Press releases

2017

Non-Executive Director Appointment1 August 2017

Statement re Card Protection Plan Limited27 June 2017

Statement re Homecare Insurance Limited16 May 2017

Appointment of CFO19 April 2017

Notification of major interest in shares29 March 2017

Director/PDMR Shareholding29 March 2017

Full year report for the year ended 31 December 201624 March 2017

Directorate Change24 March 2017

Acquisition17 March 2017

2016

IT Platform Update30 December 2016

New Digital Service7 December 2016

Trading Update18 November 2016

IT Platform Update14 September 2016

Half year report for the six months ended 30 June 201618 August 2016

Appointment of Executive Director26 July 2016

Appointment of Executive Director19 May 2016

Result of Annual General Meeting18 May 2016

Appointment of CEO16 May 2016

Directorate Change06 May 2016

Result of General Meeting05 May 2016

Withdrawal of Proceedings25 April 2016

Annual Report and Notice of Annual General Meeting22 April 2016

Issue of Proceedings11 April 2016

Notice of General Meeting - Publication of Shareholder Circular08 April 2016

Notice of General Meeting and Shareholder Circular08 April 2016

Full year report for the year ended 31 December 201524 March 2016

Requisition of General Meeting21 March 2016

Directorate Change11 February 2016

Director Shareholdings20 January 2016

2015

CPP Wins Award04 December 2015

Director Shareholdings25 November 2015

Appointment of Permanent CFO02 October 2015

Interim Report for the six months ended 30 June 201521 August 2015

Appointment of Permanent CEO30 July 2015

Directorate Change03 July 2015

Director Shareholdings26 June 2015

Directorate Change25 June 2015

CPP to cease the provision of airport lounge access services27 May 2015

Interim CEO Appointment15 April 2015

Full year results 201431 March 2015

New I.T. system supports transformation strategy25 March 2015

Making a Difference on Red Nose Day 201509 March 2015

Directorate Change, February 201516 February 2015

Admission to AIM, February 201511 February 2015

Result of General Meeting & Board Changes, January 201513 January 2015

2014

Funding and Debt Restructure Update23 December 2014

Trading and Strategic Review Update14 November 2014

Appointment of Group Chief Operating Officer1 October 2014

Scheme of Arrangement update8 September 2014

Interim Report for the six months ended 30 June 201429 August 2014

Pre Close Announcement02 July 2014

Interim Management Statement15 May 2014

Full year results 201324 April 2014

Sale of Home3 shareholding24 March 2014

Appointment of Non-Executive Chairman29 January 2014

Scheme of Arrangement Court Sanction14 January 2014

Scheme of Arrangement update9 January 2014

2013

Pre-close announcement & Board Changes20 December 2013

Interim Management Statement30 October 2013

Appointment of Non-Executive Director07 October 2013

Appointment of Non-Executive Director03 September 2013

Appointment of CEO and CFO30 August 2013

Interim Report for the six months to 30 June 2013 22 August 2013

New Financing Arrangements31 July 2013

Offer discussions and Directorate Change28 June 2013

Appointment of Brent Escott as Interim Deputy CEO14 June 2013

Possible Offer Extension of Deadline31 May 2013

Interim Management Statement16 May 2013

Full year results for the year ended 31 December 201230 April 2013

Proposed Disposal and amendment and extension of Bank Facility17 April 2013

2012

Response to The One Show programme of 12 December 201213 December 2012

CPPGroup Plc made the following statement to The One Show:

CPPGroup Chief Executive Officer Paul Stobart:

"The business has changed radically in the last year with new management, new governance, a new approach and new customer focused priorities. We recognise we have a great deal to do to rebuild our reputation, to regain the trust of our customers and we are deeply sorry for what happened and the mistakes made. It must not be forgotten, however, that we help and assist, on average, 1,000 people a day by replacing their credit cards, keys, cash and travel documents with one call from anywhere in the world and on average, 600 people a month whose identities are stolen. We are committed and determined to build a new customer-led future with an entirely different and improved approach to customer experience.”

CPP products

CPP operates a business-to-business-to-consumer business model where our Business Partners benefit from commission payments. Our products are distributed and sold to our Business Partners’ customers either via their own sales and services channels or through sales channels managed directly by CPP. Our Business Partners operate across multiple market sectors including financial services and high street bank brands.

Under the leadership of a new management team, CPP has made significant and important improvements to the way we engage with our customers. Central to delivering a great customer experience for all our customers, and in particular the 1,000 a day Card Protection customers and 600 a month Identity Protection customers we help and assist (on average) is a deep understanding of our customer requirements and expectations.

Features and benefits of CPP products

Based on independent customer research and feedback, we are confident that our customers place value on the products and services offered to and purchased by them. For Card Protection, this includes the rapid cancellation and replacement of bank cards, cash and travel documents (cited in research as the first most important feature to customers; 56%); home and car key and lock replacement (second most important feature; 24%); and leading one call from anywhere in the world service (third most important feature; 15%). For Identity Protection, this includes an identity fraud specialist to identify risks and support and assist when a fraud has taken place (cited in research as the first most important feature to customers; 39%); and unlimited access to credit reports monitoring & alerts (second and third most important features; 36%).

In addition, our research also provides us with an understanding of the value our customers place on our products; with 78% of Card Protection customers and 73% of Identity Protection customers saying they are happy they took out their product and 83% of Card Protection customers and 75% of Identity Protection customers saying that their product gives them peace of mind.

Today, we are increasingly reliant on payment cards and mobile phones, we travel more, value our free time, and we want to protect what is most valuable to us – at home and abroad. And that’s where CPP comes in - we help to protect our customers’ freedom, and should they lose that freedom, to work tirelessly for our customers until we have restored their freedom. At an inconvenient and stressful time when a consumer loses or have their cards or mobile device stolen, CPP each day helps and supports a thousand customers worldwide, and each month 600 customers who report that their identities, despite everything, have been stolen.

The features and benefits of CPP policies are explained to customers when purchasing our products, which may, in the past, have also included reference to independent industry statistical information. We also clearly outline that customers have the opportunity to cancel their policy if on reflection they are not happy with the product or simply changed their mind, without charge. At the time relating to this particular customers policy, this was 21 days, which has now been extended to 60 days.

Safe receipt / activation channel

With particular reference to the safe receipt / activation channel, the key purpose of this channel was to limit the potential of identity fraud, mitigate potential card misuse and to act as a fraud deterrent by the customer calling to confirm receipt and / or activate their card(s).

Customer in question

Customer concerns and complaints are important to us because they give us the opportunity to listen to our customers about what has gone wrong with our products, processes or service, resolve the issue and provide a solution to the customer’s satisfaction on a case by case basis. Due to the on-going nature of discussions with the regulator regarding the details, process and timing of re-contacting customers who may have been affected by past issues, it would not be appropriate to comment on whether the Company is of the opinion that [this] particular customer was mis-sold.

CPP will be writing to customers once this process has been agreed with the regulator and any CPP customer concerned about these issues can contact the Company on 0808 156 0199 where a member of our customer service team will be able to help you.

Response to the One Show programme of 12 December 201211 December 2013

CPPGroup Plc made the following statement to Dispatches:

CPPGroup Chief Executive Officer Paul Stobart:

“CPP provides a very important service to its customers. At what is an inconvenient and stressful time we work resolutely to help on average 1,000 people every day by replacing their lost or stolen cards, keys, cash and travel documents as well as assisting 600 people a month to restore their identities which have been stolen. We are deeply sorry for the past mistakes made in our sales processes prior to March 2011 and since I joined the business as Chief Executive in October 2011 we have implemented many changes to our leadership team, improved our governance and enhanced our customer focus.”

CPP products

CPP’s products are designed to provide quick and reliable assistance to customers during inconvenient and stressful times such as when a consumer loses or has their cards, mobile device or personal identity stolen. Every day CPP helps and supports on average 1,000 customers worldwide this way, by replacing their lost cards, keys, cash and travel documents and each month helps 600 customers who have being subject to identity theft.

FSA investigation

The FSA identified that, in the period to March 2011, there were failings in the systems and controls environment within CPP in the UK. A newly appointed management team at CPP, led by Paul Stobart who joined the business in October 2011, has recognised the seriousness of past failings identified by the regulator. Under new leadership many things have changed to ensure that CPP customers receive a consistently outstanding service - implementing an entirely different and improved approach to customer experience, a more robust governance framework, significant organisational changes and enhanced risk management structures and controls. We are deeply sorry for the errors and wrongdoings of the past and are paying a heavy penalty through what is a large fine.

Business model

However, it was not and is not the intention of CPP and its Business Partners to adopt a practice of deliberately mis-leading customers. We operate a business-to-business-to-consumer business model by which products are distributed and sold to our Business Partners’ customers either via their own sales and services channels or through sales channels managed directly by CPP. It is CPP’s policy to work closely with its Business Partners to develop compliant and mutually agreed scripts which adhere to the principles of ‘Treating Customers Fairly’. Remote and direct call monitoring is carried out to listen to and observe the way in which our Customer Support Executives help and assist customers.

Safe receipt / activation channel

With particular reference to the safe receipt / activation channel, the key purpose of this channel was to limit the potential of identity fraud, mitigate potential card misuse and to act as a fraud deterrent by the customer calling to confirm receipt and / or activate their card(s). The stickers affixed to cards were transparent in the respect that they provided a phone number for customers to confirm safe receipt or to perform live activation and stated that products or services may be offered on the call. Script openings were phrased, “Hello, you’re speaking to (name) at Card Protection Plan on behalf of (Business Partner brand),” to ensure we provided customers the peace of mind and security that they were not providing their card details to an anonymous third party, rather to a trusted partner of their bank or card issuer.

Features and benefits of CPP products

In respect of our Card Protection product, insurance cover is not the exclusive feature of CPP’s Card Protection policies, which provide a range of valued benefits to consumers. Our research shows that the most important features valued by our customers and their reasons for buying our product is the rapid cancellation and replacement of bank cards, cash and travel documents (cited in research as the first most important feature to customers; 56%); home and car key and lock replacement (second most important feature; 24%); and leading one call from anywhere in the world service (third most important feature; 15%). For Identity Protection, the most important features and reasons for buying includes an identity fraud specialist to identify risks and support and assist when a fraud has taken place (cited in research as the first most important feature to customers; 39%); and unlimited access to credit reports monitoring & alerts (second and third most important features; 36%).

In addition, our research also provides us with an understanding of the high value the vast majority of our customers place on our products; with 78% of Card Protection customers and 73% of Identity Protection customers saying they are happy they took out their product and 83% of Card Protection customers and 75% of Identity Protection customers saying that their product gives them peace of mind.

The features and benefits of CPP policies are explained to customers when purchasing our products. We also clearly outline that customers have the opportunity to cancel their policy if on reflection they are not happy with the product or simply changed their mind, without charge. Previously this was either 14 or 21 days, which has now been extended to 60 days.

Customer redress

As stated in CPP’s formal announcement, dated 15 November 2012, our discussions remain on-going with the regulator and certain of the Group's larger Business Partners, regarding the form, structure, details and timing of customer redress. CPP takes this process very seriously and will be writing to customers once this process has been agreed with the regulator.

CPP wins 2012 European Call Centre & Customer Service AwardOctober 2013

CPPGroup Plc (“CPP”), a leading international Life Assistance business, has won the ‘Innovation of the Year’ award at this year’s European Call Centre & Customer Service Awards.

The European Call Centre and Customer Service Awards celebrate excellence across the call centre and customer service industry. The ‘Innovation of the Year’ award was presented to CPP, for developing a product which helps solve the practical problems faced by customer service operations and helped achieve clear business objectives.

Shaun Astley-Stone, CPP’s Managing Director UK & Ireland, said: ‘We have spent four years implementing a hugely successful claims and fraud operational strategy, which has helped us improve the detection of fraud and boost the customer experience. Winning this award represents a significant achievement for the business and is a direct result of the hard work of our operations teams across CPP.´

Commenting on CPP’s win, the Awards panel said: ‘The judges were impressed by a truly transformative innovation that was delivered through careful planning and excellent training and communication – and has resulted in significant savings for the business.’

The Call Centre & Customer Service Awards took place recently at the London Hilton Park Lane Hotel

2011

Quarter of adults affected by card fraudJanuary 2011

Card fraud has now affected a total of 13 million people in the UK according to new research (1).

The annual Card Fraud Index released today from life assistance company CPP has named Brighton as the card fraud capital of the country. With the south coast city jumping from tenth place in the number of people falling victim at least once to card fraud.

The top five card fraud hotspots in the UK are Brighton (38 per cent), London (34 per cent), Manchester (33 per cent), Bristol and Leeds at joint fourth place (32 per cent) and Edinburgh (31 per cent) (2).

But there is some good news. 2010 saw a three per cent reduction in the number of card fraud incidences (3) with seven per cent of people saying they had suffered from card fraud in the last 12 months compared to 10 per cent in 2009. However, card fraud is still a problem and people need to remain vigilant and take responsibility when using their cards.

The Card Fraud Index also reveals the methods criminals are using, with most victims (20 per cent) having the magnetic stripe on their card cloned at an ATM or via a Chip and PIN machine. This is a three per cent increase on 2009. One in five victims have been defrauded online with criminals using the internet to obtain card details.

Alarmingly a third of card fraud victims (33 per cent) don’t even know how they became a financial victim, with a third hearing directly from their bank (34 per cent) and six per cent being refused money at an ATM. A further six per cent found out when their card was refused at point of sale.

Victims of card fraud reported the average amount stolen was £417 with one in 20 (four per cent) reporting losses of more than £2,000.

Although card fraud has decreased year-on-year, consumers are still practicing behaviour that could put them at risk. 18 per cent don’t check ATMs to see if they have been tampered with, 17 per cent don’t shield their PIN numbers at cash points and most worryingly 16 per cent admit to letting their cards out of sight in shops and restaurants. Moreover, consumers take an average of more than eight hours to report their cards lost or stolen, giving ample time for fraudulent use.

Sarah Blaney, card fraud expert at CPP, said: "In 2010 we saw a three per cent decrease in card fraud incidents in the UK (3) compared to the previous year. This in itself is good news and shows how progress is being made to reduce the number of victims. In particular, online fraud has decreased, which could be a result of industry initiatives such as Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode.

"We are also continuing to see consumers protecting themselves with preventative measures such as Card Protection policies that immediately cancels lost and stolen cards. However, with card fraud costing the UK £440 million a year (4), consumers still need to remain vigilant and not let their guard down. We want to see the continued decrease in card fraud and hope that consumers will take responsibility alongside industry initiatives."

Dr Bernard Herdan, CEO, National Fraud Authority said: "The ongoing decrease in card fraud is a very positive sign that industry safety measures and consumers ability to self-protect are improving. However, it is important to remind consumers not to become complacent about taking precautions when using credit and debit cards. Visit www.actionfraud.org.uk regularly to keep up-to-date with the latest fraud prevention advice (5)."

For more information, please visit http://www.cpp.co.uk or http://blog.cpp.co.uk/

Worst cities for card fraud:

City

Percentage of people affected by card fraud at least once

Key

(1) = position in fraud rankings

  2010 2009 2008 2007
Brighton 38 (1) 23 (10) 27 (5) 12
London 34 (2) 35 (2) 38 (1) 28 (1)
Manchester 33 (3) 21 29 (4) 22 (4)
Leeds 32 (4) 27 (5) 19 19 (8)
Bristol 32 (4) 20 18 22 (3)
Edinburgh 31 (5) 24 (9) 23 (9) 18 (10)
Southampton 29 (6) 28 (4) 24 (7) 14
Norwich 28 (7) 30 (3) 25 (6) 19 (9)
Birmingham 27 (8) 23 23 (8) 25 (2)
Liverpool 25 (9) 15 19 14
Plymouth 24 (10) 24 (7) 22 (10) 16
Glasgow 24 (10) 24 (8) 31 (3) 20 (6)
Cardiff 20 37 (1) 34 (2) 20 (5)
Newcastle 20 25 (6) 16 9
Nottingham 20 23 (10) 12 19 (7)
Sheffield 18 17 14 18

Top tips from CPP to help avoid being a victim of card fraud

1) Don’t carry multiple debit/credit cards in a wallet – only carry the essential cards you need

2) Don’t leave belongings unattended while shopping

3) Don’t carry debit/credit cards loose in a bag or pocket

4) If your cards are registered with a Card Protection company make sure you have their emergency loss reporting number

5) Don’t ever write down your PIN number

6) Don’t let a shop assistant take your debit/credit card out of sight – they could be copied or cloned

7) Don’t let someone else take money out on your behalf

8) Check your receipts against your statements when you get home

9) If you are concerned your cards may have been lost or stolen, contact your bank immediately to get the card cancelled

10) Make sure your bank has up-to-date contact details for you, including your mobile phone number in case they need to check if transactions are genuine.

Local schools experience the world of financeFebruary 2011

Leading York employer CPP and NYBEP (North Yorkshire Business and Education Partnership) have joined forces to introduce young people to the world of finance and investment.

NYBEP, which has launched the initiative ‘The Stock Market Challenge’. Sponsored by CPP, the scheme will involve over 800 pupils from secondary schools across the city, who will learn about how the stock market trading floor works.

The challenge is of particular interest to CPP following its float on the London Stock Exchange in March 2010, and hopes to encourage more young people to learn about the world of finance and business. By taking on the role of fund managers, students will act out everyday activities in finance, from buying and selling stock and shares to learning about how companies share prices can be affected.

The first challenge took place at York High School on Friday 28 January and will run across other 6 schools in the city until July 2011. CPP employees have been given the chance to pledge their time to help the students in the trading pits.

CPP is committed to working closely with the local community and getting actively involved with projects that support young people. The company has chosen to support NYBEP’s initiatives for the 7th year running to help students learn more about business and the world around them.

Mike Kneafsey, CPP’s managing director said: "At CPP we take pride in working with schools in York so we are delighted to be supporting this year’s Stock Market Challenge. The scheme will give students the opportunity to develop their teamwork and decision making skills and learn more about business, standing them in good stead for the world of work."

Gerry Moran, assistant headteacher at York High School said: "The pupils really enjoyed the challenge and showed real business acumen with some of their trading. The atmosphere in the hall was fantastic with pupils returning early from break-time to work out their winning strategy."

Sports grants are a winner for Cheshire trioFebruary 2011

Three local sports teams are celebrating an off-the-field victory, after discovering that they are each winners of a £1,000 grant from CPP’s Travel Services and Promotional Marketing division, based in Timperley.

Altrincham Football Club’s Community Programme, Timperley Villa Youth Football Club and Trafford Rowing Club have each been awarded the donation after responding to an article in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger in November.

Matthew Toynton, divisional director at CPP in Timperley, was delighted to see such a positive response to the grants. He said: "CPP takes its role in the community seriously, and supporting grassroots sport is a big part of that. The winning clubs have been chosen because of their commitment to developing youth sport in the Timperley and Altrincham area."

Trafford Rowing Club will be purchasing two new junior boats to support their increased interest in the sport from junior members. Simon Reeves, Development Manager at Trafford Rowing Club said: "We currently have 30 junior members and a waiting list of 34. These new boats will reduce that waiting list and hopefully will allow the juniors to add to the 12 regatta victories they have already managed this season."

Sheila Saddington, Club Secretary of Timperley Villa YFC says the club will be investing further in the coaching of their young players with an FA coaching programme as well as a new kit for three under 9 teams made up of schoolchildren from the Timperley area.

Altrincham FC’s community programme will also be boosted by the cash, as the Football Club Chairman Grahame Rowley explains: "The Club funded community coaching programme has many strands, with 28 teams, both boys and girls, as well as a Saturday morning soccer club. The additional funding from CPP will be targeted at our schools programme, which is already reaching pupils at several schools across the Altrincham District. This additional support is great news and means we will be able to extend the coaching to a further four schools."

Second hand mobiles contain personal dataMarch 2011

People are unsuspectingly selling their personal information to complete strangers as a new report from CPP finds half (54 per cent) of second hand mobile phones contain extensive personal data.

Second hand mobile phones and SIM cards purchased on eBay and used electronics shops by life assistance company CPP were examined in a live experiment to see what personal information was available on the handsets and whether it constituted a threat to their former owners’ identities.

The experiment revealed 247 pieces of personal data* that had been carelessly left on a range of mobile phones and SIM cards. The personal data included credit and debit card PIN numbers, bank account details, passwords, phone numbers, company information and log in details to social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

In research that supported the experiment, half of second hand mobile owners said they have found personal information from a previous owner on mobile phones and SIM cards they have purchased second hand.

Worryingly, the vast majority (81 per cent) of people claim to have wiped their mobiles before selling them, with six in ten confident they have removed all of their personal information from them. However, the experiment revealed that 54 per cent of mobile phones and SIM cards contained sensitive personal information putting people at unnecessary risk of identity and card fraud.

The variance could be explained by the fact that most people who claimed to have ’wiped’ their handsets tried to erase the data manually – a process that security experts acknowledge leaves the data intact and retrievable.

And it seems personal information comes cheap with individuals selling their old handsets and SIMs for an average price of £47.

As people rely heavily on their mobile phones to store personal data such as e-mail addresses, social networking log in details, banks account details and even debit and credit card PIN numbers, CPP is calling on people to make sure they remove all of their personal and financial information from their mobile phones and undertake adequate security measures to protect themselves from identity theft.

Mobile data expert from CPP, Danny Harrison said: "This report is a shocking wakeup call and shows how mobile phones can inadvertently cause people to be careless with their personal data. With the rapid technology advancements in the smartphone market and new models released by manufactures multiple times a year, consumers are upgrading their mobiles more than ever and it is imperative people take personal responsibility to properly manage their own data.

"If they do sell or recycle them online or even give them to friends and family, they need to ensure they remove all their personal information thoroughly and consider the serious consequences of not doing so."

Senior Vice President of CRYPTOCard Jason Hart, who was commissioned by CPP to carry out the experiment said: "The safest way to remove all of your data from a mobile phone or SIM card is to totally destroy the SIM and double check to ensure that all content has been removed from your phone before disposal. With new technology does come new risks and our experiment found that newer smartphones have more capabilities to store information and that information is much easier to recover than on traditional mobiles due to the increase of applications."

CPP’s top tips on wiping your mobile phone of personal information:

1. Restore all factory settings – this is the first step that you should take as it is the easiest precaution before disposing of the unit, but factory resets are far from permanent so follow steps 2 – 4 to protect your data

2. Remove your SIM card and destroy it

3. Delete back-ups - even if your smartphone, PDA or laptop data is securely removed from the mobile device, it can continue to exist on a back up somewhere else

4. Log out and delete– make sure you have logged out of all social networking sites, emails, wireless connections, company networks and applications. Once you are logged out make sure you delete the password and connection

5. Various passwords - avoid using the same ID/password on multiple systems and storing them on your mobile phone, if you are going to store them on your phone use a picture that reminds you of the password

6. If you are selling on your phone ensure you ask for it to be wiped to be on the safe side

7. Don’t store vast amounts of personal information on your mobile phone / SIM

8. Make sure you check your bank statements regularly to monitor for suspicious transactions

9. Remember the Golden Rule: Identity thieves are experts at spotting an opportunity to steal your identity and only need a few personal details

10. If you want more information on how to protect yourself or see how these experiments worked, please visit CPP’s blog

CPP goes red for comic reliefMarch 2011

Employees from life assistance company CPP donned their red outfits and took part in a series of fundraising activities to raise money for this year’s Comic Relief 2011 extravaganza.

Teams across the company’s four sites got involved in the activities in the hope of raising £2,000 for Red Nose Day.

At the company’s international headquarters in York, teams participated in a raffle as well as CPP’s celebrity bingo. Employees also came to work in fancy dress to get into the fun.

Employees at CPP’s other contact centres in Chesterfield and Tamworth arranged a number of fundraising activities, from cake stalls to bring and buy sales. In Timperley employees joined in a team quiz and a competition before enjoying some homemade cakes to get into the spirit of the day.

Preya Broom, communications executive at CPP, helped co-ordinate the event. She said: "A huge thank you to everyone who participated in Red Nose Day activities. The fundraiser was a huge success and all the teams came together to raise money for a great cause."

Sacha Redman, head of customer service & sales (pictured left) at CPP said: "There was a real buzz across all of CPP’s sites on Friday; the teams showed enthusiasm and team work to raise money for this year’s Comic Relief and thanks to everyone who took part".

CPP challenge cup final kicks offApril 2011

York City in the Community is delighted to announce the final of this season’s CPP Challenge Cup. The Primary School tournament is in its fourth year, thanks to the ongoing support of community sponsors, CPP and this year has been extended to include schools in the Selby and Ryedale area, as well as York.
Nearly 30 schools have taken part and competed to gain the title of ‘CPP Challenge Cup Winners 2011’, with the two finalists Wigginton Primary School, representing Jorvik schools in York and Norton Community Primary School, representing Ryedale schools.
Qualifying competitions for the CPP Cup Challenge kicked off in early March in each area, and will culminate with the final game taking place prior to the last home league fixture for this season at Bootham Crescent on Monday 25th April.
As well as gaining the title of CPP Challenge Cup champions, winners will be presented with a new kit provided courtesy of the sponsors CPP. All players taking part in the competition have also received a YCFC complimentary child’s match ticket for a league match of their choice and a medal.
CPP’s Stephen Kennedy wishes both teams the best of luck for the final: "CPP is pleased to be supporting the CPP Challenge Cup again this year. Well done to everyone who took part in this year’s tournament and may the best team win on 25th April".
The CPP Challenge Cup final kicks off at 1.45pm at Bootham Crescent on Monday 25th April. If you would like to support the teams, please arrive by 1.15pm at the latest to purchase a ticket from the York City in the Community Team, as the turnstiles will then close again until the usual opening time.

Buy a new identity for less than £250April 2011

Criminals can purchase a whole new identity online including a driving permit, bank and utility statements and European work permit for as little as £210.

An audit by life assistance company CPPGroup Plc (CPP) found a range of fraudulent documents available online that are positioned as ‘replacement’ and ‘novelty’ documentation. The fakes include replacement bank statements from high-street banks and utility bills from British Gas and BT. 

Whilst the driving license is positioned as a ‘novelty’ item, the bank statements are intended as ‘replacement’ items, in the event that consumers have lost and need to replace their bank statements.

With this type of identifying documentation available to purchase online, the holder could potentially use it to commit identity fraud by applying for new lines of credit or obtain goods and services under an assumed identity.

And as well as being available online, stealing an identity doesn’t cost a lot – as part of the audit, CPP acquired an international driving permit for just £40 and a European work permit for a £10.  A ‘package’ including bank and utility statements and a PAYE coding notice was only £160.

Official document

Price available on black market 

International driving permit 

£40

Provisional motorcycle permit

£20

European work permit

£10

Bank and utility statements and PAYE coding notice

£160

The documents not only include the means to fabricate a new identity, but more worryingly, included actual account information from people no doubt unaware their sensitive financial information is being traded online and is available to buy.

Although the market for ‘replacement’ and ‘novelty’ documentation raises serious questions about its true intent, social networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn as well as public registers such as the Births, Marriages and Deaths records all hold personal information that could be used by fraudsters. Online channels are a particularly good hunting ground for criminals - previous research for CPP found eighty seven per cent of Britons provided their date of birth online, 20 per cent their national insurance details and 45 per cent their credit card details.

Nicole Sanders an identity fraud expert from CPP said: "This audit has shown identifying documents are out there and available at a relatively low cost.  Identity theft does happen and unfortunately you cannot guarantee your identity will not get stolen as proven by the recent data breach involving over 70 million Sony PlayStation customers. But there are practical ways people can protect themselves and spot if they are a victim like regularly accessing their credit reports and closely scrutinising their bank statements for any unusual transactions.

"Fraudsters constantly try new types of scams exploiting the latest technology like insecure wireless networks or malware on mobile applications, or utilising the news agenda to swindle people for donations. The National Fraud Authority estimates that every year in the UK identity fraud costs more than £2.7 billion and affects over 1.8 million people, consequently it is important people are vigilant with their personal information and proactively manage their identities.

CPP top tips to reduce the chances of falling victim to identity theft:

  • Regularly monitor your credit reports to check for any unusual activity that may indicate fraudulent applications for credit in your name
  • Install anti-virus protection, which scans for malicious files that give the PC or notebook a virus, and anti-phishing tools, which identify phishing emails and links that trick users into giving away private information
  • Think carefully about adding too much personal information on social networking sites including your date of birth, maiden name, place of birth – this information could be used by a fraudster to commit identity fraud using your personal information
  • Install an active firewall, which updates and upgrades automatically, preventing hackers from gaining access to a PC or laptop
  • Make sure your post is secure and know when to expect your credit card, utility bills and bank statements - if they don't turn up, ring up and ask why
  • Keep your personal information safe. If someone asks for your personal details ask yourself why they would need them. This even applies to any online enquiries
  • Don't write down PIN numbers, passwords, user names unless you absolutely have to do so, and if you do, keep them very secure and to yourself
  • If you are going to throw away post with your personal details shred it first - this even includes junk mail
  • If you move house tell your bank, credit card and utility providers. Use the Royal Mail redirection service and consider registering with the mail preference service to prevent mail going to your old address
  • If you store valuable documents at home, for example, passports, driving license and bank statements, keep them hidden and secure. Never take these documents out with you unless you absolutely have to. If you store personal information on your PC, install up-to-date security software
  • Remember the golden rule: identity thieves are experts at spotting an opportunity to steal your identity and all they need are a few personal details

CPP tell-tale signs your identity has been stolen

  • Accounts on your credit report that don't belong to you
  • Welcome letters from credit card/loan companies that for accounts you never opened
  • Calls from debt collection agencies chasing you for money that you never borrowed
  • Important post gone missing
  • Refused credit
  • Entries on your bank statements that you don't recognise

For more information on identity fraud go to http://blog.cpp.co.uk/

CPP launches marketing promotional businessMay 2011

Life assistance company, CPP, is expanding its offering with the launch of a Promotional Marketing business called i-deal Promotions Limited (i-deals).

Born from its acquisition of The Leapfrog Group Ltd (Leapfrog) in 2009, i-deals  will be a 50-50 joint venture between CPP and Mark Koch, former board director of Leapfrog and his highly experienced team of co-directors.  The new business will provide current and new business partners with intelligent and innovative promotions, incentive and loyalty programmes.

Initially focusing on CPP’s UK and US markets with the ambition of rolling out on an international scale, i-deals will work with CPP partners, global brands and businesses across all sectors to support their ongoing acquisition, retention and loyalty strategies.

Included in the senior management line-up of i-deals is Jason Walsh, joint MD and current Group Product Director of CPP;  Mark Koch joint MD and one of the industry’s leading  innovators in this field, founder of loyalty and sales promotion business MKM Group plc and former board director of Air Miles at British Airways; Joanne Burton Marketing Director, previously Head of Marketing at Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants; Marcus Aldrich, Commercial Director formerly World Wide Service Recovery Manager at British Airways  and Victor Koch, Product Development Director, former board director of MKM.

Jason Walsh said:  "Creating a unique customer experience that engenders further loyalty for our business partners helping them attract new customers and retain existing ones will play a key role in cementing CPP’s life assistance products. Exploiting the expertise of the new i-deals team will secure our position on the world wide stage in all sectors."

Mark Koch added: "We are launching with intelligent thinking and innovative ways to help our business partners.   We have a clear vision to become global market leaders in Promotional Marketing for modern times, a realistic ambition given the expertise at the helm and the support of CPP."

For further information about i-deal Promotions, contact Jason Walsh on 07764 378 580 or Mark Koch on 07733 007 008.

Extent of online hacker tutorials revealedMay 2011

People can learn how to hack into someone’s account in less than 15 minutes findings from a live investigation revealed.

In a controlled ‘classroom’ experiment conducted by life assistance company CPPGroup Plc (CPP), a small group of volunteers with limited technological knowledge, who signed a disclaimer saying they would not use the information for illegal or malicious attacks, followed a online tutorial using a ‘man in the middle’ technique to hack into a computer network and obtain each other’s login details.

CPP’s volunteers - including a TV producer, a self-employed baker and a retiree - simply followed a 14-minute classroom-style tutorial which is freely available online. From this they were able to download hacking software which allowed them to access login details and passwords for e-mail accounts, social networking sites and online shopping accounts within a matter of minutes.

And supporting research reveals what could happen as a result – over seven million people have had online password-protected information accessed without their permission. Of these, nearly a quarter (24 per cent) claim to have had their personal e-mails accessed as a result, with 19 per cent saying their eBay accounts have been hacked. In an age of social media, 16 per cent say their social networking profiles have been hijacked and 10 per cent claim to have had money or a loan taken out in their name.

The opportunity for hackers to target users in this way also has the potential to grow due to the dramatic increase in the number of public Wi-Fi networks and smartphones with inbuilt Wi-Fi connectivity in recent years.

With over 20,000 videos on YouTube with basic hacking information tips teaching users how to hack social media profiles, e-mail, smartphones and PayPal accounts, it seems the internet’s capacity to host this type of material remains unchallenged.

These online hacking tutorials are widely known about with almost a fifth (17 per cent) of people aware of their existence. But the vast majority (87 per cent) agree that this kind of material should not be available online. The majority (63 per cent) think ‘hacking’ tutorials should be removed from the internet; with over half (56 per cent) saying the Government should take action to remove ‘hacking’ tutorials from the internet. A similar number (59 per cent) feel these videos and step-by-step guides increase the risk of identity fraud.

CPP is urging people to take steps to protect themselves from online hackers where possible, and urging the Government to take a stronger stance on internet hacking tutorials.

Identity fraud expert from CPP, Michael Lynch said: "The recent Sony security breach that saw a hacker gain access to the personal data of more than 100 million online gamers including people in the UK has demonstrated the growing and widespread risk that hackers pose to consumers and businesses. It is important people are aware of the risks so they can take the necessary steps to protect their identities and manage any compromised data. As our live session has shown, these hacking ’skills’ can be applied within minutes, so it’s crucial for consumers to take steps to protect themselves."

"With an increased demand for tighter online security, we’re calling on the Government to review access to these online hacking lessons and implement tighter regulation of internet hacking communities."

The technique taught in the live session known as ‘man in the middle’ hacking works by the ‘hacker’ intercepting communications between two people or what an individual is viewing on the internet.  As a user logs in to their online account, their username and password appears on the hacker’s own desktop, allowing them to store this sensitive information and access someone’s account – either immediately or at a later date.

In addition to the ‘man in the middle’ hacking technique used, step by step video internet tutorials are thriving with hacking tutorials available for PayPal, Facebook, iPhones, Networks, Apps, MySpace, Twitter, Blackberry and CCTV.

Robert Chapman, CEO of Firebrandtraining.co.uk, who were commissioned by CPP to carry out the tutorial said: "The wide availability of free hacking tools is a real concern, and everyone is a target. These resources are only going to grow and become more advanced, meaning that organisations and individuals must take steps to protect themselves. It’s imperative to keep anti-virus and firewall software up to date and change passwords to online accounts regularly. Also use common sense – if security warning messages appear in your browser, don’t ignore them as this could be an indicator that your network has been hacked.  We demonstrated how a very basic way of hacking could be used to steal millions of pounds from the unprepared."

CPP’s top tips on protecting your information from hackers:

1. Change your passwords regularly - the longer and more obscure, the better

2. Leave a website if you notice strange behaviour (unknown certificates, pop-ups etc.)

3. Avoid transmitting sensitive data over public (free or otherwise) Wi-Fi

4. When seeking Wi-Fi connections: know who you are connecting to, be wary of free Wi-Fi access

5. If using a smartphone: disable Wi-Fi ‘auto-connect’

6. If you are concerned about identity fraud, consider purchasing an identity fraud protection product to help you detect, prevent and resolve any incidence of the fraud

The Golden Rule is that unless you know your connection is secure, do not communicate any information or data that you wouldn’t feel comfortable shouting across a crowded room.

If you want more information on how to protect yourself or see how these experiments worked, please visit CPP’s blog

Four million Britons give up flying due to airport stress June 2011

Bad airport experiences have led close to four million1 travellers to give up flying altogether, with more than a third of Britons who have flown now claiming the airport experience is more stressful than the working week.

According to new findings from life assistance company CPP, despite taking a flight to pave the way for rest and relaxation, four in ten (42%) people say airports make them feel stressed and close to a quarter (23%)2 find the prospect of getting on to their flight as stress inducing if not more stressful than moving house. The problem has become so rife that one in ten (9%) of us are now avoiding flying altogether as a result.

The most nerve-wracking parts of the airport experience include flight delays, mislaying belongings and getting to the gate on time – all of which mean close to half of travellers find it difficult to relax until they’re safely on the plane and a similar number (45%) believe the holiday doesn’t start until they’ve left the airport.

But it’s no wonder that Britons are so worried about making it to the gate on time – over 2.9 million3 travellers have missed a flight in the past, while one in five of us (20%) have had to run to the gate with minutes to spare.

The problem is exacerbated on the other side of the border, with four in ten (41%) holidaymakers struggling to find their way around foreign airports as a result of the language barrier. The evolution of flight charges, which now sees many airlines charging for checked in baggage, also has a negative impact on stress levels, as do more recently implemented security measures such as liquids not being accepted in traveller’s hand luggage.

Studies have shown that the airport experience is having significant physiological effects on a traveller’s anxiety levels – one previous experiment using Heathrow airport saw holidaymakers’ heart-rates rise to a level equivalent to doing intense exercise4. This was echoed in the CPP research, which revealed that holidaymakers who had visited more than one airport cited Heathrow as the most stressful, followed by Gatwick and Manchester.

Recent disruptions in airport services as a result of bad weather over the winter and Icelandic ash clouds over the summer also mean that flight delays and cancellations have become more common. Last summer saw one of the highest levels on record with charter flights operating on average 29 minutes late5.

In fact airports are inherently stressful places, according to Psychologist David Moxon, who says that a number of factors combine to make airports uniquely challenging to the human psyche. Moxon comments, "Humans are wired to experience stress in situations where many feel out of control – and airports, where you have to follow instructions that are likely change at the last minute, and procedures that are unpredictable, lead many to react with a stress response. There is also what is known as an accumulation effect, resulting from other anxieties that we may be harbouring. If you head to the airport having worried about waking up on time, or what you’ve left behind at work, the airport itself will seem more stressful as a result."

It’s not all bad news however as holidaymakers have come up with some ways that the airport could be made a more pleasant experience – popular improvements include less queuing, and cheaper and nicer food and more seats. A large proportion (40%) of travellers say a quiet environment or access to a lounge (35%) would help to reduce their stress levels while close to half (42%) would like to be treated as a first class passenger.

Joanne Gibbons, from CPP says, "It’s a real shame that holidaymakers are experiencing such high levels of stress during what should be the beginning of a period of rest and relaxation. But rather than turning away from airports altogether we’d urge families to have a strategy for staying calm prior to boarding – by checking in online, minimising the amount of luggage they check-in and taking advantage of airport lounge opportunities."

CPP’s tips for avoiding airport stress

1. Choose your airport carefully: Bigger airports tend to be busier which can mean higher stress levels. So consider flying to a smaller, local airport to reduce transfer times and hassle.

2. Do as much as you can online beforehand: Many airlines now allow travellers to check in online up to forty eight hours beforehand, which can really reduce the amount of time spent queuing when you arrive at the airport. If you do choose this option, remember to print off your boarding pass.

3. Minimise parking time: Airport car-parks are huge and navigating them can be tricky, so consider dropping off all your passengers at check in and having one person park the car to avoid unnecessary stress.

4. Check in minimal luggage: With airlines increasingly charging for checked-in luggage, you can avoid queues and save cash by taking carry-on luggage where possible, especially for short breaks. This means you can go straight through to security and save time on the other side.

5. Opt for fast-track security: Some larger airports now allow passengers to pay for the opportunity to fast-track through the security gates. This can speed up the airport process and give you more time relaxing on the other side.

6. Take advantage of airport lounges: Airport lounges are a great way to relax and get that holiday feeling before boarding the plane – you’ll be guaranteed a seat and get complimentary snacks. CPP’s Airport Angel AirText service will even text you when your flight is boarding to ensure you get there on time.

7. Have a boarding strategy: If you have pre-booked seats it may be worth boarding last, meaning you can spend longer in the lounge and less time queuing at the gate. If you haven’t got pre-booked seats, think about getting priority boarding or leaving a little more time at gate to get to the front of the queue.

CPP to offer enhanced key protection through partnership with sparekeys.comJune 2011

Life assistance company CPP has partnered with everyday emergency solutions provider, SpareKeys.com, to enhance its card and key protection offering. 

The new partnership will allow CPP to offer an enhanced range of benefits to their customers, opening the door to the future development of products which integrate SpareKeys.com’s capabilities. Customers will be able to take advantage of SpareKeys.com’s national secure storage and 24/7 emergency delivery service. This service enables a customer to securely store up to 8 spare keys and, if in the event of the loss or theft of their original keys, receive 24/7 emergency delivery of the spares.

The current Card Protection product’s benefits include, fast and effective card cancellation and replacement from anywhere in the world, emergency cash advances in the UK or abroad and cover for a replacement handbag or wallet, emergency passport and lost cash.

CPP’s decision to partner with SpareKeys.com is driven by insight into consumer behaviour, as recent research conducted by the life assistance company revealed a quarter (25%) of people have suffered losing their keys in the past, with a fifth of these (20%) losing them more than once. 

As part of the ongoing product development at CPP, the service offered by SpareKeys.com will be used to enhance the product portfolio. Kerry D’Souza, Card Protection Product Manager at CPP said: "We are pleased to be working with SpareKeys.com to enhance our existing Lock & Key offering, giving our customers the peace of mind that they will always be able to get home safely, even in the event of key loss or theft. Our aim is to offer the best possible customer service and this partnership will add to the broad range of features and benefits that our customers can expect."

Edward Madden, Marketing Director at SpareKeys.com said: "Losing or even just misplacing your keys, can be both inconvenient and distressing. Our national network of secure storage depots and 24/7/365 emergency delivery service help people ensure that they never get locked out again. We’re delighted to be bringing our product to CPP’s extensive customer base and look forward to working with CPP on further product developments. "

For further information about Card Protection go www.cpp.co.uk. For further information on SpareKeys, please visit www.sparekeys.com

CPP offers new legal productJune 2011

Life assistance company CPP has launched Your Law, a new service offering consumers support, advice and guidance on a whole range of legal matters.

With the introduction of The Legal Services Act (2007) that seeks to liberalise and regulate the market for legal services in England and Wales by encouraging more competition and more consumer focused legal firms, CPP has responded with a new service that delivers professional, low cost, accessible and impartial legal advice that is simple and easy-to-use.

The Your Law product adds to the extensive portfolio of Life Assistance products that CPP currently provides through business partners in the financial services, telecoms and travel sectors including card protection services, identity theft and mobile phone insurance and travel assistance services.

Partnering with award-winning solicitors Irwin Mitchell and Lawpack, the CPP Your Law product provides:

  • Advice on any legal matter 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, either online or over the phone
  • Online legal library full of professionally written templates for common problems, frequently asked questions on legal concerns and extensive advice
  • Help to find the most appropriate way to pay for legal services including Legal Aid, no-win-no-fee arrangements, or discounted services using the Your Law membership

The product will ensure that the consumer has access to advice and support for all legal concerns. Your Law covers both large and small issues from updating wills or disputing a parking ticket to the bigger worries of employment law, professional negligence and neighbourhood issues, such as boundary disputes.

The product is competitively priced at £59.99 for an annual membership – a price intended to give people better access to quality legal advice whereas before the perceived cost of legal advice may have discouraged them.

By providing the Your Law product, CPP is responding to the demands of the consumer.  Research by CPP identified that 81 per cent of people have needed legal advice (1). Over a quarter of respondents did not seek legal advice due to cost, complexity, lack of time or knowledge. (2)   

Alasdair MacSporran, Head of Your Law at CPP said: "We wanted to be able to offer the consumer a product that assists them with every day issues.  When faced with a legal concern, it is difficult to know where to turn and many people worry about the cost and time investment that will be involved.  Our product will allay those concerns and provide the legal advice that is demanded."

Joe Simpson, Chief Executive, Strategic Client Relationships at Irwin Mitchell, said: "We welcome the changes that the Legal Services Act is bringing to the marketplace and, as a result, Irwin Mitchell intends to be at the forefront of this developing market that will, in our view, herald innovative changes in the delivery of legal services.

"We are therefore pleased that CPP has recognised the contribution that we can bring to a brand by choosing Irwin Mitchell as their preferred supplier for their "Your Law"; legal services product. We look forward to providing a first class legal service to their customers."

Further information about the Your Law product is available at http://www.cpp.co.uk/your-law/

Anti-social neighbours drive a million householders out of homeJuly 2011

Nearly a million Britons have been forced to move house as a result of a neighbour feud, according to new research.

Findings from life assistance company CPP reveal that escalating tensions have led one in twenty (5%) feuding neighbours to sell up or move out as a result of next door's 'bad neighbour etiquette'.

Home and garden maintenance issues top the list of disputes between neighbours, with more than a quarter (27%) of feuds due to people leaving their homes, gardens and streets in a state of disrepair. Other common causes of disputes include excessive noise (15%), arguments over boundaries (7%), stolen parking spaces (7%) and trespassing children (6%).

The research shows nearly a fifth (18%) of Britons have been in a dispute with their neighbours in the past year alone, with the findings suggesting that our difficult relationship with our street mates is the result of a communication breakdown between people.

Although there are many people who do enjoy good relationships with their neighbours, the research reveals nearly a third of Britons (27%) rarely speak to them. One in seven (14%) of us don’t know the names of the people living in our immediate vicinity.

Consequently people are finding it increasingly difficult to settle disputes amicably. According to the research, one in seven people (16%) have had a verbal argument with a neighbour in the past, and a small number of disputes (2%) have even ended in violence. Feuding neighbours are instead turning to the authorities to solve the problems for them - close to a fifth of people (18%) have reported their neighbours to the police or local council.

Without a quick resolution arguments can easily escalate, with Britons paying out a collective £100 million2 in the last year alone in an attempt to rectify a neighbour dispute. To help solve the problems between Britain’s feuding neighbours, CPP is calling on consumers to make sure they are gaining the correct legal advice. More than one in ten (12%) believe that having easy access to legal advice could help them solve a neighbourhood dispute.

Alasdair MacSporran, Head of Your Law at CPP said: "Our research tells us that getting on with the neighbours shouldn’t be taken for granted. It’s always worth speaking to your neighbours about any concerns you have before issues escalate and get out of hand. Knowing your legal rights and responsibilities, and being on the right side of the law, is always useful, however, as it could influence – and temper – what you say at the beginning.

"The deregulation of the legal services sector from 6 October 2011 will see many more companies offering simple, lower cost legal services directly to consumers – both online and on the high-street, which should benefit many people who have previously shied away from using traditional law firms to settle day-to-day and often easily reconcilable, disputes."

CPP’s tips to avoid neighbour disputes:

Play your part – keep your garden and surrounding areas tidy and free of rubbish. This way people in your neighbourhood will respect you for showing them and their community consideration. In addition the police and the courts are more likely to take you seriously if you behave reasonably yourself.

Keep them updated –Make sure you keep your neighbour informed of anything that may disturb them – for instance building work or a house party. This will help maintain good relations between you and will encourage them to let you know of anything they’ve planned that you may find a nuisance. This will then often also avoid legal disputes particularly where there are legal duties and obligations to consider.

Lend a hand – Offer to pick up your neighbour’s papers and keep an eye on their place when they are away, letting them know that you’ll contact them if you see anything awry or suspicious near their house. This will let your neighbour know they can trust and rely on you, and they may also return the favour

Be a good neighbour yourself –If your neighbour is behaving erratically it might be because of something you’re doing – for example poor insulation in a flat ceiling may make quite ordinary behaviour appear unreasonably loud to the flat below. Try talking to them about their issues and you may find out what’s wrong

Invite them in – If there is a particular issue with your neighbour and you’re on speaking terms, try inviting them into your home so they can experience the issues you’re having and understand how it’s affecting you (how loud their music sounds in your house for example).

Purchase legal assistance – Products such as Your Law from CPP offer support, advice and guidance on a whole range of legal matters including employment issues, personal injury, parking fines, cowboy builders and how to return faulty goods. This will then allow you to understand the law and to take a robust position if things do unfortunately go wrong.

Derbyshire sports teams celebrate funding victoryJuly 2011

Nearly a million1 Britons have been forced to move house as a result of a neighbour feud, according to new research.

Findings from life assistance company CPP reveal that escalating tensions have led one in twenty (5%) feuding neighbours to sell up or move out as a result of next door’s ‘bad neighbour etiquette’.

Home and garden maintenance issues top the list of disputes between neighbours, with more than a quarter (27%) of feuds due to people leaving their homes, gardens and streets in a state of disrepair. Other common causes of disputes include excessive noise (15%), arguments over boundaries (7%), stolen parking spaces (7%) and trespassing children (6%).

The research shows nearly a fifth (18%) of Britons have been in a dispute with their neighbours in the past year alone, with the findings suggesting that our difficult relationship with our street mates is the result of a communication breakdown between people.

Although there are many people who do enjoy good relationships with their neighbours, the research reveals nearly a third of Britons (27%) rarely speak to them. One in seven (14%) of us don’t know the names of the people living in our immediate vicinity.

Consequently people are finding it increasingly difficult to settle disputes amicably. According to the research, one in seven people (16%) have had a verbal argument with a neighbour in the past, and a small number of disputes (2%) have even ended in violence. Feuding neighbours are instead turning to the authorities to solve the problems for them - close to a fifth of people (18%) have reported their neighbours to the police or local council.

Without a quick resolution arguments can easily escalate, with Britons paying out a collective £100 million2 in the last year alone in an attempt to rectify a neighbour dispute. To help solve the problems between Britain’s feuding neighbours, CPP is calling on consumers to make sure they are gaining the correct legal advice. More than one in ten (12%) believe that having easy access to legal advice could help them solve a neighbourhood dispute.

Alasdair MacSporran, Head of Your Law at CPP said: "Our research tells us that getting on with the neighbours shouldn’t be taken for granted. It’s always worth speaking to your neighbours about any concerns you have before issues escalate and get out of hand. Knowing your legal rights and responsibilities, and being on the right side of the law, is always useful, however, as it could influence – and temper – what you say at the beginning.

"The deregulation of the legal services sector from 6 October 2011 will see many more companies offering simple, lower cost legal services directly to consumers – both online and on the high-street, which should benefit many people who have previously shied away from using traditional law firms to settle day-to-day and often easily reconcilable, disputes."

CPP’s tips to avoid neighbour disputes:

Play your part – keep your garden and surrounding areas tidy and free of rubbish. This way people in your neighbourhood will respect you for showing them and their community consideration. In addition the police and the courts are more likely to take you seriously if you behave reasonably yourself.

Keep them updated –Make sure you keep your neighbour informed of anything that may disturb them – for instance building work or a house party. This will help maintain good relations between you and will encourage them to let you know of anything they’ve planned that you may find a nuisance. This will then often also avoid legal disputes particularly where there are legal duties and obligations to consider.

Lend a hand – Offer to pick up your neighbour’s papers and keep an eye on their place when they are away, letting them know that you’ll contact them if you see anything awry or suspicious near their house. This will let your neighbour know they can trust and rely on you, and they may also return the favour

Be a good neighbour yourself –If your neighbour is behaving erratically it might be because of something you’re doing – for example poor insulation in a flat ceiling may make quite ordinary behaviour appear unreasonably loud to the flat below. Try talking to them about their issues and you may find out what’s wrong

Invite them in – If there is a particular issue with your neighbour and you’re on speaking terms, try inviting them into your home so they can experience the issues you’re having and understand how it’s affecting you (how loud their music sounds in your house for example).

Purchase legal assistance – Products such as Your Law from CPP offer support, advice and guidance on a whole range of legal matters including employment issues, personal injury, parking fines, cowboy builders and how to return faulty goods. This will then allow you to understand the law and to take a robust position if things do unfortunately go wrong.

CPP volunteers take on 'bashing' challengeAugust 2011

Employees from leading local employer CPP have taken part in a ‘balsam bashing’ challenge to help rid one of York’s famous parks of an invasive species.

A team of 32 employees from the business to business sales team at CPP spent the day at Rowntree Park removing hundreds of Himalayan Balsam plants which, if left to grow, can start to take over the native species.

The challenge was set by York Cares, a business and community volunteering charity which works in partnership with some of the city's leading employers to deliver community-based challenges.

The business-to-business sales team at CPP are based across the country so the day was an opportunity for team building as well as helping the local community. The team rounded off the challenge with a celebratory BBQ in the Park.

CPP is committed to working closely with the local community and already supports a number of other initiatives in York.

Natalie McCrystal, account manager at CPP who organised the event, said: "The team have thoroughly enjoyed pulling on their gardening gloves and helping to make a difference to this beautiful park. It has been a great team building exercise and a chance for us to pull together to do something for our local community".

Jennifer Cairns from the Parks and Open Spaces Team at City of York Council, said: "Himalayan Balsam is a big problem in parks – left untended it can quickly overcome our native flora and fauna – so getting a helping hand from the team at CPP has been invaluable. It also helps us to retain our Green Flag Award which recognises Rowntree Park as one of the best green spaces in the country."

Sponsorship renewal boosts local community footballAugust 2011

Youngsters in York will have the chance to receive professional football coaching over the next 12 months thanks to the continuing support of a leading local employer.

Holgate-based CPP has pledged its support to York City FC’s Community scheme for the fifth consecutive year. With the company’s continued backing the club aims to increase its target to support more than 100 schools in the region next season as well as providing professional coaching to thousands of children across the county through after-school clubs and holiday football camps.

Sophie Hicks from the club said: "We are absolutely delighted that CPP has committed its continuing support to the scheme. We have established a great partnership with them and are looking forward to working on some new community initiatives this season, as well as continuing our successful CPP Challenge Cup involving hundreds of children from primary schools from around York and the surrounding areas".

CPP’s chief operating officer Stephen Kennedy commented on the continuing partnership: "CPP is committed to the development of sport and education programmes for young people in the city. The sponsorship will allow York City FC to develop their excellent community programme further and we are proud to continue our support to help make a difference to the local York and wider North Yorkshire communities."

For more information on the club’s community programme and how to get involved visit www.ycfc.net/community

Volunteers dig deep in garden challengeSeptember 2011

The finance team from leading local employer CPPGroup Plc (CPP) swapped their spreadsheets for spades when they took on a challenge to overhaul the gardens at two older people’s services in York.

50 employees from the finance team at CPP were split into two groups to take part in the challenge earlier this week. One group helped overhaul the garden at Mill Lodge - a unit in Huntington run by NHS North Yorkshire and York for older people with dementia. Another team rejuvenated the garden at The Glebe sheltered housing scheme in Dunnington.

The challenge included repairing raised planters, extending paths for wheelchair users and painting fences and garden furniture. The finance team came fully equipped with spades, garden folks, wheelbarrows, secateurs and plants to brighten up the gardens for the residents.

The challenge was set by York Cares, a business and community volunteering charity which works in partnership with some of the city's leading employers to deliver community-based challenges.

This was the finance team’s second opportunity to take on a challenge to help the local community. Louise King, who organised the challenge on behalf of the team, was delighted with the results. She said: "Not only did the team work on a great cause, but it was a fantastic opportunity for team building and getting to know colleagues out of the work environment. It gave us all a real buzz to see the gratitude on the faces of the staff and residents at both residential homes."

CPP is committed to working closely with the local community and already supports a number of other initiatives in York.

Darren Hughes, a Community Mental Health Nurse with NHS North Yorkshire and York based at Mill Lodge, said: "We’d like to expresses great thanks to York Cares and CPP for their involvement in redeveloping the garden project. 

"Research shows that people with dementia who can maintain an active interest in their environment and life long interests benefit from improved physical and mental well-being."

Britons confess to ‘Casual’ hackingSeptember 2011

Millions of adults are self confessed computer hackers with more than one in 10 (13%) admitting they have accessed someone else’s online account details without their permission.

According to research by life assistance company CPPGroup Plc (CPP), the most common ‘casual’ hacking takes place on Facebook and other social network sites.  And while this will often be viewed as harmless spying, many admitted to accessing personal and work emails, money transaction portals such as PayPal and online banking sites.

Many people (32%) casually dismissed their hacking as something they did ‘just for fun’ while others admitted they did it to check up on their other half (29%) or a work colleague (8%). But it wasn’t all passive spying – two per cent had very different motives admitting they did it for financial gain.

Proving what goes around comes around though, the research shows that 16% of people have had their own online password-protected information accessed without their permission. Of these, nearly a quarter (24%) have had their personal e-mails accessed and 7% claim to have had their work e-mails accessed. A further 19% say their eBay accounts have been hacked and 16% their social networking profiles. One in 10 claim to have had money or a loan taken out in their name.

Identity fraud expert from CPP, Danny Harrison said: "People may dismiss checking up on their friend or partner’s accounts as a bit of fun, but in reality they are hacking.  Looking at someone’s personal information without their knowledge is a serious act and one that could have serious repercussions both personally and professionally. We would urge everyone to be very careful about sharing passwords and to be vigilant about monitoring their accounts."

Worryingly, the internet’s capacity to encourage this type of activity remains unchallenged. Step by step video internet tutorials are thriving with hacking tutorials available for PayPal, Facebook, iPhones, Networks, Apps, MySpace, Twitter, Blackberry and CCTV and over 20,000 videos on YouTube with basic hacking information and tips.

These online hacking tutorials are widely known about with almost a fifth (17%) of people aware of their existence. But the vast majority (87%) agree that this kind of material should not be available online. The majority (63%) think ‘hacking’ tutorials should be removed from the internet; with over half (56%) saying the Government should take action to remove ‘hacking’ tutorials from the internet. A similar number (59%) feel these videos and step-by-step guides increase the risk of identity fraud.

The trend is highlighted after several large-scale episodes of organised hacking have targeted commercial companies including Sony and Nintendo.

CPP is urging people to take steps to protect themselves from ‘casual’ hacking where possible, and encouraging the Government to take a stronger stance on internet hacking tutorials.

Danny Harrison continued: "Hacking presents a risk to consumers and businesses and it is important people take the necessary steps to protect their identities and manage any compromised data. People are concerned about their password protected information being accessed without their permission and we are calling on the Government to review access to these online hacking lessons."

CPP’s top tips on protecting your information from hackers:

1. Change your passwords regularly - the longer and more obscure, the better

2. Leave a website if you notice strange behaviour (unknown certificates, pop-ups etc.)

3. Avoid transmitting sensitive data over public (free or otherwise) Wi-Fi

4. When seeking Wi-Fi connections: know who you are connecting to, be wary of free Wi-Fi access

5. If using a smartphone: disable Wi-Fi 'auto-connect'

6. If you are concerned about identity fraud, consider purchasing an identity fraud protection product to help you detect, prevent and resolve any incidence of the fraud

The Golden Rule is that unless you know your connection is secure, do not communicate any information or data that you wouldn’t feel comfortable shouting across a crowded room.

If you want more information on how to protect yourself, please visit CPP’s blog

Corporate identity fraud hits SMEsOctober 2011

An increase in crimes against SMEs means that, in the past year, over 15,000¹ small businesses claim to have fallen victim to corporate identity fraud – which can have crippling financial consequences.

Research conducted by life assistance company CPPGroup Plc (CPP) has found that the most common stings are to apply for a corporate credit or debit card in the name of the business or to fraudulently order goods on the company account.

Troublingly, small companies who have been victims believe that it was often someone previously employed by the business or an associate of theirs who committed the crime. Lapses in data security and limited compliance with the Data Protection Act 1988 contribute to this insider fraud.

To legitimise their claim, fraudsters typically – and very simply – change the company’s office address by submitting a false AD01 change of address form to Companies House.

Worryingly, Companies House does not check details of paper documents for validity, instead accepting them from imposters in good faith and registering the new details publically. As directors and company secretaries aren’t contacted to verify their details, they often remain in the dark about the fraud taking place.

The majority (68 per cent) are unfortunately unaware of this loophole, mistakenly believing that Companies House checks and verifies the details of documents filed with them.

CPP Identity fraud expert, Danny Harrison said: "Small businesses are particularly vulnerable as they often don’t have the systems in place to protect themselves or the resources to draw on if they do become a victim. With identity theft on the increase, it is essential for SMEs to recognise the potential threat and take steps to ensure their business is protected. If they do suspect they have become a victim they should inform their bank or local police."

Although 61 per cent of SMEs owner believe that corporate identify fraud is on the increase, ignorance of identity fraud is high. Two fifths of SMEs surveyed (42 per cent) say they are not aware of company identity fraud as a crime and more than half (65 per cent) don’t consider themselves to be at risk. Reflecting this, the majority (87 per cent) do not have adequate insurance in place.

According to Companies House statistics, although 1,048,527 SMEs have signed up to the Companies House Protected Online Filing (PROOF) Scheme, that leaves more than half (57 per cent) of the 2,455,000 registered SMEs unprotected. The additional security provided by PROOF is recommended to stop the fraudulent change of registered office address and change of director or company secretary, which can be a forerunner to company identity fraud.

CPP’s top tips on protecting companies from identify fraud are:

  • Limit access to company sensitive information to only key employees
  • Make sure all company sensitive information is securely stored and only transferred using passwords and encryption in case it is lost or delivered to the wrong recipient
  • Ensure that company staff are not able to remove sensitive documents from the office
  • Sign up for corporate identity theft protection with CPP
  • At Companies House file information online (WebFiling), submit all papers online (PROOF) and subscribe to an alert system that notifies companies when changes to their details are made (Monitor). More information about these services and combating identity fraud can be found at www.companieshouse.gov.uk

To find out about protecting a business from ID fraud, please visit CPP’s blog

CPP welcomes eight new apprenticesOctober 2011

York-based employer CPPGroup Plc (CPP) is delighted to announce eight new apprentices – helping local businesses in the city meet and exceed the York Apprenticeship Challenge. 

The scheme, part of the National Apprenticeship programme, allows CPP to offer nationally recognised qualifications alongside specific financial services contact centre experience. On completion of their six month apprentice programme, the eight employees will be awarded with NVQ qualifications in Customer Service, Business Administration or Team Leadership.

The apprentices will also retake their GCSEs in Maths and English, as well as gain additional work-based qualifications including Health and Safety at Work. As part of the programme, they will each benefit from a training framework CPP has set up with external training company, the RTT Group, which has been designed to help them develop job specific skills.

CPP’s latest apprenticeships are Craig Fligg, Tom Bonner, Laura Thornton, Martyn Woodward, Rachel Mason (working towards an NVQ in Customer Sevice Level 2), Lorraine Musgrove (Business Administration Level 2) and Tom Buck (Team Leadership). 

Dan Godfrey, CPP’s UK Learning and Development Manager said: "CPP is delighted to be part of the York Apprenticeship Challenge and help young people gain invaluable work-related skills. We wholeheartedly support the programme. Our eight apprentices are committed, motivated young individuals who we are confident will make a valuable contribution to the York Contact Centre operation.

"In our experience, National Apprenticeship programme candidates are driven, resilient and committed to their job, gaining high levels of personal satisfaction from their placement. And from a business perspective, CPP is rewarded with skilled employees who are more likely to stay and use their experience, skills and knowledge to deliver a better sales and service experience for our customers."

CPP joins 58 other local companies who are involved in the York Apprenticeship Challenge, encouraging businesses in the city to recruit 100 new apprentices in 100 days. The challenge drew to a close last week, exceeding the target by employing a total of 164 apprentices.

Established in 1980, CPP employs approximately 1,000 people in its state-of-the-art contact centre in York, and has other UK operations in Tamworth, Chesterfield and Altrincham, Cheshire. The business helps people resolve stressful events such as the loss or theft of a wallet, purse, mobile phone or keys, as well as providing identity theft support and a legal advice service. It works with 200 business partners across Europe, North and South America and Asia Pacific.

Facebook users expose passwords onlineOctober 2011

CPP calls on people to separate personal information from online accounts

Social media users are increasing their chances of identify fraud, by providing clues to their online passwords.

A study from security expert, Jason Hart, commissioned by life assistance company CPPGroup Plc (CPP) has revealed that one third (32%) of Facebook profiles contain at least two pieces of personal information such as their mother’s maiden name, date of birth, hobbies or children’s names. This information is often also used as a password or as an answer to a security question when users look to reset their online account log-in details.

In the study, details including the name of the user’s first school (64%), employer (46%), dates of birth (25%), children’s names (25%) and favourite football team (17%) were found to be visible on many people’s Facebook profiles.

As the most active social media users, those aged 18 to 24 with a Facebook account are the most likely to publicise their personal information – and often to complete strangers. This age group has on average more than 250 friends but 81% say they do not trust all of their Facebook ‘friends’. Half (50%) have accepted a friend request from a total stranger and 9% would accept an invitation from someone they did not know if they were good looking or popular.

But it’s not just the 18 to 24 year olds who are making themselves vulnerable - users of all ages are putting themselves at risk. One third (33%) of all those with a Facebook account admit to accepting an invitation from people they had never met before, with 38% confessing they don’t know everyone they are friends with on the site.

Over half (52%) of the Facebook account holders questioned had received friendship requests from strangers. And despite recent media controversy around privacy and security on the site, one in twenty (6%) users allow anyone and everyone to see their entire profile. 

Danny Harrison, CPP’s Identity fraud specialist is calling on individuals to not use personal information for online passwords or security questions.

"It isn’t a good idea to use personal information for passwords online. Sharing is the whole point of Facebook and other social media sites, so users are naturally going to promote their personal information online. The problem is this information could be used by fraudsters to reset passwords and access people’s online accounts. To compound the problem, there are tools available online that can capture keywords from a website, including a Facebook profile, and others which will trial variations of the identified keywords until a password match is found.

For this reason, we are advising people to not use personal information as a means to verify their online identity and facilitate access to their online accounts."

Personal information most commonly used as passwords:

1. Interests

2. Hobby

3. Favourite football team

4. Favourite football player

5. Children’s names

6. First school

7. Pet’s name

8. Dates of Birth

9. The user’s name

10. Maiden name

Examples of how personal details visible on Facebook can be used by hackers:

Information Type

Potential  Impact

Risk Factor

First School

First school is often used as a security question on web- based applications and social networks

High - if used as the answer to web-based security questions

Employer

An attacker can use this information to conduct a social engineering attack to target the user’s employer

Medium to High - risk to the user and employer

Dates of Interest

People that publicly display their date of birth (DOB) are open to different forms of identity threat

High – as DOB is used by most banks as one form of identification

Email Address

This allows the user to become a potential target to password reset attacks and is a potential way to start spear phishing attacks

Medium to High – based on if the user is using a web based email address

Maiden Name

People that publicly display their maiden name also leave family members open to different forms of identity threat

High – maiden name is used by most banks as one form of identification

CPP’s top tips on protecting your personal data on social networking sites:

  • Set a unique password for every website: Always create a unique password for each website you use
  • Personal information: Ensure that you are not posting any personal information on Facebook  that can be used against  you,  for example date of birth,  mother’s maiden name or your email address
  • Enforce two-factor authentications:  A number of web based applications and social networking sites now provide users with the ability remove the need for static passwords and allow them to enable two-factor authentication - removing the risks of your password being compromised
  • Privacy settings on your social network profiles: Review the privacy settings on your social networks to ensure they meet your expectations. Social networks in general initially set privacy settings to defaults that allow anyone to view your information
  • Don’t use personal information to verify your online identity: If possible utilise other information or codes to construct a password, and consider using false information when asked to create a security question and answer

2010

Credit swindlers claim UK victimsNovember 2011

Identity thieves have devalued the credit ratings of thousands of unsuspecting Brits according to a new study.

The study commissioned by life assistance company CPP reveals that nearly 900,000 people (1) have had their credit rating unfairly damaged by fraudsters.

The report reveals the true extent that identity thieves wreak on their victims. Nearly half of people (48%) said it cost them financially, with the monetary repercussions averaging over £7,000, enough to put many people in serious financial difficulty. Costs included individuals losing out on low interest credit cards and loans (48 per cent), refused a mortgage (20 per cent) and lost earnings (10 per cent). Whilst, one in twenty (5 per cent) had to pay legal fees.

The nightmare doesn’t stop at financial costs. On average it takes over 400 days – nearly 14 months to get a damaged credit file back to health with half of Brits (50 per cent) either not ever getting the problem resolved, or not knowing if their credit status is back on track.

With the cost and time hitting victims hard, it isn’t surprising that it has an emotional impact. The report also revealed over half had suffered high levels of stress, strained personal relationships (41 per cent) sleepless nights (35 per cent) and having to take time off work (7 per cent).

But it’s clear that consumer ignorance is playing a role in helping identity thieves go undetected. The vast majority have no qualms supplying their personal data online, including names, dates of birth and addresses, where it can be accessed by millions.

And when their personal details were swiped, many people didn’t know how to resolve a poor credit rating, which is one of the consequences of identity fraud. Even if they did, they said it was time consuming, expensive and complicated to do so. Only one in 20 (4 per cent) review their credit report on a monthly basis as recommended by experts and half of people admit they have never checked their credit report. Four per cent admitted they didn’t even know what a credit report is.

Worryingly, the majority of people only found out they had a bad credit rating when they applied for a mortgage, loan or credit card.

The findings come as CPP warns consumers to take control of their identities by regularly checking their credit reports and guarding their personal information against identity thieves.

Nicole Sanders, identity fraud expert from CPP said: "It is clear consumers need to wake up to the fact that identity thieves are out there. In October, the National Fraud Authority estimated that identity fraud affects over 1.8 million people every year. Stolen identities are used to obtain a wide range of goods and services in the victim’s name including loans, credit cards and false bank accounts.

"To stop identity thieves, consumers need to check their credit reports on a monthly basis for suspicious transactions and be more responsible in looking after their personal information."

To protect consumers against the financial and emotional cost of identity theft, CPP provides Identity Protection that provides insurance to cover any costs associated with clearing a victim’s name. SMS and e-mail alerts proactively inform customers if their credit status changes and the product checks whether their personal information is held on insecure websites. Should the worst happen, resolution experts are on hand to help victims restore their identities for them.

For more information, please visit www.cpp.co.uk or http://blog.cpp.co.uk/

UK's wireless network open to attackOctober 2010

Nearly half of home wi-fi networks can be hacked in less than five seconds, according to a new study.

In an ‘ethical hacking’ experiment conducted across six UK cities, nearly 40,000 networks were revealed as high-risk, opening up the personal data of thousands of individuals (1).

The study, commissioned by life assistance company CPP, lifts the lid on wi-fi insecurity across Britain ahead of National Identity Fraud Prevention Week.

An ethical hacker roamed Britain’s cities using specially developed, freely available software identifying insecure networks.

According to the findings, nearly a quarter of private wireless networks has no password whatsoever attached, making them immediately accessible to criminals. This is despite majority (82 per cent) of Brits mistakenly thinking their network is secure.

And even password-protected networks are not secure. A typical password can be breached by hackers in a matter of seconds.

Hacking into a private network not only allows unscrupulous individuals to ‘cloak’ criminal activities such as purchasing illegal pornography or selling on stolen goods. It also allows them to view the private transactions made by individuals over the network, accessing passwords and usernames which can then be used to impersonate the victim and commit identity fraud and other illegal activity. Worryingly, only one in 20 people knows for certain that their network has been used without their permission, indicating that the vast majority remain ignorant of the risk.

The study also reveals the dangers of accessing the internet over publicly available networks. While one in six wireless users (16 per cent) say they regularly use public networks, hackers were able to ‘harvest’ usernames and passwords from unsuspecting people at a rate of more than 350 an hour, sitting in town-centre coffee shops and restaurants. In addition, the experiment showed that more than 200 people unsuspectingly logged onto a fake wi-fi network over the course of an hour, putting themselves at risk from fraudsters who could harvest their personal and financial information.

Identity fraud expert from CPP, Michael Lynch, said: "This report is a real eye-opener in highlighting how many of us have a cavalier attitude to wi-fi use, despite the very real dangers posed by unauthorised use. We urge all wi-fi users to remember that any information they volunteer through public networks can easily be visible to hackers. It’s vital they remain vigilant, ensure their networks are secure and regularly monitor their credit reports and bank statements for unsolicited activity."

Ethical hacker and Senior Vice President of CRYPTOCard Jason Hart, who carried out the experiments said: "When people think of hackers they tend to think of highly organised criminal gangs using sophisticated techniques to crack networks. However, as this experiment demonstrates, all a hacker requires is a laptop computer and widely available software to target their victims.

"With the growth in the number of smartphones and wireless networks, it has become far easier for hackers to crack usernames and passwords, allowing them access to emails, social networks, and online banking sites and even to assume the online identity of their victim. It’s vital that both businesses and individuals think very carefully about network security and what information they provide when going online."

Table for the number of most unsecured networks in UK cities:

City

Number of networks identified

Number of unsecured networks

London 14908 4746
Cardiff 11375 1409
Bristol 3323 916
Birmingham 3753 910
Manchester 2894 870
Edinburgh 1956 398

Public Wireless Hotspots

City

Number of wireless users logging-on to fake network

London 115
Birmingham 103
Manchester 72
Bristol 41
Edinburgh 31
Cardiff 29

Feel Good Week18 February 2010

A coffee break with tradition

Employees at leading local employer CPP had the feel good factor this week, when the senior management team donned their aprons and served them their morning tea and biscuits.

The team, led by UK managing director Stephen Kennedy, were helping to launch CPP’s ‘Feel Good Week’, an initiative to promote healthy lifestyles and feeling good.

Each day of CPP’s Feel Good Week celebrates a different way of feeling good, covering health, helping others and being spoiled. Friday will be given over to feeling good about giving, with homemade cakes being sold throughout the day in aid of the Help for Haiti appeal. The local women’s refuge will also benefit from the day with employees donating their unwanted clothes, toys and books to the charity.

As part of the week employees at the Holgate-based firm can also take advantage of advice from a personal fitness trainer, find out more about the flexible benefits packages on offer at CPP, enjoy fresh fruit plus receive complimentary pampering treatments.

Stephen Kennedy said: "Feel Good Week is all about banishing those winter blues and feeling good. The leadership team were more than happy to serve up some extra ‘feel good’ benefits to our employees during the week-long event."

Kirsty Mallaby a customer service agent from Boroughbridge (pictured) who has worked at CPP for two years said: "It was great to see our managers getting behind the week. It’s been good fun and I will definitely be taking advantage of the pampering treatments on offer and hope we raise lots of money to support the Haiti appeal."

Feel Good Week, 15 – 19 February, is just one of CPP’s initiatives aimed at supporting its employees and the local community. To find out more about recruitment opportunities at CPP, visit www.cppjobs.co.uk

Mobiles replacing memories for forgetful Brits13 July 2013

Millions of Brits are suffering from 'numerical amnesia' as mobile phones increasingly replace memories to recall important numbers.

23 million(1) Britons can’t remember their partner’s mobile number off by heart, 30 million can’t recall their best friend’s number and 22 million forget their parents’ mobile number – causing worrying implications in the event of an emergency, according to the results of a new study released today by life assistance company CPP.

An online memory test, designed to assess the nation’s ability to recall sequences of numbers, reveals that four in five Brits cannot recall a mobile phone number after an interlude of only five seconds.

Landline numbers it seems however, are more ingrained with 92 per cent of adults able to recall their home number and 60 per cent their parents’.

Mobile reliance is causing phone users to worry about losing precious data if their handset is lost or stolen, with nearly two thirds (67 per cent) anxious about losing the numbers stored on their phones. Despite this less than half of Brits (43 per cent) back up their mobile phone numbers in a traditional address book, and just one in five (18 per cent) choose to store the data on their computers.

Michael Lynch from CPP warns consumers though that there’s much more at risk when losing a phone than just the data. "Brits’ inability to recall numbers of their nearest and dearest means that many could be in a very tricky and distressing situation if their phone is lost or stolen, if they have no idea how to contact someone for help. This shows us that mobiles have literally become people’s lifelines.

"Our research shows that people are so heavily reliant on their mobile phones, that they’d be lost without them. And even if not caught in an emergency situation, our research shows that four in 10 victims have admitted that they’ve lost contact with friends when they’ve lost or had their phones stolen."

The research showed that while losing phone numbers is mobile users’ primary concern, four in 10 are also worried about losing precious photos taken on their handset and a third fear losing their text messages.

Psychologist Dr Glenn Wilson comments on the impact of us needing to remember less and less information: "As technology gets more sophisticated, our own memories are on the decline as we increasingly rely on information stored on phones and online. While this reliance can be problematic if people are totally dependent on an external memory store that is lost or becomes temporarily unavailable, it can also affect an individual’s mental agility later in life. Like many other skills, memory needs exercising if the capacity is not to be lost."

The CPP study shows that it’s not just mobile phone numbers that we are failing to remember. Over half of UK adults (53 per cent) struggle to memorise their bank account number and 44 per cent can’t remember their national insurance number.

CPP’s PhoneSafe service provides a ‘back-up’ service for all customers to ensure that phone numbers, texts and photos are all safe and can be restored onto a new or loaned handset if the need ever arises.

Five top tips to remember numbers

Step 1: Visualise the number – picture the numbers in your head. Think about what they would look like, what colour they would be, what they would look like on a business card or in your handwriting.

Step 2: Recite the number out loud. Recite the number three times right away, and again in one minute. Recite them every few minutes out loud. Even create rhythm in the sequence of numbers to the tune of a well-known song.

Step 3: Practise dialling the number. Move the fingers in the way in which it would be used to dial the number while reciting the number.

Step 4: Group the numbers together. The human mind naturally remembers numbers better in groups of three and four.

Step 5: Look for personal associations with the numbers. Associate numbers to birthdays, ages, pin numbers or other things that are personal to you. Your mind will recall the numbers when the association is thought up.

Notes

(1) UK adult population aged 18+ = 48,676,000 (ONS 24/6/2010). 47% of UK adults don’t know their partners mobile number off by heart. 47% of UK adult population = 22,877,720. 61% of UK adult population don’t know their best friend’s mobile phone number = 29,692,360 and 45% can’t recall their parent’s mobile number = 21,904,200.

Research Methodology

Research was carried out online by ResearchNow among 2,019 UK adults between 3 and 17 June 2010.

Millions snared in web fraud16 May 2010

Cybercrime victim every 7 seconds in the UK(1)

More than 420,000 scam emails are sent every hour in the UK according to a report published today (2).

The study from life assistance company CPP estimates that Brits were targeted by 3.7 billion ‘phishing’ emails in the last 12 months alone (3). And a quarter of us admit to falling victim to e-fraudsters, with the average victim losing over £285 each (4).

Fake banking emails are the most common method used by criminals, with 55 per cent of those targeted receiving seemingly legitimate e-correspondence from high street banks. Over half received false lottery or competition prize draws, while a further one in two was targeted by foreign cons such as the renowned "Nigerian 419 advance free fraud" scam.

And consumers must take caution, as latest industry figures show that online banking fraud rose by 132 per cent in the last 12 months. (5) In fact, nearly half of Brits (46 per cent) worry their card details could be used to make illegal online purchases.

Fraudsters are also exploiting the explosion of social networking sites and current defaults in privacy settings to target victims. Nearly one fifth of Brits have received phoney Facebook messages claiming to be from friends or family. One in 10 fear that fraudsters are using Twitter to follow them and a third are concerned their social networking account could be hacked.

It seems that anyone – no matter their level of expertise – can fall prey. Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web fell foul to fraud after buying Christmas gifts online, which failed to show up. Movie-star Salma Hayek had her Apple MobileMe account attacked, and not even politicians are immune ¬– Ed Milliband’s Twitter account was infiltrated by hackers who posted details of a fictitious sex life.

Commenting on the report, Nicole Sanders, identity fraud expert at CPP said: "It seems that not a day goes by without a new case of online fraud hitting the headlines. But what’s concerning is that consumers are still falling victim.

"Fraudsters are becoming ever more skilled in their techniques and tactics. It can be extremely difficult to spot a legitimate email from a scam, so we advise caution at all times when online. And as social networking sites become increasingly popular, people need to continue to be mindful of what they post. Their identity is as valuable to a thief as a credit card, so protecting personal details is key."

Robert Schifreen, reformed computer hacker advises: "Staying safe online is easy if you follow some basic precautions. Never type your credit card number, password, or any other confidential information into a web site unless its address begins with https and your browser displays the ‘closed padlock’ symbol. These indicate that the site is safe and that your data is encrypted. Also, make sure your antivirus software subscription is up to date and that your computer is configured to automatically download protective software."

CPP top tips to reduce the chances of falling victim to online fraud:

  • Install anti-virus protection which scans for viruses
  • Install anti-phishing tools which identify phishing emails that trick users into giving away personal information
  • Install an active firewall, which updates and upgrades automatically, preventing hackers from gaining access to your PC or laptop
  • Keep your personal information safe. If someone asks for your personal details online ask yourself why they would need them
  • Be aware that banks will never ask for your personal information online. If you are unsure whether an email is genuine, ring your bank and ask them
  • If you store personal information on your PC, install up-to-date security software
  • Remember the golden rule: identity thieves are experts at spotting an opportunity to steal your identity and all they need are a few personal details
  • On social networking sites, keep your privacy settings set to friends only and never display your address, phone number or date of birth

100,000 SMEs victim of identity fraud26 May 2010

Identity thieves are ‘trading up’ from personal to corporate fraud, as they clone the identities of entire businesses.

The study commissioned by life assistance company CPP shows that identity theft has affected almost 100,000 small businesses (1), costing them an average of £13,500 each – £1.3bn across the country – enough to cripple some businesses.

One in five SMEs (22 per cent) admit they may be vulnerable to corporate identity theft due to lax procedures and protocol – but this figure could soar as criminals catch-on to a loophole with Companies House data processing.

Fraudsters’ ‘modus operandi’ typically involves changing company directors’ details or the company’s registered office address, by submitting false documents to Companies House through amendments to the company records via a simple submission of a paper form.

Under current systems, Companies House does not verify paper document validity. There are no checks if impostors try to register as new company directors or change a business address. And legitimate business directors are not notified if new company documents are filed, so they may never be made aware of fraudulent claims.

The majority of SME company directors (87 per cent) are not aware of these loopholes, which could put them at risk of corporate identity fraud.

Only one in 10 (14 per cent) is taking advantage of the PROOF scheme offered by Companies House, which offers secure electronic filing of documents to protect them against potential fraud.

And SMEs are also exposed to risk through their own data handling. Nearly half (47 per cent) say that their current employees have access to sensitive company data, almost two-thirds (61 per cent) admit they don’t encrypt company data, and a further fifth (22 per cent) allow employees to take sensitive documents out of the office.

While over a third (34 per cent) of SMEs confess that they don’t understand what corporate ID theft is – they need to as the reality is real. Victims of corporate fraud have experienced fraudsters applying for corporate credit/debit cards, spending money on credit, ordering goods without authorisation and even being able to withdraw funds direct from corporate accounts.

And the impact is severe – with victims reporting their company credit rating being affected as a result, damage to their company reputation and losing customers.

Michael Lynch, fraud expert at CPP said: "Our report demonstrates that corporate identity fraud is a real concern for businesses. It’s key that organisations ensure that they have secure methods of storing sensitive information to avoid falling victim to this growing problem.

"The current loopholes in the Companies House system make it worryingly easy for impostors to steal company information, and forge its identity, which can have huge financial impacts. We urge SMEs to take advantage of the safe online systems in place, to protect their business and for many SMEs, their livelihood."

Key statistics

  • Almost 100,000 UK small businesses have fallen victim to corporate identity theft
  • Corporate identity theft costs businesses an average of £13,500 each
  • 22 per cent of SMEs admit they may be vulnerable to corporate identity theft
  • 87 per cent of SME directors are not aware of loopholes in the Companies House system which could put them at risk of corporate identity fraud
  • Only 14 per cent of SMEs are taking advantage of the PROOF scheme offered by Companies House
  • 47 per cent of SME directors say that their current employees have access to sensitive company data
  • 61 per cent of SMEs admit they don’t encrypt company data
  • 22 per cent of SMEs allow employees to take sensitive documents out of the office
  • 34 per cent of SMEs confess that they don’t understand what corporate ID theft is

Advice for companies

  • Check with Companies House that the details stored for your company are accurate
  • Enrol for the PROOF WebFiling scheme and sign up to the alert system which will warn you of any changes to company details
  • If you receive a call claiming to be from Companies House try to obtain a phone number and contact Companies House immediately. NB. Companies House personnel never contact companies by telephone asking them for their security codes so should businesses
  • Do not rely on Companies House records alone in determining whether to lend goods or services on credit – Companies House is merely a public register and not a credit reference agency
  • Limit the access to company sensitive information to key employees
  • Make sure all company sensitive information is securely destroyed before disposal
  • Ensure that all company sensitive documents are password protected or encrypted
  • Ensure that no company staff can take sensitive documents out of the office in printed format or on unencrypted USB sticks
  • Ensure all hard copies of sensitive company information are stored in locked cabinets in locked premises

3 million victims across UK's phoneMarch 2010

Nearly three million Brits have fallen victim to phone theft, as thieves stop at nothing to get their hands on the latest mobiles (1).

Research from life assistance company CPP reveals that Sheffield is the worst place for mobile phone theft in the UK, with more than one in ten residents (11 per cent) having fallen victim, followed by Edinburgh (nine per cent) and London (eight per cent).

The findings also reveal the ways in which fearless phone thieves are targeting their victims. A quarter found they had been pick-pocketed, a fifth had their phone nabbed from a restaurant or pub table, while an unfortunate one in ten were mugged. Shockingly, one in twenty even had their phones stolen by crafty colleagues at work.

Tuesday afternoons are the most likely time for handsets to be pinched with other peak times including Monday mornings, Wednesday afternoons and Saturday nights.

But many phone users are not doing themselves any favours as nearly a quarter admit their own carelessness was the reason for their phone getting pinched. In fact a negligent one in five even managed to have their mobiles stolen more than once. Expensive handsets were also blamed by 15 per cent for the reason they were stolen.

And despite some phones such as iPhones and Blackberries costing hundreds of pounds and the ease in which stolen mobiles can be resold, the research reveals that the majority of Brits don’t bother to take out adequate protection. Nearly two thirds (63 per cent) have no mobile phone insurance at all particularly concerning given that the vast majority (84 per cent) never get their handset back if lost or stolen.

Furthermore on average it takes six hours for mobile phones to be reported missing putting the victims at risk from unauthorised airtime abuse.

Danny Harrison, Head of Mobile at CPP said: "Mobile phones are an integral part of our day-to-day lives, and for many, we would be lost without them. With new handsets regularly hitting the market and costing hundreds of pounds, it’s no wonder that thieves are looking to target them especially with the increasing amount of personal and sensitive information held on them to access social networking sites and mobile banking services."

"With Home Office figures suggesting that a staggering 228 mobiles are stolen every hour in the UK, mobile users need to remember that phone thieves will stop at nothing to get their hands on the latest handsets. We urge all mobile owners to keep their handsets safe when going out to prevent theft and to also avoid being careless and losing them unnecessarily."

Worst cities for Mobile Phone Theft:

  • Sheffield - 11 per cent of people have fallen victim
  • Edinburgh - 9 per cent of people have fallen victim
  • London - 8 per cent of people have fallen victim
  • Liverpool - 6 per cent of people have fallen victim
  • Birmingham - 5 per cent of people have fallen victim

Key statistics

  • Over 2.5m people have been a victim of phone theft
  • 24 per cent of mobile theft victims were pick-pocketed
  • 20 per cent of mobile theft victims had their phones taken from pub or restaurant tables
  • 5 per cent had their phones stolen from their office desks
  • 59 per cent of Brits say it’s very easy to sell-on a stolen mobile phone
  • 24 per cent of Brits said they were targeted through their own carelessness
  • 21 per cent of Brits have had their phones lost or stolen more than once
  • 20 per cent of Brits believe it’s easier to steal a phone than buy one
  • 36 per cent say phone thieves will stop at nothing to get the latest handsets
  • 63 per cent of Brits don’t have phone insurance
  • 84 per cent of victims didn’t get their phone back once lost or stolen

"IFRAUD" Fuels rise in scam phone claimsFebruary 2010

Tech-savvy Brits are willing to make phoney claims on their mobiles in a bid to get their hands on the latest handset.

A new mobile phone industry report from life assistance company CPP, reveals the number of phones reported missing rose by 11 per cent between last May and June alone, coinciding with the release of the new iPhone 3G. This comes as one in twenty mobile users admits they’d be prepared to file a dishonest claim to get their hands on a new phone. And one in five Brits believes it’s easier to steal a phone than buy a new one.

With the average resale value of an unlocked iPhone reaching 300 the life assistance company warns that ‘iFraudsters’ could cash in with the release of the 4G handset, rumoured to hit the market in June 2010.

But while not all claims are fraudulent, phone theft remains a huge problem across the UK. Mobile users in some of the biggest UK cities should be particularly wary. Sheffield and Edinburgh came top of the phone theft hotspots in the UK with 20 per cent of people collectively having ever fallen victim. London (8 per cent of victims), Cardiff (6 per cent) and Liverpool (6 per cent) follow closely behind.

And it seems mobile users should closely guard their phones on Tuesday afternoons as that’s the most likely time for handsets to be reported missing.

A quarter of unfortunate victims who’ve had their phones stolen were pick-pocketed (24 per cent). A fifth had their phone lifted from a restaurant or pub table when their back was turned and one in twenty had their phones nicked from their office desks, showing that some work colleagues are also prepared to pinch (4 per cent).

Six in ten mobile-owners (59 per cent) acknowledge their phone is a target because it can be sold-on easily, but 24 per cent admit their own carelessness with phones.

Despite the latest mobile phone handsets costing hundreds of pounds, (63 per cent) have no mobile phone insurance and would be out of pocket should the worst happen. This is particularly worrying when the majority of victims (84 per cent) don’t ever get their phone back once lost or stolen.

Danny Harrison, Head of Mobile at CPP, said: -The fact that we’ve seen a spike in claims when the iPhone 3G hit the market confirms that for some, making a fraudulent claim is an easy way to get their hands on the latest handset.

"It may be tempting to submit a false claim, especially when so many new valuable handsets are hitting the market. But people need to be aware that it is illegal to report a lost phone as stolen property and it could result in a police conviction. We urge all mobile users to be alert to the methods that desperate criminals can resort to, to keep their mobiles secure when going out to prevent theft and avoid being careless and losing them unnecessarily. "

Key statistics (all key stats in body copy also in the key release)

  • The no. of phones reported lost or stolen rose by 11 per cent between May and June 09
  • 20 per cent of Brits believe it’s easier to steal a phone than buy one
  • 4 per cent of mobile users admit they’d be prepared to file a dishonest claim to get their hands on a new phone
  • 13 per cent of phone victims come from London and Manchester
  • 24 per cent of mobile theft victims were pick-pocketed
  • 20 per cent of mobile theft victims had their phones taken from pub or restaurant tables
  • 5 per cent had their phones stolen from their office desks
  • 25 per cent of Brits admit their own carelessness with phones
  • 59 per cent of Brits say it’s very easy to sell-on a stolen mobile phone
  • 21 per cent of Brits have had their phones lost or stolen more than once
  • 63 per cent of Brits don’t have phone insurance
  • 84 per cent of victims didn’t get their phone back once lost or stolen.

CARDIFF is UK's card fraud capitalJanuary 2010

New research reveals that Cardiff is now the worst place in the UK for card fraud, knocking London off the top spot.

According to the annual Card Fraud Index by CPP, which identifies fraud hotspots across the country, Cardiff has leapt from fifth to first place since the index started in 2007. Card crime in the Welsh capital has increased by 17 per cent in the two last years, with over a third (37 per cent) having been a victim in the past.

While Cardiff took the lead, other hotspots for card fraud were London (35 per cent), Norwich (30 per cent), Southampton (28 per cent) and Leeds (27 per cent), which leaped from 12th position to fifth in just 12 months.

The report shows card fraud has increased by more than six per cent in the past two years, equating to nearly an extra 3 million victims (1). Currently over a quarter of adults now claim to have fallen victim a reflection of the explosion of new scams fuelled by criminals.

Online fraud remains a huge problem, affecting a third of victims, while card cloning from cash points or Chip and PIN devices accounted for nearly a fifth (17 per cent) of cases. Worryingly, over a third (34 per cent) of Brits have no idea how their financial details were swiped by fraudsters. And almost half (43 per cent) only found out they had been defrauded when alerted by their bank.

The average sum fraudulently transacted is over 590, with one in six victims (16 per cent) reporting losses of over 1,000.

The study also reveals how fraudsters have been splashing out using their victims cash. Over one in eight (13 per cent) had their money spent on electronic goods and one in ten on clothing, whilst some poor victims had fraudsters charging holidays to their accounts. Despite almost a fifth of cardholders (19 per cent) admitting they are more worried about card fraud compared to last year, many confess to taking actions that put them at risk. One in six (16 per cent) has let their credit or debit cards out of their sight, or left their cards loose in their bags or pockets. A further one in eight admitted to writing down their card details, while one in ten have let others take out money on their behalf.

Sarah Blaney, card fraud expert at CPP, said: - Our research shows that card fraud continues to affect more victims as fraudsters resort to increasingly sophisticated methods. At CPP we have seen high levels of Card ID theft, where criminals take over the running of another person’s bank account usually by changing the address details and then requesting a new card and genuine PIN to access the bank account. Presently speaking this account for half of our fraud cases.

"We urge all cardholders to be vigilant and take steps to protect themselves to avoid falling victim to card criminals. When out and about never let your card out of your sight. It’s also really important to check your bank statements regularly and thoroughly so you can spot any suspicious transactions. These are simple steps that are very effective in the fight against fraud. If something unusual does appear on your statement make sure you contact your bank or card protection company straight away. Card protection can give cardholders valuable peace of mind, helping them to cancel and replace their cards immediately and provide fraud victim support, should the worst happen."

Worst cities for card fraud: Percentage of people affected by card fraud at least once

  • Cardiff - 37%
  • London - 35%
  • Norwich - 30%
  • Southampton - 28%
  • Leeds - 27%
  • Newcastle - 25%
  • Plymouth - 24%
  • Glasgow - 24%
  • Edinburgh - 24%
  • Plymouth - 23%
  • Nottingham - 23%
  • Birmingham - 23%
  • Brighton - 23%
  • Manchester - 21%
  • Bristol - 20%
  • Sheffield - 17%
  • Liverpool - 15%

Key statistics Card fraud in Cardiff has increased by 17% since 2007

  • 37% of people in Cardiff have fallen victim to credit/debit card fraud at least once
  • Card fraud has risen by 8% since 2007
  • There have been 2,746,856 extra victims of card fraud nationally since 2007 26% of Brits have fallen victim to card fraud at least once
  • 35% of Londoners have fallen victim at least once
  • 30% of people from Norwich have fallen victim at least once
  • 28% of people from Southampton have fallen victim at least once
  • 27% of people from Leeds have fallen victim at least once
  • 32% of people were targeted online
  • Card cloning from cash points or chip and pin devices affected 17% of victims
  • 34% don’t know how they fell victim
  • 43% were only aware they had fallen victim when contacted by their bank
  • The average amount stolen was 592.69
  • 16% lost over 1,000
  • 13% had their money spent on electronic goods
  • 10% had their money spent on clothing
  • 7% had their money spent on holidays
  • 19% are more worried about card fraud than this time last year
  • 16% let a shop assistant take their card out of sight
  • 16% carry their cards loose in their pockets or bags
  • 12% have written down their card details
  • 10% have let others take money out on their behalf

2009

CPP teams help fight fraudDecember 2009

A team from one of York’s leading employers is celebrating a milestone in its campaign to fight fraud.

Six employees from CPP’s Fraud and Claims teams have gained an accreditation from the Telecommunications UK Fraud Forum (TUFF) after studying for six months to become fraud specialists.

One successful employee, Katherine Clements, who has worked at CPP for almost two years, achieved outstanding results in her TUFF examinations, passing with a distinction. She comments: "I am absolutely delighted to have achieved such high marks in my TUFF exam. I now have a far better understanding of fraud and I feel confident in my ability at detecting fraud and how to spot illegitimate claims."

In the first nine months of 2009, 175,000 cases of confirmed fraud were reported by CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service an increase of 11% year-on-year. This confirms many experts’ views that fraud increases in a recession as redundancy and tightened access to credit drives fraudulent applications and claims.

CPP has a dedicated Counter Fraud strategy in place to detect fraudulent claims for mobile phone insurance which helps keep premiums competitive. The Fraud and Claims team was recently announced as finalists in the Counter Fraud Initiative of the Year category of the National Insurance Fraud Awards.

Stephen Kennedy, managing director of CPP said: "We support our employees to become specialists in their roles and encourage them to deliver excellent customer service, so we can help our customers when they need us most. Keeping premiums competitive and identifying fraudulent claims is good business practice, and ultimately makes us a stronger business." CPP’s Claims team was also announced as 2009 finalists in the Large Team of the Year category in the CCF (Call Centre Focus) European Call Centre Awards, the industry’s most prestigious awards. A team of 12 agents from this department are also celebrating exam success after they completed their NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service. The course took five months to complete and the employees will be rewarded with their certificates in January.

CPP‘s new product to boost traveller's experienceNovember 2009

A new product was unveiled today by CPPGroup Plc (CPP), designed to take out the stress out of travelling abroad or going on holiday.

Drawing on CPP’s life assistance expertise, Travel Assist can be combined with a customer’s existing travel insurance policy or their holiday package to provide a comprehensive ‘assistance’ service when it comes to travelling and holidays.

Features include a 24/7 emergency helpline number, family safety bands, passport assistance, cancellation and replacement of lost and stolen cards, a lost and found luggage service, interpreter access and a mobile phrase book.

Businesses will be able to purchase a product with core elements and select a number of ‘add-ons’, creating a flexible product to meet their customers’ travel needs. All have been specifically developed to make holidays as smooth as possible, protect families’ wellbeing and provide control and reassurance.

The new product can be sold through a number of channels at holiday point of sale and post sale activity, including direct mail in holiday confirmation packs, face-to-face through travel agents, through business partners’ call centres and online marketing.

Travel Assist has been specifically designed to address key consumer concerns when travelling abroad. Market research undertaken by CPP found that the top concerns are: personal and family safety, losing luggage and knowing what to do in an emergency.

Jo Gibbons, product manager of CPP Travel, said: "The launch of Travel Assist works to enhance and complement travel insurance policies already in the market and holiday packages, ensuring that travel companies can help their customers when they need it the most. "

This new product allows consumers peace of mind when travelling and give agents and operators highly marketable products that identify the needs of their customers and help develop brand loyalty and customer retention.

"The launch of Travel Assist complements CPP’s suite of other life assistance products for consumers, which include Card Protection, Identity Protection and Phonesafe Insurance."

Local sports groups put sponsorship money to good useNovember 2009

Three North Derbyshire sports teams are gearing up for the winter season with new kit and equipment following a generous donation from one of Chesterfield’s leading employers.

In July CPP, which employs 220 people at its call centre in West Bars, pledged their support to local youth sport by donating grants of 1,000 to Chesterfield Town FC, Staveley Table Tennis Academy and Chesterfield Panthers Rugby Union Club.

The three teams have already put their money to good use, recruiting coaches and buying new kit and equipment to improve their activities for young people.

Chesterfield Town FC, based at Whittington Moor, has expanded over recent years and now boasts 26 teams. With the financial support of CPP, the club has purchased some new portable goals, balls and training jackets for the Feeder Squad, a Sunday morning club available to boys and girls from 4-6 years old.

Staveley Table Tennis Academy has recruited a new coach for their Academy of young players on a Saturday morning. The money donated by CPP has helped them launch a new coaching session at the Sports Clowne Campus for children in the Clowne and Bolsover and has gone towards a new table tennis table for the Academy.

Chesterfield Panthers Rugby Union Club aims to establish a new girl’s team for under 14s and under 18s. Sponsorship from CPP will also help to accommodate the increasing number of junior members who join the club each season and will also be used towards the running costs of the team which is run entirely by volunteers.

James Hastie, head of operations at CPP Chesterfield said: "CPP is delighted to be able to support Chesterfield’s local sports teams. We recognise the importance of championing sporting activities for young people and we hope that our sponsorship will encourage and enable more youngsters to become involved with the three teams in the district."

CPP has three UK contact centres based in Chesterfield, Tamworth and York. The Chesterfield operation opened in July 2008 with only 89 employees, it now boasts 220 employees at its contact centre, selling products that help people if they have lost their bank cards, mobile phones or had their personal identities stolen.

Early xmas for britain's card thievesNovember 2009

Britons are being warned to be vigilant with their credit and debit cards this Christmas as criminals target the hordes of shoppers returning to the high street.

New figures from life assistance company CPP, predict that over 315,000 shoppers risk falling prey to card fraud during the festive season, with the average sum set to be over 600.

This retail fraud epidemic is being fuelled by shoppers coming back to UK high streets. With an average Christmas present budget of 395, Brits are rejecting online to favour street shopping. Sixty-five per cent will be buying at least half their gifts in person, while almost two-fifths will purchase the majority of presents on the high street, compared to just a quarter who will do so online.

This return to the high street is being fuelled in part by concerns about postal delays one in four is worried that online orders won’t arrive in time for Christmas. CPP warns that the number of lost and stolen cards will peak on 18 December as stressed out last-minute shoppers become less careful with their bank cards.

Three quarters (75 per cent) of shoppers find the experience stressful, which psychologists show makes them more susceptible to theft. The hurly burly of festive shopping also means people lose track of their spending, leaving them at risk from fraud as suspicious transactions can go unnoticed. A third of shoppers admit they lose track of spending and a fifth don’t check their receipts against bank statements after they get home.

Dr Glenn Wilson, Visiting Professor of Psychology at Gresham College said: "Last minute Christmas shopping on the high street is a stressful experience. Stress affects people in many ways, both physically and psychologically. Heart rate and blood pressure rise, and there is an increase in anxiety, distractibility, confusion and forgetfulness, all of which makes people more likely to lose things, such as their bank cards, and be more at risk of theft".

Sarah Blaney, card fraud expert at CPP, said: "More and more consumers are aware of the risks when shopping online and are vigilant about keeping their passwords and personal details safe. However, we often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the high street: a combination of crowds and pressure to find the perfect present can lead to our attention wandering."

Retail fraud remains a problem despite the introduction of Chip and PIN verification. In the first six months of 2009 it totalled nearly 35m. However, lost and stolen cards can be used to make illegal purchases online, which is the largest type of card fraud totalling 134m in the first half of the year.

‘It is important people protect their PIN numbers and check their receipts against their bank statements on a regular basis. We all need to be responsible to stop fraud. Card protection can give shoppers valuable peace of mind, helping them to cancel and replace their cards immediately should the worst happen and provide fraud victim support.’

Key statistics

  • The average sum stolen from card fraud victims stands at 623
  • A fifth of card fraud victims report having over 1000 fraudulently taken from their bank accounts
  • 65 per cent will be buying at least half of their gifts in person this Christmas
  • 37 per cent will purchase the majority on the high street compared to 27 per cent online
  • 25 per cent of Brits are concerned that online orders won’t arrive in time for Christmas
  • 75 per cent find Christmas shopping stressful
  • 33 per cent admit they’ve lost track of spending over Christmas
  • 20 per cent don’t check their receipts against bank statements
  • 10 per cent confess they have thrown away receipts containing card details

Top tips from CPP to help avoid being a victim of card fraud

  • Don’t carry multiple debit/credit cards in a wallet only carry the essential cards you need
  • Don’t leave belongings unattended while shopping\
  • Don’t carry debit/credit cards loose in a bag or pocket
  • If your cards are registered with a Card Protection company make sure you have their emergency loss reporting number
  • Don’t ever write down your PIN number
  • Don’t let a shop assistant take your debit/credit card out of sight they could be copied or cloned
  • Don’t let someone else take money out on your behalf
  • Check your receipts against your statements when you get home
  • If you are concerned your cards may have been lost or stolen, contact your bank immediately to get the card cancelled
  • Make sure your bank has up-to-date contact details for you, including your mobile phone number in case they need to check if transactions are genuine

UK businesses have one chance before they're outOctober 2009

British businesses could learn a thing or two from X Factor and Dragon’s Den contestants, as first impressions really do count.

Research released today from life assistance company, CPP, shows that companies emerging from the recession only get one shot at making a good first impression as one in four of us (27 per cent) would never use a company again if we’d been on the receiving end of bad customer service.

And businesses which don’t deliver, better watch out as customers are taking no prisoners, bad-mouthing their negative experiences to an average of nine people. Conversely, satisfied customers could be a business’ best friend as 73% regularly recommend companies if they are on the receiving end of good customer service giving sales and profits a welcome boost.

Companies behaving badly should particularly be on guard with the rise of social media sites, such as Twitter, meaning customers can rant in mere seconds. Nearly one in five of us (19 per cent) would dish the dirt on a company via e-mail while one in seven (14 per cent) would post negative comments on forums. A further 10 per cent are happy to let off steam on Facebook. Unsurprisingly it’s the young adults and professionals under 35 that are most likely to blab about bad service online.

When it comes to our pet hates about customer service, the top things that really get our goat are having to explain ourselves numerous times, rudeness, inefficiency and that irritating machine recorded message stating ‘how important our call is’.

Nick Jones, head of media at CPP, said: "As consumers have been streamlining their spending in the economic downturn, excellent customer service is more important than ever. Industry research shows that acquiring new customers can cost up to seven times more than retaining existing ones, and keeping the existing customer base is vital to company profits."

Our research shows that people rate customer service almost as highly as a company’s products. In this competitive climate, British businesses need to realise they have one chance to make a good impression. Long gone are the days when someone would be a loyal customer because their parents used a particular company or brand. The internet means your competitors are only one click away, so businesses can’t afford to provide anything less than 100% customer satisfaction.

"Companies need to be mindful that the digital world is a breeding ground for negative comments, which can severely damage a company’s reputation. Our figures show that people are more likely to take time to post negative rather than positive comments online, so businesses need to ensure they have the right training in place and put the customer at the heart of everything they do."

Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service, said: "These are tough, challenging times and the loyalty of customers and their relationships with service suppliers are being severely tested. If customers don’t get service that is reliable, adaptable and available when they need it, they can quickly and easily go elsewhere."

How to provide Great Customer Service CPP here to help

  • Be passionate about quality service everyone in the company needs to understand nothing apart from great customer service is acceptable
  • Have knowledgeable employees who understand your products and services and who can answer questions there and then or resolve queries or complaints quickly
  • Assume your customers are right most people are honest and just want fair treatment
  • Treat customers with respect every customer contact leaves an impression so make it a good one
  • Deliver what you promise if you don’t your customers will lose faith and quickly go elsewhere
  • Make life easy for the customer if they have to contact you to ask a question or even complain, make it as easy and simple as possible
  • Don’t argue with a customer try to focus on making it right, not what went wrong
  • Think about customers long-term not just as a one-off sale if you look after customers they will come back again and again

CPP buys leapfrog groupOctober 2009

CPPGroup Plc (CPP), a leading Life Assistance business, today announced the acquisition of The Leapfrog Group Ltd (Leapfrog), a subsidiary of MKM Group Plc, an AIM listed company, in a cash and earn-out deal worth 4.8 million.

Leapfrog is a global provider of loyalty, sales promotion, incentive and reward programmes and the strategic acquisition will strengthen CPP’s portfolio of market-leading Life Assistance products and services.

In particular, the acquisition is seen as a strategic move to strengthen CPP’s newly formed packaged accounts division, a key business ambition for the Group. The division has been created to take advantage of the expected increase in fee-based banking over the next few years.

The deal gives existing Leapfrog products, like Airport Angel, access to CPP’s international distribution network spanning 14 countries and over 200 blue-chip business partners across the financial services, telecom, utility and retail sectors. Airport Angel provides customers with access to a network airport lounges world-wide, along with a real-time personal text service giving essential journey updates.

CPP will also get access to Leapfrog’s expertise in delivering incentives and loyalty promotions to business partners across numerous sectors and its partnership schemes, which provide ongoing sales promotions and loyalty solutions to business partners predominately in the financial services sector.

CPP is a rapidly growing international business, employing 1,700 staff worldwide. In 2008, Group revenue was 259.5 million, an increase of 15 per cent over the previous year. Established in 1980, CPP now has operations across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Its expanding portfolio of Life Assistance products helps customers cope with the challenges and opportunities of everyday life. CPP is the market leader for Card Protection and Identity Fraud Assistance in the UK. Leapfrog’s existing employees will continue to operate out of the company’s office in Altrincham, Manchester, and will become CPP’s fourth UK site in addition to York, Tamworth and Chesterfield.

Matthew Toynton, Leapfrog’s existing group finance director, has been appointed to lead the new business unit and will report directly to CPP’s UK managing director, Stephen Kennedy.

Eric Woolley, CPP Group chief executive, said: "This important acquisition will result in new commercial opportunities in both domestic and international markets. There are clear synergies between the two companies, with an excellent fit in core capabilities. We are delighted to welcome Leapfrog’s team, whose talent, experience and client relationships will greatly benefit the CPP Group."

Matthew Toynton, managing director, The Leapfrog Group added: "The combined expertise of Leapfrog and CPP will enable us to deliver our ambitious plans for the next stage of growth. It’s a very exciting time for all involved. I am looking forward to being part of such a fast-paced company and building on our current market-leading services to further strengthen CPP’s business."

CPP upgrades identity protection alert to combat online id fraudOctober 2009

Coinciding with the launch of National Identity Fraud Prevention Week, life assistance company CPP today unveils its weapon in the fight against Identity Fraud; Identity Protection Software. This follows the significant growth in account takeover fraud throughout the UK.

CPP lead the UK identity Protection market with over 1million existing customers benefiting from the insurance, caseworker, credit report monitoring and internet patrol services in Identity Protection Alert.

The latest feature works by providing an extra layer of software security, which scans, cleans and monitors PCs for criminal activity as well as locking down web browsers when banking or shopping online to prevent criminals from using malicious software to steal bank account details, passwords and other sensitive information. This can be used either alongside or instead of existing PC protection software.

The latest version of IPA has been launched with a major high street bank and retails at 79.99 for an annual policy which also includes insurance, access to credit reports and a comprehensive caseworker service.

Identity Protection Software has been designed for customers who are concerned about fraudsters accessing their online accounts via phishing e-mails, viruses, key loggers and unsecure websites. Between 2007 and 2008 account takeover increased by 207% and losses from online bank fraud rose 132% to 52.5m.

Once downloaded, IPA’s new identity protection software, powered by Prevx, works by providing a security summary before removing any malicious software. Real-time updates means customers are always protected against the latest online threat. The software also installs a secure browser to prevent other applications viewing or extracting sensitive information that customers may enter online, such as passwords, login details, payment details and other personal information.

In addition, IPA constantly checks if unsecure websites and public databases hold information about customers and quantifies the level of risk. Customers are immediately made aware if their banks details are being traded on illegal black-market trading sites. Customers’ credit reports are also constantly monitored and SMS and e-mail alerts inform them if there are any significant changes to their credit status indicating possible application fraud.

Restoring someone’s identity can be stressful and time-consuming. According to CIFAS in cases where a ‘total hijack’ has occurred, perhaps involving 20-30 different organisations, it can take up to 200 hours of work for an identity to be restored. IPA provides a dedicated fraud expert to investigate and resolve cases, taking away the stress and hassle from victims. In the event of fraud where a customer’s bank account is frozen, IPA will also supply victims with emergency funds.

Michael Lynch, product manager and identity theft expert at CPP, said: We’re delighted to announce the release of our upgraded identity protection service which will help protect customers from the latest online threats and account takeover.

"At CPP we are constantly looking to improve our products to ensure we continue to provide the most comprehensive protection and expert resolution services. We are pleased a major bank is selling the latest version of IPA and we are currently looking at extending the new features to the rest of our business partner base."

Key benefits of IPA V3:

  • 60,000 insurance cover to cover lost earnings, legal expenses or communication costs
  • 1,500 immediate money transfer for emergency transactions to cover living expenses
  • Dedicated fraud expert case worker
  • Home investigation service
  • Instant access to credit reports and alerts
  • PC protection software
  • Online identity monitoring and alerts
  • 200 to cover document replacement and document registration so that all personal details are safely stored
  • National fraud database registration to ensure that there are extra precautions in place before people could take out credit in your name
  • Confidential advice line

Mail fraudsters target uk rentersSeptember 2009

UK renters are falling prey to identity fraud as post is stolen and personal details used for illegal purposes.

Figures released today by life assistance company, CPP, show that one in seven tenants have had their post intercepted and for some this has led to identity fraud.

Among the crimes committed using personal information obtained from intercepted post are bogus mobile phone contracts, fraudulent transactions on shopping catalogue accounts, and account takeover where fraudsters take control of victims bank accounts.

Yet the nation’s 16m tenants are not helping themselves when it comes to moving a third fails to redirect or leave a forwarding address so important post does not go missing. According to the findings, credit card statements, tax credit information, and pension details are just some of the important papers left to the mercy of strangers. Over 85% of tenants claim to have received post for former residents.

And the type of personal information received includes date of birth, national insurance number and credit card numbers which fraudsters can use to take out loans, make illicit purchases or steal someone’s identity. Worryingly only 36% of renters inform their bank when they move address.

CPP’s identity theft experts warn that tenants are at great risk of this type of crime as they are more likely to share communal spaces such as hallways where mail can be easily intercepted, or they move more frequently making it harder keep track of confidential post.

Danny Harrison, identity theft expert from CPP, said: "Fraudsters are using more sophisticated ways to steal personal details like the internet, but we mustn’t forget the more obvious methods like having your post stolen. As we approach National Identity Fraud Prevention Week (12-16 October) we are reminding people that their identity is their most important asset and they need to protect it."

To avoid falling victim it’s vital that people use the Royal Mail Redirection service for at least 12 months when they move to ensure important information does not go missing. When changing address, you need to make a note of all the important post you receive and tell them you are moving not only your bank and credit card company, but mail from your work, gym, council and inland revenue.

If you suspect your mail is being stolen, contact the Royal Mail customer enquiry Line and check whether a mail redirection order has been made in your name without your knowledge. You can also apply for an identity fraud protection policy to insure you against the consequences of identity fraud and resolve your credit status.

When you move don’t forget to tell your:

  • Bank
  • Credit card company
  • Insurance company
  • Work
  • Pension provider
  • Gas and Electric provider
  • Telecom provider
  • Inland Revenue
  • Gym and other memberships
  • Catalogue companies
  • Charities
  • Local council
  • And to be 100% safe use the Royal Mail redirection service to prevent important mail going to your old address

What should you do if you receive post that’s not addressed to you?

  • Make sure that you return post back to the sender
  • Contact the former tenant and inform them of the un-redirected post so they can resolve the issue
  • Never been someone else’s post if possible, but if you do shred it first

York company nominated for national business awardSeptember 2009

A York-based company has been shortlisted in the 2009 National Business Awards.

Leading York employer and life assistance company, CPP, is a finalist in the 3i Private Business of the Year category.

The organisation has operations across Europe, Asia and the Americas and has its international headquarters in Holgate Park, York.

Despite the current economic climate, CPP has continued to grow by developing new life assistance products for its business partners in the financial services and telecom sectors. In addition, it has penetrated new markets like utilities and travel with innovative assistance products, whilst maintaining a consistently high level of customer service.

In April 2009, CPP was ranked 76 in the Sunday Times PricewaterhouseCoopers Profit Track 100. The list features the top 100 private companies in the UK based on fastest growing profits over the last three years. It was also ranked 153rd in the 2008 HSBC Top 250 companies list for Britain’s biggest mid-market private companies.

CPP’s managing director, Northern Europe, Stephen Kennedy, said: "To be nominated as a finalist in the National Business Award is a huge achievement. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all 1,500 staff here in the UK, CPP has continued to grow and be successful in tough economic conditions. "

"We are committed to innovation and excellent customer service, which has allowed us to achieve fantastic growth and develop exciting new products."

The winners of the National Business Awards will be announced on 10 November at a black-tie ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

CPP sponsors tamworth athletic clubAugust 2009

Leading local employer CPP has joined forces with Tamworth Athletic Club to support the development of sporting talent in the area.

The company, which employs 300 people at its Wilnecote contact centre, has become the club’s main sponsor and will provide financial backing for a number of community-focused initiatives.

The sponsorship will help establish an academy for young athletes and the appointment, in association with Tamworth School Sport Partnership, of a community athletics coach who will provide coaching at the club and at local schools.

As part of the sponsorship, CPP is also supporting the club in its staging of the Kingsbury Water Park 12k race on 1 August a day that includes a 1k fun event for people of all ages and abilities.

Stephen Kennedy, managing director at CPP, said: "Tamworth Athletic Club has an excellent track record of developing sporting talent and providing facilities for athletes ranging from juniors who are just starting out in the sport to veterans who have been engaged in athletics for many years."

Mr Kennedy added: "They are a community focused club involved in activities such as the Run England programme. This can be accessed by people of all abilities and we hope that some of our employees will join in this programme."

Dave Williams, member of the Executive Board at Tamworth Athletic Club, said: "We are really excited about the sponsorship tie-up with local employer CPP. The programme we have developed will mean we can concentrate on the club’s community focussed-work, which is important to the members and the committee".

Ben Bulleyment, from the Tamworth Schools Sports Partnership is positive about the sponsorship between the Club and CPP "This partnership is an incredibly exciting development for the young people of the town. All parties involved are committed to ensuring the highest quality of athletics delivery for our youngsters and with the support of CPP, the School Sport Programme and the Athletics Club will be able to increase the quality and quantity of provision on offer to Tamworth based athletes on both school sites and at the club".

CPP is an international financial services organisation and has three UK-based contact centres in Tamworth, York and Chesterfield. The Tamworth office has contributed strongly to the rapid growth of the business since it came to the town in 2003. Today CPP operates across 14 countries and has over 10.9 million customers.

CPP is already committed to supporting its local community and works with local schools and colleges, contributing to a wide range of community involvement programmes working with young people in the Tamworth region. The sponsorship tie-up will take the link between business and education into the sporting arena, where hopefully lots of school children will benefit, not only from professional coaching, but also diet and exercise instruction.

In the wake of the success of team GB in Beijing last year and with the London Olympics just three years away, CPP is excited and proud to sponsor the club for the benefit of local children and athletes competing to be the best in their field.

CPP celebrate community partnershipAugust 2009

For the third season running, leading local employer, CPP, is sponsoring York City Football Club’s community scheme, York City in the Community, which successfully brings professional coaching to thousands of children in York and North Yorkshire every season.

To celebrate the sponsorship, five of the Minstermen’s new signings, along with City manager, Martin Foyle, and his assistant, Andy Porter visited CPP on Holgate Road this week to meet some of their employees who are York City fans.

As part of the visit, CPP employees had the chance to meet York City’s new signings Michael Gash, Richard Pacquette, Alex Lawless, Neil Barrett and James Meredith. The visit to CPP also enabled CPP employees to get autographs and ask the players about the season so far and the push for promotion.

Commenting on the partnership with CPP, York City communications and community director Sophie Hicks said, "We are delighted CPP has decided to sponsor our community programme for the third season running. We have established a great partnership with them and are looking forward to working on some new community initiatives this season, as well as continuing our successful CPP Challenge Cup involving hundreds of children from primary schools around the York area."

CPP’s managing director, Stephen Kennedy said: "As one of the major employers in York, we are devoted to the development of sport and education programmes for young people in the city. This sponsorship allows York City to further develop their excellent community programme and we are proud to continue our support to help make a difference to the York community".

The community partnership between York City and CPP will also see the player who makes the most contribution to community activities this season receive the CPP community player of the year award. Also, CPP employees will have the chance to watch City for free using the company’s family season passes and a lucky employee’s child will receive the opportunity to be a York City mascot for the day. Following the success of last season’s Young Sports Writer of the Year competition, CPP and the club are planning to launch the competition again next year.

Password promiscuity puts BRITS at riskAugust 2009

Over 1.7 million people are in danger of falling victim of internet fraud as they use exactly the same password every time they go online, according to a report issued today from life assistance company CPP.

With a big increase in phishing and smishing attacks and malware (malicious software), where fraudsters try to gain access to consumers’ bank account details, passwords and PIN numbers, the use of inappropriate and insecure passwords is putting us at risk from identity fraud and other forms of criminal activity.

The research reveals that nearly half (46 per cent) of Britons use the same password to login to their banking, shopping and social networking sites with a further 54 per cent confessing to using variations of the same password. And with the average person visiting 23 different sites each month that require a login they are an easy target for fraudsters.

Worryingly, nearly 40 per cent of adults admit that at least one other person knows their passwords, ranging from children, colleagues and friends. And it would seem many are in danger of exes coming back to haunt them over half a million confess their former partner has access to their personal login. And of particular concern, over a third (39 per cent) think these people may have logged in using their details.

The threat of fraud is real one in ten people have had their web accounts accessed by fraudsters, with the majority of these attacks (57 per cent) happening in the last year. And as a result, one in twenty reported that they’d had their identity stolen.

Out of the victims, nearly one in five (18 per cent) had goods illegally bought in their name, and one in eight had money stolen the average sum being over 1,000.

Their vulnerability is heightened by the fact that many unimaginative Brits resort to predictable-passwords that aren’t difficult to track. Nearly one in five (18 per cent) use their pets’ names while one in eight use memorable dates like birthdays (12 per cent). Others use their children’s names (10 per cent) or even their mother’s maiden names (nine per cent)!

The majority (68 per cent) excuse themselves by claiming that it’s too difficult to remember numerous logins while one in five (17 per cent) say they are worried about forgetting a password and being logged out.

Sarah Blaney, identity theft expert at CPP, said: "No sensible person would use the same key for their house, car and garage. In the same way, we shouldn’t use the one password for everything. If possible people should use multiple passwords with a combination of letters and numbers, which should be difficult to crack."

Robert Schifreen, a reformed computer hacker and author of the best-selling book "Defeating The Hacker", was the first person in the world to face a jury trial in connection with unauthorised access to a computer system. His acquittal by the House of Lords led to the introduction of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 in the UK.

Robert advises: "Use a different password for every online system that you sign up to. Otherwise, an online fraudster who manages to find your single password will have the keys to your entire online life. Also, never type your credit card number, or any other confidential information, into a web site that doesn't have the closed padlock symbol to show that what you're typing is being encrypted. Plus, make sure that your antivirus software subscription is current, and that the program is continuing to update itself at least once a week."

Key statistics

  • 46% use the same password to login to all online accounts
  • 54% confess to using variations of the same password
  • 40% admit that at least one other person knows their passwords
  • 2% confess their former partner has access to their personal logins
  • 39% think these people may have logged in using their details
  • 10% have had their web accounts accessed by fraudsters
  • Out of web victims 18% had goods illegally bought in their name, 12% had money stolen and 5% had their identity stolen
  • 18 % use their pets’ names for passwords
  • 12% use memorable dates for passwords
  • 10% use children’s names for passwords
  • 9% use mothers’ maiden names for passwords
  • 68% claim it’s too difficult to remember numerous logins
  • 17% say they are worried about forgetting a password and being logged out

International award nomination for leading York employerJuly 2009

A contact centre team in York is in the running for a top international award later this year.

CPP, the Holgate-based international marketing services organisation, has been shortlisted in the Large Team of the Year category in the CCF (Call Centre Focus) European Call Centre Awards, the industry’s most prestigious awards.

CPP’s claims team, which handles mobile phone insurance claims for the Phonesafe product, has been recognised for its impressive development over the past 18 months. Catherine Worden, who has worked at CPP for seven years and was appointed Claims team customer service manager in March 2008, has improved processes and efficiency to deliver many positive changes in the department. After all the hard work, it’s now the team’s time to shine at the award ceremony in September.

Catherine said: "It’s fantastic to be recognised as a finalist in this category. We have 50 full time employees in the claims team at CPP and each one of them has had a part to play in this success."

The strong leadership shown by Catherine and the ability of the team to deliver new process improvements and cultural changes has undoubtedly contributed to CPP’s continuing growth over recent years.

Stephen Kennedy, CPP’s managing director, Northern Europe, said: "The work of the claims team over the past 18 months has made a phenomenal impact on CPP and I’m delighted that their efforts are being recognised by the industry experts. The nomination is a testament to the hard work of Catherine and her team".

"The team should be incredibly proud of making the finals and I am delighted that they will be representing CPP at the awards ceremony."

The CCF European Call Centre Awards will take place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Tuesday 22 September 2009.

CPP, which employs 1,000 people in York, is a growing provider of marketing services solutions and Life Assistance products including Card Protection and identity fraud insurance.

Top award nomination for tamworth contact centre advisorJuly 2009

A Tamworth contact centre advisor is in the running for a top European award later this year.

Ranbir Humphreys, a sales and service advisor at leading local employer and international marketing services organisation CPP, has been shortlisted in the Advisor of the Year category of the CCF (Call Centre Focus) European Call Centre Awards, the industry’s most prestigious awards.

Ranbir started working at CPP’s contact centre when she was six months pregnant with her daughter in February 2006. She returned from maternity leave in February 2007 and since then has consistently smashed all her performance targets.

In 2008, Ranbir was one of the top three performers of all the customer service advisors based at Centurion Court. She won the company’s ‘Best Advisor’ award three times and was Employee of the Month in December. In 2009 she has continued to be recognised and rewarded for her consistent effort.

As part of CPP’s buddy scheme, Ranbir also supports new advisors when they leave the training academy helping them to settle into their new roles quickly.

Ranbir’s team manager Shirley Cuffe says: "Ranbir is the model customer service advisor because she cares she is passionate about her role and her performance is always underpinned by the company’s values".

Ranbir’s aim for the future is to become a customer service manager at CPP. She said: "I’m thrilled to have been shortlisted for such a prestigious award and am looking forward to attending the award ceremony in Birmingham. Our managers at CPP are really good at recognising and rewarding hard work and great performance. I’m really proud to have been shortlisted for an international award and it’s a great career boost for me".

CPP’s Northern Europe managing director, Stephen Kennedy says: "We’re all really pleased for Ranbir and her achievements so far. Our meritocratic performance culture encourages employees to develop their potential and it’s fantastic that Ranbir has been recognised as a finalist in the prestigious awards ceremony".

CPP, which employs 300 people in Tamworth, is a growing provider of marketing services solutions and Life Assistance products including Card Protection and identity fraud insurance.

The company’s Claims team has also been shortlisted in the Large Team of the Year category in the CCF European Call Centre Awards.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Tuesday 22 September 2009.

Fraudsters 'bag' BRITONS identitiesJuly 2009

Trendy oversized handbags are making women a walking target for fraudsters.

The average size of a handbag has doubled in the last ten years and new findings from CPP reveal that women are increasingly using them to hoard valuable documents such as passports (1.3 million), bank statements (1 million) and pay-slips (3.1 million).

The ‘maxi-bag’, made fashionable by the likes of Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham has become a must-have item, but has significantly increased women’s exposure to fraud. As bag theft is on the increase, with over 700,000 cases last year, experts are warning about the dangers of overloading handbags with too much personal information.

More than three-quarters of women admit that their bag contains papers with names, dates of birth or their addresses (83%) but more than half (53 per cent) are unaware what information a fraudster would need to steal an identity.

And it’s not just fashion-conscious women who are at risk. More than one in ten men now carry a ‘man bag’ and over 62 per cent admit that they carry around sensitive personal documentation including bank statements (10 per cent) and passports (7 per cent).

Top locations for bag theft are pubs (29 per cent) and public transport (29 per cent), while one in ten have been targeted while out in a night club or shopping centre. (4) Many are making it simple for fraudsters by leaving bags unattended or open on the back of a chair (10 per cent).

Last year according to APACS, the UK payments association, card fraud totaled 609.9m up 14% on 2007 and CIFAS, The UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, said there were over 62,000 victims of impersonation for the purpose of identity fraud.

Commenting on the research, Kerry D’Souza, card fraud expert at CPP, says "It’s easy to forget that your identity is as valuable to a thief as your wallet or car keys. As handbags get bigger and man-bags become more popular, people need to be aware of the risks attached to carrying around personal documentation and avoid doing so if at all possible."

"Ideally your passport, bank statements, passwords and payslips should be locked away at home in a secure place and if you lose your payments cards inform your bank as soon as possible."

CPP top tips to reduce the chances of falling victim to identity theft and card fraud:

  • Avoid carrying personal documents on you such as credit card, utility bills and bank statements
  • Don't write down PIN numbers, passwords, user names unless you absolutely have to do so, and if you do, keep them very secure and to yourself
  • If you are going to throw away post with your personal details shred it first - this even includes junk mail
  • Keep valuable documents at home, for example, passports, driving license and bank statements, hidden and secure. Never take these documents out with you unless you absolutely have to
  • If you move house tell your bank, credit card and utility providers. Use the Royal Mail redirection service and consider registering with the mail preference service to prevent mail going to your old address
  • Sign up to Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode as it will largely put a stop to lots of unauthorised online spending
  • When making purchases, don’t let staff take your debit/credit card out of sight, even for a second
  • Apply for a Card Protection type product to protect you against lost and stolen fraud or an Identity Fraud protection policy to insure you against identity fraud

Remember the golden rule: identity thieves are experts at spotting an opportunity to steal your identity and all they need are a few personal details

Costa del 'stole' tops card theft destinationsOctober 2009

Spain might be Brits’ favourite summer destination, but sun seekers are being warned not to get burnt as it’s been named the hot spot for lost and stolen cards.

The annual ‘Card Loss Index’ released today by life assistance company CPP, reveals a 17 per cent increase in lost and stolen cards abroad in the past year.

The report shows that Spain and France have topped the list for debit and credit cards being snatched or misplaced for the second year running, with UK holidaymakers in Spain reporting twice as many cards lost than any other country. A number of other popular destinations have moved up the list including, Thailand (from 5th to 4th), Portugal from (11th to 7th) and Greece (from 9th to 8th).

And as more than 10.9 million Brits head to top 10 card loss locations this summer (2), CPP is warning travellers to keep their cards safe as loss and theft can result in a bucket full of stress not to mention possible card fraud. Losing your cards in America, Canada and Australia can be particularly worrying as those countries do not have Chip and PIN meaning lost and stolen cards can be used with just a signature.

Over a quarter of Brits admit to being more concerned about card fraud abroad this year than last year. One in six don’t trust cash machines on holiday and nearly one fifth are so concerned that they avoid using cards altogether and rely solely on cash when on vacation.

But despite the looming threat of card crime, vacationers admit to a lax attitude to security when holidaying abroad. Over one in ten (12 per cent) leave their bags unattended on their sun-lounger, while one in eight (13 per cent) have allowed waiters to take their bank cards out of their sight. A further one in ten admits to hiding their cards in their room rather than using hotel safes.

But it’s not just those jetting off to Europe that need to take heed cost saving Brits planning to holiday in the UK also need to be cautious. Levels of payment fraud within the UK remain high, with card fraud totalling 379.7m in the UK last year alone, a rise of 16 per cent compared to the previous year (3).

Sarah Blaney, card fraud expert from CPP, said: "When travellers jet off to catch some sun and relax they still need to look after their wallets and purses exactly the same as they do in the UK."

Losing your cards abroad can be a very stressful experience as often you don’t speak the language and don’t know what to do. If you go on holiday try to be vigilant as criminals see tourists as easy victims. Holidaymakers should keep their valuables safely locked away and be extra careful when using credit and debit cards in shops, bars and restaurants.

"Finally, as banks do look for unusual transactions make sure your bank has your mobile number, so they can contact you to check whether transactions are genuine. If your cards are registered with a Card Protection company, make sure you have their emergency 24 hour loss reporting number available."

CPP’s top tips to reduce the chances of falling victim to card fraud abroad:

  • Don’t carry multiple debit/credit cards in a wallet
  • Don’t leave belongings unattended while swimming or sunbathing
  • Don’t hang your bag on the back of a chair
  • Don’t carry debit/credit cards loose in a bag or pocket
  • Make sure your bank has up-to-date contact details for you ,including your mobile phone number incase they need to check if transactions are genuine
  • If your cards are registered with a Card Protection company make sure you have their emergency 24 hour loss reporting number
  • Don’t let a waiter /shop assistant take your debit/credit card out of sight
  • Don’t let someone else take money out on your behalf
  • Use a safe rather than leaving your debit/credit cards in a hotel room
  • Check your receipts against your statements when you get home

250 new jobs at CPP chesterfieldJune 2009

Leading Chesterfield employer, CPP is recruiting up to 250 new employees at its customer contact centre at West Bars.

CPP is close to celebrating its first anniversary and it has grown considerably in numbers since it opened last year. They answered their first calls in Chesterfield with only 89 employees. This has already increased to 180 people and is continuing to grow. By the end of this year it’s hoped CPP will have up to 250 additional employees working in the state-of-the-art contact centre.

The recruitment plans will be officially announced on Wednesday 1st July when the company, a growing provider of customer management solutions and Life Assistance products including Card Protection and identity fraud insurance, will celebrate their first year in the town.

The additional jobs are on weekday evenings and Saturday morning shifts, which CPP hopes will suit students, people wanting a second income and semi-retired or retired people.

The company has worked with Chesterfield Borough Council economic development team to open the West Bars centre and on plans to recruit the additional part-time employees. CPP has also worked with Chesterfield College to offer support for people looking for work.

Council Leader, Councillor Ray Russell said: "The West Bars CPP centre has achieved the employment expectations stated when it opened and only one year on there is now to be a significant further expansion. It will benefit the local economy and bring extra income and career opportunities to families and individuals".

Founded in1980, CPP’s headquarters are based in York and now has operations in 14 countries worldwide, including Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. CPP is soon to launch in China and investigating plans for opening in Taiwan.

Managing director for Northern Europe, Stephen Kennedy said: "We would like to thank the Council and Chesterfield College for their assistance and particularly thank the CPP team at Chesterfield for their hard work in making our first year at West Bars a success".

"We now need up to 250 additional advisors to handle the growing number of incoming calls at Chesterfield. We will welcome applications from people from all walks of life and experience we already have employees who have previously worked in logistics, construction and manufacturing industries".

CPP is offering tours of the West Bars centre to people who may want to consider applying. These can be arranged by calling CPP’s recruitment team on 0808 100 2509.

Existing employees are also playing their part in the recruitment drive with a ‘Bring a Friend to Work’ day on the anniversary day on Wednesday 1st July.

Seven in ten caught in phishing netJune 2009

Web scams in the UK have reached epidemic levels with over seven in ten Brits targeted in the last twelve months alone.

A report from life assistance company CPP shows that over 77 per cent of people received fake banking or ‘phishing’ e-mails, 70 per cent have been targeted with bogus pleas for money and 67 per cent have been told they’ve won a competition only to find it was a sham.

Cunning fraudsters are even posing as friends and family members to con their victims. More than one in ten (17 per cent) has received fake e-mails from impostors claiming to be relatives or acquaintances to steal personal information or money.

And even high profile celebrities aren’t immune to this type of crime with recent online fraud targets including comedians Harry Hill and Ricky Gervais and Chelsea footballer Didier Drogba.

This e-scam activity is no surprise given that the amount of unsolicited e-mails received has also grown. Over 60 per cent of us have been targeted by more spam this year compared to last year, with young Brits getting the most (64 per cent).

The growing trend to use the internet to defraud people saw online banking fraud losses total 52.5m in 2008 according to APACS, the UK’s Payments Association a 132% increase from 2007 losses.

Commenting on the report, Michael Lynch, identity fraud expert at CPP said: "Your identity is your most valuable possession. With web threats on the rise, people need to ensure that they protect their personal information not just in public, but also online."

"Cyber criminals now operate in very sophisticated ways. Although we are seeing very high levels of phishing e-mail attacks asking for passwords and account details, we are now seeing more ‘malware’ attacks such as key-logging, where fraudsters can read what you type on your computer to capture your passwords and other sensitive financial information without you even knowing. People need to be vigilant and make sure that they have the proper security in place such as up-to-date anti-virus software."

Key statistics:

  • 77 per cent of Brits have received fake banking emails in the past 12 months
  • 70 per cent have received bogus online pleas for money overseas in the past 12 months
  • 67 per cent were confirmed winners of sham competitions in the past year
  • 64 per cent received more unsolicited email in the last year compared to the year before
  • Under 25s are the most likely of all the age ranges to have reported an increase in the amount of spam they are receiving
  • 80 per cent see Internet security as being vital
  • 70 per cent of Brits are worried fraud will increase in the recession as fraudsters resort to desperate measures

CPP top tips to avoid online crime:

  • Install an active firewall which updates automatically preventing hackers gaining access to your PC or laptop
  • Install anti-virus protection which scans malicious files
  • Install anti-phishing tools which identifies phishing emails and links that can trick you into giving away personal information
  • Sign up to Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode as it will largely put a stop to unauthorised online spending
  • Apply for an Identity Fraud protection policy to insure you against identity fraud online

Donation for local MS societyMay 2009

Chesterfield branch of the MS society has received a donation from a fund set up by Hamish Ogston, founder of leading Chesterfield employer, CPP.

MS - Multiple Sclerosis is one of the most common disabling neurological conditions among young people, with 85,000 diagnosed sufferers in Britain. The MS Society’s Chesterfield branch was formed last year and is run entirely by volunteers who provide support to patients and their families in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire.

Mr Ogston’s donation will be used to help fund a newsletter and a helpline.

Mr Ogston, non-executive chairman of CPP, made the funding available to help local charities and community organisations in York, Tamworth and Chesterfield where the company has its three UK centres. CPP’s centre at West Bars, Chesterfield opened in 2008 and has more than 180 employees.

Chesterfield MS Society is one of 24 organisations which have benefited from donations totalling 25,000.

Stephen Kennedy, CPP’s Managing Director, said: "The additional funding given by Hamish has enabled us to help more local charities and community groups in 2009".

Information about Chesterfield branch of the MS Society is at www.mssociety.org.uk/chesterfield

CPP interviews help students prepare for the world of workMay 2009

Chesterfield branch of the MS society has received a donation from a fund set up by Hamish Ogston, founder of leading Chesterfield employer, CPP.

MS - Multiple Sclerosis is one of the most common disabling neurological conditions among young people, with 85,000 diagnosed sufferers in Britain. The MS Society’s Chesterfield branch was formed last year and is run entirely by volunteers who provide support to patients and their families in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire.

Mr Ogston’s donation will be used to help fund a newsletter and a helpline.

Mr Ogston, non-executive chairman of CPP, made the funding available to help local charities and community organisations in York, Tamworth and Chesterfield where the company has its three UK centres. CPP’s centre at West Bars, Chesterfield opened in 2008 and has more than 180 employees.

Chesterfield MS Society is one of 24 organisations which have benefited from donations totalling 25,000.

Stephen Kennedy, CPP’s Managing Director, said: "The additional funding given by Hamish has enabled us to help more local charities and community groups in 2009".

Information about Chesterfield branch of the MS Society is at www.mssociety.org.uk/chesterfield

Indian adventure for CPP cover girlMay 2009

Mishmi Chatterjee, one of CPP’s top performing Consumer Sales agents has flown to Delhi to spend a week coaching employees at the company’s contact centres recently set up to service customers in India.

Mishmi, who has worked at CPP since 2005, was chosen to appear on the front cover of CPP’s 2008 Annual Report. On a recent visit to India, CPP’s CEO, Eric Woolley, shared the report with business partners who were interested to hear Mishmi’s story and her top tips on delivering excellent customer service to UK customers.

And with CPP’s activities in India also expanding, CPP asked York employee Mishmi Chatterjee to visit Delhi to help coach the new employees and share her experiences with peers.

CPP opened its offices in Gurgaon in December 2008 serving Indian customers of major international financial brands. CPP currently operates in 15 countries with India, Malaysia and Turkey the latest additions to the Group. In 2009, CPP will start trading in China and Mexico and continue with plans to launch in Taiwan. CPP now has 2,000 employees worldwide and 200 business partners in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

It is the first time that a consumer sales adviser from among CPP’s 1100 employees at York has been invited to help with mentoring at CPP’s overseas operations. And as a token of thanks, CPP is giving Mishmi some extra time to spend with her family after working in Delhi and Chennai.

Mishmi said: "I am delighted with the opportunity to visit and share my experiences with CPP’s team in Delhi. It is a great career boost for me and after the working session is completed I am looking forward to spending some time with my family in Delhi before returning to York".

Jayne Hartley, Head of Business Support at CPP is travelling with Mishmi to meet colleagues at CPP India. Jayne said: "Mishmi has a great combination of experience of Indian life and culture and the business systems we operate at CPP. Mishmi answers calls and speaks with customers on a daily basis so she is the ideal person to help train and share best practice with our new employees at CPP India".

Mishmi was also one of 30 CPP employees who earlier this year won an all-expenses paid holiday in Dubai for their sales successes and quality of customer service.

York-based company cpp ranks in britain's top 100 for fastest growing profitsApril 2009

CPPGroup Plc (CPP), was ranked 76 in the latest Sunday Times PriceWaterHouseCoopers Profit Track 100 published on 19 April.

Now in its tenth year, this annual league table features the top 100 private companies in Britain with the fastest growing profits, measured over the last three years of audited accounts. CPP was the only business headquartered in York to make it into the top 100 this year, and is one of only 11 companies headquartered in the North East to feature on the list.

Founded in 1980, CPP started as a provider of card protection in the UK, but has since transformed into an international marketing services organisation. Its customer management solutions generate incremental revenues for its business partners as well as reducing cost and increasing customer engagement and loyalty.

Building on Card Protection services, CPP now offers a range of life assistance products including identity fraud insurance, legal protection and mobile phone insurance to more than 10.9 million consumers worldwide. CPP currently operates in 15 countries and works with over 200 business partners including many high-street banks and telecom companies such as HSBC, Barclays, MBNA and T-Mobile. During 2008 CPP handled 16 million sales and service calls.

Shaun Parker, Group Finance Director of CPP, attributes the success to putting the customer at the heart of the business and adding real value to business partners through the provision of innovative marketing services, which are underpinned by relevant life assistance products.

Parker said: "Over the last few years we have implemented a new growth strategy, which is paying dividends in terms of strong revenue and profit growth. Our new strategy has seen CPP bring new products to market and expand internationally."

This year we will start to operate in China and Mexico building on recent successful expansion in countries like Turkey and Malaysia. Our Indian launch in 2008 is already proving to be a huge success, and by the end of the year, it will be our fourth largest market for Card Protection after the UK, Spain and Italy. We have already signed four major banks and expect to conclude more deals shortly.

"We have also been very successful in increasing the number of outsourced marketing programmes we provide for our business partners. In particular, activating newly issued customer debit and credit cards and offering relevant products to protect consumers against card and identity fraud. To manage our expanding volume of sales and service conversations, we now have a third UK contact centre in Chesterfield, adding to our York and Tamworth operations."

Under the leadership of Group chief executive Eric Woolley, operating profits increased from 7.1 million in 2004 to 26.6million in 2007. In 2008, CPP achieved double-digit revenue and profit growth. Revenue was up 15 per cent to

CPP employees celebrate tenth anniversary in YorkApril 2009

A thousand employees at leading York employer CPP celebrated the company’s tenth anniversary in York on Tuesday 7 April with a birthday cake delivered to every floor of the CPP contact centre at Holgate Park.

CPP opened in York in 1999 with just 30 employees in the old carriage works that had long since stopped making trains. Today, the expansion of new products including mobile phone insurance and identity fraud insurance, not to mention new products for the travel and legal sectors has resulted in rapid growth for the York-based business. Currently CPP employs over 1,000 at its York site, which also acts as its international HQ.

Most recently the business has been successful in providing outsourced customer management solutions, which led to the opening of its third UK-based contact centre last July. In 2008, Group revenues were up 15% to 259.5m.

International expansion has also been high on the company’s agenda and it currently operates in 15 countries with India, Malaysia and Turkey the latest additions to the Group. In 2009 CPP will start trading in China and Mexico, and it will continue plans to launch in Taiwan. The company now has 2,000 staff worldwide and more than 200 business partners in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Stephen Kennedy, Northern Europe, managing director said: "We are delighted to be celebrating our tenth anniversary with our employees in York. The city remains at the centre of our expansion both in the UK and abroad."

Britons missing millions: 10.8bn unaccounted forApril 2009

Over 10.8bn worth of transactions was unaccounted for by British cardholders in the last year, despite the turbulent financial climate and rising levels of payment fraud.

The study by life assistance company CPP, reveals that a third of card holders fail to identify all transactions leaving their bank accounts, with the average person not being able to identify 15.38 a month.

In fact, out of those cardholders that can’t identify all transactions, nearly one in ten are unable to identify over a fifth of transactions on their monthly statements with a quarter (28 per cent) putting it down to fraud.

These findings were also backed up by a live behavioural study, which found that more than half of cardholders couldn’t recognise payments on their recent bank statements.

It seems, however, that cardholders are making it easier for fraudsters as they fail to take action. Out of those that can’t identify all transactions, half don’t investigate unidentifiable transactions unless they are for 21 or more. This is despite the majority (70 per cent) of all card holders thinking that fraud will rise due to the recession, as people resort to desperate measures.

The vast majority of unidentifiable transactions are low value the average comes in at approximately 15. This may be a sign that your details have been compromised, as according to CPP, fraudsters often withdraw numerous small sums before targeting cardholders for larger amounts.

Michael Lynch, identity fraud expert from CPP said: "Card holders really need to be on their game to protect their finances. Criminals do benefit from complacent attitudes to card security and it is not uncommon for fraudsters to make small transactions of a few pounds to test the water before going on to purchase something expensive like a flat screen TV or laptop."

While some cardholders acknowledge that unaccountable transactions may be down to forgetfulness, many are certain it’s because they’ve been a victim of fraud. In other instances, card holders blame transactions they can’t account for because of cheque payments not stating the recipient’s name, or trading names differing from the registered company name.

The report also shows that Brits are putting themselves at risk by failing to check their statements thoroughly. One in ten (12 per cent) are checking their statements less because they are either worried about their balance in the current climate, are using cards less frequently, or simply can’t be bothered. This leaves card holders exposed, particularly to Card-Not-Present (CNP) fraud, where criminals use stolen card details to make a purchase on the internet, by phone or by mail order.

Michael Lynch continued: "It’s particularly concerning that cardholders are unable to identify exactly where money is going each month from their bank accounts. It’s all too easy to become lax with our card security as we use credit and debit cards more and more. But it’s essential that we regularly, and thoroughly, check our statements to not only stay on top of our finances, but to ensure the early detection of fraud."

"The banks are doing their part to try to identify fraudulent transactions, but we need to help them by monitoring our accounts and reporting anything unusual."

Richard Hurley, from CIFAS The UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, said: "These figures if they truly reflect the lack of priority given to checking statements and investigating ‘unidentifiable’ transactions are worrying. They demonstrate how far too many people are leaving themselves exposed to fraud. In the same way that a person would not turn a blind eye to small cash amounts disappearing from their wallet or purse, consumers need to be equally vigilant in checking and verifying bank statements to be sure that they are only paying for what they should be paying for. It is common practice for fraudsters to steal a small sum to ‘test the waters’ before subsequently emptying an account. This, in itself, should make individuals think twice before they file or shred their statements without checking them properly."

Top tips from CPP for keeping your cards safe in 2009

:

  • Sign up to Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode as it will help prevent unauthorised online spending
  • When making purchases, don’t let staff take your debit/credit card out of sight, even for a second
  • Check your receipts against your statements when you get home
  • Don’t let someone else take money out on your behalf
  • Don’t carry multiple debit/credit cards in a wallet
  • Don’t carry debit/credit cards loose in a bag or pocket

Getting pampered at workMarch 2009

Employees at leading local employer CPP's Wilnecote site have enjoyed a week of healthy lifestyle advice and special pampering from their bosses.

In a week of activities designed to beat credit crunch gloom and boost health awareness, the 300 Wilnecote employees were treated to free health checks and information on healthy living, free fresh fruit, manicures and massages, tea and snacks served by top management and to end the week, a sale of home baked cakes with proceeds going to a worthy cause.

Employees also brought along their unwanted toiletries, soaps and perfumes, for donation to local Women and Children’s refuges.

Inji Duducu, Director of HR and one of the event organisers said: "It was a great week and we were delighted to serve up some extra ‘feel-good’ benefits to our Tamworth employees - they are an excellent team and have helped to make our CPP contact centre at Tamworth a big success in the six years since it opened."

CPP handles millions of customer service and sales conversations each year in connection with CPP's Life Assistance services for some of Britain's biggest financial services and telecom brands, including Barclaycard, RBS, MBNA and T-mobile. These include, among other services, card and identity protection and mobile phone insurance.

Age is no barrier when it comes to working at CPP. In fact, the company positively welcomes applications from more mature people.

"We have noticed that employees over the age of 25 often bring valuable experience to the job and generally are very loyal to the company, says Head of Call Centre Recruitment, Shirley Young. She continues, we value the level of experience and maturity they bring."

Take for example, Geoffrey Gill who is 64. He has been working at CPP since September 2008. When he retired from his office supplies company at the age of 53, finding another job was the last thing on his mind.

For the previous 20 years I’d hardly taken a holiday, he says. "I worked 14 hour days, seven days a week. When I retired, I just wanted to take it easy."

Like many retired people, after a while, Geoffrey found that a life of leisure wasn’t what he wanted after all. "I could have sat at home watching TV or surfing the internet all day, but I really needed something to keep my mind active. My wife, who retired at the same time as me, felt the same."

It was their daughter who first suggested they should find part-time work. So when they found out about vacancies at CPP, they decided to apply.

"I was a bit apprehensive when I turned up for training on the first day, admits Geoffrey. It’s a long time since I’d been to school, and a lot of the people on the course could have been my grandchildren. But after two days I thought it was terrific. The training was superb, and everyone on the course was so friendly. I felt like part of the team straight away."

Now Geoff works five mornings a week, from 9am until 1pm. I was determined from the start I wanted part-time work, and CPP was able to give me what I wanted, he says. Working here has made such a difference to my lifestyle. I can walk to and from work, which is something else I wanted to do. I can use the free gym, and have lunch in the subsidised cafe, which is excellent. Sometimes I come in early to have a cup of coffee and log on to one of the computers in the cafe. Then I have my afternoons free, so I have the best of both worlds. Working part-time helps keeps my mind active I’ve learned such a lot since I started working here. And working as part of a team is fantastic. A lot of the people in my area are younger than me, but we all get on really well.

"I would recommend CPP to anyone of my age who’s looking for a new challenge. So many companies make you feel as if you’re over the hill when you reach 65, but at CPP it can be just the beginning."

CPP is an international financial services organisation that has been operating for over 25 years and employs over 1,400 members of staff across the UK. They are actively seeking employees of all ages for full and part time vacancies at their Holgate Park headquarters in York.

Fit for workMarch 2009

Employees at leading York employer, CPP have been getting fit for work and enjoying a week of healthy lifestyle advice with the help of York City Football Club who dropped in to offer their expert advice to employees.

During the week employees could take advantage of free health checks and information on healthy living, enjoy free fresh fruit, pampering sessions with face and hand massages and manicures provided by York College beauty students, exercise workouts with coaches from York City FC - and free snacks and refreshments served by company bosses.

Home-baked cakes were also on sale to raise money for worthy causes and employees brought in their unwanted toiletries, soaps and perfumes, and books to donate to Oxfam and local Women and Children’s refuges.

CPP employee Jordan Eaton said: "I got some great advice from the YCFC guys. They showed me some quality techniques to add to my training regime and I also had a good chat with them about diet, hydration and exercise."

CPP's 1100 employees at Holgate Park handle millions of customer service and sales conversations each year in connection with CPP's Life Assistance services for customers of some of Britain's biggest financial services and telecom brands, including Barclaycard, RBS, MBNA and T-mobile. These include, among other services, card and identity protection and mobile phone insurance.

Inji Duducu, HR Director, and one of the organisers of the Feel Good week said: "We were delighted to serve up some feel-good extra benefits to our York employees - they are an excellent team and have helped to make our York operation a continuing success."

Rewarding hard workMarch 2009

Working Mum Rachael Wilson is 'over the moon' with the new car she won for her achievement at leading York employer, CPP.

Now all she needs is to pass her driving test.

Rachael from Wheldrake near York who has worked at CPP's Holgate Park centre for 8 months and 'enjoys every minute' was the lucky winner of the 13,000 Mini in a prize draw from 49 keys awarded to top-achieving CPP employees. To be eligible for the prize, awarded annually for successful work and dedication, points are awarded monthly all the monthly winners enter a lottery based challenge where they have a 1 in 49 chance of winning the top prize. Employees accumulate points based on a range of measures, including achieving sales targets, customer service quality and achievement of key performance indicators.

Rachael said: ' When I won I was so happy I burst into tears! It is a lovely prize and much appreciated and I would like to say a great thank you to all the people at CPP who made it possible for me to win. I don't drive so it is a brilliant opportunity to get driving and have my own car. It's a great help and has come at a perfect time'.

Employees who did not win the Mini will still have a consolation prize - 30 employees and their partners are being treated by CPP to an all expenses paid holiday in Dubai in March.

CPP’s 1400 employees in York, Tamworth and Chesterfield handle millions of customer service and sales conversations each year in connection with CPP’s Life Assistance services for some of Britain’s biggest financial services and telecom brands including Barclaycard, RBS, MBNA and T-mobile. These include, among other services, card and identity protection, and mobile phone insurance.

Mike Kneafsey, Group Consumer Sales and Service Director at CPP presented the keys to Rachael Wilson for her prize Mini as lucky prize winner of this year's CPP DREAM awards for outstanding achievement.

CPP offers flexible return to work opportunitiesFebruary 2009

Tamworth employer CPP has responded to recently announced government policy to assist mothers and fathers who want to return to employment after looking after their children fulltime.

CPP is currently celebrating its sixth year of operation at its Centurion Court, Wilnecote site where 300 employees are part of CPP’s national and international marketing services organisation. CPP handles millions of customer service and sales conversations each year in connection with CPP’s Life Assistance services for some of Britain’s biggest financial services and telecom brands including Barclaycard, RBS, MBNA and T-mobile. These include, among other services, card and identity protection, and mobile phone insurance

CPP’s Head of Contact Centre Recruitment, Shirley Young said: "We have noticed that people looking to return to work often bring valuable experience and understanding of customers’ needs and are generally very loyal to the company helping our continuing success and growth in the Tamworth area. We value the level of experience and maturity they bring to the job and career opportunities at CPP and we are delighted to support the Government’s recently announced aims to help more parents to get back into employment, with all the benefits that brings to the family income".

CPP are actively seeking employees of all ages at Tamworth and the company’s other locations at Chesterfield and York, and are offering a variety of different shift patterns to suit different home commitments, as well as their award-winning staff training scheme to give you all the tools and confidence you need to succeed.

Examples of people who have taken up new career opportunities at CPP at Tamworth after career breaks to look after new arrivals in the family or being made redundant from employment elsewhere include:

  • Lisa Watkins, age 26. Lisa said "I was a fulltime Mum before applying to CPP when my children had started school and I wanted to return to work. CPP offered hours that suited around school hours I work 9.30 to 1.30 which means I can take my children to school and pick them up. It’s flexible and I enjoy the work. I earn a full-time wage for working part time hours and it is flexible and close to home."
  • Tanya Laverty, age 44. Tanya who has been at CPP six years said: "After having my baby I needed to return to work, but I was nervous about it. A recruitment agency sent me to CPP and I found that the hours suited I could take my children to and from school and also be around for them at home after work to help them and enjoy their growing up years. I currently work 9.30 to 1.30. My career at CPP has rewarded me with a worthwhile income and renewed confidence after having been made redundant by a previous employer."

CPP is a UK-based financial services organisation that has been operating for over 27 years and employs more than 1,400 members of staff in the UK, with international offices in Europe, North America, India and Asia Pacific.

CPP packs a punchFebruary 2009

York Amateur Boxing Club and Young People’s Fitness Centre found it could count on CPP when it was looking to replace its battle-scarred boxing ring.

Leading York employer weighed in with the 3,000 needed to buy a brand new boxing ring which will be of benefit to all of the club’s boxers, after being introduced to the club’s excellent community-focused work by the employee-volunteering charity, York Cares.

Club manager Lewis Gell, said: "The boxing ring that we previously had in use was 60 years old and had seen better days. We were delighted when CPP stepped in to give us a helping hand. This is a great boost for our members and all those interested in boxing in the local community."

The club, a registered charity based in Layerthorpe, is playing a vital role in the development of young people and uses boxing, coaching and fitness training as a means of channelling energy in a controlled manner, while encouraging achievement.

Members have the opportunity to gain a range of awards and qualifications including the ASDAN Boxing Certificate of Personal Effectiveness a GCSE equivalent for 14 to 16 year olds.

Stephen Kennedy, Managing Director of CPP, said: "The club is doing a great job in engaging with and inspiring young people, by teaching them skills that are relevant and useful both inside and outside the ring. We are really pleased to be supporting the club, which will benefit many young people in the local community hopefully for at least another 60 years to come."

This latest boost to the club follows a 5,000 donation given by Gannett owners of The Press - in March through its charitable foundation. The money was used to purchase new floor mats.

London is the capital of fraudJanuary 2009

Card fraud has dramatically increased in London over the last year - more than two million, over one in three, Londoners having ever fallen victim.

According to life assistance company CPP’s annual Card Fraud Index, which identifies fraud hotspots across the UK, card fraud in the Capital has increased by 10% in the last year, with 38% of Londoners now having ever been affected at least once. This means London tops the tables for the worst card fraud in the country for the second year running.

Across the UK, card fraud has risen by five per cent in the past 12 months. One in four Brits, over 12 million people (2), now having ever been a victim a possible reflection of the desperate measures fraudsters will resort to during the current climate.

While London took the top spot for card fraud, rounding out the top five was Cardiff (34%), Glasgow (31%), Manchester (29%) and Brighton (27%) the coastal city saw an astonishing increase in card fraud of 15% in 2008.

Online fraud has been an increasing problem, affecting 39% of victims, while card cloning from a cash point or chip and pin device accounted for a fifth (21%) of fraud cases. Out of all cards that are physically lost and stolen, one in ten are also being used fraudulently.

The sums of money involved in these fraud cases are substantial. The average sum fraudulently transacted is over 650, with one in 20 victims (six per cent) reporting losses of over 2,000. Worryingly, 42% of card fraud victims did not know about these transactions and only found out they had been defrauded when alerted by their bank. This is up six per cent from last year.

Kerry D’Souza, card fraud expert from CPP, says: "The dramatic increase in card fraud shows no sign of abating which isn’t surprising given the desperate measures some people will resort to during the recession. Fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated, especially when it comes to online transactions which are a particular cause for concern."

"Cardholders need to remain vigilant with their cards and take the necessary steps to protect themselves from checking statements more frequently to keeping sight of their card when paying for transactions. It might seem like simple steps but they will go a long way in preventing fraud."

The life assistance company CPP is urging consumers to remain vigilant in the fight against fraud. While almost a fifth of cardholders (17%) say they are more worried about card fraud compared to last year and 18% of those surveyed say they will even resort to using their cards less only a third say they will check their bank statements more frequently, meaning that many small transactions could slip through undetected.

Top tips from CPP for keeping your cards safe in 2009:

  • Sign up to Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode as it will largely put a stop to lots of unauthorised online spending
  • Don’t let staff take your debit/credit card out of sight, even for a second
  • Check your receipts against your statements when you get home
  • Don’t let someone else take money out on your behalf
  • Don’t carry multiple debit/credit cards in a wallet
  • Don’t carry debit/credit cards loose in a bag or pocket

Worst cities for card fraud:

City Percentage of people affected by card fraud

  • London 2007 28% (1) - 2008 38% (1)
  • Cardiff 2007 20% (5) - 2008 34% (2)
  • Glasgow 2007 20% (6) - 2008 31% (3)
  • Manchester 2007 22% (4) - 2008 29% (4)
  • Brighton 2007 12% - 2008 27% (5)
  • Norwich 2007 19% (9) - 2008 25% (6)
  • Southampton 2007 14% - 2008 24% (7)
  • Birmingham 2007 25% (2) - 2008 23% (8)
  • Edinburgh 2007 18% (10) - 2008 23% (9)
  • Plymouth 2007 16% - 2008 22% (10)
  • Leeds 2007 19% (8) - 2008 19%
  • Bristol 2007 22% (3) - 2008 18%
  • Newcastle 2007 9% - 2008 16%
  • Sheffield 2007 18% - 2008 14%
  • Belfast 2007 6% - 2008 13%
  • Nottingham 2007 19% (7) - 2008 12%
  • Liverpool 2007 14% - 2008 10%

Key statistics

  • 26% of Brits have been a victim of card fraud
  • Those having experienced card fraud has risen by 5%, from 21% in 2007 to 26% in 2008
  • 42% of victims only knew they had been defrauded once told by their bank
  • Online card fraud accounts for 39% of fraud; card cloning from a cash point or chip and pin device accounts for 21% of fraud cases; and one in 10 (8%) of lost and stolen cards have fraudulent activity against them
  • Over two thirds of card fraud victims had over -500 transacted fraudulently; one in twenty reported fraudulent transactions of over -2,000
  • Only 34% will check their bank statements more regularly this year
  • 47% of victims people believe that banks should be responsible for preventing card fraud, compared to 32% who believe it should be the responsibility of cardholders
  • 17% claim they are more worried about card fraud compared to last year

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Media Consultants

Neil Bennett / Daniel Yea
Maitland
13 King's Boulevard
London
N1C 4BU

Tel: 020 7379 5151
Email: cpp-maitland@maitland.co.uk

 

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