Monthly Archives: May 2014

Beware Cold Calls from Fraudsters!

Earlier today I received a phone call from a lady with an American accent claiming to be from Windows and that she was calling to resolve my computer problem.

Fortunately, I was aware of this scam and cut the call short before any damage was done. You may be thinking what were they attempting to do?

When the caller said she was calling to deal with my computer problem, I knew it was a scam as my father received a similar call a few weeks earlier. My father who is a 77 year old pensioner, was taken in and allowed the caller to continue with the scam before I intervened at the latter stages and prevented the fraud from succeeding.

My father had the presence of mind to ask them to call back to give him time to turn his computer on and connect to the internet. He then took the opportunity to contact me for advice and I then went round to his home and intercepted the return call to prevent the hoaxer from succeeding.

If you allow the hoaxer to continue they will:

  • Tell you that they will solve your computer problem (one that you may not be aware of but they are)
  • Once you accept what they are saying they will talk you through the process of enabling them to access your computer remotely
  • Once in they take control of your computer and demand payment to go away and give control back to you
  • The double whammy is that once they get hold of your bank payment details, they can milk your account

Microsoft do not email or phone you about sorting your computer out so don’t be fooled.

If it happens to you, report it to ‘Action Fraud’ 0300 123 2040 or go on their web site at

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Beware Ebay Sellers and UK Tax

The husband of a client of mine told me he had made over £2,000 on Ebay. I was interested due to any possible tax implications.

After further discussion he revealed that he had cleared his attic of unwanted personal items and sold them on Ebay. This is a great way of having a clear out and getting a tidy sum of money for a holiday or anything else that takes your fancy.

My clients husband was so pleased that he was now thinking about buying items from car boot sales to sell on Ebay to continue his money making activity.

Beware! I told him. Once you step over the line from selling unwanted personal items to selling items specifically purchased to re-sell you become a trader in the eyes of the tax authority (HMRC) and classed as self-employed. Once you step over the line you must register as self-employed within 6 months of the end of the tax year (5 April) you became self-employed.

In addition, you must also register for VAT if your sales on Ebay exceed £81,000 (threshold for registration during year ending 5 April, 2015). You must register within 30 days of exceeding £81,000 on a rolling 12 month basis. I have had clients that soon exceeded the VAT threshold through trading on Ebay.

This may sound like a lot of gobbledygook so it would be advisable to speak to a qualified practicing accountant for advice if you think you are now trading on Ebay and should be self-employed.


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