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Warning – Web Coin Mining on Your PC

For normal physical currencies, each country has an appointed currency maker – such as The Royal Mint in the UK that makes currency for the UK and several other counties. But with cyber currencies – who makes it and how?

The creation of new coins is called “mining” and involves large amounts of computer processing and this increases as more currency is created. For Bitcoin, the effort involved in making new currency means very few can manage it.

But, if you could somehow spread that computer processing demand out among thousands or even millions — of unknowing user’s computers, it would make mining a lot cheaper and possibly quicker.

This is exactly what some websites are doing. They use your CPU to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin without your knowledge.

This can happen to you simply from visiting a website that uses JavaScript to start using your CPU for processing.

There are other methods but this is the most common and can be avoided if your browser has JavaScript disabled – but that will also block the functionality on some popular websites.

How to know if this has happened to your computer?

It’s not easy to identify unless your PC is suddenly very very slow and the CPU seems extremely busy while doing nothing.

Some websites can quietly use your CPU to mine cryptocurrency and they limit they effect on your work so you wouldn’t know unless you went out of your way to find out.

On a windows PC you can press CTRL, ALT and DELETE at the same time then select Task manager and see the CPU utilisation levels.

But if in doubt, the easiest remedy is to reboot your computer.

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Facebook Blocks Fake News

Fake news is bad for everyone and Facebook has woken up to the fact that it’s bad for them as well.

Facebook say they are making significant investments to stop fake news from spreading and to promote high-quality journalism and news literacy.

Facebook’s New Strategy

  1. Remove accounts and content that violate the Community Standards or advertisement policies
  2. Reduce the distribution of fake news and inauthentic content, such as clickbait
  3. Inform people by giving them more context on the posts they see.


Fact-checking is a key part of the strategy to ensure that what you see on Facebook is accurate and from a trustworthy source. Facebook will make use of specialist third-party fact-checking organisations globally (approved by the International Fact-Checking Network).

These organisations work around the clock to help identify misleading content. When they flag something as being false, Facebook rank the story significantly lower in News Feed. On average, this reduces future views of the offending content by more than 80%. They’re also using the information provided by these fact-checkers to improve the technology to identify potential fake news articles even faster in the future.

Fake Accounts

Fake accounts violate Facebook policies, so, once they are spotted, they are deleted. If a Facebook Page violates the requirement that people use their real identities and not impersonate others, it will be taken down, eliminating all of the misleading content. They’re hiring more reviewers and developing new AI tools all the time to detect and deactivate fake accounts quicker than ever before.


Facebook use many signals to work out which articles are likely to be clickbait, spam or fake news. Anything determined to be disreputable is de-ranked. This means they appear much lower down in your News Feed and you are far less likely to see them. Facebook use machine learning to continually hone the algorithms to help spot fake news, seek it out and reduce your chance of seeing it. This means the things at the top of your News Feed are more likely to be reputable, trustworthy and things you want to see.

Background Information on Articles and Publishers

Facebook will give you background information about the content in your News Feed. You’ll be noticing that articles are starting to come with a context button that gives you more details about the publisher.

They’ve also started to roll out a feature globally called Related Articles, which displays other sources discussing the same topic as any given article in your News Feed. These Related Articles have all been verified by the third-party fact-checkers and allow you to read around a subject and decide for yourself what to believe. If a fact-checker rates a story as false and you try to share it, you’ll be presented with other articles reporting on the same subject.

Stop the Flow of Money

A lot of the misinformation on Facebook is financially motivated. Publishers of fake news are often hoping that people will click on their stories and visit their sites, so they can make money from the ads they show there. Facebook are trying to make this practice unprofitable. They’re penalising fake news, clickbait, links that are shared by spammers and links to low-quality websites (also known as “ad farms”).

Publishers who are known to frequently share false information are also forbidden from running ads or using the other monetisation features, such as Instant Articles. Making fake news unprofitable should slow down it’s spread considerably and reduce the motives for creating it.

Well done Facebook – shame it took you so long to wake-up.

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Whatsapp Ryanair Scam

WhatsApp users are being put on alert about a scam offering free Ryanair flights.

Ryanair have warned their customers by tweeting that this is a fraud and there are no free flights.

The hoax message, which is being circulated on the APP, features the Ryanair logo right at the top which makes it look authentic.

The message claims the offer is only for today so as to pressurise the reader to act and gives a countdown of the number of tickets remaining.

The message says: “Congratulations! You have qualified to obtain 2 Free Tickets!”.

The WhatsApp scam then asks victims to share the hoax message with 15 of their friends or groups to spread the fake offer further.

The user must then input their details to obtain the tickets.

This just a phishing scam – there are no tickets but if you do input your details, the scammer can sell that information to other fraudsters.

Ryanair are clear that this is s just a scam.

“Ryanair is not active on WhatsApp and the only place to win Ryanair flights is on our official Facebook and Twitter accounts, both of which have the ‘blue tick’ verification”.

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FBI Charge 6 Over Nigerian 419 Scam

Six people charged in Houston in $7 million international investment scam.

The charges against the six individuals were for their participation in an elaborate international advance fee and money laundering scheme. The scheme involved the impersonation of Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T) and JPMorgan Chase (Chase) executives, the fabrication of U.S. government documents, the creation of fraudulent investment agreements in the name of BB&T and Chase and the purchase of luxury vehicles to launder the proceeds of the scheme.

The Scam

The scammers impersonated U.S. bank officials and financial consultants over the Internet and by phone and conned the victims into thinking they would receive millions of dollars of investment funding as part of joint ventures with U.S. banks, usually BB&T or Chase.

The scamers used fake Internet domains to make it appear that senders of emails were actually affiliated with BB&T or Chase.

To convince victims the opportunities were authentic, the perpetrators recruited U.S. citizens to pose as bank “representatives” at in-person meetings with victims around the world and outside of the USA  they used sham visits to the local U.S. embassy or consulate and fabricated U.S. government documents to make the victims believe the U.S. government was sponsoring the investment agreements.

The victims were then induced to pay tens of thousands, and often hundreds of thousands, of dollars to U.S.-based bank accounts on the belief that such payments were necessary to complete their investment agreements.

Money movers in the U.S. liquidated the proceeds through outgoing wire transfers to exporters, cash withdrawals and purchases of vehicles, including luxury brands such as Land Rover and Mercedes Benz, which were then shipped to Nigeria.

Recovery of Funds

The scheme resulted in losses of more than $7 million from victims in more than 20 countries.

To date, a house in Richmond, a Range Rover car and approximately $200,000 in cash have been seized.

Well done the FBI.

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The Solar Panels Scam

Solar panels make a lot of sense as a way to reduce your electricity bills – if you live in a climate suitable for generating electricity from the sun all year round.

But in the UK, it is hard for anyone to benefit from solar panels as the upfront cost will almost always outweigh any savings.

In the UK, you see adverts for solar panels for your home – “never pay an electricity bill again”. “The power companies will pay you” and so on.

Emails, text messages and worst of all – doorstep sales men and women to convince you that installing solar panels on your roof will can save you a fortune and end the need to pay electricity bills.

They realise that most people cannot afford the upfront costs of £8,000 – £12,000 for purchase and installation of the solar panels, so they work with loan companies and offer you loans to cover that.

BUT, the loans are not cheap and although the solar panels can reduce your electricity bills during the summer months, the cost of the loan outweighs that.

People find they are trapped in probably a 10 year loan and rather than benefitting financially from the installation, are having to pay more than ever.

If you live in the UK and want to consider installing solar panels, then do check the figures very closely and factor in loan costs.

Have you fallen for the sales pitch or know someone who has? Let me know.

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Scam List

The Comparitech website has a comprehensive list of common scams at

Scammers keep thinking up new ways to steal our property, money or identity but most scams are rehashed versions of old scams.

Everything from Advance Fee scams to Charity scams to Phishing scams to Scam Compensation Scams to Stock Market Pump and Dump scams.

If something seems too good to be true then chances are it’s a scam.

Keep your money and your identity safe.

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The Parisian Gold Ring Scam


Paris is a beautiful city and generally it’s a very safe city to visit.

But it does have some notorious scams that regularly happen to tourists.



You’re walking along noticing the sights and see someone apparently pick up something from the ground.

They seem to have a ring and they come over to you and show their good fortune as they’ve just found a gold ring on the ground.

They ask if it’s yours.


Then they offer to sell it to you for maybe 50 Euros.

If you’re not interested then the price drops and keeps dropping as they will probably agree to just 10 Euros for the ring.

But even that is a bad deal as the ring is just cheap metal with gold colouring.

Don’t pay these scammers anything.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

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