The Mistaken Delivery Scam

A delivery arrives at your door – it’s a very expensive top of the range mobile phone.

You are surprised but not worried.

Then a courier arrives and tells you the package was delivered by mistake and he needs to return it.

Sounds reasonable and you hand over the package.

What has likely happened, is that a scammer has obtained your personal details and ordered the phone in your name and you have paid for it. Then they try to intercept the delivery before it gets to you but if they fail to do so then a fake courier turns up and asks for the package, supposedly to return it.

If you do receive a package with your name on that you didn’t order – check with the supplier whether it was ordered by you or someone else (possibly as a gift) and return the item to the supplier if it’s not for you.

You can also report this to the Police once you are certain it wasn’t ordered by someone you know.

To make this more complicated, if a scammer has opened an account in your name with your bank or credit card details then the supplier may not be legally allowed to tell you anything about the account – contact the Police.

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

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APP Shielding

When developers create a new APP and it becomes popular – there are hackers who want to get into the APP for one of several reasons

  1. The intellectual challenge of seeing how it works
  2. To understand how it works so they can create viruses or other malware that can attack it
  3. To find out if they can hijack the APP to do their bidding

An intellectual challenge isn’t threatening to others but the other reasons are criminal and it does happen that even APPS on APPLE and Android Pplay stores can be cheated by hackers and in some cases there has been a major loss of money and reputation as these problems come to light.

To prevent hackers getting into their APP, developers can use various coding techniques (called APP shielding), usually classified as

  1. Obfuscation and
  2. Integrity checks

APP shielding is important in many cases and especially with financial APPS.

App shielding is designed to prevent attackers from modifying your app during runtime or at rest, to protect your app’s memory, make app repackaging extremely complex, and provide additional protection against mobile malware.

What Can APP Shielding Do?

  • Prevents and effectively stops the most common types of cyber attacks on mobile apps.
  • Stop Mobile Malware
  • Advanced obfuscation and integrity checks prevents the APP being reverse-engineered which can lead to it being repackaged and released on the app marketplace under a new name.
  • Protect User Data
  • Stop untrusted keyboards, malicious screen readers or screen recorders from stealing the sensitive data, as well as the data leakage via user or system screenshots.

Recent research shows that :-

  • Of 1.7 million apps on the Google Play store, only 24.5% had any Code Protection.
  • 86% of Malware is delivered through APPS that have been re-packaged.

These numbers are of concern as we trust downloads from Google Play store and APPLE but maybe we shouldn’t be so trusting.

Increasingly, developers tool kits will contain code for implementing APP shielding, so it should become common practice for APP developers.

If you have any experience with APP shielding, do let me know, by email.

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Means of Identity Theft

Scams reported to the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) involving identity theft or the loss of personal/banking information have cost Australians at least $16 million in 2018 year and this figure is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Four in 10 Scamwatch reports to ACCC in 2019 involve attempts to gain information or the actual loss of victims’ information.

“If you think scammers might have gained access to your personal information, even in a scam completely unrelated to your finances, immediately contact your bank,” said ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard.

The most common ways scammers obtain personal or banking information are:

  • phishing emails and text messages which impersonate banks or utility providers seeking your login and password details
  • fake online quizzes and surveys
  • fake job advertisements
  • remote access scams in which the scammer has direct access to everything on your computer
  • sourcing information about you from social media platforms
  • direct requests for scans of your driver’s license or passport, often in the course of a dating and romance scam

“No one is really selling an iPhone for $1 or rewarding the completion of a survey with expensive electronic goods or large gift vouchers. They are scams to get your confidential information,” Ms Rickard said.

With the information, scammers can empty their victim’s bank accounts and take out tens of thousands of dollars in bank loans under victims’ names.

Lost personal information also leaves victims more susceptible to future scams as scammers will use the  information to seem more convincing in cold calls to perpetrate further scams.

If you have any experiences with identity theft do let me know, by email.

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The Money Magpie Website

Money Magpie is a site helping people to save money, manage their money and make money with small scale businesses including being paid for taking surveys.

MoneyMagpie say they are the UK’s leading self-help money site for those seeking a richer life – packed with fun and easy to understand articles, eBooks and videos on how to make money, save money and manage your money wisely.

It was founded in 2007 by journalist Jasmine Birtles, well-known for her appearances on popular day-time TV and radio shows and through her columns as a print journalist.

As well as a large section on how to make money, MoneyMagpie has a section on how to save money and one on how to manage your money. Here are the sub-sections under those headings:

  • Make Quick Money
  • Sell Your Stuff
  • Make Money at Home
  • Make Money Online
  • Hobbies & Skills
  • Job Search
  • Small Business Ideas
  • Lifestyle
  • Save Money Shopping
  • Find Home Bargains
  • Rip-Off Britain
  • Holidays & Entertainment
  • Technology & Transport
  • Competitions, Deals & Freebies
  • Budget Planner
  • Tax
  • Pensions
  • Credit Cards & Loans
  • Banking & Savings
  • Insurance
  • Investments
  • Mortgages
  • Benefits & Debt Assistance

MoneyMagpie also believe that many areas of life are important in being ‘rich’ e.g. The Clear Your Clutter campaign encourages people in Britain to think about what is important in their lives, to think big and have what is genuinely valuable in life while discarding what is tacky, temporary and wasteful, and to make a profit.

The ethos behind MoneyMagpie is that we live in a land of plenty, that there is enough for all and that whatever income you are on, there are always ways to have a rich life…often without money.

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