Archive for the ‘Fraud’ category

Taseko Mines Ltd Investigation Continues

November 26, 2010

There are mounting concerns over Canadian B.C.’s Taseko Mines Ltd and its recent stock-plummet, with many asking probing questions as to just how stocks in the company fell so quickly.

The general sentiment is that the sell-off was the direct result of a leak from within the government prompting Liberal MP Mark Holland (public safety critic) to request an official investigation into the 40 per cent stock decline.

Shares in Taseko Mines Ltd fell by 40 per cent on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The suspicion comes from the timing, which was exactly two weeks before Ottawa announced it was blocking the firm’s planned development of a controversial B.C mine.

Holland wrote to the RCMP stating, “As the integrity of the federal government and cabinet is a matter of serious public concern, it is in the interest of all Canadians that this matter be resolved. I therefore request that you look into this case and determine whether or not there are grounds to launch a formal investigation.”

Holland is of the mindset that a member of the Tory government was responsible for divulging the information which prompted that mass shares-sale. Confirming this belief he commented, “Someone, somewhere in the Conservative government leaked.”

The investigation emphasised a huge amount of curiosity and finger pointing from Holland’s camp. His second question read:

“One day out of nowhere, the stock dropped 40 per cent. That’s no accident. This was a decision of the Conservative government, of its cabinet, and when did the share prices plunge? Around the same time the minister secretly met in cabinet to block the mine. Normal investors got wiped out, insiders leaked the information and made millions.”

The pinnacle question was fired when Holland asked, “What assurances do we have the Conservative insiders didn’t make out like bandits…?”

As the investigation continues, details will more than likely become suitably clearer.

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Fee Fraud Hits 15,000 Unlucky Victims

November 8, 2010

It has been discovered that as many as 15,000 people have fallen victim to advance fee frauds at the hands of more than a dozen debt elimination companies.

The large-scale fraud operation is estimated at collectively costing the victims a total of £6,000,000. The investigation into the fraud was named Operation Troy by those working on the case and it was made public this week after a steady build up of information throughout a year-long investigation.

The investigations were lead in a joint effort by Suffolk Trading Standards and Suffolk Constabulary and the efforts resulted in several arrests and the naming and shaming of 31 leading companies including debt elimination companies which amounted to 13 in total.

The fraud was based on said companies cold calling their victims and arranging a pre-service fee for whatever they were offering and then failing to deliver a service at all. Suffolk Trading Standards commented that the scams involved “a huge network of people” and that the victims were reportedly paying out sums of £400-£500 as a down payment before even receiving any form of service.

Some of the debt management companies involved have been named as First Debt Recovery, First Debt Elimination and Park Lane Services and as the investigation continues, the number of companies continues to grow.

Safe Havens Back Down

August 26, 2010

The yen, the US dollar and the Swiss franc all fell in this morning’s early trade – can you see the pattern?

Yes, all three are traditionally seen as ‘safe havens’ in an otherwise rocky market – yet today investors headed away from them on the back of healthier commodity increases.

Meanwhile the Japanese authorities are still rumoured to be thinking about intervening on the yen’s strength.

Also in the news: central banks are meeting at the US Fed’s mountain retreat to talk about the state of the global economy.  Is it recovering well enough?  Are we on the edge of another cliff, about to tumble back into recession?  Do we need to print more money to give things a boost?  These and other key topics are likely to be discussed.

Heading for South Africa – How Will You Pay?

June 9, 2010

The financial world might be bemoaning the current ‘teetering-on-the-edge-of-a-double-dip’ situation, what with the European debt crisis and news like Finland returning to a recession in the first quarter (according to official data) – so with the World Cup around the corner, is there any good ground to splash out on drinks or better still, go to South Africa?

Banks around the world are being increasingly warned that credit card fraud could be rife during the World Cup.  With fans heading down South from all around the world, many will rely on their credit cards for making payments.  Wise?

According to foreign currency specialists, it is indeed best not to lug great wads of cash around when you are abroad – and by the sounds of it, South Africa might be one place where you ought to be particularly vigilant.  But using a credit card overseas can incur large fees and often, the currency conversion is done at a poor rate and with added ‘currency fees’ (in some cases up to 3%).

A better option is to go for traveller’s cheques – despite their cumbersome nature – because of the safety attached to them.  If your cheques get lost or stolen, they can be replaced quickly anytime.  Another way to pay could be the new prepaid currency cards that are doing the rounds.  Most of them are offered in GBP, USD or EUR but if you go for a sterling card then the conversion will be made at point of sale, into South Africa rands, at a competitive rate.

Before you leave, don’t forget that while safety is important, so is having fun!  Go England!

Payday Loans Online

November 17, 2009

Payday loans – would you apply for one?  If you are one of thousands of UK people who are considering one of these fast cash loans, you might be concerned about how safe it is to apply online.

The things to remember are that –

  • Payday loan lenders take personal security very seriously – if they didn’t, they wouldn’t do very much business
  • Payday loan lenders generally have tight Policies in place to protect your data
  • You can check this easily on their websites or request personally
  • Payday loan lenders would probably face criminal charges if they were negligent

Still concerned?  You needn’t be; but having a good read of the lender’s (or broker’s) Privacy Policy and Terms should set your mind at ease.  Before you go ahead and apply though, make sure you fit the bill – are you over 18 and a full UK resident?  Do you have regular income?  Can you afford to pay the loan back?

 

 

 

Festive Shopping Season

November 12, 2009

Christmas – it has hit us already thanks to the adverts, lights and shop promotions.  Those that love the festive season are gearing up for mulled wine and mince pies – those that are less keen will be rolling their eyes…surely it isn’t that time already?

Well, in 42 days to be precise  – so that’s about a month left to get all the shopping done: presents, food and various drinks all need to be stocked up on.  Whether you are a die-hard turkey fan or into a more unusual roast such as pheasant, there is much to plan!

Not surprisingly, consumers will be relying on their plastic to see them through the shopping hit.  But all card users – be it credit cards or debit cards – must remain vigilent as fraud criminals will be on the prowl too.

The Financial Services Authority has recently enforced new regulations stemming from the formerly voluntary Banking Code.  This has changed a few of the ways in which card users and providers deal with fraud.  Card holders are now able to ask the bank exactly why they have refused a fraud claim – make sure you know your rights!

Property Investment – Long or Short Term?

July 13, 2009

I was reading the paper on my way to work and came across an interesting piece about a successful property investor.  It got me thinking because he was saying that for a sound investment, it is best to be in it for the long run.  But what about the recession, surely that is having an effect?

Of course it does, and where the investor was concerned, it was the unemployment figures and general consumer confidence that is a concern, as the housing market is still waiting to really hit the bottom.

Over the last years, during the boom, a growing number of TV shows were selling us how easy it is to become a property ladder.  It seemed that anyone could get involved and be a success – just find an idyllic run-down place either in the UK  or France, Italy, Spain…..spend some time doing it up and sell it at a profit.  We were given advice on how to go about it..it seemed a doddle.  The idea was short-term wins, quick and easy bucks.

Yet it is possible that as an investor, the way to get results is to sit tight and long.  According to the investor in the article, this recession is better than the last, because this time at least interest rates are low.  Back then, rates were high and there had been a lot of overdevelopment.  This time, he says, while leverage has been low on the ground, at least it is on the return for “good property at the right price”.