Broadsheet Extras

On this page you will find reports that missed the broadsheet deadline

February 2020

Rural Crime

Sheep rustling, and even more disturbingly, sheep butchering in fields, have been reported in the press often enough of late and recently has come to the parish. 50 valuable breeding ewes have gone missing from a field along stowell lane. There appeared to be no evidence of how they were stolen but the operation must have involved transport and at least three persons and possibly dogs.

The general public cannot be expected to suspect every farming operation they see or indeed approach what they might suspect to be a suspicious gang but a phone call to a local farmer or the police can do no harm.

Cybercrime

Recently we have had a number of people that have brought our attention to online security frauds and privacy concerns. There are multiple online scams and telephone scams that have affected millions across the country and in Biddestone. A recent scam included using an outdated number from a Sat Nav company. This number, when rung, would automatically connect you to an overseas call center. The call center would ‘diagnose’ the issue and then attempt to take over the caller’s computer rendering it unusable until a ransom will be paid, often dressed up as ‘an insurance policy’ costing from £300-800. This type of sophisticated attack is a common practice for scammers, they will use a RAT (Remote Access Tool) to access their victims’ computer files and photographs. This type of attack is one of many ways scammers can affect your digital wellbeing.

To avoid scams and traps like these in the future. Please be cautious and aware that just because a phone number is printed on a piece of paper, it does not necessarily ensure that it is still current or safe to call. The best way to make sure that your support requests are being directed to the right place is to go to the website of the device you are having issues with and scroll to the bottom of the page. Find the “Support” or “Help” Section, there will always be a phone number for you to contact. If the call is redirected and you are at all suspicious and suspect a scam; the call should be following GDPR protocols in order to find out personal information in a secure way. If the caller tries to make you go to a separate website that is unrelated to the subject at hand, hang up. If the caller is asking for bank details or irrelevant private information such as a date of birth or password or security question you do not remember having, then ask why it is important for such information to be required.

 Always remember to be vigilant, BT, Microsoft or any of the banks or building societies do not have the resources to call you at home, beware of phone surveys or enquiries from companies who are checking your name and address or email to send you offers, if the caller asks am I speaking to Mr or Mrs (your surname) ?, always ask who is calling before you confirm your name, they may be trying to link your phone number to a name and address,  and if you think you’re being scammed please contact a family member or any of the Broadsheet team for further assistance.