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Expat Investor : November 2008
EXPAT EXPATEXPAT Investor Serving expats for more than 19 years Serving expats for more than 16 yearswww.expatinvestor.com e than 17 years £4.95/ €7.50/US$7.50 £4.95/€7.50/US$7.50 Nov 2008 email@example.com June 2005 “There are those that you know you should read, and then there’s the magazine you will read.” In this issue 6 Offshore savings Well-feathered nest-eggs from the current best payers. 14 15 18 24 Estate management The art of giving it all away and minimising IHT. Moving abroad A smooth transfer to Singapore with advice from The Fry Group. Cross-border spenders unite How not to get ripped off when shopping across borders. Offshore trusts What Jersey offshore trusts can do for your financial planning. Regulars 10 Offshore funds 11 Investment news 12 Offshore savings 21 Property investment 22 Offshore mortgage market The UK’s European Consumer Centre is throwing a life-line to those shoppers falling foul of con- merchants as they indulge in a little cross-border spending. UK citizens can log on to find out what their consumer rights are when making purchases at a distance, and how to resolve disputes with retailers. The site also offers some pertinent tips about avoiding the latest scams. The OFT-backed UK European Consumer Centre is actually based in Basildon, Essex. Like its cousin, Consumer Direct, it can be contacted via the telephone or by logging on to its website at www.ukecc.net Here, you’ll find free information on consumer rights in Europe as well as assistance in dealing with any cross-border disputes in which you’ve become embroiled. “We want you to feel as confident when shopping in another country as you do at home,” they say. The information available covers Bringing advisers and investors together Investor Serving expats for more than 17 years £4.95/ €7.50/US$7.50 www.expatinvestor.com air travel, package holidays, timeshare and holiday clubs, international mobile telephone charges, shopping online, car purchase and maintenance, internet auctions, banking and scams. Under the banking section, visitors are briefed on regulations covering cross-border payments including electronic payment transactions, credit transfers and charges. The pages dealing with scams are particularly interesting. Forewarned is forearmed is the motto here, and it stands to reason that well- informed investors will be less likely to fall victim to fraudsters. The UK me&my easy option Enjoy a great rate and easy access. Euro fraudsters named and shamed A new trading standards institute helps consumers get to grips with their cross-border shopping rights, as Expat Investor reports. European Consumer Centre offers the following advice: Do not: ? enter into conversations with organisations that contact you unsolicited. ? respond to unsolicited mails or emails. ? part with any money, to either pay fees or purchase a product in order to claim a prize. ? call a premium rate telephone line. ? give out any personal information such as banking and credit card details or copies of documents such as your passport or driving licence. If you have already sent money or provided bank details, the site suggests: ? do not send any more money. Unfortunately, if you have already parted with money it may be very difficult for you to get it back. ? if you have given your details to a third party that you do not know and trust, contact your bank, building society or credit card company and close your account. If you find you have been caught out, try and help others by contacting Scambusters at the Office of Fair Trading (08457 224499) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Get your own back by getting the fraudsters on the scams list. You can also write to the OFT, European Enforcement Team, Fleet Bank House, 2–6 Salisbury Square, London, EC4Y 8JX. The OFT will not be able to assist you as an individual but they have enforcement powers to act on behalf of a group of consumers to try and prevent problems recurring. If you have lost money as a result of a scam, this should be reported to your local police or to the Metropolitan Fraud Squad, Wellington House, 67–73 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6BE. If you believe that you may have been the victim of an e-mail scam you can report this at www.econsumer.gov, the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network’s (ICPEN) global online database for cross-border complaints. Three to avoid unsolicited text or telephone message telling you that you have won a major prize such as cash, a car or luxury holiday, or a ‘mystery prize’ worth at least £1,000. You are told to urgently ring an 090 number costing £1.50 a minute to find out what you have won. Often there isn’t really a prize or the prize you receive has been wrongly described and turns out to be a near worthless book of discount vouchers, or a holiday voucher with stringent restrictions attached. You will often have to pay more money to use the ‘prize’ on top of the cost of the premium-rate phone call. Winning a ‘free’ holiday You may get a phone call at home or a scratch card thrust into your hand claiming you’ve won a free holiday. Be very careful; you will almost certainly have to pay for so-called ‘extras’, such as flights and other add-ons. Your ‘free’ holiday will end up being more expensive than if you had booked it yourself. You may have to go somewhere you don’t want to go at a time that doesn’t suit you, or even go to a six-hour presentation about a holiday club. They’ll emphasise that this is not a timeshare. In one sense they’re right, because you will not necessarily be given a chance to cancel any commitment you make if you have second thoughts, as you would under the regulations which govern the marketing of timeshares. You’ve won a top prize You may receive a mailing or 6.50% eAccess2 Offshore internet banking for expatriates For more information from our advertisers or about products featured in Expat Investor enter the Fast Facts number onto the Reader Reply Service coupon on page 20 or go to: expatinvestor.com .. Internet Savings Account Gross/p.a. Cheque overpayment scams This could be a response to an advertisement or online auction posting you’ve placed, offering to pay for the goods/services you are selling by cheque. At the last minute, the buyer comes up with a reason for writing the cheque for more than the purchase price, and asks you to transfer back the difference after you deposit the cheque. If you deposit the cheque, you lose. Typically, these cheques are counterfeit, but they’re good enough to fool bank staff – when they bounce, you are liable for the entire amount. Don’t accept a cheque for more than your selling price, no matter how tempting the plea or convincing the story. Ask the buyer to write the cheque for the purchase price. If the buyer sends the incorrect amount, return the cheque. Don’t send the goods. Readers can turn to page 18 for guidance on cross-border spending and how to safeguard your consumer rights. .. Minimum balance only £1,000 . Deferred interest for tax planning Great for regular savings Apply online now at www.bbi.co.im Interest rates are effective from 3 July 2008, variable and quoted gross % p.a. that is, without any deduction of tax. Monthly interest is also available at 6.30% gross p.a. (AER 6.49%). This account is only available to applicants over the age of 18 and is not available to UK residents. Bradford & Bingley International Limited, International eSavings Unit, PO Box 263, Douglas, Isle of Man IM99 2JJ British Isles. EU Savings Directive rules apply to EU resident depositors. It is the responsibility of the depositor to declare any interest received to their relevant tax authority. AER stands for the Annual Equivalent Rate and illustrates what the interest rate would be if interest was paid to the account once a year. Bradford & Bingley International Limited is registered in the Isle of Man No. 052221C. Registered Office: 30 Ridgeway Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM11TA, British Isles. Licensed by the Isle of Man Financial Supervision Commission to take deposits. Fast Facts 99000 Interest available Annually, Monthly or Deferred www.expatinvestor.com To register for Expat Investor digital edition, visit the website at