lockdown

‘My uncle was scammed three times in ten days during lockdown’

Over the course of the lockdown, according to Action Fraud some £4.6 million had been stolen
Over the course of the lockdown, according to Action Fraud some £4.6 million had been stolen

Lockdown is a lonely time for my widowed 83-year-old uncle. By nature gregarious and uncomplaining, he has so far endured over three months cheerfully enough, stuck alone in his retirement flat. But when his landline rings (he’s never got on with mobiles), he instinctively reaches for it as the chance for a chat. Or he did.

Over the last ten days, those on the other end of the line have scammed him on three separate occasions. The cumulative effect has left him so anxious and self-doubting that now he thinks twice before picking up.

He is just one of many. Over the course of the lockdown, according to Action Fraud, the UK’s online centre for reporting fraud and cyber crime, some £4.6 million had been stolen – through fake online sales, bogus cold-calls, and

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Buy now, pay whenever? Lockdown lift for online shopping loans

By Nikhil Nainan

(Reuters) – Browsing online during lockdown, Jessica Friend spotted a pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses she liked, but the price tag made the 30-year-old Ohio resident think twice.

What persuaded her to click ‘buy’, Friend said, was the short-term credit offered by Afterpay, which split the $260 payment into four interest-free instalments.

Afterpay is among a handful of alternative credit firms which offer small loans, mostly to online shoppers, and make their money by charging merchants a 4%-6% commission.

These buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) firms have benefited from a shift to online shopping during the coronavirus crisis in countries including the United States, where state aid has also boosted retail sales.

“I’m more inclined to use them because they make it easier to afford to get the things I want all at once … and when I want to splurge on something,” Friend said of the loans.

Some investors are

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Yandex’s Lockdown Delivery Pivot Is Morphing Into a New Business

(Bloomberg) — Russian technology firm Yandex NV found an opportunity at the height of the pandemic — repurposing its army of ride-hailing drivers to provide deliveries in a country where logistics options are scarce. The venture was a success and the company will make its pivot permanent.

Yandex, which also operates the nation’s largest internet search engine, is targeting 1 million daily deliveries in the near future, Daniil Shuleyko, head of the Yandex.Taxi unit, said in an interview.

Unlike in the U.S. or U.K., Russian retailers’ delivery operations were very limited when the pandemic shut down storefronts earlier this year. For example Dixy Group, one the country’s biggest grocery store chains, didn’t have its own service to transport goods to customers, and had only just started to experiment with third-party providers when the pandemic hit.

“The coronavirus has accelerated Russian consumers’ transition to online shopping, and more of them now

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So long to the city! How lockdown created a wave of ‘panic movers’

Chantel Elshout, 39, and her husband, Michael Craig, 45, are moving from Clapham to the Cotswolds - Paul Grover for the Telegraph/ Paul Grover
Chantel Elshout, 39, and her husband, Michael Craig, 45, are moving from Clapham to the Cotswolds – Paul Grover for the Telegraph/ Paul Grover

Cast your mind back to February, just four months, yet another lifetime ago, and Emily Harvey was a committed urbanite. Her PR job meant she enjoyed long lunches in the latest London restaurants, while weekends were spent at hot yoga classes, pop-up farmers’ markets and museums with her five-year-old daughter, Alice. 

Lockdown obviously put paid to all that, but just as it eases, she and her family are fleeing the capital for good.

“We took a rental in the Cotswolds during lockdown and when we returned after 12 weeks, London was like a scene from [the horror film] 28 Days Later, with everyone in masks,” she says. “After a blissful time spent in the countryside we realised we didn’t want to be in a cramped,

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Online shoppers have lost millions to fraud during lockdown

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Make online shopping a safe experience for the whole family. (Photo: Getty Images)
Make online shopping a safe experience for the whole family. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s another Saturday afternoon during lockdown, and you’re back on Amazon, filling your cart with household items and groceries. You haven’t been able to make your typical Target and Walmart runs lately, so you’re stocking up virtually instead.

Online shopping: everyone does it so it’s pretty harmless, right? Well, not always. Fraud is a possibility any time you shop online, according to Experian. And during a worldwide pandemic or even the holiday season, you’re especially vulnerable to hackers, phishers, and identity thieves. Covid-related fraud has already robbed a cumulative $13.4 million from unsuspecting Americans, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

That’s because so

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Top tips to save when shopping online in a lockdown

Buying second-hand goods on Amazon, eBay or Gumtree could save you money during lockdown. (Christian Wiediger/Unsplash)
Buying second-hand goods on Amazon, eBay or Gumtree could save you money during lockdown. (Christian Wiediger/Unsplash)

From abandoning your basket to timing your spree right, a few insider hacks could save you up to £300 a year shopping online.

We all love getting a good deal, especially in lockdown when cashflow is uncertain.

With that in mind, personal finance experts Ocean Finance has compiled 23 insider tips that could help you save up to £300 every year.

Top 10 money-saving tips

1. Save your shopping for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday

Retailers tend to offer discounts on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, so if you wait until the middle of the week, you could potentially save a lot of money on the items you are looking for.

2. Check store tags to see what is going to be put on sale

For those who like to look in-store before making a purchase

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Illegal lockdown parties hosted in online rentals

Several hosts said they had found gas cannisters, used for taking laughing gas, in their properties
Several hosts said they had found gas cannisters, used for taking laughing gas, in their properties

Lockdown parties hosted in properties booked via online sites, including Airbnb and Booking.com, are putting “communities at risk”, the Bed and Breakfast Association has said.

Hosts and residents have complained of groups of up to 30 breaking social-distancing rules and taking drugs.

BBC News has been told of several such parties in the past month.

Airbnb said it had gone further than its rivals to protect public health during the pandemic.

However, last week a man was stabbed at a party in a south London property police believe had been rented out via the platform.

‘Take responsibility’

Following a previous BBC News investigation into “coronavirus retreats”, Airbnb had told users they could make bookings only if they were key workers or required “essential stays”.

But that restriction is to be lifted, in line with

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