Online dating scams cheat Brits out of £37bn

Love-sick Brits hunting for romance online are being cheated out of around £37 billion through sating sites, research has revealed.

Fraudsters are targeting emotionally vulnerable Britons looking for love, by grooming them in a similar way to methods used by paedophiles grooming children.

The increase in the number of online dating sites is likely to result the number being scammed increasing, researchers predict.

Fraudsters lead those looking for love to believe that they are beginning a romantic relationship and then swindle them out of large sums of money over periods of a few months.

Professor Monica Whitty of Leicester University said: ‘Scammers create a fake profile on dating sites and build up an intense relationship with their victim, grooming them before testing the waters to see of they can make some money out of the “relationship”.

‘It’s almost paedophilic. They get into a close relationship, getting emotionally close to them and, like paedophiles do when grooming their victims, gain their trust before pouncing. The victims become reliant on this closeness and are often infatuated by scammers who create attractive profiles.

‘The criminals tell them they love them and victims often haven’t had that experience before so they rely on them for happiness entirely.

Professor Whitty said they test to see if the besotted victim will hand over money by suggesting they would like a small gift.

‘This small gesture grows, with some asking for more expensive gifts like airplane tickets, with victims agreeing because online relationships are more intense and online daters often more strategic in what they say.

‘We’ve heard a lot from people at airports saying they see these victims waiting for their lover to turn up, only to realise they are not coming.

‘They will then make up an excuse for why they didn’t show up – car trouble getting to the airport for example – then still continue asking for money so they can try and visit again.’

This fraudulent activity does not just relate to money, some victims are sexually abused or convinced to strip on webcams in order to keep the relationship going.

The figures were gained from a YouGov survey of 2,028 Brits who were questioned about their experiences with online dating fraud.

The New IR35 Business Test: How Will Contractors Be Affected?

The IR35 Forum has revealed that a new business test as well as six risk scenarios will be published in April by HM Revenue & Customs. The improvements have been proposed to make the way IR35 is administered clearer; and from next month contractors and freelancers will be placed into either the low, medium, or high IR35 risk profile.

The advice will be issued to help self-employed workers regarding compliance risk. The aim of the Business Test will be to help contractors understand their position and they can use the evidence after taking the test if they are selected in an IR35 investigation.

The tests are not status tests because the legislation hasn’t been changed since it was introduced in 2000 but the proposals have attracted numerous disagreements due to the fact that industry experts claim that all freelancers cannot be categorised into a one-size fits all method.

The Forum was established by the Government to improve the administration of IR35 and to assist HMRC in identifying specific areas for development. Processes created include the new business entity tests and scenarios as well as a helpline and guidance.

Genuine contractors and consultants will not be affected by the latest changes, but aim to make IR35 easier to understand. And if they do become subject for investigation, their cases should be settled quickly with the help of the test results.

The scenarios which will be disclosed to “reduce the room for interpretation” of whether or not a contractor is in or outside the legislation. It is hoped that the scenarios will clarify the regulation and the IR35 Forum has revealed that it will develop a code of practice to educate contractors and contracting service firms.

The risk setups which will be published by HMRC in April will consist of two with a contractor inside IR35; two with a contractor outside it; a contractor who has started outside IR35 but moved inside; and the grey area of disagreement between HMRC and the Forum.

This article was written by the IR35 specialists at Nixon Williams. For more advice, visit the site today at www.nixonwilliams.com.

Petrol sales soar 85 per cent as motorists panic buy

Yesterday saw petrol up 85 per cent and diesel up 43 per cent as drivers rushed out to the pumps after a minister recommended stockpiling petrol at home.

The Petrol Retailers Association reported the dramatic increase in sales after Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude suggested motorists stock up on petrol filling any spare jerry cans.

Petrol prices also hit a new high yesterday reaching 140.70p per litre, diesel is also at a record 146.98 per litre.

Petrol stations are in danger of running dry, and the government has called in the military to prepare for a strike by tank drivers.

Strike dates have still not be announced by Unite and motoring groups have said ministers are creating a ‘self-fulfilling’ fuel shortage.

A spokesman for the Petrol Retailers Association said government advice was causing the problem.

He said: ‘This is exactly what we didn’t want – people panic buying. Deliveries are still being made to garages and we are advising people to continue with their normal buying habits.’

The AA said current fuel shortages were the result of bad advice and rumours leading to panic buying.

AA president Edmund King said: ‘There is no fuel tanker strike and therefore if drivers followed normal fuel buying patterns there would be no fuel shortage whatsoever. We now have self-inflicted shortages due to poor advice about topping up the tank and hoarding in jerry cans. This in turn has led to localised shortages, queues and some profiteering at the pumps.

‘Theoretically if 30million cars with half full tanks are advised to fill up over 24 hours, this means that 750million litres of fuel would be sold, whereas average sales over 24 hours would be 90million litres. So it is no surprise that the “top-up” advice has lead to shortages.’

 

Payday Loans Usage Quadruples

The use of payday loans has quadrupled in the past four (4) years and are continuing to be a new source of borrowing for consumers.

There has been many changes over the past five (5) years in the banking and lending community, much of this due to our changing economy.

Due to the economy slipping near a recession, and jobs being lost, many people have found themselves struggling to pay their bills and debts, and many struggling just to get by.

The rising costs of petrol, gas to heat our homes, electricity, and car insurance coupled with people losing their jobs due to redundancy, has brought about a wave of home repossessions, and people seeking relief from their debts in some form of insolvency, such as bankruptcy.

Next up we have the banks tightening up the reins on lending, or the “credit crunch” as we have heard time and time again.

And yet, we still need to borrow, we need access to credit; for whatever reason.

But what these changes and financial disasters has done, is to create a very different borrower, and to meet this new type of individual that still has borrowing needs, and a need for credit, the banks, lending companies, etc, needed to change and morph as well; they needed to come up with a loan product that fit the needs of the new borrower/consumer.

Think of it as evolution, a bit of Darwinism.  An animal needs to change with the times, climate, etc, or become extinct.

So lending needed to change.

Think of it like this:

Poor credit + rising costs of living (we still need to borrow) x need an answer/approval quickly + need the cash fast (no waiting for days) = Payday Loans.

Payday loans are nothing new, but as a lending product they have come of age, especially in the computer age.  Could have imagined 20 years ago, sitting at home, on a computer applying for a loan, being approved and having the money in your account all within an hour!

Does it sound too good to be true, well it is true, but there is a cost, a price to be paid.  And that price is a high interest rate, in some instances, very high.  APR’s as high as 1,700% or even higher 2,900%!

But these are APR’s, annual percentage rates.  Payday loans are stated to be only used for short-term needs or usage.

Basically how a payday loan works is this:

If you are working and earning a wage and have a bank account, you basically qualify for a payday loan.  You borrow an amount you require, usually less than £1,000, and pay it back on your next payday along with the interest or fee that is charged.

And having poor credit is not an issue.

But are people seeking payday loans, and applying for them, oh yeah, big time!

Halifax Bank did a study which showed that many British workers were skint just 17 days after they were paid!  So in essence, they still have the second half of the month to go.

And where do many of them go to finish that month, payday loans.

Shelter, a housing charity in the UK stated that almost one (1) million people in Britain have taken out an emergency payday loan to help them pay their mortgage in the past year.

The charity also stated that seven (7) million people have been relying on some form of credit to help pay their mortgage and/or housing costs.

Shelter’s findings were based on a YouGov survey of over 4,000 people.

The numbers don’t lie.

Nick from paydayloans.co.uk has stated that the increase they are seeing in the number of people seeking payday loans, seems to correlate with the economic downturn, and the fact that when a person needs a loan quickly, say for a car repair or other emergency, they cannot wait around for days to get approved.

Here are some recent statistics:

Annually 1.2 million people in the UK use payday loans as a means of getting by.

A total of £1.2 billion is borrowed in the form of payday loans each year in the UK.

Interest rates can be very high, over 2,000% APR.

According to a consumer watchdog group, the number of people using payday loans has quadrupled in the last four (4) years.

That is a massive growth.

So 20 years ago we could not have imagined things today; loans in an hour.

What will the next 20 years bring?  Maybe banks and lenders will anticipate your borrowing needs and just send you the money.  Your account starts to get a bit low, and hocus pocus, alakazam, there is money magically placed in your account.

But what would be the interest rate??

This article was written by Nick Zapolski of www.paydayloans.co.uk

Niki Lauda’s new Global 5000 jet launches Bombardier’s Vision Flight Deck

Aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace on Wednesday announced that its Vision Flight Deck has entered service on schedule on a Global 5000 aircraft.

Aircraft manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace on Wednesday announced that its Vision Flight Deck has entered service on schedule on a Global 5000 aircraft.

The aircraft was delivered to Niki Lauda during a special ceremony at Bombardier’s Global Completion Centre in Canada. Financial details were not disclosed.

Vision Flight Deck for Global aircraft received EASA certification on 20 February 2012, FAA certification on 29 February 2012 and Transport Canada certification on 3 June last year.

Majority stake in AeroMobile Communications acquired by Panasonic Avionics Corporation

Provider of in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) Panasonic Avionics Corporation on Tuesday announced that it has become a majority shareholder in AeroMobile Communications Ltd.

Provider of in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) Panasonic Avionics Corporation on Tuesday announced that it has become a majority shareholder in AeroMobile Communications Ltd.

The transaction is said to underscore Panasonic’s commitment to AeroMobile and its eXPhone product.

Telenor is the only other shareholder in AeroMobile and will continue to bring its telecoms experience to the company, Panasonic said.

Pan Am International Flight Academy adds three FFS to training facilities

Pan Am International Flight Academy on Tuesday announced its continuing expansion plans with the acquisition of three additional full flight simulators (FFS).

Pan Am International Flight Academy on Tuesday announced its continuing expansion plans with the acquisition of three additional full flight simulators (FFS).

The three FFS’ will be placed into service immediately at the academy’s Miami and Memphis training facilities.

A B777 Level D simulator and B747-400 Level D simulator have been delivered to the academy’s Miami Training Center, bringing the total number of jet simulators in Miami to 20.

The Memphis Training Center has added an MD-11 Level D FFS, which is intended to offer operators across the globe a premier option for their simulator training.

Unique Senna F1 car up for auction

A truly unique piece of motorsport history, a Toleman TG184-2 Formula One car driven by Ayrton Senna in his debut F1 season, is up for auction at The Spring Sale to be hosted by Silverstone Auctions on 16th May.

This particular car has become the stuff of legends and is perhaps best known for Senna’s remarkable second place drive in the rain-soaked 1984 Monaco GP, arguably the race which first demonstrated his extraordinary talents to the world.

Nick Whale, managing director, Silverstone Auctions, said: “We are thrilled to bring this iconic race car to auction as it’s undoubtedly one of the most important lots we’ve ever offered under the hammer.

“Senna mania is reaching fever pitch and rightly so as he’s considered by many as the greatest F1 driver we’ve ever seen. It goes without saying that this will be one of the star attractions at the sale as it’s a very rare chance to own a much sought after piece of motorsport and Ayrton Senna history.”

Indeed, the Toleman, which Senna also raced to 3rd in the British and 7th in the Canadian Grand Prix’s, has been in private ownership for the past 16 years, so its sale at open market really is an opportunity not to be missed.

However, Silverstone Auctions is no stranger to success with Senna related lots. At its first auction of the year, a helmet and race suit used by the driver fetched £74,750 and £35,650, respectively, both considerably more than their pre-sale estimates.

And while the race car is undoubtedly one of the key lots at the forthcoming Spring Sale to be held at Silverstone, it will be joined by an impressive range of other race cars, modern sports cars, motorcycles and automobilia.

“Excitement is building for the auction which promises to be a must attend sale for any serious collector or motorsport enthusiast. Apart from the Senna F1 car, another notable early entry is a stunning 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7, estimated at between £190,000 to £210,000. If these are examples of what’s to follow, then it promises to be quite an event,” added Nick.

Those interested in submitting an entry into The Spring Sale, or any of Silverstone Auctions forthcoming events, are invited to call the team on 01926 691 141 or email enquiries@silverstoneauctions.com.

airRM selected by Scoot as revenue management system

Revenue Management Systems Inc on Thursday announced that it has been selected by Scoot to provide it with revenue management, inventory control and reporting tools.

Revenue Management Systems Inc on Thursday announced that it has been selected by Scoot to provide it with revenue management, inventory control and reporting tools.

Scoot has selected airRM to help it identify sales opportunities and maximise passenger revenues.

airRM software is designed to allow airlines to control pricing and analyse performance through a suite of features. Financial details of the selection were not disclosed.

Rosetta Stone Language-Learning solution selected by Gatwick Airport as employee development tool

Provider of technology-based language-learning solutions Rosetta Stone on Wednesday announced that it has formed a partnership with Gatwick Airport.

Provider of technology-based language-learning solutions Rosetta Stone on Wednesday announced that it has formed a partnership with Gatwick Airport.

Under the partnership the two organisations intend to bring language-learning technology to the UK airport’s staff.

On 22 March 2012 Gatwick Airport is scheduled to sign it’s first-ever learning agreement, setting up a joint venture with trade union Unite, to deliver training.