News and reviews

4 days ago

Beware of tax scams.

HMRC is warning of an end of financial year seasonal rise in tax-refund scams arriving by text or email. HMRC says the scale of this problem is ‘immense’. Last year there

HMRC would only inform you about tax refunds through the post or through your pay, via your employer. All emails, text messages, or voicemail messages saying you have a tax refund are a scam. Do not click on any links in these messages, and forward them to HMRC’s phishing email address or phone number. ... See more

Find out how internet scams work and what to be aware of - misleading websites, report website fraud, suspicious communication and phishing

1 week ago

TV providers fraud warning.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) have noticed an increase in Action Fraud reports where victims have been offered a discount on Television service provider

Victims have been informed that:
- Their subscription needs to be renewed
- part or all, of the TV equipment has expired and they are due an upgrade on the equipment/subscription.

In order to (falsely) process the discount, the fraudster asks victims to confirm or provide their bank account details. The scammers may also request identification documents, such as scanned copies of passports… Beware of these known telephone numbers: 08447111444, 02035190197 and 08001514141. The fraudster’s voices are reported to sound feminine and have an Asian accent.

When victims finally make enquiries they discover that their TV service provider did not call them and that the fraudster has made transactions using the bank account details provided. This type of fraud is nationwide and, since the beginning of this year (2018), there have been 300 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud. From the information received, victims aged over 66 seem to be the most targeted. ... See more

2 weeks ago

Reports of tech support scams rocket, earning handsome returns for fraudsters...

A typical technical support scam works like this:

1. A user receives a phone call, claiming to come from an

In fact, such entries are completely harmless and should not be considered evidence of a malware infection.
2. The scammer tricks their intended victim into giving them remote access to the user’s computer in order to “fix” the issue. In truth they install a remote access trojan (RAT).
3.The scammer claims to have identified fake “threats” on the victim’s computer, and scares the user into handing over their payment details or making an online purchase to “fix” the computer.
Usually the scammer will present the situation as urgent and requiring immediate action in order to prevent their intended victim from checking with a tech-savvy friend or relative.
In some cases, the scam will begin with the user seeing bogus security alerts on their computer, which urge them to “call support” for advice.

New statistics published by Microsoft reveal that the number of complaints its own customer services team have received about tech support scams have risen 24% since 2016, with some 153,000 reports from 183 different countries around the world.

Thanks to Bitbefender for the info in this article.
The problem isn’t limited to Windows desktop PCs – all manner of devices and operating systems have been targeted, including mobile platforms and Apple Macs – but I think it is fair to say that most commonly the callers do claim to be calling from Microsoft, or on behalf of a company working with Microsoft.

Microsoft is itself at pains to point out that it does not send unsolicited email messages or make unsolicited phone calls offering to fix computers, or requesting personal or financial information.
It simply isn’t in the business of proactively reaching out to people to offer them technical support.
In a similar vein, a genuine Microsoft error message or security warning will never include a phone number. So don’t ring it!

If you believe you have been on the receiving end of a technical support scam you can report it to Microsoft via an online form at

< Thanks to BitDefender for the details in this article >

Tagsfraudsters microsoft tech support scam ... See more

4 weeks ago

I met by chance some ladies doing a great job, delivering on a great idea.
Take a look at the leaflets below.

1 month ago

Finished 🙂
South Gloucestershire Council is planning to re-open the Bromley Heath Viaduct over the weekend of 27 April.

1 month ago

Martin Lewis has published a warning to the public saying “I don’t do adverts. If you ever see one with my face or name on it, it is without my permission, and usually a scam”. The full article ... See more

I don’t do adverts. If you ever see one with my face or name on it, it is without my permission, and usually a scam. Admittedly some are supposedly legit firms bending the rules to imply a link ... See more

1 month ago

It's nearly ‘GDPR’ time.

Most of us have heard of it. What does it all mean and what are IAP doing about it? In short, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is new privacy legislation

IAP are already committed to responsible handling of our customer data and like many others we are using the GDPR “deadline” as an opportunity to review our data handling processes. Here are four actions we’re taking as part of this review.

1. Audit of all existing customer data, storage methods and sources

We’ve grown substantially as a business in recent years. Our customer base has grown with us and so, therefore, has the volume of data we’re required to handle to allow us to provide the services and solutions we offer. We have now completed an internal audit of all customer data and sources, creating an inventory which allows us to see a complete list at a glance, with details of who within our organisation has ownership and where it can be accessed.

2. Revision of our company policy for handling customer data

All of our staff have been briefed on the changes made to how we handle data. The inventory of our customer data sources has been made available for all colleagues and support is available to ensure compliance with our internal processes around data. We will also continue to develop best practice around data handling as part of ongoing staff training.

3. Removal of lapsed or other unneeded data

Much of the GDPR is focused on how companies use prospect data for new business development. IAP do not use mailing lists or external companies to provide leads - all of our business growth is by personal recommendation. We have instigated a policy to delete all customer data where we have had no contact within 13 months, unless the customer specifically opts in for us to retain their data for purposes of future business.

4. Review of existing customer data to ensure we have correct and only the appropriate contact details for correspondence

It will continue to be necessary for us to keep contact details for our customers in contract with us. Occasionally we will contact our customers via email or phone with news and updates related to the products and services they have with us. We will endeavour to make immediate updates to the contact details we retain, should the customer require us to. Notifications of changes should be made to the our normal helpdesk ( and the relevant person will then update our records. ... See more

1 month ago

The new IAP website is now live. You can check it out at We would love to know what you think. Feel free to spread the word.

Providing practical support to small businesses, home workers and private users, IAP aims to clarify jargon and help users understand “IT speak” to get the solutions they require. We offer ... See more

2 months ago

Check out

2 months ago

False claims of Telephone Preference Service.

Fraudsters are cold-calling victims, falsely stating that they are from one of the well-known UK telecommunication service providers. They call victims

The fraudsters ask victims to confirm/provide their bank account details, informing them that there is a one-off charge for the service. Victims instead see monthly debits deducted from their accounts, which they have not authorised. The fraudsters often target elderly victims.

In all instances, direct debits are set up without following proper procedure. The victim is not sent written confirmation of the direct debit instruction, which is supposed to be sent within three days.

On occasions when victims attempted to call back, the telephone number provided by the fraudster was either unable to be reached or the victim’s direct debit cancellation request was refused.

During 2017, there were 493 Action Fraud Reports relating to this fraud.

- There is only one Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The TPS is the only official UK 'do-not-call' register for opting out of live telesales calls. It is free to sign-up to the register. TPS never charge for registration. You can register for this service at or by phone on 0345 070 0707.

Thanks to CHNW for this info. ... See more

Telephone Preference Service.

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