Fake holiday sickness couple from Wallasey jailed

Posted on by CCKeith in Uncategorized Comments Off on Fake holiday sickness couple from Wallasey jailed

A “greedy” couple made “fake” holiday sickness compensation claims while boasting about holidays full of “sun, laughter and fun”, a court heard.

Deborah Briton, 53, and partner Paul Roberts, 43, were jailed at Liverpool Crown Court after admitting fraud.

They tried to claim nearly £20,000 saying their two children fell ill on holidays to Majorca in 2015 and 2016.

Judge David Aubrey QC said there had been an “explosion” in gastric illness claims made by UK holidaymakers.

Briton, who was jailed for nine months, and Roberts, who received a 15-month term, bragged about their holidays on social media, the court heard.

‘Utter sham’

The pair, from Wallasey, Wirral, both admitted four counts of fraud in the private prosecution, brought by holiday company Thomas Cook.

Family members, including Briton’s daughter Charlene, who had initially been charged with two counts of fraud that were later dropped, shouted out in court as the couple were jailed.

The court heard that had they succeeded, the couple would have also cost the holiday firm a further £28,000 in legal expenses.

Judge Aubrey said their claims had been a “complete and utter sham”.

“They were bogus from start to finish, you were both asserting on your behalfs and on behalf of your two children that on two separate holidays you had suffered illness.

“They were totally and utterly fake.”

‘Pure greed’

He said the claims, made in August last year, must have required planning and premeditation.

He said: “Why? Pure greed. Seeking to get something for nothing.”

The judge said those tempted to make a dishonest claim must “expect to receive an immediate custodial sentence” if convicted.

A Thomas Cook spokesman added “We had to take a stand to protect our holidays and our customers from the minority who cheat the system.”


Ryanair cancels flights after ‘messing up’ pilot holidays

Posted on by CCKeith in Uncategorized Comments Off on Ryanair cancels flights after ‘messing up’ pilot holidays

Ryanair cancelled 82 flights on Sunday after admitting it had “messed up” the planning of its pilots’ holidays.

The budget airline said on Saturday that it would cancel 40-50 flights every day for the next six weeks.

Marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said affected customers with bookings up to 20 September had been informed.

“We have messed up in the planning of pilot holidays and we’re working hard to fix that,” he said.

Most of the cancellations are due to a backlog of staff leave which has seen large numbers of the airline’s staff book holidays towards the end of the year.

The airline is changing its holiday year, which currently runs from April to March, to run from January to December instead.

Rynanair said the shift meant it had to allocate annual leave to pilots in September and October.

Passenger complaints

The cancellations could affect up to 285,000 passengers, who will be offered alternative flights or refunds.

Mr Jacobs said affected customers would have been sent an email.

“We advise customers to check the email address used to make their booking,” he added.

A page on the Ryanair website details flights cancelled up until 20 September. It says 56 flights are cancelled on Monday, 55 on Tuesday, and 53 on Wednesday.

Ryanair has said that less than 2% of its flights would be cancelled and the move would help it hit its annual punctuality target of 90%.

But passengers have complained about the resulting uncertainty. Gary Cummings was due to fly from Leeds to Bratislava on Friday morning.

On Thursday night he received a text message from Ryanair, saying his flight had been cancelled.

The only alternative flight he was offered was on Monday – when he was originally due to be returning to Leeds.

“We were left in limbo really,” he told BBC Radio 5 live.

UK Aviation Minister Lord Callanan said he expected “all airlines to fulfil their obligations to their customers”.

“In the event of any disruption or cancellation airlines must ensure customers are fully compensated and every effort is made to provide alternative travel arrangements.”

Customers do have rights under the European Passenger Rights legislation.

“The rules say if the airline doesn’t have a suitable alternative flight, you have to be booked on a rival airline,” said Simon Calder, travel editor of the Independent.

He said passengers should also be able to claim compensation for the cancellations.

“It’s a really odd thing in terms of customer care, to say we want to improve the operation by keeping more planes on the ground,” he told the BBC.


Equifax had ‘admin’ as login and password in Argentina

Posted on by CCKeith in Uncategorized Comments Off on Equifax had ‘admin’ as login and password in Argentina

The credit report provider Equifax has been accused of a fresh data security breach, this time affecting its Argentine operations.

Cyber-crime blogger Brian Krebs said that an online employee tool used in the country could be accessed by typing “admin” as both a login and password.

He added that this gave access to records that included thousands of customers’ national identity numbers.

Last week, the firm revealed a separate attack affecting millions in the US.

After being notified of the latest breach, Equifax temporarily shut the affected website.

“We learned of a potential vulnerability in an internal portal in Argentina which was not in any way connected to the cyber-security event that occurred in the United States last week,” an Equifax spokeswoman told the BBC.

“We immediately acted to remediate the situation, which affected a limited amount of information strictly related to Equifax employees.

“We have no evidence at this time that any consumers or customers have been negatively affected, and we will continue to test and improve all security measures in the region.”

The discovery came less than a week after Equifax revealed that a separate breach meant about 143 million US consumers and an undisclosed number of British and Canadian residents might have had personal details exposed.

The firm took six weeks to make the discovery public after first learning of a problem.

On Tuesday, 36 US senators called for a federal investigation into how three company executives came to sell nearly $2m (£1.5m) worth of shares in the company in the interim.

Equifax is also facing dozens of legal claims over the matter. Mr Krebs wrote that the Argentine matter involved Equifax’s local business Veraz.

Specifically, a web application – referred to as Ayuda, the Spanish for “help” – appears to have been weakly guarded.

“[It] was wide open, protected by perhaps the most easy-to-guess password combination ever: admin/admin,” wrote Mr Krebs.

The discovery was made by the US cyber-security firm Hold Security, which Mr Krebs advises.

Its researchers explored the portal and within found a list of more 100 Argentina-based employees, the blogger disclosed.

Using this list they were able to uncover the workers’ company usernames and passwords, which turned out to be matching words in each instance.

Each example amounted to either solely the worker’s last name or a combination of their surname and their first initial, which made them fairly easy to guess anyway, Mr Krebs added.

‘Extraordinary’

“But wait, it gets worse,” he blogged.

“From the main page of the Equifax.com.ar employee portal was a listing of some 715 pages worth of complaints and disputes filed by Argentinians who had at one point over the past decade contacted Equifax via fax, phone or email to dispute issues with their credit reports.

“The site also lists each person’s DNI [documento nacional de identidad]- the Argentinian equivalent of the social security number – again, in plain text.”

All told, there were more than 14,000 such records, Mr Krebs said, concluding that the firm had been “sloppy”.

Unlike social security numbers in the US, DNIs are publically available in Argentina.

But one UK-based cyber-security expert agreed the case raised questions about how Equifax protects the data it holds.

“This kind of security vulnerability is extraordinary as even the most basic of checks should reveal this,” Prof Alan Woodward from the University of Surrey told the BBC.

“It’s outrageous that any organisation that holds such sensitive personal data can build a portal with this kind of basic security vulnerability.

“It simply shouldn’t happen and responding that they have now fixed the issue is not the point: it puts a huge question mark over whether Equifax have been applying the appropriate resources to online security elsewhere.”


Commuters crawling to a standstill as city speeds fall

Posted on by CCKeith in Uncategorized Comments Off on Commuters crawling to a standstill as city speeds fall

If it feels like your daily commute is taking longer and longer it’s probably because it is.

New data shows that average driving speeds in many of Britain’s major cities are falling, adding time and frustration to the daily slog to and from work. In London, Glasgow and Manchester average speeds within a mile of the city centres have dropped by more than 1mph since last year.

Speeds in the capital are the worst in the country at just 5.13mph within a mile of the centre and 8.34 within five miles but other major cities are almost as bad.

Edinburgh motorists achieve an average of just 6.64mph within a mile of the centre and just 12.38 within five miles, and those in Glasgow and Manchester also plod along at an average well below 7mph. The latest Department for Transport figures show that traffic volumes across the country rose 1.7 per cent between April 2016 and March 2017 to a total of 324.3 billion miles.

With such rises it’s perhaps unsurprising that journeys are taking longer for the estimated two-thirds of us who commute on a daily basis.

The figures were revealed by analysing data from 400,000 journeys gathered over three months by telematics firm In-Car Cleverness. Its head of sales, Paul O’Dowd, commented: “The figures paint a stark picture of how everyday commuters, drivers and even businesses are struggling to get around or operate in some of the biggest hubs in the UK.

“It is likely down to a few factors. Overall traffic volumes are higher and this increase will be most noticeable in urban areas. As well as more traffic on the roads, major cities are increasingly introducing tighter speed restrictions while adopting more bus lanes, as well as cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.”

 

 

 

 

 


Nicky Morgan wants leaked report into RBS published

Posted on by CCKeith in Uncategorized Comments Off on Nicky Morgan wants leaked report into RBS published

Treasury Committee chair Nicky Morgan has called for the full publication of a leaked report into the treatment of customers in RBS’s global restructuring group (GRG).

The report, produced for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), suggested the group mistreated many of its clients.

RBS denies that claim.

Mrs Morgan has asked FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey to secure RBS’s permission to publish it “without delay”.

“The report is in the hands of an unknown number of third parties,” she said.

“The balance has tipped firmly in favour of full publication.”

GRG operated from 2005 to 2013 and at its peak handled 16,000 companies.

It was introduced as an expert service that would turn around a business and stepped in when companies missed a loan repayment or had a drop in sales or profits.

But the FCA report found struggling companies that were placed in the recovery group had a slim chance of emerging from it.

Four-year wait

“The FCA told the committee in November 2016 that a ‘full account’ of the findings from the skilled persons’ report would be published,” Mrs Morgan said.

“Nearly a year later, and nearly four years since the report was commissioned, we are still waiting for answers.”

“I have asked Mr Bailey to update the committee on any information that the FCA uncovers as part of its inquiry into the leak,” she said.

“This would not be the first instance of leaking from the FCA, but lessons must be learned to ensure it is the last.”

The FCA said it would respond “in due course” to the request from Mrs Morgan.

“We have already initiated a leak inquiry into the disclosure of the s166 report on RBS GRG to the BBC, and we have asked the other parties who had access to the report, namely RBS and Promontory, to do the same.

“If the Treasury Select Committee or the BBC have evidence that the document was leaked by the FCA, we encourage them to share that with us.”

‘Address concerns’

In November 2013, Lawrence Tomlinson, then ‘Enterprise Czar’ for Business Secretary Vince Cable, made several allegations against RBS in a report into the GRG.

On the same day, RBS chairman Sir Andrew Large published an RBS-commissioned report into its own lending performance, which said that the bank needed “to address the concerns that have been raised by some customers and external shareholders”.

Two months later the FCA announced its own review into the group’s conduct.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 57 58   Next »
Switch to desktop version