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Of Interest to the Girls

Subscription Trap

  • 12:04 pm

    The word trap is usually not a nice word. Instantly a device designed to catch and retain an animal springs to mind, or a trick planned to deceive someone or catch them unaware. Okay, so trap music seems to be one form that’s not so awful depending on your music taste (Oh dear – switch if off quick it really isn’t for me!) AND of course there is TRAP (Trademark and Rightsholders Against Piracy) who we know do excellent work to protect the public from purchasing counterfeit products whilst enabling artists, actors, athletes and musicians to provide their fans with official merchandise.

    Someone I know recently was caught in a subscription trap and it caused me to look a little deeper into the whole trap area and it does what it says on the tin. It tricks someone into subscribing to a service or goods by offering the person a free trial believing that they will only be paying for the postage of that item by using a debit or credit card (my instinct on giving debit or credit card details makes me question anything first, but as consumers we are all getting a little less cautious using cards online).  Once the subscription trap company have those details they set up a continuous payment authority (CPA) and the trap is set.

    Trading standards and Citizens Advice Bureau helped my friend who had responded to a pop up advert whilst visiting a respected High Street store’s online shop. The advert offered a sample of face cream and within seconds the trap had been activated. Luckily she realised quickly and managed to cancel her credit card so the loss was minimal. The subscription trap company tried to make her feel that by cancelling the service, she would be put on a consumers black list and her credit worthiness would be challenged on any future purchases elsewhere. Indeed cruel for an honest person who has never been in debt to contemplate.

    Citizens Advice state that women aged 50 to 64 are most at risk from subscription traps offering health and beauty related products. Their survey highlights that as many as 2 million consumers in Great Britain have had a request to cancel a CPA for subscription declined by either the company or their bank/card provider. Far too many are getting caught and stuck in the trap and we need to highlight this to stop those numbers increasing.

    Check out National Trading Standards eCrime which has been set up by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to investigate online scams and rip offs of nation significance. and also Get Safe Online, who state they are UK’s leading source of unbiased factual and easy to understand information on online safety, offer free expert advice both personal and business

    I’ve always used the saying “If there is a bargain in one shop, I’m in the shop next door”. Maybe it’s not such a bad place to be.

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    by dave

Avoid Bad Hair Days…Avoid Counterfeit Hair Stylers!

  • 5:38 pm

    Bad hair day informs us  

    coun·ter·feit [koun-ter-fit] adjective  

    1. made in imitation so as to be passed off fraudulently or deceptively as genuine; not genuine; forged: counterfeit dollar bills.

    2. pretended; unreal: counterfeit grief.

    I like the fact that this mentions grief. It is so true!

    So I’m suggesting, please look further than the quality and cost. Think about how dangerous the item can be. Don’t believe it will be made to any safety standard, that it will have undertaken any testing or will come with any genuine warranty. Are you prepared to take the chance it won’t overheat your hair or cause it to fall out?

    A few simple steps –

    Have a look on the internet – so many of the genuine registered trademarked companies have articles on their websites informing you how to spot a fake and how to check with them whether your item is genuine. I’m thinking GHD, StraightFix, Paul Mitchell hair products to name a few see the links below.


    If you have bought a fake – report it to Trading Standards or Crimestoppers.

    The bottom line is if something sounds too good to be true it probably is, remember if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. We at Surelock represent lots of companies by helping them to reduce counterfeits-if we can’t help you maybe we know someone who can.

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    by Ron

Getting Home Safely- Don’t be a Victim

  • 4:31 pm
  • In London alone, recent statistics show that 11 women are attacked each month after taking an unlicensed minicab.  80% of stranger rapes are committed by unlicensed cab drivers.

    Always look for the cab licence number, phone number printed on the side, and discs in the front and back windows to see if it the minicab that you ordered. If you didn’t order one, don’t get in it; even if it is a licensed minicab. They should not be touting for business off the street.

    Taxi Safety Tips Always used a licensed taxi.

    Plan ahead. When going out, make sure you know how you are going to get back home and who you are going home with. It is better to plan your transport options while you are still sober and have your wits about you. Finding yourself alone miles from home at 2:30 in the morning is a situation you want to avoid.

    Book in advance.

    Pre-booking a taxi will avoid last-minute desperate decisions. Book with a known firm that someone you know uses regularly. Try and find a service that uses text or call-back to let you know when the taxi is arriving.

    Keep taxi numbers handy. Keep about three numbers stored in your mobile and keep a separate copy elsewhere in case you lose your phone. If you are out at a venue and do not have any numbers, ask a member of staff to recommend a licensed firm. Do not accept lifts from strangers.

    Be discreet. Try not to let strangers overhear you order a cab. If they overhear your details they could pretend to be the taxi you ordered.

    Find out the price. Get a quote for the cab fair over the phone so that you can set aside enough money. Private hire minicabs are not required to have meters and there are no price limits, so always confirm the price again before getting in.

    Get vehicle details. When booking, ask if they can tell you the colour and make of car as well as the cab driver’s name.

    Let someone know. If you are travelling to meet a friend, let them know the name of the company, where you are being picked up from and what time you expect to get there.

    Make sure it’s your cab. When they arrive, ask them to confirm the booking details. Ask who it is for; don’t say “is this the cab for ____?” Check their ID to make sure it’s from the company you ordered. If you feel unsure about a driver, just don’t get in.

    Sit in the back. Choose the seat behind the driver as this puts you the furthest out of reach. If a group of you are taking the taxi, ensure that the last person who will get out sits there. Keep your belongings about your person.

    Mind your mouth. If you chat to the driver, don’t reveal any personal information. Just stick to general topics.

    Use your mobile. If you feel nervous, phone a friend (or pretend to). This will make it less likely for anything to occur. If you are seriously concerned, phone the police immediately.

    When you have arrived, ask the driver to wait until you are indoors. They should be happy to do this so that you use their service more often.


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    by Ron

Protect your Handbag

  • 4:33 pm
  • The Chelsea Clip

    The Chelsea Clip was invented in 1991 since then it has been providing a preventative solution to the problem of thefts of handbags and personal luggage. It has been specifically designed to secure personal belongings within public places and you may have seen them in bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants as well as anywhere that personal property may be vulnerable to theft –

    The Chelsea Clip is a specially designed, injection moulded Nylon hook from which a bag, or other small item of personal luggage, can be suspended by its own strap. The item is easily placed onto the Chelsea Clip but two hands are required for its removal, making ‘handbag snatching’ virtually impossible.

    Also described as the bar clip, metclip, bar hook and purse clip, it is highly recommended by UK. Crime Prevention Officers

    The Handbag Hook

    Unfortunately not all public places have Chelsea Clips so the answer is to take your own device! There are personal hooks which can be carried in your handbag, and used on most flat surfaces, your bag slips on via its strap but as it is not permanent and it doesn’t require two hands for removal it won’t be as secure as the Chelsea Clip, but it will keep your bag off the floor, clean and close. There are many varieties of handbag hook and they make great gifts as they are neat and compact and can be even be personalised.

    The handbag Hook is also described as the Handbag Butler…..

    So whenever you are out and about, you will always be able to sit down and hang your handbag beside you and be practical and look stylish at the same time……

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    by Ron