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UK Mystery Shopper

Respectable websites carry adverts for UK Mystery Shopper.

Such as a picture of the Aldi supermarket sign plus the words “Free £100 Voucher”

Sounds interesting but it’s a link to the UK Mystery Shopper website where the story is rather different.

UK Mystery Shopper describes itself as a website where consumers can access and read our member’s reviews of some of the UK’s most popular restaurants and stores.

Surprisingly there are very few reviews to be read.

The sales lines follow:

  • Earn £10 per hour with our jobs.
  • Mystery Shopping Jobs Giveaway £100 in free shopping if selected.
  • Free food shopping

And so on

There is an APPLY Now button. Simply enter your details and they’ll let you know if you’ve been chosen as a mystery shopper.

But you have to pay £34 to register.

Why?

If you have to pay to register an interest in a job then it’s a scam.

What do you get for your £34?

They may send you a list of companies that supposedly use mystery shoppers.

But the companies that do this are easily found on the Internet and they pay peanuts because there are so many people who want these jobs.

Is this in effect an illegal lottery where hundreds or thousands of people pay £34 but there’s little payout or maybe occasionally someone gets a voucher.

Not a good deal. Better to play the actual lottery.
As for getting a job through them as a mystery shopper – there’s probably more chance of winning a jackpot on the lottery.

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The TPS APP to Block Cold Callers

TPS Logo

TPS stands for Telephone Preference Service.

This service was setup by the government to let people register that they don’t want cold calls and any reputable Marketing organisation has to abide by the rule not to call anyone registered on TPS.

Now, there is an APP to make it simpler on your smart phone.

What does the smartphone app TPS Protect do?

For every call you receive, it can give an indication of how trustworthy that call is.

  • If TRUST = 1 then it has identified the call as untrustworthy or potentially a scam
  • If TRUST = 5 then it has identified the call as from a trusted caller

You choose the level of TRUST to accept.

You can also choose what categories of calls to accept.

  • Do you want to block all nuisance calls from accident claims providers?
  • Do you want to accept all calls from charities? That’s your choice.

If you receive a call you think should be blocked, then you register a complaint on your APP.

Also, by making a complaint you help the TPS and industry regulators to take action against nuisance callers, and help protect others using TPS Protect.

As the app relies on the feedback of its users, the more who download and use this app and report incoming nuisance calls, the better the service will be.

TPS Protect has free services:-

  • Incoming Call Screening
  • Number lookup and reporting
  • Simple TPS registration

TPS Protect also has paid for subscription services

  • Divert nuisance calls to voicemail
  • Personal block List
  • Personal Approved List
  • Greater control via custom settings

When you first download the app you will have access to the paid-for features, including call diverts to voicemail, manage a Block and Approved List, and Custom Settings for 60 days. Once the free period has expired you can renew your subscription for 99p per month.

It’s a shame you have to pay for those extra services but better than having adverts as the makers have to fund the development somehow.

Do you have an opinion on this matter? Please comment in the box below.

Time-Wasters Update

So, what rubbish emails and calls have there been to Brooklands Radio station in the last few days?

An email from Sara asking for full-time work or to be an intern in order to gain experience in the field. But she has no idea who we are or what we do so it’s just a scam.

Another message supposedly from Whatsapp (there’s a few of these every week) telling us our trial subscription has ended. But we don’t have such a subscription so it cannot be ending and the email is from lifeteen.com which always means it’s a scam.

Mr. A James Lyon offering a free mortgage review. But he works for a Marketing company so he’s just trying to find leads to sell to mortgage companies. No thanks.

This email starts ”Did You hear the News?” and goes on about a man assaulted at a bar as he tried to collect his 5th winnings on the lottery. A surprising but still pitiful attempt to claim someone knows the secret to winning the lottery. It’s simple – the more you play the more chance you have of winning. But also the more you play the more you lose is the general experience.

Now a man who had discovered the secret that Big Pharma has tried to keep from us – the  cure for diabetes. Nope. The scammers only secret is their identity while they try to con money from people.

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Research on Mass Marketing Fraud

There is a project led by Professor Monica Whitty of the University of Warwick and it involves a number of Universities, enforcement agencies and private sector businesses.

Project Outline:

The DAPM (Detecting and Preventing Mass Marketing Fraud) project will develop novel techniques to detect and prevent online mass marketing fraud (MMF), a major and growing problem that generates significant social anxiety and psychological impact. DAPM will establish new foundations for:

  • Detecting assumed identities and persuasive messaging used by fraudsters
  • Delivering much needed insights into the psychological and technical factors that lead to poor decision-making on the part of existing and prospective victims of such frauds

Through a multi-disciplinary approach and close focus on co-designing solutions collaboratively and testing them ‘in the wild’, the project will generate not only new scientific understanding of the anatomy of MMF, but also tools and techniques that can form the basis of practical interventions in tackling such fraud.

Importantly, this work brings together academic and non-academic partners. Each organisation has different knowledge to share and can tackle the problem using different methods. Combining academic research with technical knowledge provides much greater capability to prevent and detect MMF.

The outcomes of this project will enable:

  • Increased trust in the digital economy by citizens due to developed science around MMF detection and prevention
  • Improvements in public safety and fewer victims of MMF crime.

Changes in industry tactics and public policy around detection and prevention of MMF

This sounds impressive and potentially very useful in the fight against scammers.

Background

Mass Marketing Fraud is a serious, complex and organised crime. Examples include foreign lotteries, advanced-fee scams and romance scams. Some are low value, one-off scams involving large numbers of victims; others involve developing a relationship where money is defrauded over time. The internet has opened up a vast array of opportunities for criminals to target potential victims and to trick people into making financial transfers in the name of charity, investment or love.

In the UK Action Fraud estimate that less than 10% of victims actually report this type of crime. Victims are unlikely to recover losses, offenders are often not caught and many victims are affected psychologically – often to a degree outweighing the financial loss.

Go to https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/research/csc/research/dapm/ for further information.

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New Internet Domain Names

Brooklands Radio is obviously a radio station and the new Internet domain “.radio” has come available.

So in theory we could buy the domain name BrooklandsRadio.radio or Brooklands.radio or something similar if we wanted to.

“.radio” is an example of a domain name suffix or top level domain as they are called.

Many of these such as .com or .co.uk can be bought by anyone for maybe £5 – £20 per year.

And some are incredibly valuable such as Google.com or Microsoft.com or bbc.co.uk.

Some have protected registrations which means you can only own the domain if it is relevant to your business.  “.radio” is protected so only radio stations and business in the field of radio can buy such a domain name.

Why is there a need to protect domains? There are unfortunately a lot of people (claim jumpers) who buy domain names they think will be valuable then try to sell them at a profit to someone who needs that one.

If .radio was not protected then someone could buy up the domain bbc.radio for example and then sell it at an extortionate price to the BBC if they wanted it.  This can prevent people getting the domain names that they should have for their business.

Some of the recent new top level domains coming to market are

.charity.com

.theatre.com

.rugby.com

.smile.com

.motorcycles.com

.rsvp .com

.dad .com

.kid.com

.seek.com

And so on.

There’s a world of new domain names to choose from. But most businesses still use .com as it’s so well known.