Neighbourhood Watch

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For information about Neighbourhood Watch you can contact Jim Parris:


Tel: 01303 862353

 or, Judith, on 01303 862498

Neighbourhood Watch is supported by the Etchinghill Residents’ Association


On this page we aim to keep residents and other site visitors abreast of current scams, being operated by unscrupulous individuals, whether they be through the Internet, via the telephone or by callers at the door.

The following links take you to the Trading Standards and Neighbourhood Watch websites, where you can find up to date information:


For Trading Standards: 


For Neighbourhood Watch:



Kent Trading Standards Christmas Newsletter 2015

Please find below the latest Trading Standards update for the Christmas period.

Happy Christmas

Jim Parris

Etchinghill – Neighbourhood Watch


December 2015


Are you prepared for Christmas this year?

The countdown to Christmas has begun, to make sure you enjoy the festive period we've got some top tips to help your Christmas go without a hitch.

In this edition..

Do you know your Consumer Rights?
Shopping online this Christmas?
Don't make the mistake of buying fake
A Puppy is for Life, not just for Christmas!
Need a tradesman in a hurry?
KCC Trading Standards court case victories



Do you know your new Consumer Rights?

You now have more rights when buying goods and services and for the first time you also have rights if you receive faulty digital content.

  • You can ask a trader to fix their poor workmanship or ask for some money back
  • You can get a full refund on faulty goods within 30 days of purchase
  • You can now get a refund on faulty digital content such as eBooks, films, music and games

TOP TIP: You don't have the right to return unwanted goods. Ask the retailer about their policy on returning unwanted goods and keep receipts in a safe place.


Shopping online this Christmas?

Follow these few simple steps to make sure your online shopping goes to plan.

  • Update your antivirus/antispyware software and check your firewall is running before you start shopping
  • Only use a secure website that displays a padlock symbol and starts with https://
  • Do not pay for goods when using an unsecured Wi-Fi connection

TOP TIP: Use insured sites like PayPal when buying goods on auction sites and never bank transfer to someone you don't know.


Don't make the mistake of buying a fake

It can be very difficult to spot a fake from the real thing so here's how to avoid buying fakes this year.

  • Counterfeit toys - when buying toys look out for the CE mark Lion mark and age recommendations
  • Electricals - Only buy electrical goods, such as chargers and Christmas lights, from trusted retailers. How to check plugs are safe to use
  • Cosmetics - Check the packaging is genuine and try to avoid buying cosmetics online

TOP TIP: Products sold on online auction sites for much less than the real thing could be a sign of a fake.

A Puppy is for Life not just for Christmas!

It is important to do your research before you buy a puppy. Illegally imported puppies are a growing problem. They often carry diseases, have behavioural problems or may be so poorly that they have to be put down.

TOP TIPS: Bad spelling on an advert and the seller insisting you pay the delivery company with postal orders are usually signs of a scam. Never buy a puppy from the roadside.


Need a tradesman in a hurry?

In an emergency don't be tempted to book the first trader you find. If you need a plumber, electrician, mechanic or a gas engineer in a hurry this Christmas, visit to find a Kent County Council approved trader you can trust.

TOP TIP: Rogue traders will agree a price then increase it claiming further work is needed. Report rogues to KCC Trading Standards

KCC Trading Standards court case victories

Patrick Doran overcharged elderly Ramsgate residents thousands for driveway work has been jailed for 27 months.

Alfie Ackleton conned elderly and vulnerable customers out of £323,000 for building work has been jailed for six years.

Keith Martin company director for UK Seekers ripped off hard-up families' desperately needing homes, has been given an 18 month jail sentence, suspended for 2 years, and 200 hours of community service.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!





Rogue Traders claim to be Trading Standards Officers to obtain money

KCC Trading Standards is urging all Kent residents to warn relatives, neighbours and friends about these rogues, particularly if they know someone who has had problems with a trader in the past, especially if the work was for driveways, roofing and gardening.

Trading Standards officers do not ask consumers for money and would not tell you to not mention their visit or call to anyone. Trading Standards officers carry ID, contact Kent County Council to verify their ID on 03000 41 41 41.
Contact Details

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.



Dartford Crossing scam

This is a message from your NHW liaison officer for the East Division.

We have been alerted to a scam relating to the Dartford crossing and payment via the internet for Dart Charge. Thank you to the co-ordinator who alerted us and I have copied an edited version of his e mail - details below:

"As a frequent user of the Dartford Crossing I was nearly caught out this morning when I received an email confirming a payment.

The senders address was

The message was "attached is a copy of your payment receipt" and an xls file was attached.

The genuine address for crossing charges is

The suffix initially made me think that the mail must have been genuine. - I had no idea that these could be used unless they were genuine."

This scam has been reported on facebook and also there articles on the Kent on line website and The Guardian website related to this so please pass on the message to be alert!


This is a message from your NHW liaison officer for the East Division:

A co-ordinator has alerted us to e mails circulating which state that your on line bank account has been frozen due to irregularities. In particular Tesco Bank customers have been targeted. Tesco account customers should not respond to any messages they receive that they do not recognise or have not requested.

Phishing emails are sent to you with the intention of either obtaining your security details or getting you to click on a link that will then load malware on to your computer. Please remember you will never be e mailed asking you for personal or security information.

More information is available on

As ever with e mails/Internet issues - be vigilant and spread the word to others to be careful.

Alexandra and Tarn

Nuisance Call Blocking Scam

This is a message from the NHW liaison officer for East Division.
A member has told us about yet another attempted telephone scam. She received a call from an Asian sounding voice, purporting to come from 002031291533 and offering to enable the blocking of all nuisance calls, including those from India.
However, the call quickly segued into a request for information on the expiry date of the member's Visa card: the caller said he had the other details from the telephone provider. When repeatedly challenged about this and asked for confirmation of the supplier's name the caller eventually rang off.
A quick check by NHW confirmed that the telephone number was a scam number and that this call was an attempt to get information to enable a fraud.
As always, we stress that all such calls should be treated with the utmost suspicion and that on no account should any credit/charge card or bank account details be revealed.
Banks, Utility Companies and Telecoms providers will never call asking for this or similar information.

27 October 2015 Mortgage Telephone Scam

Recently, a resident in Birchington received a phone call from a man claiming to be from the resident's bank. The man had an Indian accent and wanted to know if the resident's mortgage details have changed; the caller also asked for the resident's current mortgage details. The resident found the call suspicious and contacted the bank, who later confirmed the call to be a scam. If you receive a call you are not expecting, you should be suspicious. Banks never ask clients for their mortgage details; please do not disclose any personal information to anyone over the telephone, no matter who they claim to be. 

If you receive a similiar telephone call please contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.

Contact Details For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. 

Talk Talk Security Breach

26/10/2015 KCC Trading Standards Newsletter

Last week the phone and broadband provider TalkTalk was targeted by hackers with a cyber­attack. TalkTalk has confirmed that hackers only targeted the website and not their core systems. The Metropolitan Police Cyber Crime Unit has launched a criminal investigation.

If you are a TalkTalk customer there is a chance that some of the following data may have been accessed by hackers: Name, Address, Date of birth, Email address, Telephone number, Talk Talk account information, Credit and debit card details and/or bank details.

What you can do: Change your TalkTalk password/s immediately Contact your bank and let them know your account may be accessed Watch your bank and TalkTalk accounts over the next few months. Report suspicious activity on your accounts to your bank and TalkTalk. Visit TalkTalk’s website for updates and find out what else you can do

Scams: Scammers are already using the opportunity to target TalkTalk customers with scams. Be wary of any calls claiming to be from TalkTalk, especially if they are asking you to confirm personal details.

Also be aware that the scammers could also claim to be from your bank and ask for personal details. TalkTalk will NEVER call customers asking for personal details or passwords and would not call you to offer you a refund.

Your bank will NEVER call and ask you to transfer money into another account. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Talk Talk, hang up the phone and leave it for five minutes before you contact TalkTalk on a number you know to be correct, or if you can, use a different phone. To verify the identity of the caller or for any advice relating to the cyber­attack please call TalkTalk on (Freephone) 0800 083 2710.




Report fraudulent calls and emails to Kent Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.

For online safety advice please visit Get Safe Online:

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.