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Expat Investor : September October 2009
NEWS ROUND-UP September/October 2009 EXPAT INVESTOR 11 Criminal gangs are targeting taxpayers with thousands of scam emails offering bogus tax refunds. The online attacks, known as 'phishing', have peaked this summer, leading to increased HMRC warns of 'real risk' from scam emails reports of fraud to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). The scams tell the recipient they are due a tax refund and ask for bank or credit card details so that the fictitious tax refund can be paid Lesley Strathie, HMRC Chief Executive, says, "We only ever contact customers who are due a refund in writing by post. We never use emails, telephone calls or external companies in these circumstances. I would strongly encourage anyone receiving such an email to immediately send it to us for investigation and delete it from their computer." HMRC is taking action to disrupt these attacks, and through co-operation with other law enforcement agencies in the UK and overseas a number of scam networks have been shut down -- most recently in July in Korea, Thailand, UK and USA. HMRC urges everyone to: check the advice published to hmrc.gov.uk/security/index.htm to see if the email you have received is listed. forward suspicious email to HMRC at email@example.com and then delete it from your computer / mail account. not click on websites links contained in suspicious emails or open attachments. follow advice from www.getsafeonline.co.uk. If you have reason to believe that you have been the victim of an email scam, report the matter to your bank/card issuer as soon as possible. If in doubt, please check it out with HMRC at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/security/ out. HMRC is warning customers about the possible dangers of falling for this scam during this phase of increased attacks on UK residents. All customers who provide their details to the fraudsters run a real risk of their accounts being emptied and credit cards used to their limit. The victim also risks having their personal details sold on to other organised criminal gangs. Portfolio Plus investment opportunity Bank of Scotland International has launched the third issue of its structured deposit product, Portfolio Plus Issue Three. This five year sterling structured investment product, whose perfor mance is linked to the FTSE 100 Index, is offering a potential retur n of 8% per annum for each of the five years subject to the FTSE 100 remaining at or increasing above the start date level. The arrangement is that each year, any return is paid automatically into a Bank of Scotland International Matured Funds Account, enabling customers to access the funds. After the five year term is up, investors will receive 100% of their original deposit back, regardless of the performance of the FTSE 100. James Gairdner is Marketing and Product Director, and he tells Expat Investor,"Portfolio Plus has been designed to enable customer to receive a better return than they would receive through current cash deposits, whilst still providing the guarantee that their original deposit will be returned upon maturity. "To gain the 8% per annum the FTSE 100 Index doesn't even have to go up, it just must not go down." Investors will need a minimum deposit of £20,000 to take part. The closing date for participation is 6th October 2009 -- end date 9th October, 2014.