And today's subject is'Romance Fraud'. Ever heard of it ?
And no I don't mean the answer given to 'Does my bum look big in this ?'. That's something else entirely, sometimes known as 'survival.'
Romance fraud is where someone - usually with money - is targeted romantically by somebody who wants that money. Conversations then take place along the lines of 'Darling, I hate to bring it up, but I'm very sad that I have a credit card bill to pay. I don't want to ask but would you mind terribly if...'
I had a client tell me today that his bank had contacted him thinking that he had been caught with his trousers down (so to speak) in something like this. I've changed some names (you'd never guess) but the facts are genuine
My client had paid a reasonable sum of money to Mr Guy Lubble's account to buy a car. (I've seen it and seen the invoice) All perfectly above board. Guy Lubble has now complained to his bank that he has been the victim of a romance fraud, and the bank contacted my client's bank to see whether the money paid across (a five figure sum) was related to it. It wasn't but the story is fascinating.
It turns out that Guy, a respectable widower slightly in excess of 60 had been targeted by a younger lady, let's call her Miss Dee Vious. The relationship had been excitingly physical, Guy gained a bit more knowledge of the world but in return had lost the contents of his savings account.
Guy had loaned the money and been promised he would be repaid by Dee when she received an inheritance from a recently deceased uncle named Mr Vic Tititious.
Soon after the account was emptied, Dee disappeared and isn't answering phone calls. Guy contacted the police worried for her safety, to find that instead he is the one they are worried about. Guy won't see his money any more. Nor will he enjoy Dee's 'company' again.
I'm sure everyone reading this is waaaaay to clever to fall for something like it. But it's happening, to real people in Suffolk. Perhaps we owe it to our friends, neighbours, business acquaintances to be passing the story on. Forewarned is fore-armed.
Remember, if you have 'missed' any previous editions, they can be found at
What are my positives today:-:
1. HMRC are not taxing home office equipment
HMRC have announced a year long exemption for employers to buy equipment for their employees to work from home with, without tax consequences
The equipment must have been purchased for the 'sole purpose of enabling the employee to work from home as a result of the Coronavirus.', and is subject to the proviso that private use is insignificant.
I think we'll struggle to get a new home cinema under this exemption (although I'm sure I've got clients who are very short sighted and simply can't read any screen smaller than 120 inches), but office chairs, routers, enhanced internet access etc should all be fine.
2. I can reduce my multi-lingual skills
I had an 'URGENT' email from Microsoft today telling me that they are no longer giving support in Outlook for 27 languages.
So I won't have to worry about client enquiries coming in any more in Afrikaans, Gujarati, Latvian or Urdu to name but a few. You have no idea how relieved I am !
But don't worry, normal service remains - I will still be giving my advice in Double Dutch.
3.Concerts whilst you work
I'm really enjoying home schooling. Our daughters are happily learning through Google classroom, video conferencing,socialising through SnapChat etc - and are proving incredibly diligent.
And what's more, at midday on Wednesdays Charlotte has her online Violin lesson. Normally not far from where my 'office' is now located.
So if anyone fancies a live classical-ish concert literally midweek, call me on Wednesdays, midday !
What have I been talking to clients about today ?
Have you got the right business structure ? I've got some clients who've been wanting to 'go limited' for some time, and some who, having got smaller have been wanting to exit their companies and run as a sole trade.
Often the problem is that on moving from one to another, values of 'goodwill' can cause unwelcome tax costs. But now the goodwill values may be much lower - or even non existent.
So I have a handful of people where we're taking the opportunity of changing structures.
Until tomorrow, stay safe, stay positive
I was reading about these things. In the old days groups of more than two people used to gather to watch and listen to musicians play live at the same time. Such events were apparently called 'concerts'