The Chinacoin Scam

YuanPay Group has put a lot of money and effort into advertising itself as the creator of China’s first cybercurrency and the only one to be backed by the Chinese government. The adverts are all over social media.

It is true that China has been considering its own cyber currency for years and may well invent it’s own such currency.

Cyber currencies from elsewhere are all banned in China as the Chinese government does not want a currency in use over which it has no control and cannot identify who has the currency.

If and when they do create a Chinese cyber currency it will under government control and far from anonymous as most other cyber currencies are.

The advertising by YuanPay claims that anyone investing in Chinacoin now will receive a return of many thousands of times their investment within a few months.

Not going to happen!

If you want to invest in any cyber currency – do take professional advice and only spend what you can afford to lose, as they are notoriously volatile.

If you have any experiences with these cybercurrency scams do let me know, by email.

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Stupidest Spam of the Week Tinnitus Cure

Lots of scammers latch onto tinnitus as an illness suffered by large numbers of people and with no obvious cure in most cases.

So, they offer some magical instant remedy.

This latest one claims “Big Pharma and supplement producers don’t understand how this one researcher has finally figured out how to stop your tinnitus”.

“Doctors say this is the most important discovery of the century”.

You just have to watch a video to see the answer.

Obviously, if someone had discovered a magic answer to tinnitus, it would on the news, in the newspapers and everyone would know about it, rather than a scammer sending out mass emails to unknown people claiming an unknown magical effect invented by an army veteran.


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Startpage is a Dutch search engine company that highlights privacy as its distinguishing feature.

To learn about Startpage – go to

StartMail was founded in 2014 by the CEO of Startpage and was developed to offer an email service that offered full privacy.

It is a PGP-encrypted email service.

Startmail say:

·         We never read your email

  • We believe that your privacy is a basic human right worth fighting for.

·         Unlimited aliases

  • When you don’t want to share real email addresses, you can create temporary ones on the fly.

·         IMAP/SMTP compatible

  • You can use StartMail with your favourite email programs, like Outlook, Thunderbird, and Apple Mail.

·         Based in Europe

  • Dutch privacy laws and regulations are among the strictest in the world.

·         10 GB storage in a personal vault

  • No limit on the number of emails as long as its within that maximum storage

·         Use your own domain

  • Get StartMail security on your own domains or subdomains for professional, custom email addresses.

·         Easy setup for business

  • No software to download. No installation needed. We walk you through the easy setup in minutes.

·         Costs less than a coffee i.e. $5 per month.

So, it does cost but there is a free trial available so you can test drive the service.

There are various similar email services on the market, so if you’re looking for higher privacy levels than standard email, do look around and do your research.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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Internet Connected Household Devices

Increasingly, household devices connect to the Internet through your home wi-fi and share information, send notifications to you, give you access to video streams for example, take instructions from your smart phone and so on.

Smart speakers, smart doorbells, smart cameras and security devices, smart TV and even smart toilets are being more commonplace.

This can be great but can also be a security risk.

Setting up your device

Many of these devices effectively set themselves up and just need your wi-fi password to connect, but others need a complex setting up procedure.

When you buy such a device from a well-known computer maker then the device is very likely to have secure communications but devices from small fairly new manufacturers may have little or nothing to make them secure.

On initial setup, make sure to use a strong password and select any settings that increase security e.g. saying yes to data backups.

Some of these products e.g. security cameras may need you to create an online account and link that to the device and probably to your smart phone. Make sure to use a new strong password for this.

Consider the use of Two factor authorisation if the device offers this.

Disposing Safely of Your Device

Disposing Safely of Your Device

At end of life, there are extra considerations with these devices, that you don’t have to bother with for most household objects.

It’s like trying to dispose of a computer – what data is there on the device, or that the device can access that you do not want anyone else to see – confidential information, wi-fi password, video clips etc.

Make sure to delete any such data in a way that it cannot be recreated by anyone.

One simple answer may be the destruction of any internal data storage.

If you have any worrying experiences with these devices do let me know, by email.

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What is Doxing

Doxing means to analyse information posted online by someone in order to identify and later harass that person. It is typically used to shame or punish people who would rather stay anonymous, because of their controversial beliefs or because they are making trouble in some way.

Doxing can be called a cyber attack involving uncovering the real-world identity of an Internet user. The attacker then reveals that person’s details online. This can then lead to other people attacking the ‘victim’  online and this can be malicious.

However much we may wish to hide out r identity online, we all leave a trail of breadcrumbs that the determined investigator can use to try to find out our real identity.

Typical methods used to determine someone’s identity may include:–

  • searching publicly available databases
  • searching social media websites
  • hacking
  • social engineering.

The key point of doxing is to find and publish personal information about the victim but it can be done for a wide range of reasons, including: harassment, online shaming, extortion or vigilantism.


  1. Newsweek writer Leah McGrath Goodman revealed the identity of the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto although she was heavily criticized by some for her actions.

Some believe a journalist using doxing is crossing the legal line into harassment, by publishing information about an individual’s private life against their wishes.

  1. The Des Moines Register published racist tweets made by a 24-year-old Iowa man whose beer sign on ESPN College GameDay resulted in over $1 million in contributions to a children’s hospital, readers retaliated by sharing social media comments previously made by the reporter, Aaron Calvin, which contained racial slurs and condemnation of law enforcement.

The newspaper later announced that Calvin was no longer an employee.

3.   In July 2016, WikiLeaks released 300,000 e-mails called the Erdoğan emails (named after the Turkish leader). However, Included in the leak was a lot of personal information about Turkish citizens. The files were removed due to privacy concerns, as they included spreadsheets of private, sensitive information of voters.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email

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