Security and Risk Online – Online scams cost Christmas shoppers over £10m last year


The festive period is a time for giving gifts, eating mince pies and spending quality time with your loved ones. However, unfortunately, police warn it’s also “prime time” for fraudsters as Christmas shoppers were fleeced of more than £10 million in online scams last year.

As huge numbers of bargain-hunters prepare to log on on Black Friday, officers highlighted the growing trend for criminals to use social media to target potential victims with apparently attractive deals.

One victim lost £86,000 when they tried to purchase a boat from a fraudster on eBay, police said.

Some 12,142 people said they had been bitten by online shopping fraud during the last Christmas period – with 133 saying they had been defrauded on Black Friday and another 115 falling victim on Cyber Monday.

City of London Police, who run the national reporting centre Action Fraud, are launching an awareness campaign aimed at helping shoppers avoid being conned.

Commander Chris Greany, the National Co-ordinator for Economic Crime, said: “Christmas is prime time for fraudsters to take advantage of the British public.

“During the festive season people rush to buy the presents they have been asking for; however, fraudsters see this period of generosity as an opportunity to strike and steal money from unsuspecting victims.

“Our campaign is designed to give individuals up-to-date advice that will keep them one step ahead of the criminals that target UK shoppers from all over the globe. Everyone deserves a crime-free Christmas so make sure it’s the criminals that are left short-changed this festive period.”

Young people are increasingly being approached on social media channels by fraudsters who offer seemingly great Christmas shopping deals, according to the police force.

It said that last year more people than ever reported that they had been initially approached on Instagram, with a 67% increase compared with the year before.

Analysis of Action Fraud reports from last Christmas showed that items such as home electricals, mobile phones and jewellery were the most common items which fraudsters offered to victims.

Separate research published earlier this week found that nearly a third of online shoppers may be tempted to put themselves at risk of fraud during the frenzy to grab a Christmas bargain.

Criminals use scam emails, fake ads on social media or internet searches promising heavy discounts for desirable goods to trick people into visiting fake websites and entering their card details. Once fraudsters harvest this information, they use victims’ details to go on shopping sprees.

So make sure you’re careful when online shopping, to make sure that your Christmas isn’t anything less than happy.



CRIB Advisors Mentors Singapore – FOUNDERS

Dr. Elaine Kim

Elaine is a medical doctor, entrepreneur and travel journalist. She currently practises palliative care at HCA Hospice Care, and is a Partner of Trinity Bridal in Hong Kong and Trinity Gallery in Singapore. Within CRIB, Elaine co-founded and serves as a creative director for boutique event planning company Milk and Honey and co-founded Trehaus Co-Work, Singapore’s first co-working space with adjacent child-minding and enrichment facilities. Elaine is an ambassador for SNOW and has led awareness-building and fund-raising initiatives for causes that support patients with cancer, the terminally ill, and protect at-risk children from trafficking and abuse. She is married to venture capitalist John Kim and they have two young sons. Her ABC Entrepreneur Profile is Angel.

Marilyn Lum

As the director of Lum Wen Kay Holdings, Marilyn manages investments in Singapore and China. She started her career in the hospitality and tourism industry, with over 5 years of experience in the front office, food and beverage and recreation department at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. Marilyn is currently pursuing her doctorate in education and is an adjunct lecturer and curriculum developer for several hospitality management schools. She is also on the lifestyle committee of Singapore Island Country Club. Marilyn and her husband have a young son. Her ABC Entrepreneur Profile is Business Manager.

Tjin Lee

Tjin is Founder and CEO of the award-winning Mercury Group of companies comprising, Mercury Events, Mercury PR, Mercury Creative and Mercury M&C. She is also the Founder and Festival Director of the Audi Fashion Festival and a passionate entrepreneur with a directorship in nine local businesses, including Trehaus Co-work, Curated Editions, Baby Style Icon and Wolfgang Violin Studio. Tjin is the recipient of the inaugural Singapore Tatler Young Achiever Leadership Award 2010, and Mercury has won numerous awards including the Singapore Tourism Board Experience Awards for Best Leisure Event for Audi Fashion Festival, and Best Exhibition for Blueprint. Tjin has a two young sons. Her ABC Entrepreneur Profile is Creative.

Mei Chee

Mei is the regional head of product marketing at a global technology company. Prior to that, she held various roles in portfolio and product management, research, marketing and strategy within the ICT industry. Mei is passionate about how technology and social enterprises can impact lives and shape culture. She served as advisor to The Whiz Times, a digital media platform for 5-12 year olds, and co-founded a global microenterprise initiative while pursuing her MBA at the Harvard Business School. Mei and her husband have a son, and she shares her parenting journey at Finally Mama as a member of Singapore Mom Bloggers. Her ABC Entrepreneur Profile is a blend of Angel, Business Manager and Creative.


BRICON ASSOCIATES PTE LTD – International Health Insurance

Whether you’re at home or living or working abroad, the last thing you want to worry about is your health. You need the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your medical needs are protected and you have access to the appropriate treatment available, whenever and wherever you need it. Naturally, you want a comprehensive international health insurance plan, giving you and your family instant access to an expert team of people who understand your situation and treat you with respect and compassion every time you contact them. With this international health policy, this is made possible.

We understand that everybody has a different budget and requirements. That is why our International healthcare insurance plans has three levels of cover, as well as options for extra international assistance and a choice of deductibles.

Prime level – This level gives you all the health coverage you need for both in-patient and out-patient care. Gold also covers family doctor treatment and any prescription you may need, as well as accident-related dental treatment. Maternity cover (after 10 months of continuous membership), home nursing and a range of four preventive health checks are also included in this comprehensive plan.

Middle level -This is designated to cover you and your family for any specialist medical treatment or diagnosis. You will be covered for in-patient hospital stays as well as out-patient consultations, treatment such as physiotherapy and a range of preventive health checks. Drugs, dressing and GP (family doctor) consultations are not covered. Maternity cover is available after 10 months of continuous membership.

Essential Plan – This level concentrates on covering you for in-patient hospital stays. You have the security that you will be covered for treatment you may receive as an in-patient or day-care patient.

Car Tips – Dishonesty and Car Insurance Policies


If drivers have one thing in common, it is that we all want low car insurance rates. Taking advantage of the discounts car insurance companies offer and maintaining a good driving record could go a long way towards saving on car insurance.

While these are good, honest ways to lower your rates, some customers choose to hide information or lie on their car insurance applications in an attempt to get cheap car insurance.

It may be tempting stretch the truth with your car insurance provider, but it can lead to negative consequences.

How Car Insurance Rates Are Determined

It is important to understand how car insurance rates are determined in order to know how and why people would lie on their applications to get lower rates.

Your car insurance is typically determined using several rating factors that include the following:

  • Your driving record and the driving records of each additional driver you wish to add to the policy.
  • Insurance claims history.
  • Credit history.
  • Your car’s year, make, and model.
  • Primary parking location of the car.
  • Average miles driven per day.
  • Your age and gender.
  • Your marital status.

The above rating factors are examples of the most common car insurance rating factors. Some states restrict insurance companies from using certain factors to determine car insurance rates. These restrictions generally apply to credit history and gender.

Common Lies Told by Applicants

When applying for car insurance, a driver might not tell the truth regarding some of the above rating factors. When an applicant deliberately lies on his application to save money, this is considered “soft fraud.”

Car insurance agents see certain misrepresentations more often than others. Often, applicants intentionally (or unintentionally – e.g., because they forgot) give false information regarding the following:

  • The number of traffic violations or accidents on the driver’s record.

o Having tickets, at-fault accidents, or other violations can increase your rates. Some applicants may lower the number of violations they’ve had in order to try to obtain a better quote.

o NOTE: Background and driving record inquiries can easily check this information.

  • Where the driver parks.

o Parking your car in a garage rather than out on the street can save you money on car insurance

o Some applicants will lie about keeping their car in the garage, even if they don’t own a garage.

  • Miles driven.

o Driving less means you face fewer risks, which ultimately means cheaper car insurance rates.

o Applicants will often lie by giving a number significantly lower than their actual average miles driven per day.

Remember, with the Internet, checking accuracy on the facts you provide is relatively simple. Always assume your information will get verified and give accurate information.

If you can’t remember a piece of information, don’t make up facts. Try to gather all the necessary information before getting a quote.

Effects on Your Policy

Most states have laws regarding when an insurance company can or cannot cancel your policy. Lying on an application is typically considered grounds for cancellation of your policy, but typically only if the information is material, meaning the information can affect the decision about whether to insure you.

Keep in mind that most states require you to have car insurance if you are driving your car on public roads. A cancellation of your policy would cause a lapse of car insurance coverage and you could be in violation of law if you operate your car while it is uninsured.

Dishonesty and Car Insurance Claims

As stated earlier, it isn’t always easy for car insurance companies to know if you are being truthful on your application. They cannot check every detail, such as where you park your car overnight. However, this can change if you need to make a claim on your insurance.

If, for example, you have comprehensive car insurance and you need to make a claim because your car was damaged in a hailstorm, you may find that your insurance company will investigate this claim.

If they find that you park your car out on the street when you stated in your application that you park it in a garage, they can deny that claim. You will responsible for paying all the repair costs.

If your car insurance company finds out you gave false information in your application, and they do not cancel your policy, you might experience a hefty rate increase.

Honesty Really Is the Best Policy

Lying to get a better rate can be tempting, but it does come with consequences you don’t want to face. Car insurance companies also pass any costs they face due to lies on to other customers. So in an attempt to get discounted rates, you actually contribute to the increased rates for everyone.

Taking advantage of car insurance discounts and driving safely is a much better way of saving on your policy.


SC Advisors Real Estate Orlando Projects in Singapore Review – Brent Daubach joins SC Advisors, LLC

Brent Daubach has joined SC Advisors, LLC, as project manager for the Citrus Bowl stadium renovation. With 15 years of design and construction experience, Daubach brings diverse skills and expertise in sports venues to one of Orlando’s most noted landmarks and the SC Advisors team.

Daubach’s previous projects demonstrate his extensive expertise in project management, scheduling, budgeting, negotiations and field supervision. He served as project manager for the $515 million retractable roof stadium for the Miami Marlins. This project included a retractable wall located in the outfield, state-of-the-art video displays, modern finishes and public art throughout the stadium’s exterior.

In addition, he coordinated the $250 million renovation of the Kansas City Royals’ Kaufman Stadium and served as project manager for the St. Louis Cardinals’ new Busch Stadium.

Daubach attended the University of Illinois, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.

With more than 40 years of team experience and $2 billion in development and transactions, Orlando-based SC Advisors specializes in owner’s representation, public/private development, acquisition/disposition and investment/trust advisement.

Car Tips – How to Handle Staged Car Accidents


To the average person, a car accident is one of the least desirable situations in which they could find themselves. An auto accident can be dangerous, traumatic, and expensive.

Unfortunately, some people do cause accidents on purpose. In fact, staged car accidents are becoming more common in the United States. Perpetrators of fraudulent accidents intend to make money by submitting bogus claims.

Types of Accident Scams

Staged car accidents are typically carefully planned and practiced. Described below are some common schemes.

The T-Bone Accident

In this scenario, a scam artist will wait for your car to proceed through an intersection and then jam the gas pedal and T-bone your vehicle. When the police arrive, phony witnesses, also known as “shady helpers,” will then claim you were the one who ran the stop sign or traffic signal.

The Wave

In this scam, the other driver will notice your attempt to switch lanes and subsequently wave you ahead. As you attempt to maneuver into the lane, he will accelerate, causing a collision with your car. When the police arrive, he will deny ever providing a courtesy wave, placing you at fault.

Dual Turn Sideswipe

A driver in the outer lane of the dual turn rams into you if you go even the slightest bit out of the inner lane as the two of you are making your turns. They may also drive a bit into your lane and swipe your car and then blame you.

“Witnesses” working with the con artist may corroborate his story.

Brake Slam

This simple scam involves the driver in front of you slamming on their brakes for no reason so that you cannot avoid rear-ending her vehicle.

Swoop and Stop

In this scenario, a car will suddenly pull in front of yours and stop. Another vehicle will simultaneously pull up alongside your car, preventing you from swerving to avoid an accident.

Phony Injuries

In any fraudulent accident, you may find yourself on the hook for injuries you didn’t cause. The con artists and their passengers may collaborate with a shady physician or chiropractor and file personal injury claims for phony injuries.

Some may even visit legitimate doctors and claim whiplash or other “soft tissue injuries,” which are difficult to detect.

Towing Scams

Once you’ve been in an accident, you may need a tow. Don’t let your guard down at this point, even though the accident is over. You are still susceptible to towing scams.

Be especially careful of tow trucks that appear before you have a chance to call for assistance.

Someone who appears on the scene and offers to help before you ask for help may be attempting to scam you by offering a tow at very inflated rates.

To learn more, visit our page on preventing car insurance fraud.


Negative Consequences of Scams

Car insurance scams can have consequences ranging from inconvenient to devastating. They can have the following effects.

  • Expense. You may be stuck paying for damages you didn’t cause.
  • Inconvenience. Even if you are unhurt and your insurance company ultimately pays for the damage, the process can be long as you get your car fixed and file the claim and police report. If you add a lawsuit to the mix, you’re looking at even more time until resolution.
  • Higher auto insurance premiums. Car insurance companies pay more when fraud occurs, and those costs are balanced out by increased premiums for everyone.
  • Trauma. Getting in your car after being a victim of a staged car accident can be scary because you may feel that you cannot avoid an accident no matter how careful you are.
  • Injury and death. Scammers don’t necessarily intend to hurt or kill anyone, but staged car accidents can go terribly wrong.

How to Avoid Accident Scams

The best ways to avoid accident scams are to drive carefully and be prepared. Keep a camera, pen, and paper in the car so that you can take photos and notes at the scene.

Also, be aware that some groups are at higher risk for being victims. Risk factors include the following:

  • Luxury vehicles and new cars – They may have higher insurance limits.
  • Work vehicles and big rigs – Car insurance scams on these vehicles may be more lucrative.
  • Women and older adults – Con artists may find these drivers easier to intimidate.

Handling a Fraudulent Accident

Staged car accident scam artists are vulnerable to facts. The more information you provide, the more equipped you are to fight an insurance scam.

Snap photos from every angle of the involved vehicles, with special focus on the damage. Also, capture on camera the license plate, as well as photos of the driver all the passengers in the other vehicle.

Take copious notes, and record as much as you can of the following:

  • Driver license number.
  • Vehicle registration information.
  • Car insurance information.
  • Name, address, and phone number.
  • The general height and weight (as well as the ethnicity) of the other car’s driver and passengers.

Also, call the police if you suspect that you were in a staged accident.

Don’t ever settle on site with cash; always report the accident to your car insurance company, and let them know if you suspect a scam.


Pensotti Quality Heating Boilers and Panel Radiators – OUR WHOLESALERS



At Pensotti, we pride ourselves in the relationship we have with our wholesalers – one of trust, commitment and loyalty. Below is a list of our wholesalers and distributors that installers can contact to purchase a Pensotti /Granby product. If you are a homeowner and would like to have more information about our products, please contact an authorized installer in your area.



Portland (207) 773-4755

Augusta (207) 623-4517

Bangor (207) 947-3301

Bath (207) 443-5592

Lewiston (207) 784-5721

Presque Isle (207) 764-1944

Windham (207) 892-0290



Bangor (207) 942-0293

Biddeford (Coastal Winair) (207) 284-2406




Augusta (888) 685-6755

Bangor (800) 524-4141

Portland (877) 699-3596



Lewiston (207) 783-6927



Winslow (207) 873-5608



Auburn (207) 514-1280

Portland (207) 871-1441



Brewer (207) 989-7285

Portland (207) 775-2735

Presque Isle (207) 764-8601



Manchester (603) 669-8100

Nashua (603) 589-7580

Portsmouth (603) 436-3550



Laconia  (603) 528-9466



Manchester (603) 668-7810

Portsmouth (603) 430-7820



Dover (603) 740-9715

Manchester (603) 669-3060



Auburn  (508) 756-4315

Malden (781) 322-9600



Worcester (508) 363-4000

Southbridge (508) 765-7900

Leominster (978) 534-6288



Medford (781) 396-5300




Dedham  (781) 329-4951

Framingham (508) 620-8885

Taunton (508) 821-9460

Watertown (617) 926-4556

Woburn (781) 933-6614



Weymouth (781) 749-5770

Plumbing and Heating Supply Center

Salisbury  (978) 462-7450

Plumbing and Heating Supply Center



Chelmsford (978) 244-1475

Waltham (781) 893-0800

Franklin (508) 528-6660

Bridgewater (508) 279-0525



Attleboro (508) 222-5555

Boston (617) 787-1800

Edgartown (508) 693-6792

Fall River (508) 673-5801

Falmouth (508) 457-9720

Nantucket (508) 228-0544

Orleans (508) 255-0560

South Uxbridge (508) 278-7761

West Yarmouth (508) 790-2259



Bridgewater (508) 697-6650

North Attleboro (508) 695-6650

Rehoboth (508) 336-6650



Providence (401) 421-6650



Providence (401) 521-8877



Warwick (401) 861-1776


Providence (401) 521-9332



Middletown (401) 846-6830

Pawtucket (401) 722-7010

Pecedale (401) 789-0991

Warwick (401) 739-8000



Guilford (203) 453-4358

Hartford (860) 953-7701



Bridgeport (203) 579-4499

Hartford (860) 233-6606

New Haven (203) 787-4288

Stamford (203) 324-6166

Waterbury (203) 756-8013



Essex (Essex Winair) (860) 767-9018

Shelton (Shelton Winair) (203) 929-6319

Vernon  (860) 872-4822

Willimantic  (860) 456-9178

Danbury (Danbury Winair) (203) 740-2152




Newburgh (845) 565-2400

Mahopac (845) 621-3200



Allentown (610) 266-5744

Broomall (610) 541-0430

Camp Hill (717) 731-1500

Lancaster (717) 295-8330

Bensalem (215) 879-7002

Reading (610) 750-8301

State College (814) 231-1280

Norristown (610) 666-8000

Warminster (267) 966-2356

West Chester (610) 235-2777

Wilkes-Barre (570) 823-3146

York (717) 840-8875



Pennsauken (856) 663-5818

Egg Harbor Twp (609) 641-3017

Bridgeport (215) 879-7212

Ewing Twp (609) 392-2694

Vineland (856) 405-2575