Questions of cash: Beware fake emails that demand money


Q. Ever since typing my name into Google out of idle curiosity, I have been receiving emails from it demanding money or it will stop my ads. I do not have any ads, but its emails are non-reply and attempts to contact it are ignored. When I am abroad, accessing these emails costs me money. Help! SP, Guildford



A. Don't blame Google – it is even more annoyed than you are. It has nothing to do with having typed your name into its search engine – that is just a coincidence. This is yet another phishing scam designed to extract money or personal information from innocent internet users. You should ignore the emails and perhaps review your email-protection software, which appears not to be blocking spam mail. Google says the sender of these emails appears to be based in China and it is attempting to take legal action to put an end to its activities.



Q. Our son went travelling in South America, where in December his bag containing cameras, passport and bank cards was snatched at a bus station. He phoned us and we contacted banks, card companies and the mobile-phone provider. He has accounts with HSBC, NatWest and Barclays. Both HSBC and NatWest sent new cards to him via our home address. But Barclaycard insisted he phone them from South America. He tried repeatedly to do this, but even though he spent £35 on calls he was unable to get through to people who could sort his problem out. Barclaycard refused to send his card to our address as apparently it has our postal code recorded wrongly on its records – which was one of the reasons our son was unable to solve the problem when he phoned it – and it has no trace of him having lived here. PS, Buckinghamshire

A. Barclaycard says that having reviewed the tapes of calls between your son and Barclaycard, its staff could have handled his calls "in a more professional and helpful manner". Initially it credited your son's account with £35 as a goodwill gesture. We felt this was insufficient and asked Barclaycard to review this as it merely repaid the cost of your son's calls from South America. It has now agreed to credit his account with a further £50 in recognition of its poor handling of his calls.



Q. Earlier this year, high winds damaged the pebbledashing on my property, some of which fell through my neighbour's plastic carport roof. Both properties are covered by the same Norwich Union insurance policy. Norwich Union has been very slow in responding to the claim, even though we have provided the requested two written quotes from different tradesmen. The claims assessor concluded that while the damage was the result of the storm and high winds, only the carport damage would be covered by the insurance policy. Norwich Union will pay for the damage that will cost about £50 to repair, while rejecting the claim for damage of about £1,000. We pay more than £400 a year on insurance to Norwich Union. AM, Nottingham



A. A Norwich Union spokesman says its assessor concluded: "Despite the fact there had been storm conditions in the area, the pebbledashing had fallen off the walls because of general wear-and-tear problems and not because of any adverse weather conditions. We wouldn't expect high winds to affect pebbledashing that is in good condition and it seems the damage has only highlighted an ongoing maintenance issue." Your policy does not cover damage caused by wear and tear. You are unhappy with this response and can take the matter further by requesting the Financial Ombudsman Service to review the matter, but Norwich Union seems to be on safe legal ground.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Suggested Topics
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Foreign Exchange Dealer - OTE £40,000+

    £16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Foreign Exchange Dealer is re...

    SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

    Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

    £14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea