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If you get an unexpected email from renowned courier company DHL, be warned! If you haven’t bought anything online in recent memory, the correspondence from the firm is almost certainly a scam aimed at stealing personal information, including bank details and passwords. It may come as a surprise, but DHL has just been named the top brand used by scammers to impersonate in an attempt to trick email users. 

DHL has overtaken Microsoft, WhatsApp, Google, and even Amazon to claim the top spot.

With millions of us staying at home due to the ongoing global pandemic and ordering more goods online, it seems cyber crooks are trying to make a quick buck by sending out fake emails and text messages pretending to be from delivery firms. These scams often lure consumers by stating that a parcel is out for delivery and must be tracked in order to receive it.

These scam messages usually feature a link that takes people to fake websites that look just like the official homepage with anyone who is fooled then asked to input their details.

According to the security team at Check Point, the rise in online shopping has led to a boom in DHL scams. In fact, a whopping twenty-three percent of all brand phishing attempts were related to DHL in the last part of 2021 – that’s up from just 9 percent in the previous quarter.

Speaking about the news, said: “In Q4, global logistics and distribution company DHL ended Microsoft’s long-standing reign as the brand most frequently imitated by cybercriminals in attempts to steal credentials or deploy malware via sophisticated phishing techniques.

“FedEx also appeared in the top ten list for the first time in Q4 2021, no doubt the result of threat actors trying to target vulnerable online shoppers in the run-up to the festive season as the pandemic remained a key concern.”

Alongside DHL, there are other brands that email users should be wary of if they receive a message they weren’t expecting. Microsoft, WhatsApp, Google, LinkedIn and Amazon all appear in the top 10 when it comes to fake phishing emails.

Anyone seeing a message from these brands needs to be high alert and should only click on links if they are 100 percent sure the email is genuine.

Here’s a list of the top 10 firms used by scammers…

DHL (related to 23% of all phishing attacks globally)

Microsoft (20%)

WhatsApp (11%)

Google (10%)

LinkedIn (8%)

Amazon (4%)

FedEx (3%)

Roblox (3%)

Paypal (2%)

Apple (2%)

“In a brand phishing attack, criminals try to imitate the official website of a well-known brand by using a similar domain name or URL and web-page design to the genuine site,” Check Point said. “The link to the fake website can be sent to targeted individuals by email or text message, a user can be redirected during web browsing, or it may be triggered from a fraudulent mobile application. The fake website often contains a form intended to steal users’ credentials, payment details or other personal information.”




Motorists in London from today face being stung with higher fines if they break rules when driving on the city’s busiest, no-stopping, ‘Red Routes’.

Transport for London has increased the maximum fine on the capital’s busiest roads from £130 to £160 – a 23 per cent hike – despite nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of drivers opposing the hiked charges in a consultation held last year.

Red routes account for around 390 miles of the capital’s roads. While that’s around just five per cent of the road network, these are the busiest routes, with between 30 and 40 per cent of daily traffic in London using them.

As of today (Monday 17 January), motorists will be fined an extra £30 if they are found committing a number of contraventions, such as blocking yellow box junctions, breaking parking rules, performing illegal turns and driving in bus lanes. 

Higher fines in London come into force TODAY: Drivers caught breaking rules on the capital's 390-mile network of red routes will be hit with a fine of £160 - up from £130

Higher fines in London come into force TODAY: Drivers caught breaking rules on the capital’s 390-mile network of red routes will be hit with a fine of £160 – up from £130

Red routes are marked by red lines on the sides of the road and are managed and controlled by London Streets – an arm of Transport for London.

They are designed to help reduce congestion on the capital’s most-used roads, with ‘no-stopping’ rules applying to ensure ‘crucial’ deliveries and journeys can be made safely to keep the city moving.

If motorists don’t follow the rules on red routes, TfL will issue a driver with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) with the notice of a £160 fine. 

How you can land a £160 fine on a red route

Transport for London issues penalty charge notices for several motoring breaches, including:

– Parking illegally in loading bays

– Blocking yellow box junctions

– Making a turn where this movement is banned, which creates risk for people walking and cycling

– Driving or parking in a bus lane

– Stopping on the red route

Source: TfL

 

If paid within 14 days, the fine is halved to £80. However, if it the driver fails to make payment within 28 days, the penalty increased by 50 per cent to £240.  

TfL bosses say the near-quarter increase in fine values is in response to a rise in motorists ignoring the rules on red routes.

They claim there has been a 26 per cent increase in the number of PCNs issued for parking, loading, bus lane and moving traffic offences on red routes between 2016 and 2019 and by increasing the fine it will act as a greater deterrent.

Defending the hike, TfL added last week that the increase to £160 is ‘in line with inflation since the last increase’ and brings the fine amount in-line with penalties for non-payment of the the capital’s Congestion Charge and the recently extended Ultra-Low Emission Zone. 

Siwan Hayward, TfL’s director of compliance, policing, operations and security, justified the elevated fine amounts by stating that non-compliance with red route rules ‘impacts London’s air quality, creates safety risks, disrupts traffic, and creates congestion for everyone’. 

The rise comes just weeks after TfL confirmed a 30 per cent increase in the Congestion Charge to £15 per day will be permanent.

Motorists who are caught blocking yellow box junctions, breaking parking rules, performing illegal turns and driving in bus lanes on the capital's red routes now receive a penalty charge notice (PCN)  of £160. Early payment (within 14 days) reduces the fine to £80

Motorists who are caught blocking yellow box junctions, breaking parking rules, performing illegal turns and driving in bus lanes on the capital’s red routes now receive a penalty charge notice (PCN)  of £160. Early payment (within 14 days) reduces the fine to £80

Red routes are managed by TfL and make up around 5% of London's road network. However, they are also some of the busiest in the city, carrying between 30-40% of traffic in the capital

Red routes are managed by TfL and make up around 5% of London’s road network. However, they are also some of the busiest in the city, carrying between 30-40% of traffic in the capital 

‘Increasing the level of the penalty charge is about improving compliance, not penalising drivers,’ Transport for London said in a statement. 

‘It should deter motorists from contravening essential rules and safety restrictions. 

How can you tell tell if you’re driving along a red route?

 

Of London’s 9,197 miles of road network, around 390 miles (approx 5%) are ‘Red Routes’.

They are managed and controlled by London Streets, which is a dedicated arm of Transport for London.

Red routes are recognisable for their painted red ‘no-stopping’ lines. They are also accompanied by signage.

If drivers see red lines on the road, it means there are restrictions on stopping, parking and loading. 

Double red lines – as seen pictured above – apply at all times and single red lines usually apply during the working day.

They are designed to keep traffic flowing and prohibit drivers from stopping except for in specified areas.

 

‘PCNs are an important way of encouraging road users to follow the rules of the road and are only issued to the small number of drivers who contravene these rules.’

It added: ‘Any revenue raised through these penalty notices is invested back into London’s transport network, which includes investing in its road network to improve safety for all road users.’  

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes described the increase as ‘eye-watering’.

He said it will make PCNs ‘not far off the fine for a serious motoring offence such as illegally using a handheld mobile phone’.

Fines for illegal phone use while driving are £200. 

President of the AA, Edmund King, was also vocal about the fine increase.

He said there was ‘no justification’ for increasing fines, adding that nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of respondents to a public consultation held between August and September believed a financial penalty of £160 was too high.

‘The AA fully accepts the need for fair and effective road traffic enforcement to deter selfish and illegal driving that impedes other road users, reduces the effectiveness of the road network, disrupts business and can lead to increased emissions,’ Mr King said. 

‘However, enforcement needs to be fair, proportionate and allow discretion while creating a deterrent. The AA believes that £130 fines are sufficient to provide deterrence.’

SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING

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MIDAS SHARE TIPS UPDATE: Cash in on making dealing with red tape easier with tech expert Ideagen










Every year, businesses, governments and other organisations spend more than £20 billion on technology that allows them to comply with multiple regulations, from environmental to financial to medical.

Ideagen specialises in software that makes these tasks simple and effective. 

The group has grown rapidly since floating on the junior AIM market in 2014 and the shares have soared, from 33p when Midas first recommended them to £2.70 today. 

Based in Nottingham, Ideagen has around 7,500 customers worldwide, including more than 250 UK and American hospitals, nine of the top ten accountancy firms and three-quarters of all major drug companies, as well as numerous aviation and defence groups. 

Opportunity: Ideagen has grown rapidly since floating on the junior AIM market in 2014

Opportunity: Ideagen has grown rapidly since floating on the junior AIM market in 2014

Customers tend to stick with the business for years. Its software has won multiple awards and is widely recognised as efficient and easy to use. 

However, chief executive Ben Dorks has no intention of resting on his laurels and last month raised £103million on the stock market to accelerate growth both organically and through buying new businesses. 

The company has made its ambitions clear. Brokers forecast revenues of £92million for the year to April and Dorks is aiming for £200million of sales by 2025, with £70million coming from acquisitions. 

The regulatory software market is full of small firms, many of which are keen to sell out, particularly as the sector becomes more complex and the rules grow more demanding. 

The pandemic has also encouraged business owners to consider their future, with several opting to sell to larger operators. 

Ideagen is well positioned to benefit from these trends and Dorks has a track record of buying firms and integrating them successfully into the group. 

Profits are rising steadily too, with £24million predicted for this year, increasing to £31million in 2023. 

Dividends have increased consistently over the years and a payout of 0.4p has been pencilled in for 2022, rising to 0.5p next year.

Midas verdict: Investors who bought Ideagen shares in 2014 have already made an eightfold return on their money and may feel as if now is the time to sell. But at £2.70 the shares have significantly further to run. 

Regulations are increasing in almost every sphere of business life and companies have to comply. Ideagen makes the process as painless as possible and the shares are a long-term hold. New investors could even snap up a few at the current price and celebrate this home-grown winner in the technology market. 

Traded on: AIM Ticker: IDEA Contact: ideagen.com or 01629 699 100 

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Transport for London has confirmed it will increase the maximum fine on the capital’s busiest roads by £30 from next week despite nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of respondents to a consultation last year opposing the hike.

A rise in fine amounts for contraventions on London ‘Red Routes’, such as blocking yellow box junctions, breaking parking rules, performing illegal turns and driving in bus lanes, will see motorists receive a maximum penalty charge notice (PCN) of £160 from Monday 17 January – up from £130. 

The RAC described the increase as ‘eye-watering’ and said minor offences in the capital are now punishable with fines amounts almost on par with being caught illegally using a phone at the wheel. 

Motorists caught breaking rules on the capital's network of red routes will from next week be hit with maximum fines of £160 - up from £130

Motorists caught breaking rules on the capital’s network of red routes will from next week be hit with maximum fines of £160 – up from £130

Red routes, which are managed by TfL, make up around five per cent of London’s road network. However, they are also some of the busiest in the city, carrying over 30 per cent of traffic. 

TfL claims there has been a 26 per cent increase in the number of PCNs issued for parking, loading, bus lane and moving traffic offences on red routes between 2016 and 2019. 

Driving contraventions on red routes that lead to PCNs

Transport for London issues penalty charge notices for several motoring breaches, including:

Parking illegally in loading bays

Blocking yellow box junctions

Making a turn where this movement is banned, which creates risk for people walking and cycling

Driving or parking in a bus lane

Stopping on the red route

Source: TfL

 

Transport bosses said increasing fines will act as a deterrent for those who fail to follow the rules, which it says ‘puts the safety of themselves and other road users at risk and causes disruption and delays on some of the capital’s busiest and most important roads’. 

A 50 per cent discount on fines will remain, meaning those who receive a PCN will be charged £80 if they make payment within 14 days.  However, if payment is made after 28 days, the fine rises by 50 per cent to £240.

It is the first time PCN amounts for red route offences have been hiked for over a decade, with the last increase implemented in April 2011, when maximum penalties were escalated from £120 to £130. 

TfL said the increase to £160 is ‘in line with inflation since the last increase’ and brings the fine amount in-line with penalties for non-payment of the the capital’s Congestion Charge and the recently extended Ultra-Low Emission Zone. 

The announcement comes just weeks after TfL confirmed a 30 per cent increase in the Congestion Charge to £15 per day will be permanent.

Motorists who are caught blocking yellow box junctions, breaking parking rules, performing illegal turns and driving in bus lanes on the capital's red routes would receive a maximum penalty charge notice of £160. Early payment (within 14 days) would reduce the fine to £80

Motorists who are caught blocking yellow box junctions, breaking parking rules, performing illegal turns and driving in bus lanes on the capital’s red routes would receive a maximum penalty charge notice of £160. Early payment (within 14 days) would reduce the fine to £80

‘Increasing the level of the penalty charge is about improving compliance, not penalising drivers,’ Transport for London said in a statement issued on Monday morning. 

‘It should deter motorists from contravening essential rules and safety restrictions. 

How to tell if you’re driving on a red route 

 

‘Red routes’ are recognisable for their painted red ‘no-stopping’ lines and signs on designated roads.

Single and double red lines ban all stopping, parking and loading. 

Double red lines – as seen pictured above – apply at all times and single red lines usually apply during the working day.

They are designed to keep traffic flowing and prohibit drivers from stopping except for in specified areas.

 

‘PCNs are an important way of encouraging road users to follow the rules of the road and are only issued to the small number of drivers who contravene these rules.’

The decision means drivers will face fines of up to £160 if they are found to have breached a number of rules on red routes.

This includes: parking illegally in loading bays; blocking yellow box junctions; making a turn where this movement is banned, which creates risk for people walking and cycling; driving or parking in a bus lane; and stopping on the red route. 

‘Any revenue raised through these penalty notices is invested back into London’s transport network, which includes investing in its road network to improve safety for all road users,’ TfL says. 

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes described the increase as ‘eye-watering’.

He said it will make PCNs ‘not far off the fine for a serious motoring offence such as illegally using a handheld mobile phone’.

Fines for illegal phone use while driving are £200. 

President of the AA, Edmund King, said there is ‘no justification’ for increasing fines to £160, adding that nearly two thirds (65 per cent) of respondents to a public consultation held between August and September agreed with the motoring group’s stance on the hike.

‘The AA fully accepts the need for fair and effective road traffic enforcement to deter selfish and illegal driving that impedes other road users, reduces the effectiveness of the road network, disrupts business and can lead to increased emissions,’ Mr King said. 

‘However, enforcement needs to be fair, proportionate and allow discretion while creating a deterrent. The AA believes that £130 fines are sufficient to provide deterrence.’

Red routes (marked here in the appropriate colour), which are managed by TfL, make up around 5% of London's road network. However, they are also some of the busiest in the city, carrying between 30% and 40% of traffic in the capital

Red routes (marked here in the appropriate colour), which are managed by TfL, make up around 5% of London’s road network. However, they are also some of the busiest in the city, carrying between 30% and 40% of traffic in the capital

Making the announcement on Monday, Siwan Hayward, TfL’s director of compliance, policing, operations and security, said: ‘We are committed to keeping London moving safely and efficiently, and compliance on the Transport for London road network is essential in achieving those aims.

‘Non-compliance impacts London’s air quality, creates safety risks, disrupts traffic, and creates congestion for everyone.

‘Increasing the penalty charge for contraventions on our road network in line with inflation will provide a more effective deterrent to drivers and improve the safety and reliability of the network.’ 

SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING

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Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence.