We focus on doing one thing and doing that one thing well: providing superior workers' compensation products and services to businesses and organizations. Since 1997, we have built a strong reputation for being a "best in class" provider of workers' compensation products and services. We've achieved this position by creating supportive relationships and providing our employees and clients with the tools and resources they need to win with integrity.
Service is what sets us apart from the competition.
From the start, clients are assigned a dedicated service team with specialists from underwriting, risk management, claims and marketing. Each team member takes personal responsibility for meeting the needs of our clients. Our collective goal is to increase the insured organization's productivity and reduce their workers' compensation costs.
We're not your typical insurance company.
We've broken the dated mold of other insurance companies by looking beyond the standard response to our clients' insurance needs and providing a fresh perspective to all that we do. Everyone at Eastern pledges to offer you: Fresh outlooks. Better outcomes.
What makes us different:
Proactive approach to claims and risk management
Focus on Return-to-Work
As a Member of the St. James's Place Partnership, we have access to a number of key individuals within the St. James's Place Wealth Management Group, including those on this page, who play an important role in providing support to Oakmere Wealth Management Ltd.
Obi Nnochiri, Head of Tax & Technical Support
Obi has a wealth of experience in the areas of Tax & Trust* Planning and his expertise is therefore paramount to the development of our relationships with many High Net Worth Clients. Obi is involved in client meetings and provides technical expertise and support to Individuals and Business Owners who have the need to have the most sophisticated financial planning. We have added significant value to many clients through working together with important aspects of the St. James's Place infra structure, namely people like Obi.
*Trusts are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Gavin McGhee, Asset Management Consultant
Gavin has worked in the Asset Management Division of St. James's Place for many years and frequently gets involved in liaising directly with Fund Managers and observing Investment Committee Meetings. His experience and ability is truly impressive and he has worked with many of our clients who have significant wealth to help develop excellent portfolios. We consider Gavin to be a significant asset to our business in his role as a Consultant to Oakmere Wealth Management Ltd.
Banks may face formal inquiry into whether they can refuse to reimburse victims conned into transferring money into fraudsters’ accounts
UK banks should do more to protect customers tricked into transferring money to fraudsters, according to a consumer body that has lodged a “supercomplaint” with financial regulators. The move by Which? means banks could now face a formal investigation into whether they can continue refusing to reimburse victims.
The organisation submitted its first supercomplaint this year in the same week that official data revealed that fraud in the UK payments industry had soared by 53% as criminals develop increasingly sophisticated tactics to steal bank customers’ cash.
Which? said banks should “shoulder more responsibility” when someone is conned into transferring money to another person’s account, just as they reimburse customers who lose money due to scams involving debit and credit cards or fraudulent account activity.
Fake brand social media accounts are on the rise according to a study into the shape of the industry from Proofpoint.
From April through June 2016, the 10 top brands across different industries were identified and analysed across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. A total of 4,840 brands were found to be associated with these companies – almost a fifth (19 per cent) were fraudulent.
Social media is reportedly a prime platform for fraud. Used as a corporate marketing and communications tool, it can be hijacked with malicious intent such as spamming users and misrepresenting the brand.
Of the 902 fraudulent accounts associated with 10 top brands, nearly 30 per cent were scams or offers for counterfeit products and services. Furthermore, four per cent of these were either phishing for user information, looking to install malware, protesting against the company in question or parodying it – which it claimed could harm the reputation of the brands.
These were BMW, Capital One, Chanel, Amazon, DirecTV, Nike, Samsung, Shell, Sony, Starbucks as selected by the Brand Directory list of top brands for 2015.
The report said: “Many unauthorised accounts are fake brand accounts. They are created solely to defraud your customers or undermine your brand. Bad actors create these accounts for financial gain or to protest your company and create negative brand sentiment.
“Other fraudsters prey on customers who try to engage with your brand. They target customers using fake customer service accounts, phony sweepstakes, and more. Some are motivated by a political agenda and create fraudulent accounts to attack a brand’s image. Most often, they closely imitate the brand to make fun of the company or its customers. These protest accounts diminish brand value and create a negative or even hostile experience for customers.”
The most common fraud practices included offering free gifts or discounts, or posing as customer support or software updates.
A flaw was also identified with Facebook and Twitter verification which can help with capturing the spammers – while the seal is viewable on the profile it is not always readily viewable on individual tweets and posts.
Social media phishing is the fastest-growing social media threat, increasing 150 per cent from 2015 to 2016.
Fast-growing Schutz Shoes upgrades its fraud detection software to slash manual reviews and improve order processing.
Online orders were flowing into shoe e-retailer Schutz Shoes, the U.S. division of Brazilian-based shoe retailer Arezzo & Co., but the small team spent an increasing amount of time checking whether an order was fraudulent. When one employee on a staff of seven has to manually review the legitimacy of an online order, that’s time away from customers and other business, says Kimberly Gort, e-commerce manager for Schutz.
Schutz Shoes started selling online in 2014 operating its e-commerce site in the basement of its New York City store. That first year, Schutz had about $350,000 in online sales. In 2015, about half of its product catalog was available online and sales grew to $1.5 million. Now, with all of its products available online, Schutz Shoes projects about $3 million in online sales for 2016, Gort says. The retailer also opened a store in Los Angeles.
With triple-digit percentage growth comes growing pains. When the e-retailer received a modest five online orders a day, using the free tool from its e-commerce platform provider (Shopify Inc.) worked fine, Gort says. The plugin would flag orders that might be fraudulent, and the retailer decided to approve or decline such orders. For example, the tool flagged an order if the credit card and shipping addresses didn’t match, so a Schutz employee had to call the customer and determine if it was a legitimate order. Deciding what was and wasn’t fraudulent often was difficult, Gort says.
“There’s always a risk,” she says. “It was like we were playing roulette.”
The situation frustrated the retailer and the shopper, as some shoppers were blocked from placing an order or their order was delayed or they had to deal with a phone call from the retailer. Schutz was missing out on orders, devoting almost a full employee to manually check the orders and seek out consumers to verify information. As order volume and sales grew, the manual-review model no longer worked, Gort says.
In July, Schutz Shoes decided to integrate fraud detection software provider ClearSale onto its platform, choosing the vendor because it was used by parent company Arezzo. It took about two weeks to integrate the technology onto Schutz’s site, Gort says.
ClearSale factors in about 100 variables to approve or deny orders, and then has its 500-person team to dig deeper on flagged orders, says Rafael Lourenco, vice president of operations at ClearSale. Orders can be approved within three seconds, while an order that requires manual review will take 24-48 hours, he says.
The impact of adding ClearSale was almost immediate, Gort says, as Schutz Shoes was no longer on the hook to manually check flagged orders. The e-retailer now approves 94-96% of its orders, which is about a 5% increase from when it relied on its free plugin, Gort says.
ClearSale charges per transaction and takes a 0.4-1.5% cut of the sale. The commission is worth it, Gort says, as more sales are approved. In August, Schutz Shoes paid ClearSale $1,500. The retailer processed 1,200 online orders that month, 1,002 of which ClearSale reviewed in some capacity; of those 1,002 orders, 973 (97.1%) were approved.
ClearSale has about 2,000 clients, and more than 90% are retailers, Lourenco says. Across all of its clients, 93.5% of orders are automatically approved, Lourenco says.
Recently, ClearSale updated its formula with another variable to approve or deny orders. The feature factors in how long a consumer is on the website before she purchases. The shorter it is, the more suspect. However, this is only one variable and a short time between landing on the site and purchasing will not automatically flag an order, Lourenco says. The new feature increased ClearSale’s average approval rate by 1%, he says.
There has been a notable escalation in phishing attacks in 2016, according to a new report from the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG). It noted that there have been more phishing attacks during the the first quarter of this year, “than at any other time in history”.
There was a huge spike in phishing activity between October 2015 and March 2016, with incidents rising by a massive 250%, the study highlighted.
“We always see a surge in phishing during the holiday season, but the number of phishing sites kept going up from December into the spring of 2016,” commented Greg Aaron, a senior research fellow at APWG and vice-president of the iThreat Cyber Group.
“The sustained increase into 2016 shows phishers launching more sites, and is cause for concern.”
Phishing is a tactic used by cybercriminals and fraudsters to secure sensitive information from people. Deceptive emails, texts and instant messaging alerts – to name but a few – are sent to potential victims encouraging them to hand over their data.
The fraudulent messaging often looks and sounds authentic. Interestingly, as the authors of the paper state, phishing attacks are increasingly more aggressive. For example, keyloggers have been a notable feature in attacks in 2016, used to “target specific information and organizations”.
The authors of the report also touched upon the growing threat posed by ransomware. As with phishing, the attacks have demonstrated a more aggressive streak.
“The threat space continues to expand despite the best efforts of industry, government and law enforcement,” observed Peter Cassidy, co-founder and secretary general of the APWG.
“Verification Required” email purporting to be from PayPal claims that your account has been limited due to several listed security issues and you must click a “Remove Limitation” button to address the issues.
The email is not from PayPal and the claim that your account has been limited is untrue. In fact, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal your PayPal account login credentials, your credit card numbers, and other sensitive personal information.
According to this email, which claims to be from PayPal, your account has been limited and your “verification is required”. The email, which addresses you as “Dear Customer”, claims that the limitation has been imposed because someone else has logged into your account, you sent or received money related to fraudulent activity, and you violated the terms and the user agreements.
It features a “Remove Limitations” button that will supposedly allow you to deal with the account issues mentioned.
However, the email is not from PayPal and the claim that your account has been limited is a lie. Instead, the email is a typical phishing scam designed to steal your personal information.
If you hit the “Remove Limitations” button, you will be taken to a bogus website that has been built to emulate a genuine PayPal login page. The page asks you to login with your PayPal email address and password. After logging in, you will be taken to a second form that asks you to verify your account by supplying your credit card numbers, your name and address details, and other identifying information. After submitting the requested information, you may receive a final message claiming that you have successfully removed the account limitations.
Meanwhile, the criminals can use the information you supplied to hijack your PayPal account and steal or misuse its funds as well as use your credit card for fraudulent transactions. They may also be able to steal your identity using the personal and financial information they have gathered from you.
PayPal scams like this one are very common. Be wary of any PayPal message that claims that your account has been limited, disabled, or suspended and you must click a link or open an attached file to verify account details. PayPal will never send you an email or text message that makes such demands. Note also that PayPal will always address you by name in its messages. Genuine PayPal messages will never use generic greetings such as “Dear Customer”.
If you receive one of these emails, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.
The PayPal website includes information about how to recognize and report such phishing scams.