Category: Fight Back

TSB Fined

If you are or were a TSB client then you will remember the meltdown of their computer systems back in 2018.

TSB tried to move their computer systems from their own to those of Sabadell which bought TSB in 2015.

Whether it was lack of testing or bad management or unrealistic expectations or just plain incompetence, the result was millions of their customers couldn’t access their money, direct debits failed leading to penalty costs on their customers and more.

It was the lead story on the news for days as many people had their lives turned upside down by the sudden shutdown of their accounts.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) concluded that TSB failed to organise and control the programme of work and failed to manage the operational risks of the software migration.

The FCA fined TSB £29.8 million and PRA sanctioned TSB for £18.9 million, adding to the £32.7 million it cost TSB to set right damage to their customers accounts.

We rely so much nowadays on computer systems and their information and its up to all organisations to protect their customers data and access.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Spoofing Website Closed

The website sold a subscription service to criminals.

The service allowed the scammers to make their phone calls appear as if from a number set by the scammer.

For example, you get a call from British Gas asking for a late payment and when you check – the caller’s number appears to be one of the British Gas authorised numbers.

But it’s been faked.

This is called spoofing.

Fifty nine thousand criminals signed up for the service (costing up to £5,000) and it is estimated they have conned around 200,000 people with help from the website.

Scotland Yard, the FBI and European law enforcement agencies teamed up to investigate.

The suspected mastermind behind the website is Teejay Fletcher and he is in custody, awaiting trial.

The victims were largely in the UK and America but some across Europe and Australia.

The website has been shutdown and the service stopped and in time those responsible will be sentenced for their crimes.

However, more and more of these operations need cooperation from law enforcement across multiple countries as the Internet respects no boundaries and certainly the criminals don’t.

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BT Stop Callers

BT has a range of services to help you block unwanted callers.

Apart from annoying friends and relatives, most of these calls may be from cold callers i.e. marketing and sales calls from companies you have never dealt with.

There are also the scam callers pretending to be from an organisation you may deal with e.g. claiming to be from BT checking on your line and asking you to confirm your details first.

There are malicious callers and there are time wasters.

Telephone Preference Service

First, you should also ask the company to stop calling you and remove you from their calling list.

If that doesn’t work then register with the Telephone Preference Service. Once registered then you should only receive Marketing calls from companies you have agreed can contact you.

Of course, criminals don’t obey these rules.

You can register with the Telephone Preference Service by signing up for BT Privacy at Home at We also offer Caller Display which allows you to see the number of the person who’s calling. BT Privacy at Home and Caller Display are both free. You can sign up to them at

Scam calls

These are commonly made by scammers pretending to be from BT.

They may ask you for personal information or want access to your computer. Don’t be fooled, this is fraud.

For more information, or to report a scam call, visit


  • Stay calm and don’t talk to the caller
  • Don’t give away any personal information or answer the phone with your name or number
  • Keep your answerphone message short and to the point
  • Keep note of these calls

If you’re getting abusive, threatening or obscene calls, then you should report them to the police. It will help if you note down the date, time and number that called, along with any other information.

If you’re receiving a lot of malicious calls you can call our Nuisance Call Advice Line on 0800 661 441 (8am to 10pm Monday-Friday and 9am to 6pm on a Saturday).

Calling features that can help:

  • BT Call Protect – sends nuisance and unwanted calls to a junk voicemail
  • BT Privacy at Home includes registration to the Telephone Preference Service >
  • Caller Display – lets you see the number that’s calling you before you answer
  • BT 1471 – dial 1471 to check the number that last called you
  • Ex-directory – take your number off the telephone directory

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Stay Safe From Insurance Scams

Insurance scams take many forms. It could be fake policies for sale on social media, people being tricked into thinking they’re entitled to compensation or criminals that deliberately crash into other drivers to make a claim. In recent months, we’ve also seen an increase in fraudsters targeting people effected by Covid-19 to steal money and personal information.

Insurance scams are estimated to cost consumers in the UK more £3 billion each year.

A YouGov survey into the public’s understanding of insurance scams showed:

  • 95% of the people sampled ‘knew little’ or ‘knew nothing’ about insurance fraud.
  • Only 18% had heard of claims farming.
  • Only 15% had heard of Ghost Broking.
  • A total of 58% were either ‘very worried’ or ‘fairly worried’ about falling victim to data theft.

Report insurance fraud to CheatLine by calling 0800 422 0421.

It’s safe, easy and completely confidential – and if you don’t want to provide your details, that’s okay. You can do it anonymously. There are three pages of questions that should only take a few minutes to complete depending upon the information you have. The first page asks for details about the perpetrators, the second asks for further information you might have, the third asks how you know about CheatLine and if we can contact you should we need to; you simply need to say yes and leave contact details, or no and report anonymously.

We share the information you provide with insurers, the police and industry watchdogs, helping to protect people from insurance scams.

Typical Insurance Frauds

Application fraud – Where inaccurate or misleading information has been provided to obtain insurance cover.

Claims fraud – You suspect someone has voluntarily provided, or has been coerced to provide inaccurate information as part of an insurance claim.

Claims farming – Actively incentivising someone to make a false claim or provide misleading information as part of a genuine insurance claim.

Data theft – Stealing or acquiring personal data to obtain insurance or make a fraudulent insurance claim.


Know the signs of these common insurance scams

Compensation scams

If contacted out of the blue, never provide personal or financial information.

Only make a claim directly through the insurance provider and only use the contact details provided at the point the policy was taken out.

If support is required to manage a claim, use a reputable FCA-registered company or SRA-regulated (Solicitors Regulation Authority) Solicitors firm.

Take steps to protect personal data from being stolen to help to prevent being targeted. Guidance can be found at the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Ghost broking

When buying insurance, check that the seller is registered with:

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) if it’s an Insurance Broker.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) if it’s an insurer selling motor insurance.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) can also be checked for all Insurance Advisors.

It’s recommended to check that the seller has a legitimate website, UK phone number and address. It’s also important to look out for any behavior that seems unprofessional or unusual.

Crash for Cash

There are several ways drivers can protect themselves from ‘Crash for Cash’ scams:

Keep your distance – Always keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front:

Two seconds in dry conditions. Four seconds in wet conditions. 20 seconds in ice/snow.

Stay alert – Drive safe and stick to the Highway Code. If you see someone driving suspiciously, stay calm and keep back.

Know the signs – if you’re involved in a suspicious collision the other driver or their passengers might:

Appear unphased by the collision.

Display injuries at complete odds with the impact of the collision.

Provide pre-written insurance details.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Encrypt Your Laptop Safely

If you lose your laptop  or it is stolen – unscrupulous people may be able to access the information on the computer or take out the drive and access it through another computer.

Bitlocker will encrypt the hard drive in your computer. You wont notice any difference in normal use but if your computer is stolen or lost then that encryption will stop criminals accessing your data or making use of the computer.

Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices include Bitlocker as standard, to prevent these problems.

BitLocker also lets the user lock the normal start-up process until a PIN is entered or a USB flash drive is inserted into the device. This makes the device much more secure but many people don’t want to do this.


BitLocker provides the most protection when used with a hardware component called Trusted Platform Module (TPM). The TPM is installed in many newer computers by the manufacturers. It works with BitLocker to help protect user data and to ensure that a computer has not been tampered with while the system was offline.

Bitlocker works on computers with TPM but it has more capability when combined with TPM.

Password Recovery

What happens if you lose your Bitlocker password?

There is the  BitLocker Recovery Password Viewer which enables you to locate and view BitLocker Drive Encryption recovery passwords that have been backed up to Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). This would commonly be available in businesses but not for personal purchasers.

If you are considering this ty[e of improved security for your devices, consult your computer seller or another expert for advice.

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Cyber Sprinters

An exciting new interactive online security resource for 7-11 year olds.

This is a new government initiative and aims to interest 7 to 11 years olds using a game.

CyberSprinters say the game empowers them to make smart decisions about staying secure online.

The digital game can be played on phone, tablet and desktop, and is supported by a suite of activities to be led by educational practitioners working with 7-11 year olds. Parents and carers can also try the CyberSprinter puzzles with their children at home!

There is also a toolkit of educational resources developed by the NCSC for practitioners that work with children aged 7-11. All of the resources, and the CyberSprinters game, focus around conveying key messages to children and will help them to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in crucial areas covering passwords, devices and messages.

The game and these resources can be used to support each other or separately. They are designed for use in both formal and non-formal education

If you have children between 7 and 11 , give it a go.

If you have tried the game, let us know what you think.