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Hammers stars caught in £30,000 bubbly sting

WEST Ham FC manager Sam Allardyce and star striker Andy Carroll have both fallen victim to one of the oldest scams known.
Players and staff are thought to have lost around £30,000 to a conman who promised them hampers and champagne from Harrods and Fortnum & Mason.
The crook, who turned up at the club training ground in Chadwell Heath, said he had contacts at both storesand could get the quality drink and food at a special rate.
It appears both the players, the manager and staff handed over cash before seeing the goods - and the crook was never seen again.
Everyone was shown genuine Harrods hampers before they agreed to purchase, but it was nothing more than a festive string.
The club reported it to police on Christmas Eve and we understand they are now investigating because the crooks also carried out the same sting at Norwich City.
It not only goes to show that if something appears too good to be true it usually is, but that it is not just the vulnerable and elderly who fall victim to this type of scam.
The swindle is known as the corner game fraud because the crooks tell their victims the goods are just around the corner loaded in a van.

andy carroll1
Sam Allardyce

Andy Carroll, above, lost £9,000, and manager Sam Allardyce is thought to have lost around £3000.

This just wasn't the real spirit of Christmas

HARD-pressed families who were desperate for Christmas cash were cruelly ripped off by bogus payday loan companies.
Victims were duped into handing over an upfront fee of up to £60 to process applications for online loans which never materialised.
They were then redirected to the web page of an authorised lending site – but the owners of the legal sites turn out to be in the dark about the trickery.
It is also believed unscrupulous sites trick “borrowers” into handing over bank details and other personal information which can be exploited or sold.
It was reveled that the crooks used slick online adverts, complete with pictures of smiling Santas, snowmen and presents, to lure the unwary with offers of short-term loans, offered without checks and supposedly paid out the same day.

College loses £1.4m as Old Bailey trial collapses

A COLLEGE which was defrauded out of £1.4million may never get its money back after a court case collapsed.
South Essex College was conned out of £1,457,000 when fraudsters intercepted payments to contractors as the college built its new Thurrock campus.
Six men and one woman from London were five days through a trial at the Old Bailey, London, when the judge threw the case out due to “incompetence” in the National Crime Agency.
The agency has launched an internal inquiry after it emerged evidence went missing and hadn’t been investigated properly.
The college has had to take money out of its reserves to meet the costs to build its Thurrock campus, which opened to students in September.

Old Bailey

Fake Frozen toys seized at Stansted Airport

FAKE Disney Frozen toys were among thousands of fake items seized by Border Force at Stansted Airport before Christmas as festive shoppers were being warned against buying counterfeit goods this Christmas.
Officers have made seizures of more than 150 dolls and more than 400 pencil cases carrying images from the Disney film. Altogether the seized items have an estimated retail value in excess of £8,000.
These detections follow discoveries made in August of nearly 500 items of counterfeit Frozen products worth more than £10,000 and in September of more than 2,300 imitation construction brick kits worth more than £18,000.
Other recent seizures at the airport include 381 pairs of fake Nike trainers estimated to be worth more than £36,000 and counterfeit Crest teeth whitening strips worth £9,000.

Building federation joins fight against rogue tradesmen

THE Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) have joined calls for people to carry out thorough checks on traders in a bid to crack down on doorstep criminals.  
Their campaign to crackdown on doorstep callers – titled ‘Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders - is focused on how citizens can look out for signs that a neighbour or someone in their community may be being targeted by doorstep criminals and encouraging them to step in and alert the authorities.
However, there are also a number of simple steps people can take to ensure that they do not become victims of doorstep criminals. These include:
•Seek tradesman recommendations from family and friends 
•Obtain at least three quotes for any work you wish to take place
•Check the references of tradesmen and go and look at previous work they have done
•Produce a detailed written specification of the work you want to be done and ensure the quote provided covers all of this work (including supply of materials and removal of rubbish)
•Ensure that the tradesman has the appropriate level of public liability insurance for the work to be carried out

Residents in Chelmsford on conmen hit list

NEARLY 3,000 vulnerable people are still being targeted by postal scam hoaxers who have compiled a "suckers list".
One resident from the Chelmsford area was sent more than 300 scam letters over two months, according to Essex Trading Standards officials.
But despite Trading Standards' repeated warnings about prize draw and special offer scams sent in the post, it estimates that 80 per cent of recipients will continue to respond to hoax mail, as they are sucked in by the promise of prizes.

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