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New Coronavirus COVID-19 Online Patient to Patient Support Group Launched


Coronavirus COVID-19 patients are relieving anxiety and sharing facts and strategies in a new and free online support group.

Malecare, the USA based patient advocacy nonprofit, announced a new, free coronavirus COVID-19 online support group at https://coronavirussupportgroup.org People diagnosed with COVID-19 and the worried well are welcome to join. Everyone from around the world can register for free and post and reply.

As lockdowns and quarantines grip people throughout the world, the Coronavirus Support Group will provide a safe and helpful place for people to share their stories, worries, and useful hints. The online group is monitored by experienced health care social workers to reduce rumor-mongering and fake news.

Malecare currently manages global patient support communities that serve over 57,000 people. Malecare is donating its time and tech resources, pro bono.

Good information and emotional support are essential inputs for protecting ourselves and each other during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Malecare’s director, Darryl Mitteldorf.
“I’ve only been on the Coronavirus support group for a few days, but I feel calmer already,” said Daniel, a man from France who tested positive and is home-quarantined.

The Coronavirus Support Group is in English, but everyone can post in their native language.

“You can’t tell people to self-quarantine for 14 days and then leave them alone to suffer from fear. The online Coronavirus Support Group will be helpful to all and lifesaving to some,” said Mr. Mitteldorf.

About Malecare
Malecare is one of America’s leading cancer patient nonprofit advocacy organization.

Malecare is known for its pioneering work with online support communities and pioneering psycho-social support modalities for underserved populations. Learn more about Malecare at www.malecare.org

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Risk & Assurance Group Launches Free Global Blockchain Solution to Dial-Back Wangiri Phone Scams


Telecoms providers and leading suppliers of anti-fraud systems are working together to tackle a fraud that plagues phone users worldwide.

London, UK, 10 March 2020 – the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a not-for-profit association of telecoms risk managers, has launched the RAG Wangiri Blockchain, a system where consortium members use blockchain technology to share intelligence about ‘one-ring’ wangiri frauds in real time. Phone companies around the world have already agreed to collaborate, along with leading suppliers of anti-fraud products and services, by pooling their wangiri fraud data using the blockchain. As a consequence, telcos and vendors will be better anticipate attacks by fraudsters, refining algorithms so more wangiri calls are identified before consumers suffer any harm.

In recent years regulatory bodies have warned about a surge in ‘one-ring’ frauds, also known as wangiri, the Japanese for ‘one cut’. Phone users receive calls from mysterious numbers that end as soon as they begin ringing, luring victims into dialling back to an expensive destination. A new US law, the TRACED Act, requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to identify ways to tackle wangiri, and other governments have placed increasing emphasis on the need to protect phone users from this fraud.

Major telecoms providers like Vodafone Group have already joined the RAG Wangiri Blockchain Consortium. Morgan Ramsey, Group Fraud Manager at Vodafone, said:

“Wangiri is a global problem, impacting millions of customers every day. For far too long, telcos have tackled wangiri from a local perspective and in a reactive way. The continued growth of wangiri has clearly shown that this is not effective, and we need to change our approach, both as individual operators and as an industry. Collaboration between telcos, principally in the form of sharing best practice and intelligence, is a ‘no brainer’ in this environment and greatly increases our chances of frustrating the fraudsters and protecting our customers. For Vodafone this of course gives us a better chance of reducing the number of irritating calls received by our customers, but for us it goes beyond that and we want to work with other operators to tackle the problem on behalf of our industry. The RAG Wangiri Blockchain has the potential to play a big role in our continued fight against wangiri.”

35 businesses participated in a pilot of the wangiri blockchain in 2019, successfully sharing data about 21,000 fraud attacks covering 150 countries. The newly released production version of the wangiri blockchain is scaled to work on a global level, and will allow telcos and other relevant businesses to exchange data without needing to install any new hardware or software. Many telcos will have the option to connect seamlessly with the blockchain because their suppliers are integrating existing anti-fraud systems via an API to the blockchain. Any business that uploads their wangiri data to the blockchain will be allowed to access it without charge.

RAG hopes to persuade all phone companies worldwide to join the RAG Wangiri Blockchain Consortium. Goran Marić of HT Eronet, an operator in Bosnia and Herzegovina, explained the appeal of the wangiri blockchain to telcos of all sizes:

“Blockchain technology can become a game-changer for fraud detection and mitigation because it ensures security, transparency, and decentralization. This should be a good trigger for telcos to join, share and use gathered data to tackle fraud in their organizations in a transparent way.”

Eric Priezkalns, Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group, explained the key differences between the RAG Wangiri Blockchain and previous attempts to pool information about telecoms fraud.

“Fraudsters keep changing their methods, so the greatest barriers to exchanging intelligence are cost and speed. If the methods used are too slow, and too expensive, then the costs outweigh the benefits. RAG’s technical partners at Orillion Solutions have developed a blockchain ledger that is faster and more easily accessible than anything telcos have used to share fraud data before. Then we asked leading suppliers of fraud systems to link their products to the blockchain, harnessing data that telcos already collected but could not previously share efficiently. It is thrilling to see how positively telcos and vendors have reacted to this opportunity to collaborate on a problem that blights all phone users everywhere.”

About the Risk & Assurance Group

The Risk & Assurance Group (RAG) is dedicated to improving the practice of risk management, business assurance, fraud management and security within the providers of electronic communications services. RAG is a not-for-profit corporation run by experts in the field of risk and assurance within telcos. We seek to facilitate the education and networking of professionals in order to improve standards of performance, reduce waste, and better serve customers. Practitioners may attend our events and access our online services free of charge; financial support is provided by specialist vendors with an interest in highlighting the importance of the work done in this field, and in expanding its remit.

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Merger Creates New Services Division for Tedaisy Insurance Group


Tedaisy Insurance Group and Intrinsia Insurance Group have merged under the umbrella of Tedaisy Insurance Group (Tedaisy), in a strategic all share deal to accelerate growth.

The merger unites four trading entities in which Tedaisy now holds 100% of the equity:

• Alpha Underwriting, an MGA specialising in travel, accident and health and pet insurance.
• Practice Cover, an insurance broker specialising in providing insurance solutions to medical professionals and surgeries.
• Intrinsia Brokers, trading as perfectpetinsurance.co.uk, selling online pet insurance.
• Intrinsia Claims, an in-house pet insurance claims specialist.

Paul Byrne, Group Chairman, CEO and majority shareholder, advises the group is set to manage over £25m of GWP in 2020, creating brokerage revenues in excess of £6.5m. “We have some amazing plans on how we are going to manage our insurance performance to reach our potential, and in my 20 years of being an entrepreneur in the insurance industry, this is without doubt, the most exciting project I’ve been involved with”, says Paul.

The groups, which previously had common shareholders, will pool resources and capital to develop the businesses, which includes establishing a shared group services division.

Finance, HR, compliance, IT, quality control and binder management performance are services that will be provided to all group companies by a centralised team, headed up by Donna Sweetman, who will be stepping down as the Managing Director of Alpha Underwriting to take on the new role.

As a result of Donna’s internal move to become Managing Director of Tedaisy’s Group Services, Tedaisy seeks to appoint an ambitious candidate to fill the MD position and drive Alpha forward. Paul Byrne will remain as Group Chairman and CEO. In the meantime, Donna and Paul will continue to oversee the Alpha business. Paul comments “We are always on the lookout for exciting people to join our existing talented workforce and Tedaisy is going to be a great place to be over the coming years.”

Donna Sweetman, MD of Tedaisy Group Services says, “I have enjoyed my time as MD of Alpha, but this new Group Services role was too exciting an opportunity for me to turn down! I will use my 25+ years of insurance experience to lead my team in providing excellent services to the group companies to give them the best possible chance of exceeding their goals. Together, as a team, we will all work to make sure the Group achieves and excels in everything we do.”

Natalie Surtees, MD of Intrinsia Brokers commented, “Our brand Perfect Pet is going from strength to strength, attracting circa 3,000 new customers every month. We are now in the process of hiring quality key staff in operations and marketing and IT, to make sure our infrastructure keeps pace with our growth. These new hires enable me to concentrate more on growing the business and developing new and exciting opportunities.”

Natasha Reynolds, MD of Practice Cover says, “I am the newest member of the senior management team, only having joined in December 2018. The growth, the plans and the excitement I have seen in this relatively short period has blown me away and I am so excited to be part of this journey. Bringing the group together enables me to concentrate more on the growth of my part of the business, knowing that our core services are being looked after centrally.”

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