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22/01/2018: HMRC Scam
Police would like to warn the public in the South West about a phone scam that is conning vulnerable and elderly people out of thousands of pounds. The scammers prey on victims by cold calling them and impersonating an HMRC member of staff. They tell them that they owe large amounts of tax which they can only pay off through digital vouchers and gift cards, including those used for Apple’s iTunes Store. Recent calls to residents in the Torbay and Teignmouth areas apparently originate from a Manchester area code (01618). [Do not think that this only happens in South Devon. The Yarnscombe webmaster received one of these calls from 0161 but a screening phone kept the call out of harm’s way.]

Victims are told to go to a local shop, buy these vouchers and then read out the redemption code to the scammer who has kept them on the phone the whole time. The conmen then sell on the codes or purchase high-value products, all at the victim’s expense. The scammers frequently use intimidation to get what they want, threatening to seize the victim’s property or involve the police. One caller stated that if the victim hung up then the amount payable would go up to £90,000.

HMRC would never request the settling of debt through such a method.

What can you do:

20/12/2017: Stolen dogs

Police are appealing to the public for information following several reports of theft of dogs from North and South Molton.

The first incident happened at the kennels on The Square in North Molton on Friday 15 December between 9am and 5pm. Three dogs were all pedigree cocker spaniels. The first dog was a small female seven-year-old black Devonshire Faith spaniel, the second dog was an 18-month-old black Hillside Harriet female with a white bib, and the third dog was a gold Badgeberry Troufseau Hope spaniel. It is believed that a person or persons unknown entered the kennels and took the dogs. CR/108644/17.

The second incident occurred at a residential property in Oakford Close in North Molton on Friday 15 December between 7pm and 9pm. A cocker spaniel called Ivy was taken from the rear garden from her kennel. Ivy was located deceased at Bommertown Cross at approximately 8am the following morning. CR/108728/17.

The third incident occurred on Sunday 17 December around 10am from the Rose Ash area in South Molton. A female chocolate brown cocker spaniel and a female black and white spaniel were reported missing. CR/109830/17.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Steve Theobald said: “We are very concerned about the welfare of these dogs and urge the public to come forward with information. The owners are all aware of the incidents and are understandably shocked and upset by this. Enquiries are ongoing to locate the suspect/s and we are currently looking through CCTV. We would urge anyone who knows anything to get in touch with police immediately. We are also advising dog owners to be vigilant, especially those with Cocker spaniel breeds, and to make sure their dogs are safe and secure and to report any suspicious activity to police.”

You can contact the police by emailing 101@dc.police.uk or by calling 101 quoting CR/108644/17. Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via the charity’s website at www.crimestoppers.org.uk.

Message sent by Natasha Radford (Police, Community Messaging Officer, Devon and Cornwall)

15/12/2017: Western Power Distribution Affordable Warmth
Affordable Warmth aims to reduce fuel poverty across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, by working with members of the community to reduce their fuel bills and increase their knowledge and confidence about energy in the home. Find out more here: http://zc3b.r.ca.d.sendibm2.com/track/click/bghlr3hc8dg7d.

Here is some useful information to help prepare for winter.

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