WhatsApp fraudsters turning ‘naive’ young people into money mules

New data, compiled from the National Fraud Database by not-for-profit fraud prevention body, Cifas, suggests in the past year there has there has been a “sharp rise” the number of 18 to 24 year-olds being tricked into using their bank accounts to transfer the proceeds of crime. According to the figures, there were 8,652 cases of ‘misuse of facility’ between January and the end of September this year, a 75 per cent rise.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Sandra Peaston, Assistant Director at Cifas, said social media was being increasingly tool used by fraudsters to convert young people into accidental money launderers – by offering them fake money making schemes or even fake job offers, and then convincing people “who don’t ask many questions” to transfer money as a favour. ” The use of social media is one of the things we know is happening… be that by instant messages, or via adverts on YouTube. Ms Peaston said they were known to be using messaging apps such as WhatsApp to communicate with would-be victims.

Cifas is launching a ‘Don’t Be Fooled’ campaign alongside UK Finance that aims to deter young people – in particular, students – from becoming money mules. UK Finance added: “If an offer of easy money sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Source: WhatsApp fraudsters turning ‘naive’ young people into money mules

Common fraud threats

Being aware of common threats, knowing how they work and what to look out for can help to protect you against falling victim to fraud.

Here are some of the common techniques fraudsters attempt to use to trick you into giving away your personal information, banking details or even access to your computer.

Scam emails, texts or social media messages (Also known as Phishing and Malware)

Fraudsters send fake messages which appear to be authentic and from legitimate organisations.

Scam telephone calls (Vishing)

Fraudsters may phone you out of the blue and claim to be from the bank, police, or other reputable organisations, in an attempt to obtain your personal information and banking details.

 Investment scams

Investment scams or get rich quick scams happen when fraudsters pose as pushy salespeople and trick you into putting your money into a fake investment.

 

 

Pension scams

Pension scams happen when fraudsters pose as pension advisors and trick you into releasing your pension early or transferring your money into bogus investments that are guaranteed to grow in value and make you lavish returns.

Romance Fraud Scams

Online dating can be a wonderful way to get to know someone and find love, but it’s also a common way for fraudsters to scam you.

 

Invoice re-direction scams

Invoice re-direction scams can result in losses that run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. It happens when a fraudster tricks a business into changing bank account payee details for a known supplier.

Seniors & Cyber Crime – 5 Tips to Protect Yourself Now

Definition: hacker [ˈhakər] a person who uses computers to gain unauthorized access to data.

Decades ago, hacking used to be something of a joke. A tech nerd living in their parents’ basement would see if they could gain access to the CIA or send a digital virus around the world. But today, it’s much more pervasive and sinister.

“This is now organized crime and their intentions are financially motivated,” says cyber security expert Daniel Tobok, CEO of CytelligenceTM. “They want to make money and they want to steal money.”

Tobok says although we’re all vulnerable to cybercrime, seniors are much most at risk. “They understand how to protect themselves from a bad guy at the door, they don’t always understand that the person pretending to be your friend on Facebook® could be a hacker trying to steal your information, access your computer to obtain your financial information and so much more.”

“I think everybody can be dumb at times,” says Dr. Tom Keenan, author of Technocreep. “People are generally pleasant, but if a weird, creepy person came up to you in the park and started asking you about your medical history and stuff like that and offered you a free magazine, you’d probably run the other way.” Yet when it comes to giving free information away on social media, we’re sharing too much.

Awareness is the Key

Tobok stresses that education, awareness and being cautious, even a little paranoid, is healthy and could prevent half of cyber security issues.

Phishing

Phishing is a major point of entry for criminals. This is where you’re sent an email, text message, Facebook message or more asking you to click on a link, open up an attachment, change your password etc. The emails can look very real, like they’re coming from your bank, a friend, the government or a retailer – but they’re not real. They’re coming from criminals. And with our busy lifestyles, it’s easy to not pay attention and accidentally click on something you didn’t mean to. However, that one misstep can allow hackers to see everything you’re doing on your computer. If you went to their fake website and entered in your personal information, they now have that info, too.

5 Tips to Protect Yourself Now

  1. Never give any personal information over the phone, email, text or social media to anyone.
  2. Don’t click on jokes, attachments or links that you aren’t 100% sure are authentic.
  3. Use antivirus software and make sure your computer, smartphone and tablet are up-to-date.
  4. Don’t use free WiFi – especially if you’re checking your online banking or using your credit or debit card to purchase something online.
  5. Be careful using free apps, games and software – they’re free for a reason and could be using your computer, phone or tablet to track you, install malware (malicious software) or gain access to your sensitive and financial information – or worse.

If you have a smartphone, it may not feel like it, but you have a very powerful computer in your hands. You need to know how to protect yourself while using it.

How to protect your browser from Unicode domain phishing attacks

 𝖨𝗍’𝗌 𝖾𝖺𝗌𝗒 𝗍𝗈 𝖻𝖾 𝗍𝗋𝗂𝖼𝗄𝖾𝖽 𝖻𝗒 𝖺 𝖴𝗇𝗂𝖼𝗈𝖽𝖾 𝖴𝖱𝖫.
Author: Graham Cluley

Published February 22, 2018 6:11 pm in Phishing, Vulnerability, Web Browsers 8

Do you trust аpple.com?

Of course you do! So, do you feel okay about visiting the website at https://www.аpple.com?

 

The URL I’ve linked to isn’t the real Apple technology company that makes shiny iPhones, Homepods, and iMacs. Instead, it’s a Unicode domain which
rather than using the conventional ASCII characters that make up the vast majority of websites you’re likely to visit – contains foreign characters.

So the “а” of аpple.com is actually a Cyrillic “а” (U+0430) rather than the ASCII character “a” (U+0061).

What’s that? You couldn’t tell the difference? No, neither can I. And, as we’ve described before, that’s a problem that phishers and online crooks are only too happy to take advantage of in their pursuit of your passwords and other sensitive information. You see, it’s not just “а” and “a” that can be mixed up. There are countless ways in which bad guys can take advantage of the many Unicode characters that look remarkably similar to common ASCII characters. Which means that you and I are at risk of visiting a site believing it to be legitimate, when in fact it’s designed to scam us in what is known as an IDN Homograph attack.

Browsers are beginning to get better at warning users when they visit a site with an internationalized domain name (IDN), with some now displaying the URL in the browser bar in its Punycode form. That means you might spot you’re visiting xn–pple-43d.com rather than the real apple.com But human nature means that we will more-often-than-not fail to check the browser bar, and not notice that we’re not on the website we intended. For that reason, I strongly recommend that you get some help.

There are a range of browser extensions and plugins that can warn you when you visit a website with an internationalized domain name. Having tried a few solutions, my preference is for a browser add-on called IDN Safe.IDN Safe not only warns you that you are visiting a URL with an internationalized domain name, but it also *blocks* the webpage (which is far more likely to grab your attention!).

Of course, if you *did* want to visit that URL it would be a nuisance if you were now being blocked from reaching it. So, IDN Safe includes a whitelist feature to allow you to visit specific sites that you decide are legitimate.

IDN Safe isn’t for everyone. In particular, if you are – say – Chinese and in the habit of visiting websites that take advantage of internationalized domain names you may find it a ruddy nuisance. But, for most of us, I think it’s a sensible addition to our security toolbox – and may stop you from being phished or scammed one day.

Furthermore, Firefox users may benefit from making a change to their browser settings which will force the Punycode version of the URL to be displayed in their browser bar.

Martin Lewis slams new Facebook Messenger scam using his name and picture – what to watch out for

MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis has said he’s “sickened” by a new scam which tries to trick victims using his name and profile picture on Facebook Messenger.

The worrying new con, which involves the trickster pretending to be Martin and privately messaging people, is the latest disturbing twist in the trend of fakers using Martin’s reputation to try and fool victims into signing up for things such as binary trading scams, or dodgy investments.

Update 7pm Tue 13 Feb. We’re pleased to hear that Facebook has now disabled the account in question for violating its policies. It says: “Fraudulent or misleading activity is not allowed on Facebook and we’re constantly working to detect and shut it down using a combination of automated and manual systems.” However we’re continuing to warn users in case it happens again – let us know if you spot a scam at news@moneysavingexpert.com.

See our Fake Martin Lewis Ads guide for a list of scams we’ve seen and what to watch out for.

Martin: ‘This isn’t me – please help me spread the message’

Martin said: “I’m sickened that yet again people are trying to take my good name and reputation and con vulnerable people.

“I don’t use private messages with anybody. Please help me spread the word that this is not me, these people should not be trusted, they are liars and possibly thieves and nobody should have anything to do with them or engage with them in anyway.

“While we have reported this to Facebook I don’t have much faith in its mechanisms to deal with this, and so we have to rely on spreading the message among each other.”

‘No, you’re not Martin’: how the scam unfolded

We were quickly alerted to this latest scam by some savvy MoneySavers, who saw through the con. Here are some of the messages they received:

To be clear, this WASN’T a message from the real Martin, he doesn’t use private messages on Facebook and the messages are completely bogus.

Here’s how to report a message to Facebook

You can report and block dodgy messages you receive in Facebook, but how you do it depends on whether you’re using Facebook itself or its Messenger app:

  • To report a message on Facebook… open the conversation you want to report and click the settings icon, then click ‘report’ and a message will pop up saying you can fill out a full report in the Help Centre. Afterwards you can open the message, click settings and click ‘block’.
  • To report a message on Messenger… you can report a conversation by filling out this form. To block messages, open the conversation, click on the person’s name at the top and then ‘block’.

What are we doing about it?

Unfortunately we get many reports about firms and individuals either impersonating or claiming fake endorsements from Martin and MoneySavingExpert.com and leeching off the hard-earned trust people have in us.

We have reported this latest scam to Facebook, the Financial Conduct Authority and Action Fraud, and are continuing to warn people as quickly as possible about any new tricks such as this one.

We regularly update the Fake Martin Lewis Ads guide with examples of scams we’ve seen. If you spot a scam using Martin’s name or image, please email our news team.

Source: Martin Lewis slams new Facebook Messenger scam using his name and picture – what to watch out for

Over 700,000 bad apps removed from Google Play store in 2017 – Naked Security

There were a number of stories last year about malicious apps, or those with massive security holes, making their way to Android phones via the Google Play store.

It seems like those high profile stories were just the tip of the iceberg. In an announcement earlier this week, Google said that last year alone it removed 700,000 ‘bad apps’ and stopped 100,000 bad app developers from sharing their apps on the Google Play store. If the app number sounds high, it is: It’s a 70% jump from 2016.

Google classifies ‘bad apps’ as those that have inappropriate content (like pornography), install malware on target operating systems or steal data, or are copycats of other legitimate apps.

Last August, Google rolled out Google Play Protect to stop the ever-increasing number of malicious apps from popping up in Play. Play Protect uses machine learning to continuously figure out what kinds of behaviors bad apps adapt, to try and spot them in the wild.

We reported on a number of the bad apps in the Android ecosystem last year: Some of them installed malware with malicious, persistent pop-up ads, other apps used malware like SonicSpy to steal private data from their users, others went even further and behaved like ransomware on the phone, holding data hostage. These apps often impersonated legitimate, popular apps like WhatsApp and Pokemon GO to convince unwitting users to download and install them, which is why copycat apps aren’t just an intellectual property issue.

What to do?

  • Stick to Google Play. In the post, Google writes that 99% of apps with abusive content were discovered and removed before anyone even downloaded them. Although that still leaves 7,000 bad apps that got through last year, it’s still safest to download apps from the Google Play store than to go rogue and download apps elsewhere online. Many alternative markets are little more than a free-for-all where app creators can upload anything they want, and frequently do.
  • Consider using an Android anti-virus. By blocking the install of malicious and unwanted apps, you’ll be protected even if something slips through the cracks and into the Play store.
  • Avoid apps with a low reputation. If no one knows anything about a new app yet, don’t install it on a work phone, because your IT department won’t thank you if something goes wrong.
  • Patch early, patch often. When buying a new phone model, check the vendor’s attitude to updates and the speed that patches arrive. Why not put “faster, more effective patching” on your list of desirable features.

Source: Over 700,000 bad apps removed from Google Play store in 2017 – Naked Security

Ghost broker scam: Police warn thousands of motorists may have fake car insurance

Men in their 20s are most likely to be targeted by ‘ghost brokers’ who often contact victims on Facebook or Instagram.

Thousands of motorists may be victims of 'ghost brokers'

Thousands of motorists could be unwittingly driving without insurance because of fraudsters known as “ghost brokers” selling fake policies, police have warned.

Detectives received more than 850 reports of the scam in the last three years, with victims losing an estimated total of £631,000, according to City of London officers. But the force said the actual number of victims could be much higher as drivers are often unaware their policy is invalid.

Tactics used by “ghost brokers” include taking out a genuine insurance policy before quickly cancelling it and claiming the refund plus the victim’s money. They also forge insurance documents or falsify a driver’s details to bring the price down, police said.

Men aged in their 20s are most likely to be targeted, with “ghost brokers” often contacting victims on social media including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp.

WhatsApp and Facebook messenger icons are seen on an iPhone

They also advertise on student websites or money-saving forums, university notice boards and marketplace websites and may sell insurance policies in pubs, clubs or bars, newsagents and car repair shops.

A national campaign has now been launched to warn drivers to be wary of heavily discounted policies on the internet or cheap insurance prices they are offered directly. Some victims only realise they do not have genuine cover when they are stopped by police or try to make an insurance claim after an accident, detectives said.

Police have taken action in 417 cases linked to “ghost broking” in the last three years, including one man who set up 133 fake policies and another man who earned £59,000 from the scam.

Drivers without valid car insurance are breaking the law and face punishments including fines, points on their driving licence and having their vehicles seized.

Source: Ghost broker scam: Police warn thousands of motorists may have fake car insurance

DHL Express ‘Parcel Arrival Notification’ Malware Email

Parcel Delivery Malware Email

This email, which purports to be from DHL Express,  is supposedly a pre-arrival notification for a parcel that has been delivered to your local post office. The email instructs you to click a link to download and print a receipt that you can submit when picking up the parcel. However, the email is not from DHL and clicking the link does not download a parcel delivery receipt. Instead, the link opens a website that harbours malware. Once on the bogus website, you will be instructed to click a “download” button. If you do so, malware may be delivered to your computer. The exact nature of this malware may vary.

This type of attack is often used to distribute ransomware.  Once installed, ransomware can lock all the files on your computer and then demand that you pay a fee to online criminals to receive an unlock code. In other cases, the malware may be designed to steal sensitive information such as banking passwords from the infected computer. In recent years, fake parcel delivery notification emails have been repeatedly used by criminals to distribute various types of malware. Be cautious of any email that claims that you must click a link or open an attached file to view details about a supposed parcel delivery.

An example of the malware email:

From: DHL EXPRESS
Subject: Parcel arrival notification 
Hi [email address],
This is a pre-arrival notification of your parcel to our local post office
Kindly Print/Download your DHL-AWD reciept to be submitted during pick-up.
Print/Download DHL-AWD reciept here
Kindly endeavour to be accurate as possible to reduce time of clearance and recipient confirmation.
Please add our email to your contact to guarantee inbox delivery. | 2018 DHL Express | Customer Service |

The people behind the tech support scams – Which? News

 ‘Do you see a Windows key on the bottom-left of your keyboard?’ a deep male voice asked me on the phone. I said yes. Over the next two minutes, the man instructed me to enter a series of commands, until my computer’s home screen erupted into a cascade of warnings and errors.
Fortunately, this was a secure demonstration, and my computer was at no real risk. I had challenged Shantanu Banerjee to conjure up warning signs of viruses on my perfectly healthy computer. He was more than happy to oblige. Until 2015, making up computer viruses out of thin air is what Banerjee, a 25-year-old from Kolkata, did for a living. ‘See what I did there? There is no problem on your computer. Your computer is fit and fine. But my job is to convince you that it has many problems.’
Criminal underworld
In January 2014, Banerjee started his career as a tech support scammer in one of Kolkata’s ‘hundreds of outfits.’ He would still be cheating victims across the UK out of thousands of pounds to this day, if his company hadn’t withheld his month’s salary of £290. Unlike most of his colleagues, who simply left the company when that happened, Banerjee kept demanding his pending wages. That’s when the truly immoral nature of his criminal employers was revealed.
On 3 December 2014, he posted a message on Facebook: ‘I protest [about my salary], but they keep me [hostage] whole night and beat me. Police also not help me, so I am very alone…please help me.’ Once a scammer himself, now seeking help against criminals, Banerjee posted the name and address of the company that he had worked for.
This April, when I reached out to him after reading the post, Banerjee was so disillusioned with his former career that he offered to send me ‘a list of every company in Kolkata who is running a tech support scam.’
 
 India-wide problem
India has made a name for itself as the home of the tech support scam. Over two-thirds of Microsoft’s customers in the UK have encountered such scams, according to a 2016 Microsoft report. A 2016 study by New York’s Stony Brook University found that 86% of all tech scams worldwide originated in India. According to Microsoft research, the average loss suffered by victims is £600. Older consumers tend to be at greater risk of falling for the scam – the average age of victims is 62.
In 2012, the US Federal Trade Commission shut down six Indian tech support companies which had conned people across the US, UK, Australia and Canada, raking in millions of pounds since 2008. Half of them had been operating from Banerjee’s own city of Kolkata. Banerjee was far from alone in wanting to denounce his former employers. Since February 2017, when I began researching such scams for The Hindustan Times, dozens of current and former scammers across India have revealed the names and details of their companies to me. ‘These days, in Dehradun, there are many tech support scams going on. I know all the places in Dehradun,’ one such whistleblower told me. ‘I’ve worked for Live Technician in Jaipur, and the same company operates from Noida, Mohali and Dehradun,’ emailed another. ‘Everywhere I went, I found these types companies, from Gurgaon to Noida and Delhi,’ one contact – who’d spent years in the industry – told me. ‘Every second company in Noida is running a tech support scam,’ confirmed another former call centre worker.
Tech Support Scam Agents
Who are the scam callers? India’s tech support scammers are drawn from its vast pool of English-speaking and computer-savvy youth. Lacking conventional employment, they find themselves plying this dubious trade. The numbers are compelling. Of India’s population of 1.3bn, a third are aged 35 or below. The economy may be growing at 7% a year, but jobs can still be scarce. A million Indians enter the job market every month, but only a tiny fraction find formal employment. That’s why many get sucked into India’s ever-expanding economy of fraud. Huge amounts of money are assured, but the true working conditions prove to be far from rosy.
Every tech support scammer I spoke to had followed a similar pattern. Fresh out of college, they placed their CVs on popular job websites and were contacted by ‘placement agents’ who directed them, for a commission, to obscure technology companies conducting murky business.
Lure of the money
The promise of lucrative incentives tempted many of the people we spoke to. The job-seekers were immediately hired at a respectable entry-level of salary of £250-£350 per month. Some cited commissions of Rs 1,000 (£12) for every £1,000 they earned their company.
‘A genuine job won’t even pay you a monthly salary of Rs 10,000 (£116), said Gaurav Dalmiya, who worked at Live Technician in Noida, a suburb of Delhi. ‘Freshers are hired immediately, if they speak good English. They soon become addicted to easy money,’ said Sanjit Sohni, who also worked at Live Technician, but in the north Indian city of Jaipur.
Only on their first day of training would they learn that their job was to scare foreign computer owners into buying worthless security services. At their training, new recruits are brought up to speed quickly on how to pull off the scam. They are handed a script and made to listen to recorded calls, to help understand the accents of potential victims. ‘In 10 days, I learned everything. Then, for the next 10 days, I rehearsed the script with my more experienced colleagues,’ said Dalmiya. He estimates at least 50 tech support scam centres to be running in Noida’s corporate network.
Tech Support Scam Victim 
Some of the support scammers I spoke to told me that, initially, they’d worried no one would believe the lies they were expected to peddle to overseas victims. ‘If there is a problem in your computer, how would I know about it? Why am I calling you from Microsoft? Microsoft is a computer manufacturer, it doesn’t make calls to its customers about viruses,’ Shantanu Banerjee remembers, thinking back to his first day on the job. But their confidence in the method was revived every time a victim fell for it. ‘If it’s an older customer, then there’s a 90% chance of a sale. If it’s a UK customer, then 100%,’ said Dalmiya, who told me he had to scam at least 10 people a day to meet his $5,000 monthly target for the company. The closer they get to the psyche of their potential victims, the easier their job. Callers have to adapt to regional differences, too. ‘Unlike US customers, those in the UK don’t care for friendly small talk. All they want is for your English to be perfect. You show some respect, you tell them they need to upgrade their firewall, and they will say, “go for it”, and you are in,’ says Dalmiya. ‘UK customers are usually very rich. Old ladies start crying the moment you tell them that there’s a problem with their computer, so you have to proceed delicately,’ according to Aman Sivaram. ‘Most people who get pop-ups are doing something wrong – eg porn. So, we show the customer his browsing history, tell him that his computer is full of problems, and offer to clean it for $500,’ Sivaram says.
Advanced deception
Once they know how to pull off the basic script, the scammers feel ready for all kinds of deception. ‘I used to tell people that their emails were hacked by someone in Russia,’ said Gaurav Dalmiya. Another former technician, Ramesh Pandey, told me he dealt with people needing help after forgetting their Facebook logins. ‘A representative [pretends] he is a Facebook expert and would help the customer, and, in order to do so, he would need to take remote access. Once he gets that, he goes ahead and runs a diagnosis.
Then, the scare tactics start. If the customer refuses to pay, even the FBI is mentioned.’ Big money at the top ‘They said they will kidnap me if I asked them for my salary.’
The support technicians make good money by Indian standards. But, it’s their bosses who are truly raking in the cash. The scammers I spoke to seemed staggered by the amount of money the call centres can make. Some scammers estimated the average monthly haul to be anywhere from £4,000 to £15,000. Others believed it was even more. ‘Just by conning gullible US or UK customers, the company averages $1,000-$1,200 on an OK day, and up to $20,000 on a good day,’ said Pandey.
At some point, though, they realise that no matter how well they know the tricks of the trade, they are unable to meet their company’s escalating sales targets. ‘They have a revenue expectation for every call, and each is reviewed against that expectation,’ says Aman Sivaram. The companies may pay Rs 300-400 (around £4) for every scare-mongering pop-up they place on websites, and they push staff hard to recover such costs. Bullying tactics against staff appear rife in the industry. Incentives are held up, salaries delayed, and punishments meted out – a trend I gathered from story after story that the scammers told me. ‘If you failed to achieve even a single sale, they would extend your shift by two hours. Total slavery. Or, they would make people stand up and raise their hands,’ one call handler told me. ‘They tell you that you can’t go home even after your shift if you haven’t made three sales of $99 each,’ said another. In a darker example, one source told me that, ‘They said they will kidnap me if I asked them for my [pending] salary.’
Luxury for the masterminds
The founders of these companies come across as elusive figures who cultivate an aura of grandeur among their staff. ‘These people have a lot of money, they have contacts in high places, and they have arrangements with the police,’ Shantanu Banerjee told me. Most office-level scammers never get to meet their ultimate bosses. But, they are in awe of the lifestyle the self-professed ‘entrepreneurs’ flash in their Facebook photographs: luxury cars, late-night parties, exotic holidays, beautiful women. Between begging for their own salaries and craving the good life seen in these photos, many scammers realise that, like their victims, they, too, have been fed lies.
Guilty conscience
Some leave the profession with regrets about their past actions, and the victims they left in their wake. ‘What we did was wrong, because the software we sold people is freely available on the internet from Microsoft and others,’ said Aman Sivaram, a former support caller. ‘I am still unemployed, but would rather remain this way than to barter my integrity,’ Ramesh Pandey told me.
Others show no such signs of remorse, and leave the companies to launch their own scam outfits. Anshul Garg tells me he slaved at several call centres before joining a group of disgruntled employees to start their own tech support scam. It doesn’t take much to run a tech support scam, after all: a few tech-savvy people, a rented room, some phones, computers with basic software, and an international bank account.
While these scams remain such a thriving industry in India, consumers in the UK will be at risk. It’s more important than ever to be vigilant to such threats. The names in this report have been changed to protect the identities of those who have helped with this investigation.
Live Technician
A number of sources told us that they had previously worked for a company called Live Technician. We asked Samay Vashisth, CEO of Live Technician, to explain the conduct of his business, in light of the allegations made by its former staff, and following our own calls to its agents. No reports of physical threats had been made to us by any former Live Technician staff, but Vashisth confirmed that many staff salaries had gone unpaid. Vashisth denied his company made fraud support calls. ‘We do genuine business where people search for problems and call us and we sell our packages to them,’ Vashisth told us. ‘Then, we provide genuine service year after year.’ Vashisth said the tech support side of his business had been largely closed down, and it no longer dealt with UK customers.
We explained that we had recently called Live Technician, posing as a UK customer, and had been pushed pricey four-year support. His biography on the company website sits below effusive descriptions of how it provides ‘world-class technical assistance to consumers’. ‘We have a quality control team and we don’t sell anything forcefully,’ he told us. ‘A few agents may do this to get higher incentives, but they get punished if we find anyone doing this.’

We are the Cyber Champions

The certification of 21 new Cyber Champions has followed an event staged by Nuneaton & Bedworth Neighbourhood Watch Association (N&BNWA). All are active volunteers in their own localities serving their neighbours by helping protect them from harm.

When it first started in 982 its focus was very much on enabling neighbours, by banding together and working closely with their local police, to protect themselves from the impact of threats such as burglary, criminal damage and vehicle crimes. How things have changed! Although those original threats have not gone away the greatest current threat is cybercrime.

Responding to this developing threat began in earnest by N&BNWA followed a challenge issued at its 2015 AGM by then Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner Dr Eric Wood – “…… and what are you going to do about it?” We began by making use of DISC (Database & Intranet for Safer Communities) to improve the efficacy of our communication network.

This was followed in 2016 by the organisation, in conjunction with NW colleagues from across Warwickshire, of a Combating Cybercrime Conference. Its aim was that each of the five district NW associations would be able to develop and implement and effective action plan.

By early 2017 N&BNWA had developed and adopted a Combating Cybercrime Policy supported by an operable, rolling action plan. Alert messages and advisory cybersecurity information items are posted regularly on DISC, on Twitter @NunBed and on website www.nbnwa.net Very recently the launch of a Nuneaton wide network of interlinked, closed Facebook groups has considerable enhanced capability to successfully deliver the Combating Cybercrime Action Plan.

And following the Community Champion’s event, so excellently facilitated by Warwickshire County Council Cybercrime Advisor Sam Slemensk, N&BNWA now has a cadre of up-skilled volunteers to support the delivery of the action plan