaurants and cafes put your bag on your lap or on the floor between your feet with your foot on the strap, Alternatively place the strap through one leg of the chair.
  • Never leave your bag in adjacent seats in theatres, pubs or on public transport.
  • If using toilets, do not place your handbag close to the door or side walls, particularly if there is a gap between the walls and the ground . It could be snatched from the outside.
  • Don't hang stuff on the back of a chair.
  • Do not carry large amounts of cash with you,withdraw only money needed at the time.
  • Don't place your belongings out of sight on the floor.
  • Be mindful of distractions, thieves working in pairs may attempt to divert your attention in order to steal your handbag or its contents.
  • Attach your purse to your handbag with a secure cord and keep your mobile in a zipped internal pocket or on your person.
Please report any suspicious incidents, sightings or any information to The Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101.



Fake TV Licensing Emails

Action Fraud has received more than 5,000 reports about fake emails and texts purporting to be from TV Licensing. The messages contain links to genuine-looking websites that are designed to steal personal and financial information.

Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information in case it’s a scam. Never automatically click on a link in an unexpected email or text.

For more information about how to stay safe online, visit cyberaware.gov.uk



HM Revenue and Customs Alert

Action Fraud has experienced an increase in the reporting of malicious calls, voicemails, text messages or emails to members of the public purporting to be from HMRC.

The fraudsters state that as a result of their non-payment of tax or other duty, the victim is liable to prosecution or other legal proceedings such as repossession of belongings to settle the balance but can avoid this by arranging for payment to be made immediately by method such as bank transfer or by iTunes gift cards.

If the victim is hesitant or refuses to comply, the suspect makes a threat such as immediate arrest, bailiffs or in cases where the victim appears to be of overseas origin; deportation.

Often, the period for which the tax is allegedly due is distant enough to guarantee the victim will have little, if any, paperwork or ability to verify the claims. Once the money is paid the suspects sever all contact.

It is vital that the public exercise caution when receiving messages or telephone calls of this nature.

What you need to do
Always question unsolicited requests for your personal or financial information. Just because someone knows your basic details (such as your name and contact details), it doesn't mean they are genuine. Instead, contact the company directly using trusted methods such as a known email address or phone number.

Listen to your instincts. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it. No genuine organisation will ask you to pay taxes, bills or fees using iTunes Gift Cards, or any other type of voucher.

Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision. Under no circumstances would a genuine bank or some other trusted organisation force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.

Report Phishing attempts. If you receive a call, text or email of this nature and have not lost money, report this as a phishing attempt to Action Fraud.


We will continue to bring you updates that will help keep you secure and reduce crime in the Caversham area

Theft Of Handbags In Reading Town Centre

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