Avoiding Scams & Cybercrime

Over the past few weeks cyber crime has risen exponentially. A combination of concerns regarding Coronavirus, remote working practices and the distractions associated with living in a lockdown has created an environment in which criminals can thrive. It is therefore even more important from both a personal and business perspective to be extra vigilant. 

The Golden Rules

If you receive an email, text or phone call you are not expecting, follow these three simple steps:

Stop – Take a moment to think before parting with any information or money.

Challenge – Ask yourself could it be fake. Do not be rushed or feel intimidated. If you have any doubts, refuse and reject.

Protect – If you think you have fallen victim to a scam, contact your bank immediately using the numbers on your bank statement or the rear of your credit/debit cards. Report the scam to Action Fraud. 

Fake news 

  • There are many false articles in the press and online promoting false remedies and cures for Coronavirus. If in doubt visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus or www.who.int/ for updates and information.


  • Criminals are experts at impersonating people and organisations. 
  • Genuine organisations will address you by name, use two factor authentication or some other form of personalisation to prove that they are genuine. Always be suspicious of correspondence asking for information or money. If in doubt, contact the organisation or person directly to check authenticity.
  • Many businesses are closed at the moment, so be especially wary if you are asked to make an urgent payment or alter bank payment details even if the message appears to come from your boss.
  • Reject all calls from ‘internet providers’ threatening to disconnect your service. If in any doubt, contact your internet provider directly.


  • Never click or download an attachment as this could lead to your device being infected with unwanted programs.

Great offers 

  • Be suspicious of any correspondence inviting you to invest money in high yielding opportunities. Don’t be pressurised. Check with the  Financial Conduct Authority’s Register for regulated companies.
  • Google has taken down thousands of fake websites for subscription TV services, many of which offer extended free trials
  • Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Cold calling

  • Check the identity of anyone who comes knocking at your door. Do not accept help or let anyone into your home unless they are known to you; or you have verified their identity with the organisation they represent. Do not use any contact numbers given to you at the door. Verify all people independently by looking up the organisation’s details online. If in any doubt, do not let them in. 
  • Reject all calls offering you face masks, sanitiser, testing kits and medicine over the phone as many of these are phoney.
  • Do not give anyone remote access to your computer.


  • Never share your passwords with anyone
  • Ensure passwords are strong and contain a mixture of upper case & lower case letters, numbers and special characters.
  • Do not use the same password for multiple logins.


  • Only make payments through secure websites. These sites display a padlock on the search bar
  • Where possible use a credit card or Paypal to buy online as these methods provide greater protection.
  • When paying someone for the first time, authorise a small amount first and then pay the balance once you have checked with the company that the payment has gone through okay.

Computer protection

  • If you haven’t already done so, install anti-virus software on your computer including a firewall to give added protection.
  • Make sure your computer is running the latest version of its operating system and ensure that all the security patches are up to date.

The above information is not comprehensive and is intended as a guide only. For more detailed information and advice, Local Pages recommends all readers visit the websites of  Take Five and the National Cyber Security Centre.

Share Button
Leave a comment on Avoiding Scams & CybercrimeCategories Help & Advice, Small businessesTags ,

Staying Afloat on a Sea of Uncertainty

We are now several weeks into the lockdown with several more weeks to come. For most businesses there has never been such a period of uncertainty. So rather than dwell on the negatives of the situation, I would like to consider the certainties and how businesses can seize the opportunities to emerge from the lockdown stronger than they were before.

Ten Certainties

  1. The lockdown is not going to last forever. Hopefully by June the restrictions will be eased enough for most businesses to get back to some kind of normality.
  2. There is still a demand for products and services. Just because people can’t go out and are socially distancing themselves doesn’t mean that their wants, needs and desires have changed.
  3. Not everything can be bought online. Personally, I’m waiting for a new carpet to be fitted and, although Amazon may be efficient, laying a carpet is not one of their strong points.
  4. Consumers are currently storing up cash that they cannot spend because there is nothing to spend it on. It will be burning holes in their pockets.
  5. When the lockdown is over there is going to be a massive spending spree as consumers celebrate their freedom with their newly acquired wealth. Happy days!
  6. Many businesses are cutting costs and slashing their marketing budgets to save money in the short term without considering the long term consequences of their actions.
  7. The businesses that are most prepared by continuing to have a presence during the lockdown are the ones that will reap the greatest benefits.
  8. People remember winners and those that are willing to take risks. They quickly forget those that sit back and do nothing.
  9. Marketing is more important than ever during an economic downturn. Marketing = Sales = Success
  10. We are currently in a period of great change and with change comes great opportunity.

Ten Opportunities

  1. Be the brand that people remember. Keep your name in front of existing and prospective customers so that they can see that you are a positive force. 
  2. Take advantage of the fact that your competitors are advertising their services less by advertising your services more. That way you will get a lot more ‘bang for your buck!’ and you’ll be well ahead of the game when all this is over.
  3. Look for new ways of using your skills and experience when interacting with your existing customers and prospects. For example, at Local Pages we’ve used our online directory expertise to create an online Community Hub connecting people with charitable organisations and support groups.
  4. Understand the needs and motivations of your customers and reach out to them in order to solve their problems with warmth and empathy. For example at Local Pages, we’re helping clients overcome cash flow difficulties by offering deferred and weekly affordable payment options.
  5. Rather than spending your advertising pound on selling your products, spend it on creating value in your brand. The reason that Heinz Baked Beans are five times more expensive than a supermarket’s own brand has nothing to do with the contents inside the tin. It’s because Heinz invested in the brand and the brand has become synonymous with reliability and quality. 
  6. Don’t rely on the past.. Who would have thought only a few weeks ago that oil companies would be in a situation (at the time of writing) where they have to pay customers to take oil off their hands. Nothing lasts forever. Consider how your business will need to change in a new world where environmental concerns and social distancing could be the new norm.
  7. Instead of cutting costs, take a look at how you can change your business practices to make them more efficient. By making adjustments now, when you have the time and resources to do it, you can reap huge benefits in cost savings later.
  8. Don’t take your clients for granted. Now is the time to reach out to them, thank them and ask if there is any way you can help them. People buy from people. Looking after your customers when things are bad creates future customer loyalty.
  9. Make it easier for customers to deal with you. Take a hard look at every touchpoint that you have with your customers from their point of view and ask what could be done to improve their experience?  
  10. Consider where in your business you could offer more value. For example, there is a window company that inspects their work after six months to ensure the customer is happy and that there are no problems. This simple service leads to an increase in trust at the point of sale and future recommendations. 


If you would like more help and assistance keeping you business afloat in a sea of uncertainty, call the Local Pages team on 0117 9231122 or drop us a line at info@localpages.co.uk

Share Button
Leave a comment on Staying Afloat on a Sea of UncertaintyCategories Branding, Business Tips, Help & Advice, Marketing, Small businesses

Sign up to the FREE Community Hub

To help our local communities through this difficult time, we’ve  set up a Community Hub.

The Community Hub can be found at www.localpages.co.uk

The aim of the Community Hub is to create an online directory where people can find the services and support they need to help them through the current Coronavirus pandemic.

We are asking all community groups offering services to add their details. By doing so, those requiring assistance will be able to click on the town links to find help and services local to them.

The Community Hub is totally free.

Please sign up today, as the more organisations that leave their details, the more useful it becomes.


Share Button
Leave a comment on Sign up to the FREE Community HubCategories Local Pages NewsTags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Working From Home

Working from home is not as easy as it seems. Not only are there a host of distractions, but there is your mental and physical health to consider. By not travelling to work every day, it is easy to overlook the physical benefits of getting to there and the social benefits of interacting with colleagues.

So to help you keep productive and sane, here are the Local Pages’ tips for successfully working from home.





Share Button
Leave a comment on Working From HomeCategories Blog, Help & Advice, Local Pages NewsTags , , , ,

Local Pages – Helping Local Business

The Coronavirus has had a massive impact on local businesses throughout the country and the consequences have been especially felt by SMEs and the self-employed in the areas we serve. As a small family business employing 18 people, we recognise the current challenges faced by many of our loyal customers and wish to support you in whatever way we can.

We don’t know when the current situation will end, but we must all remain positive and be ready to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise once the lockdown is lifted. The truth is, people still want your products and services even if you can’t currently supply them. This means that once the restrictions are over, demand for your products and services will be even higher.

For this reason, we are putting the following initiatives into place to help your business in the short term while generating enquiries for the future:



Extended Payment Terms

Where possible we will offer extended payment terms to help with cash-flow while your business is temporarily on hold.




Deferred Payment Terms

Normally we would expect payment with your order. However, due to the current circumstances and the pressures that some of our customers are experiencing due to cash flow, where possible we will defer payment from the time of booking your order until the Little Blue Book goes to print.





Free Digital Consultation A no-obligation review of your online presence with suggestions regarding how you use your website and social media channels to grow your business in the future.

Call the team on 0117 9321122 to book an appointment.



Increased Promotion of our Little Blue Book

We are increasing the amount of promotional activity aimed at users. We strongly believe that people buy from people they know and trust. That is the reason we publish our Little Blue Book.

For over 40 years, people have trusted the information within it and the businesses it recommends.


Increased Promotion of www.localpages.co.uk

We are increasing our online promotional activity which will greatly benefit our online advertisers especially those with enhanced and premium listings. With the cost of Google and Facebook advertising rocketing at the moment, our online search directory offers an even better return on investment.

The current situation is not going to last forever and it is important that all businesses prepare for when the restrictions are lifted. Local Pages is in a unique position to help. For those that wish to hit the ground running, our online search directory can generate leads at a fraction of the price of Google and Facebook. In the long term, our trusted Little Blue Books are still being updated and delivered to ensure your business details are at your potential customers’ fingertips as and when they are required.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and the kind messages that we have received during the past couple of weeks. As mentioned earlier, we are a family business and we look upon all our customers as members of our extended family, without whom we wouldn’t be able to continue serving your community. Stay safe and if we can be of any further assistance please let me know.


With my best regards

Dan Bernard

Managing Director
Click here for the latest government advice on Coronavirus.

Click here for the latest government advice for employers and businesses

Click here for details of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme

Click here for details regarding the Small Business Grant Fund

Happy to help.

Get in touch with one of the Local Pages Team today:
0117 932 1122

Share Button
Leave a comment on Local Pages – Helping Local BusinessCategories Blog, Help & Advice, Local Pages News