PEOPLE in Chard and Ilminster are being warned not to become victims of scam emails and text messages.

Ilminster beat manager PC Andy Stuart said a number of people had received messages saying they were owed money.

He said: “The general rule is if you don’t know the sender, don’t open any links, it will probably have some malware attached to it. Even if it comes from the likes of a well-known bank, or a tax refund, don’t open any links.

“If you are unsure about any text messages or emails you receive, call your bank or the tax office but do not use the phone numbers provided in the emails, find them yourself.”

5% fewer crimes THE number of crimes in Ilminster was 5% lower overall than the previous year.

PC Andy Stuart told the town’s annual meeting that thefts of motor vehicles were down 40%, non-home burglaries were down 36% and criminal damage was down 41%.

There were increases, most notably sexual offences, up 133%. Thefts from vehicles were up 60% and shoplifting rose by 16%.

PC Stuart told the meeting not to be alarmed by the increases – despite the high percentage increases, the numbers of incidents were low and the sharp rise was due to a change in how crimes were recorded.