Monday, 30 March 2009

Quite Interesting

Found this interesting graphic on Google Analytics today of the concentration of website visitors to ukdata.com for the 1st Quarter of 2009.

Within UK visitors - who represent 65% of all visits - there is a predominance of visitors from London and the South East accounting for 28% of all UK users.

The second and third highest concentrations are along the corridors of the M40 and M4 motorways with a small cluster in the North East.

Quite interesting but perhaps not surprising?

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Understanding Company Identity Theft

We have been asked many times how to verify a company on our database who 'claim' to only have 'free' email accounts and wish to use Western Union for payment.

The majority of these questions are coming from individuals wishing to buy electrical products as a result of finding special offers online on mobile phones, DVD players etc. 

In most cases the company being namechecked does not know about the posts or the offers and is being scammed itself. Click here for more background on this.

We have answered this question on our forum and in our help pages but this link to fraudwatchers.org forum post  is very helpful and they detail an excellent outline of the methodology of the fraudster and what to watch for."

If you wish to report a fraud and save someone else becoming a victim please post on our forum and on the fraudwatchers forum.

If you post on our forum we can then add some detail (example) to the company in question in our database and contact them to inform them that they may also be a victim of impersonation.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Accountants claim 23,713 company liquidations

Wilkins Kennedy predict the highest number of company liquidations since 1992/3 in a news release on their website.

The accountancy firm took data from Companies House and forecast the number of liquidations for the year ending March 2009. Their prediction of 23,713 is 17% up on 2007/08.

Keith Stevens of Wilkins Kennedy say that the lack of credit combined with falling demand is having a major impact on the ability of business to continue trading.

From our data collected from ukdata.com we have seen a 100% increase in company monitoring comparing Jan & Feb 2008 against this year and a 130% increase in visitor traffic to the website.

From talking to a sample group of clients who called the office it seems that they are watching and waiting to see what happens next. Monitoring for new CCJ events and and double checking that Annual Returns and Accounts were being filed on time were the key indicators that our sample were particularly keen to monitor.

Most stated that late (or later than usual) filing of accounts or annual returns would cause concern and instigate a discussion with the company in question. Any new CCJ events would certainly trigger alarm bells.

For companies it seems now is the time to be on top of your filing dates and making sure that any disputes over payment are resolved before they get near a County Court.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Advertising on ukdata.com

We are now running a Beta test of 3rd party advertising on the website.

With 2,000,000 page impressions and over 500,000 unique visitors per month, the majority of whom are well educated, and initially profiled by Quantcast as B2B and SME it is an excellent opportunity for a non competing business to business website to attract visitors and sales leads.

We are applying fixed pricing with discounts for longer commitments to move away from the auction style ads seen across other websites. The deal will also be exclusive to one advertiser and and we will offer the complete run of our company listings pages. If the Beta proves succesful we will look at a more granular approach where you can advertise within specific sectors, Accountancy, Legal, Retail etc.

As this is a Beta I would love to hear your feedback or ideas - simply drop me an email at alastair[at]ukdata.com

More information and contact details are available here.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Company fraud - now its personal - Alastair Campbell Ltd

We have been warning companies to monitor the internet for mentions of their company name and directors names using Google Alerts for some time now.

At the same time we have worked with other data providers to try and clamp down on fraudsters impersonating UK companies. By sharing the information and informing the genuine directors of the company they at least could do something about it. See Gamecasta Limited page for an example.

More on the history of this here and here.

But, now it is personal. In the last few weeks a fraudster has been referring to a non existent company 'Alastair Campbell Ltd' and had the front to pretend it was based at our office address here.

So, a little competition, can we beat him to the top of Google for the term 'Alastair Campbell Ltd'? In essence, anyone checking his company out, should then find this post or this page - Alastair Campbell Ltd and realise that sending cash by Western Union is probably not their best bet.

If you want to help stop him defrauding others, please link back to this page using the anchor text 'Alastair Campbell Ltd' - it might not stop him but it will reduce the number of people who fall for his scam.