MARITIME MUSEUM CON!

WHAT A MARITIME CON!

Maritime Museum Cafe 002
Earlier today I visited the Maritime Museum at Greenwich. When I decided to have a cup of tea, I discovered just how much a con the price of tea is in the museum’s cafe.
I looked at the price list, and the only tea listed was “Loose Leaf Tea” priced at £2.60p. This I expected, as I have always argued about the price of food and drink in controlled monopolised locations, so I decided to buy one (reluctantly).
On being served I noticed that all they gave me for my £2.60p was a cardboard cup of water with a little ‘English Tea’ teabag in it, and a minature cup with some milk.
On pointing out that this is definitely not loose leaf tea, I was informed that this was how they always serve it.

Maritime Museum Cafe 001
As the catering manager was in a meeting, I managed to talk to the supervisor, who informed me that they had stopped the loose leaf teas, but the price list had not been properly amended.
I pointed out that with ‘Loose Leaf Tea’ there is a higher level of service required than with the use of the much cheaper teabag service, and asked how much the price of a cup of tea will cost in the future. His answer to this was “The price will remain as it is, unchanged”
Thank you Maritime Museum. Next time I’ll being sandwiches and a flask!

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iTunes Gift Card Scam

HMRC warns on iTunes gift card scam

  • 20 December 2017
Image caption Vouchers that can be redeemed on iTunes are at the centre of the fraud

Hundreds of older and vulnerable people are getting ripped off by fraudsters who tell them to buy iTunes gift cards to pay their tax bills.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said there have been 1,500 reports of such scams since the start of last year.

Most victims are over 65 and lose £1,150 each on average.

HMRC has said it is working with Apple and campaign groups to make sure the public know how to spot the scam and to whom they should report it.

Here’s how it works: victims are first cold-called by the fraudsters, who pose as staff from HMRC.

They tell them they owe large amounts of tax.

The householders are then told to go and buy digital vouchers or gift cards, redeemable on sites such as iTunes, and read out the code.

Many of the victims agree to follow the instructions, as they don’t know what an iTunes voucher is.

The conmen sell the codes on, or purchase high-value products, at the victim’s expense.

On its support page, Apple said some fraudsters were using the same trick to persuade people to pay off hospital bills, bail money, debt collection fees and utility bills.

Since October, there has been new wording on the back of iTunes vouchers warning buyers not to share the code with anyone else.

It also warns specifically about tax bills: “The card cannot be used for any payments outside of the UK App Store or iTunes Store, including taxes.”

HMRC described the scammers as “very confident, convincing and utterly ruthless”.

“We urge people with elderly relatives to warn them about this scam and remind them that they should never trust anyone who phones them out of the blue and asks them to pay a tax bill,” said Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s director general of customer services.

“If you think you’ve been a victim, you should contact Action Fraud immediately.”

HMRC would never ask for outstanding payments using iTunes gift cards, it added.

Have you or a family member been the victim of an iTunes gift card scam? Share your experiences by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

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SHOP SAFELY THIS CHRISTMAS

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KEEP YOUR CAR KEY IN A METAL CONTAINER – AT HOME – WARNING

Police release footage of ‘relay crime’

Police have released footage of a 'relay crime'.
Police have released footage of a ‘relay crime’. Photo: West Midlands Police

Police have released what is believed to be the first footage of a ‘relay crime’ in the region – a crime that involves thieves being able to steal cars without needing to even see the owner’s keys.

The video released by West Midlands Police shows two men pulling up outside a house with relay boxes.

It’s believed that the devices are capable of receiving signals through walls, doors and windows, but not metal.

In the footage of the incident which happened in the Elmdon area of Solihull on the night of Sunday 24 September, one of the men can be seen waving a relay box in front of the property.

Police say the box receives a signal from the key inside and transmits it to the second box next to the car.

The car’s systems are then tricked into thinking that the key is present and unlocks.

The Mercedes has not been recovered following the incident.

Mark Silvester, from the West Midlands Police crime reduction team said:

To protect against this type of theft, owners can use an additional tested and Thatcham-approved steering lock to cover the entire steering wheel.

We also recommend Thatcham-approved tracking solutions fitted to the vehicle.

– Mark Silvester, West Midlands Police

JUST WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GET THE ENHANCED RATE FOR MOBILITY ON PIP?

DO YOU KNOWYOU MUST BE ALMOST A VEGETABLE TO GET THE

ENHANCED RATE FOR MOBILITY ON P.I.P.?

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Just how does the scoring system work to calculate your entitlement to the Mobility Section of the Personal Independancy Payment benefit?

I was surprised to find that the method of awarding points was angled to ensure that those with real mobility problems could not have a real hope of obtaining this benefit at the enhanced rate.

I am looking at the enhanced level on this benefit as that is the only point whereby a disabled person can apply to obtain access to the Motability Scheme, which is where you need to be to lease a decent mobility scooter, powered wheelchair, or for those with more requirements, a converted vehicle. A lower level (4 points plus) can provide some financial help, but not provide access to the services required for real support.

Let me start by explaining the scoring system for you:

  • There is a maximum uppermost point count of 24.
  • You require at least 12 points to receive the enhanced level.
  • 12 Points are dependant on: “Are you able to plan a journey”
  • The remaining 12 points are openly classified as: “Your Mobility”

Therefore, you may be a tetraplegic, but if you can plan your own journey, the first 12 points are unobtainable to you.

As a result of this, there are now only 12 further points available within the system.

As there is no fixed questionaire as to how your disability affects you travelling, or how many points each problem deserves, the remaining 12 point maximum is totally at the discression of the assessor. The assessor may simply consider that being able to turn your head could easily result in the loss of 1 point, which will be enough to ensure that you are unable to achieve the enhanced level of 12!

I can now fully understand why so many people who were on the old Disability Living Allowance, and assessed fairly, were awarded a mobility scooter or adapted car, are now finding that on transferring to the new PIP they are no longer qualified for their vehicle, and end out losing that vital piece of equipment.

Why can’t the mobility section of the benefit relfect the domestic requirements, and be evenly pointed out with specific questions?

Why are a whole 12 points allocated to something minor and as mundane as planning your journey? Allowing the scoring to operate in this way is disasterous to those with major disabilities, but whose minds are still clear,  as they would be unable to obtain access to Motability services.

Most towns now operate accessable transport advice lines, step-free rail maps and so on, so surely there should be some flexibility with regards planning your trip. For a person living in a major city compared with someone living in remote regions, the facilities for route planning varies greatly, and so the point allocation should display this fact.

The very title of this benefit, the Personal Independance Allowance, implies that this benefit is supposed to support those who are struggling to live an independant life.

This part of the benefit assessment is titled “Mobility” when half of the points are solely related to do with mental ability. Therefore as an Enhanced Level of PIP is a requirement to give smooth access to other services like Dial-a-Ride, and Taxi Card Schemes, the unfair scoring method could place all of these services out of reach to those in desperate need of them most.

I feel strongly that this method of assessment is totally unfair to those applying for it, and that the assessment method for it’s Mobility section requires review and alteration to ensure that those in need are still able to obtain that support.

On the Government’s own website,  the section on Eligibility for the Mobility section, all it says is:

Mobility difficulties

You may get the mobility part of PIP if you need help going out or moving around.

and nothing further. Check the link yourself.


Note From Mr Bloggy:

As many of my regular readers and friends will know, Although with my spine damaged in 3 points, plus other problems, I applied for this benefit and only received a score of 2 out of 24. I am currently awaiting for a date for my appeal court hearing. This is how I became aware of the unfairness of this benefit.

I realise that there must be tight controls over public finances, it is totally wrong that those in desperate need of help are left in a hopeless state.

Timeshare fraud spike: losses of more than £90,000 in holiday season | Action Fraud

Reports show that fraudsters are offering to sell victims a timeshare on a holiday property for an advance fee.

Source: Timeshare fraud spike: losses of more than £90,000 in holiday season | Action Fraud

Action Fraud – Home

Don’t fall for this con, which asks you to send money to a fake site.