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Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Whittlesey and District Neighbourhood Watch

Creating safer, stronger and active communities

Cyber Attack

Talk Talk, the phone and broadband provider, was the victim of a cyber attack on their website commonly referred to as DDoS – distributed denial of service attack. This led to hackers accessing Talk Talks servers and stealing personal data. At the time Talk Talk stated that there was a chance that some of the following data could have been accessed:

  • Name and addresses
  • Dates of birth
  • Email addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Talk Talk account information
  • Credit card and banking details

 These events happen from time to time and affect a wide range of internet based companies.

Read more: Cyber Attack

Have you been Pawned

The word pawned means that you are 'owned' by someone else. It probably comes from a simple mistype as the letters 'o' and 'p' are next to each other. The consequence of being pawned means that someone else has obtained sufficient information about you to use your identity on the internet. A common consequence is that your email account can be changed, or the contents read. Emails could be sent as if from you without your knowledge.

It is possible that a person with your username and password could spend considerable time silently watching you emails and collecting sensitive information for other crimes such as identity theft or withdrawal of funds from your bank account.

How do you become pwned? Usually as the result of hackers obtaining your details via sites that you have subscribed too. The widely reported Ashley Madison hack, where subscribers details were stolen from a dating site that encourages people to cheat on their partners.  This site claimed to have forty million members but this is not the biggest number of subscribers details taken from a site. In October 2013 approximately 153 million accounts were breached when Adobe's customer database was hacked and 233 million users' details were taken from eBay. Other sites reported as having user data stolen include Carphone Warehouse, Yahoo, Sony, Vodaphone and Tesco with no doubt many others that have never been reported.

How do you know if you have been pawned? The quickest way is to enter an email address into the Have I been Pwned website at  

This site will check the email against published databases of hacks over recent years. If it can match the email then it will alert you to the fact and the problem can be dealt with. All the main suppliers of webmail have instructions on what to do on their pages.

Recognising a Scam Email?

There are many ways in which criminals will try to take your money.

Scam emails are increasingly common - do you know what to look for?

scam emails


Apple Pay Fraud

Fraudsters are targeting classified advertisement websites like AutoTrader to advertise vehicles for sale. Buyers are then contacting these ‘sellers’ to find out more about the vehicles and are being told to pay for them via ‘Apple Pay’. In this case the fraudsters are not using the genuine Apple Pay service and potential victims pay money directly to bank accounts in control of the fraudsters. Individuals receive emails claiming to be from Apple Pay with a web link to a cloned website with false terms and conditions of the ‘escrow’ service. Any money remitted to the fraudsters is then unrecoverable and the vehicles are not delivered.
Protect yourself:

Meet the seller ‘face to face’ and view the vehicle before parting with any money.

Be cautious of web links in an email they may not direct you to the genuine website.

Report scam advertisements to the classified advertisement websites.

If the vehicle is below market value, consider whether this is an opportunity too good to be true!

Spoof Paypal Emails

Fraudsters often target ‘goods for sale’ adverts on popular online auctions sites, so watch out whenever you’re selling anything online. 

How does the fraudster operate?

The fraudster will contact the seller to say that they want to buy the advertised item.
The seller then receives what looks like a genuine PayPal email, to confirm that the money has been paid by the buyer into their account.

With confirmation of payment, the seller will then send the item to the buyer’s address. The seller will later find that the PayPal email is fake and that the money has not been paid. The seller ends up losing out twice as not only do they not have the money, but they no longer have the item to sell.

Protect yourself:

• Check your PayPal account to ensure that the money has been paid in and has cleared into your bank account before you send the item to the buyer.
• Do not be bullied or rushed into sending items before you know that the payment has cleared – a genuine purchaser will not mind waiting a day or two for you to send them their item.
• If you are selling a vehicle, think carefully when selling to overseas purchasers – especially if they tell you they will send an extra payment for shipping – check that the funds have cleared before arranging this.




This is the home page of the Meerkats.Why did we choose the Meerkat? The Meerkat belongs to the mongoose family. It is famous for standing upright looking out for eagles and hawks that might attack their community.

Meerkats Logo Small

A Meerkat is always careful.

Meerkats work together to keep themselves safe. When a deadly puff adder attacked a burrow the meerkats helped each other and carried all their babies to safety.

 When they want to be safe, meerkats go to their burrow.

 Like the meerkat you can learn to be watchful and help to keep yourself safe. Meerkats teach us not to let our guard down and work together to keep our community safe from dangers.

We do not live in the wild, but we do have to know about the world around us because sometimes other people, or things we do, can be unsafe. 

The Meerkat pages will help you to find out how you can help yourself and your friends to stay safe.