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Facebook Privacy Check

Facebook can help you to review your privacy settings.

This feature is called Privacy Check-up and you can access it by clicking the small down triangle icon at the top right corner of the Facebook screen. You click “Settings and Privacy” then “Privacy Check-up”.

Things you can review in Privacy Checkup:

  • Advert preferences
  • Who can see what you share
  • How to keep your account secure
  • How people can find you on Facebook
  • Your data settings
  • How to keep your account secure

Everyone should go through these options carefully and restrict access to your account information, restrict who sees your posts and so on.

The less the criminals can see of your activity the safer. You do not strangers seeing your birthdate, phone number, relationship status etc.

The section on keeping your account secure contains good advice on having a strong password and turning on alerts means you will be warned if here is an unusual login to your account.

Many people use Facebook to login to other services – this saves on having extra logins but means Facebook knows a lot more about your activities. You can also review which APPS you have given permission to access your Facebook details. If you’re not sure why an APP needs that access then revoke that permission.

Stay safe on Facebook and periodically use the Privacy checker to make sure all is in order

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

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The Fake Next of Kin Scam

This is a common scam and is a variant of the Advance Fee Scam (also known as the 419 scam).

It is most commonly carried out by Nigerians or strangely by people from elsewhere but claiming to from Nigeria.

There is a story, sometimes pages of it, trying to explain how the sender is some kind of bank official or government official and they have control of bank accounts. One of which belongs to a recently deceased person with no next of kin and no official will. Here’s the con. The sender wants you to pretend to be the next of kin to the dead person and claim the inheritance, which you then split with the sender.

An example of this scam is an email from Mr. Konibally Kone, although he spells his name differently at places in the email so must be confused on who he is today.

His deceased client supposedly left $13.7 million which he and I can share as long as I follow his instructions.

He also promises it is totally safe as he has all the required legal documents.

Of course, he does not have an official email address – just a Gmail personal address in the name christpoher 654321.

All I have to do is reply with name, address, contact details, date of birth and Id document.

For anyone who does reply, the scam follows the standard pattern where he or she gets drawn into the scam and has to pay an unexpected but small amount for some purpose then another fee then another and so on till the victim realised there is no fortune, just a scammer taking their money.

Also, the scammers will likely sell your details to other criminals who carry out identity theft.

Money for nothing is always a scam and pretending to be the next of kin of someone dead is a pretty nasty thing to agree to.

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

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Who Are The Data Brokers ?

Data brokers, also known as information brokers, collect personal information, package it into bundles, and sell it to advertisers or other third parties.

On the Internet, we are effectively giving away huge amounts of personal information by using search engines, posting on social media, accessing websites that track us, using mobile phone APPS, buying and selling etc.

We give this information away freely and sometimes it’s used for our benefit but often to help businesses sell more to us and scammers to take from us.

Data brokerage relies on this freely available information that they can collect, package and sell on.

The largest of the data brokers are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion and it’s a multi billion dollar industry.

There are four main types of data brokerage:

  1. Marketing and advertising

This information lets the advertiser target what they believe are relevant adverts at you. Can lead to adverts for the same products following you around from web site to web site. Some people prefer to have targeted adverts rather than random ones, but many feel this intrusive.

  1. Financial information

This is essential at times e.g. when you want to take out a bank loan or a mortgage – the prospective lender needs to be able to check on your previous financial dealings to determine what level of risk you are.

This data is also used to prevent fraud.

  1. Personal health information

This more about Marketing than about any benefit to you. Companies want to know what medication you buy, what health supplements you use, what medical questions you search on etc.  in order to sell more health products and services to you.

  1. People Search

These companies look for any information on you that they can find (e.g. social media profiles and postings, companies house records etc.) and then sell to a wide range of businesses including political organisations, charities, Marketing companies and many more. There are numerous web sites where you can lookup individuals – usually they charge for more than basic information.

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

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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.

Pathetic.

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