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Messages - spidy

Safety and Security / SCAMMER ALERTS.
March 07, 2019, 05:04:04 AM
Google Chrome has been found vulnerable to a zero-day vulnerability.

Hey there,

Google Chrome has been found vulnerable to a zero-day vulnerability for which there may be an active exploit in the wild. The vulnerability in question is assigned the CVE-2019-5786 number, and fortunately, it has been patched. More information here >>
Safety and Security / SCAMMER ALERTS.
February 25, 2019, 08:09:56 AM
Investment scam targets Instagram users.

Victims aged in their 20s have each lost an average of £8,900 after falling for investment scams that appear on image-sharing platform Instagram.
Action Fraud, a UK police-led awareness centre, said there had been a surge in activity in recent months by fraudsters posting about get-rich-quick schemes.
Victims are promised high returns within 24 hours, but the fraudsters demand fees and then disappear.
Some 356 reports of losses have been made in the past five months.
Those tricked lost a collective total of more than £3m, but more is expected to have been stolen as some victims may not have reported their losses.
The scam sees schemes advertised via the Instagram app. Those targeted are encouraged to transfer £600 and are promised almost instantaneous profits. Once the money is paid, they are sent images supposedly of profits building up in their accounts.
The fraudsters tell their victims to "invest" more, and that the money can be released for a fee, which is why losses can build to thousands of pounds.
However, they then they close the Instagram account, stop all contact, and disappear with the money.
Common scam
Investment fraudsters often use professional-looking images and may promise free research reports, special discounts and "secret" stock tips.
ZeroFox, a security company specialising in social media, previously told the BBC that it found more than two million public Instagram posts that push these types of scam, known as money-flipping.
Inspector Paul Carroll, of Action Fraud, said: "Opportunistic fraudsters are taking advantage of unsuspecting victims who are going about their day-to-day lives on social media."
He urged social media users never to send money to strangers only encountered online, to check financial matters with family members, to only deal with financial firms authorised by the regulator - the Financial Conduct Authority - and to report any cases of fraud.
Safety and Security / SCAMMER ALERTS.
February 10, 2019, 02:03:00 AM
Women 'victims in 63% of romance scams.

By Kevin Peachey Personal finance reporter

    • 5 hours ago
    Related Topics

      Image copyright Getty Images
      Victims of romance scams - the majority of whom are women - lost an average of £11,145 each last year, according to new figures.
      The data, from police reporting centre Action Fraud, showed that £50m was lost in these scams in 2018 when fraudsters pretend to be romantically attached.
      Fraudsters trick victims into sending money or gather enough personal information to steal their identities.
      These scams of the heart are being highlighted ahead of Valentine's Day.
      Police say that victims are targeted via online dating websites, apps, or through social media. Fraudsters use fake profiles to form a relationship with them.

        In 2018, 4,555 reports of romance fraud were made to Action Fraud. Total losses were up by 27% compared with the previous year. The total is likely to be higher as many victims are thought to have suffered in secret.
        The average age of a romance fraud victim is 50 and 63% of victims are women. They lose twice as much on average than males, Action Fraud said.
        Commander Karen Baxter, head of the City of London Police's economic crime department, said: "As cases of romance fraud increase each year, so too does the cost to victims, both emotionally and financially.
        "The emotional damage of falling victim to romance fraud can often be far more difficult to come to terms with."
        Dating site users are being urged not to take everything at face value.
        Many people who have been caught out have judged those they met online based on their social media profile, their job, or simply trusting them too soon.
        Online safety advice
        Image copyright Thinkstock

          • Criminals who commit romance fraud trawl through profiles and piece together information such as wealth and lifestyle, in order to manipulate their victims
          • Police can investigate and help to provide support, but often cannot get the money back
          • It is very simple for fraudsters to cover their tracks by masking IP addresses and using unregistered phone numbers
          • Never send money to someone online you have never met
          • Think twice about posting personal information which could be used to manipulate or bribe you
          Source: Action Fraud

          Facebook is throwing in the towel on Moments as the company kills off yet another of its apps. The photo-sharing app will close down on February 25, meaning there's just a month left for the service.

          If you're one of the relatively small number of users, you don't have long to grab a copy of the photos you want to save. Facebook has set up a special website to help you to download copies of your images.

          See also:

          Given the small user base for Moments, it is little wonder that Facebook is pulling the plug. There have not been updates in quite some time, so the writing really has been on the wall for a while. News of the impending closure was first reported by CNET which quotes a statement given by Rushabh Doshi, director of product management for Moments.

          He says:

          We're ending support for the Moments app, which we originally launched as a place for people to save their photos. We know the photos people share are important to them so we will continue offering ways to save memories within the Facebook app.

          If you have photos that you want to keep, you'll have to visit Facebook's new site to Export Your Moments. From here you can download photos to a device of your choice or save them as a Facebook photo album. Facebook says that this option will be available until May this year.
          Safety and Security / SCAMMER ALERTS.
          January 14, 2019, 10:06:52 PM
          Beware FAKE SD cards.

          How to identify counterfeit SanDisk microSDHC (microSD) Memory Cards
          SanDisk: microSDHC (microSD) Memory Cards

          Edited: Dec 22, 2018
          Product Information:
          According to reports from Sandisk, one third of all memory cards on the market are counterfeit.

          Many buyers of counterfeit products find that branded SanDisk cards are actually re-branded inferior quality cards or cards of smaller capacity.

          All genuine SanDisk memory cards should have a serial number and a manufacturing country's identity. You can not determine the authenticity of a Sandisk card from an internet stock photo.

          You can not determine the actual memory capacity of a counterfeit memory card by simply viewing the capacity displayed by your computer, phone or camera. Counterfeiters fraudulently overwrite the cards internal memory with a false capacity which will display a false capacity on your device. Actual memory must be checked with a test program.

          To check if your Micro SD drive has the capacity and speed stated, "H2testw" is a simple tool that is distributed for free, and offers a very simple, easy-to-use interface. The program can be used by anyone who wants to know how their actual product compares to others, the real capacity and the amount of errors that can be detected on the product.

          The Secure Digital "SD" standard is maintained by the SD Association (SDA). The Secure Digital format includes four card families; the original Standard-Capacity (SDSC), the High-Capacity (SDHC), the eXtended-Capacity (SDXC), and the SDIO. The cards are available in three form factors; original, mini size, and micro size.

          It is not unusual to find counterfeit and generic cards with memory substantially below what is printed on the card. If you don't check your purchase, you may lose content or damage your equipment.

          The Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) format is defined in version 2.0 of the SD specification, and supports cards with capacities up to 32 GB.

          SanDisk offers responsive and excellent support through their online customer service.

          Safety and Security / SCAMMER ALERTS.
          January 08, 2019, 05:32:38 PM
          Don't Be a Mule.
          FBI Joins International Campaign to Stop Money Mules.

          The ask comes through a job posting or from someone you meet online. It seems simple and harmless enough: provide your bank account information and allow money transfers to flow into your account. Then move the money elsewhere and maybe earn a little cash for the trouble. Easy, painless, profitable. Right?

          Wrong. You are likely aiding criminals by acting as a money mule, which can land you in prison and permanently damage your financial standing.

          The FBI is joining with law enforcement partners worldwide to raise awareness of and curtail this illegal movement of funds, which is fueling the growth of crimes across the globe.

          The FBI defines a money mule as a person who transfers illegally acquired money on behalf of or at the direction of another. Money mules often receive a commission for the service or provide assistance because they believe they have a trusting or romantic relationship with the individual who is asking for help.

          Much of the money moved through these third-parties is stolen through Internet-enabled frauds, thefts, and scams. Drug trafficking and human trafficking are also common sources of the money. While some money mules may be genuinely unaware of their involvement in a larger criminal scheme, many fully understand they are moving money attained from unlawful activities. All mules, whether unaware or complicit, are committing a crime.

          "Money mules are needed to help move stolen money from country to country, avert the scrutiny of financial institutions, and mask the identity of the individuals involved in these largely Internet-enabled crimes," said Special Agent James Abbott of the Bureau's Money Laundering, Forfeiture, and Bank Fraud Unit at FBI Headquarters. "Being able to easily move the profits from these crimes contributes to their rapid growth and threatens the safety and security of everyone who has a presence online."

          "It's crucial to understand that what may look to be the harmless movement of money from place to place is anything but harmless."
          James Abbot, special agent, FBI Money Laundering, Forfeiture, and Bank Fraud Unit
          The FBI recently conducted more than 300 interviews with individuals who had been flagged by financial institutions for activity that indicated they were acting as money mules. The stories they relayed to FBI agents help draw a picture of how these individuals, who span every race, gender, and age demographic, are recruited and used:

          • A female who worked in early childhood education met a man on an online dating site. He was kind to her and told her he worked for a children's charity. A few weeks after they began communication, the man asked her to receive some money into her account for his charity. Over the next several weeks, he attempted to wire a total of $250,000 into her account. He then instructed her to wire the money into other bank accounts or obtain cashier's checks and mail them to individuals at his direction.
          • On another dating website, a man met another man who claimed he was a captain in the U.S. Army, stationed overseas. The "Army captain" told the man he was trying to arrange his travel home to the United States and needed the man's assistance in receiving some money and sending it elsewhere. The man had $10,000 wired into his account and was instructed to withdraw the money in small chunks and send it to a woman in Texas.
          • A retired advertising executive who was looking to earn some extra money found a "work at home" opportunity online. He was hired and then directed to create a business and open a new bank account for that business. He was then told he'd receive a series of deposits and would be instructed where to send the money. He believed the business was facilitating importing and exporting.
          These individuals were all likely unaware that what they were doing was illegal or damaging. The money they pledged to move, however, may have been funneled through phishing scams or business email compromise schemes, leaving untold victims in their wake. "It's crucial to understand," Abbott said, "that what may look to be the harmless movement of money from place to place is anything but harmless."

          Learn more about money mules and help raise awareness by sharing the facts through #DontBeAMule.

          View booklet

          Signs You May Be Acting as a Money Mule
          • You received an unsolicited email or contact over social media promising easy money for little to no effort.
          • The "employer" you communicate with uses web-based email (such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, or Outlook).
          • You are asked to open up a bank account in your own name or in the name of a company you form to receive and transfer money.
          • As an employee, you are asked to receive funds in your bank account and then "process funds" or "transfer funds" via a wire transfer, ACH, mail, or money service business (such as Western Union or MoneyGram).
          • You are allowed to keep a portion of the money you transfer.
          • Your duties have no specific job description.
          • Your online companion, whom you have never met in person, asks you to receive money and, subsequently, forward the funds to an individual you do not know.
          How to Protect Yourself
          • A legitimate company will not ask you to use your own bank account to transfer their money. Do not accept any job offers that ask you to do this.
          • Be wary when an employer asks you to form a company in order to open up a new bank account.
          • Never give your financial details to someone you don't know and trust, especially if you met them online.
          • Be wary when job advertisements are poorly written with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
          • Be suspicious when the individual you met on a dating website wants to use your bank account for receiving and forwarding money.
          • Perform online searches to check the information from any solicitation emails and contacts.
          • Ask the employer, "Can you send a copy of the license/permit to conduct business in my county or state?"
          How to Respond
          • If you have received solicitations of this type, do not respond to them and do not click on any links they contain. Inform your local police or the FBI.
          • If you believe that you are participating in a money mule scheme, stop transferring money immediately and notify your bank, the service you used to conduct the transaction, and law enforcement.
          Safety and Security / SCAMMER ALERTS.
          January 07, 2019, 08:11:56 AM
          This is what a Social Security scam sounds like.

          December 27, 2018
          Jennifer Leach
          Acting Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC
          Earlier this month, we told you about a growing scam: people pretend to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and try to get your Social Security number or your money. That scam is now growing exponentially. To compare: in 2017, we heard from 3,200 people about SSA imposter scams, and those people reported losing nearly $210,000. So far THIS year: more than 35,000 people have reported the scam, and they tell us they've lost $10 million.

          Here's what one of those scam calls sound like:

          "Audio in the link"

          Scammers are saying your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended because of suspicious activity, or because it's been involved in a crime. Sometimes, the scammer wants you to confirm your SSN to reactivate it. Sometimes, he'll say your bank account is about to be seized – but he'll tell you what to do to keep it safe. (Often, that involves putting your money on gift cards and giving him the codes – which, of course, means that your money is gone.)

          Oh, and your caller ID often shows the real SSA phone number (1-800-772-1213) when these scammers call – but they're faking that number. It's not the real SSA calling.

          Here's what to know:

          • Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. You don't have to verify your number to anyone who calls out of the blue. And your bank accounts are not about to be seized.
          • SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer. Every time.
          • The real SSA number is 1-800-772-1213, but scammers are putting that number in the caller ID. If you're worried about what the caller says, hang up and call 1-800-772-1213 to speak to the real SSA. Even if the wait time is long, confirm with the real SSA before responding to one of these calls.
          • Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Or your bank account or credit card number.
          If you get one of these calls, tell the FTC at
          Safety and Security / SCAMMER ALERTS.
          January 07, 2019, 12:25:12 AM
          The Australian tax office is issuing warnings about tax scams.
          Scammers are contacting people with threats and aggressive demands pretending to be from the tax office.
          The ATO will NEVER ask for money over the phone or via the internet.

          The scammers are demanding money or payment via money transfers or iTunes cards. This is not how the ATO operates.

          Please be careful with any messages pretending to be from the tax office. If in doubt use your phone book to check and contact the real tax office to confirm any message you receive.

          Do not fall for these scams, invest in a phone call to verify.
          Safety and Security / SCAMMER ALERTS.
          January 06, 2019, 10:28:15 PM
          There seems to be an increase in 'cold call' scammers in Australia and elsewhere. Reports are coming in of offshore syndicates run by Americans, Britons and Canadians targeting people with increasingly sophisticated cold call scams.

          The scams typically involve 'brokers' spruiking shares in international companies. Unfortunately the 'shares' just do not exist. Losses are being shown as over 100million in Australian dollars with money being transferred to 15 countries.

          Indications are that Australia has become the number 1 target of cold call investment scams based in The Philippines.

          There have also been calls from a supposed law firm in Switzerland telling a scam victim that money had been recovered from a bitcoin wallet and saying that under Swiss law there was a 3% recovery fee.

          Please take care on ANY deals over the internet as they can so easily be scams.
          Yes it is one of the low things that scammers do.  It is sad to see a pensioner lose all their money to these low life parasites. We are working to stop them.

          Fortunately the numbers of scammers being arrested is increasing.
          News & Announcements / HAPPY NEW YEAR!
          December 31, 2018, 06:42:39 PM
          HAPPY NEW YEAR!

          A safe and prosperous new year to all our valued members. Thank you all for your help last year.


          Elderly people are "under siege" from sophisticated and persistent scammers, a charity claims.
          These include mail order, online and phone frauds, with some claiming to be HMRC or the police and threatening arrest, Age Cymru said.
          It estimates up to 150,000 older people across Wales are conned each year, for an average of £1,200 each.
          Margaret Smeed, 84, was bombarded with calls from companies after ordering Christmas gifts through a catalogue.
          South Wales Police, which is working with the charity to help identify and support elderly victims of fraud, said the scams were getting increasingly sophisticated.
          Insp Cheryl Griffiths said the force had seen an increase in the number of scammers claiming to be from the HMRC, saying the victim has not paid their tax bill.
          "They'll tell them if the bill isn't paid then a warrant will be issued for their arrest," she said.

          More in the link.
          News & Announcements / MERRY CHRISTMAS.
          December 23, 2018, 10:13:11 PM
          A very merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous new year to all our members.

          Thank you for your support.


          The Adobe Flash Player has been found to contain a critical security bug along with another high-impact vulnerability. The issues are being tracked in the CVE-2018-15982 and attacks using these weaknesses have already been reported. All users using the Flash Player should update their installations as soon as possible to avoid being hacked.

          It specifically mentions Mac as well as Linux as well as windows.
          Entertainment Zone / VERY funny.
          December 15, 2018, 08:50:21 PM
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