Category: Fight Back

The Banking Protocol Scheme

Under the Banking Protocol scheme, branch staff are trained to detect the warning signs that someone is being scammed and make an emergency call to the police. Police will then visit the branch to investigate the suspected fraud and arrest any suspects still on the scene.

The scheme has now prevented £116 million in scams since it was introduced three years ago.

The Banking Protocol allows bank branch staff to contact police if they suspect a customer is in the process of being scammed, with police making an immediate priority response to the branch. This can prevent customers from falling victim to fraud, while allowing police to catch the fraudsters in the act.

Over 100 suspected fraudsters were arrested through the initiative in the first half of this year. These range from rogue traders who demand cash for unnecessary work on people’s property, to courier scam fraudsters who persuade their victims take out a large sum of cash and hand it over to someone posing as a courier.

Customers would first be asked by the bank to visit their local branch to complete the transaction, enabling branch staff to carry out additional checks and use the Banking Protocol if necessary. However, if the customer is unable to visit their bank branch, for example if they are vulnerable or have a disability, staff would be able to directly alert the local police who will make a visit to the customer’s home and assess whether they have fallen victim to a scam.

These scams will only stop when the banks make it too difficult for them to succeed.

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

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Fact Checking Websites

It’s not difficult to build a website that copies or is similar to an established news website — and it’s easy to then post from it onto social media to encourage people to click to get to what they think is a reputable web site but may be the opposite.

Information can spread really fast but not as fast as conspiracy theories and fake news.

There is so much fake news, misinformation and conspiracy theory  around and it’s up to each of us to filter the ‘information’ we take in. Judge everything in it’s context and how trustworthy the source is.

Anyone can publish anything they want subject to libel laws.

Here are some sites that can help identify the truth in amongst the dross and lies.

The BBC Reality Check

www.bbc.com/news/reality_check

This is quality journalism looking at recent claims by high profile figures and analysing the truth or lack of in their statements.

The BBC say “Worried about a story you’ve seen online or on social media? BBC Reality Check is a BBC News service dedicated to clearing up fake news and false stories to find the truth. Examining the facts and claims behind a story to try to determine whether or not it is true”.

Snopes    (www.snopes.com/fact-check/)

Probably the oldest fact-checking site online is Snopes, which has been fact-checking weird stories since before Google had a search engine. They have a long record of being unbiased, showing their work, and keeping up the irreverent tone that true internet nerds love. They’re also great for everything from urban myths to political statements.

FactCheck.org (www.factcheck.org/)

If one of your hobbies is fact-checking the things politicians say, then FactCheck.org can be a big help. The site is a non-partisan “‘consumer advocate’ for voters” that monitors and checks the things people in politics say in “TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.”

Politifact (www.politifact.com/)

Politifact is another one for fact-checking what politicians say.

Washington Post Fact Checker (www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/)

Plenty of expert analysis alongside the fact-checking.  The publication tends to lean liberal, but this tool has a reputation for being non-partisan. They also have a funny Pinocchio graphic that gauges just how big the lie really is.

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

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KB Was Married to a Scammer

A post by K.B. Beaumaarks

I am an educated professional with an upper level income. My scams occurred not with an outsider but a partner…. yep first with my ex-husband who was a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine – a “trustworthy profession”.  I was blinded by the scammer that he was.

My point is to trust your gut no matter who the person is. If it feels wrong…. chances are it is wrong.

I had met my ex husband as a client with the many rescue dogs I had.

Started a whirlwind romance (not knowing he wasn’t divorced yet) and eventually marrying him. We built a very successful practice together and when it came down to whose name everything went in, he convinced me to put it all in his corporation name stating I was not allowed because I was not a doctor….. meanwhile he stockpiled and hid money from me.

He asked me to sign so many papers regarding corporate taxes etc and I trusted him. He was my husband. Our accountant was our friend. Long story short, eventually I caught him embezzling our life savings and planning on running away to an island without me.

Once I discovered this, I let the courts take over. How could a spouse do this to me. We were married…….

I have written a book called The Preah Secrets and it deals with my veterinary husband and how I discovered his heist and how I followed my gut to eventually discover his intentions of deceit. I prepared and eventually sought justice for myself. I hope the book inspires others to follow their instincts and remember, scams can happen to anyone by anyone.

The book is available at Amazon and other places.

Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment.

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Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) protects you online by encrypting all data transferring from your device to the Internet and back.

This means that no-one can snoop on your online activities, not even your Internet Service Provider.

Of course, if you login on social media, retail websites etc. they can track you on their sites.

This is especially important if you’re using public Wi-Fi as they can be used by criminals to collect data on you. Using a VPN protects against this.

A VPN will also hide your IP address. Many websites and streaming services use your IP address to control what you can access. Through a VPN you can choose to connect from a different country if you wish.

The Way a VPN Works

Essentially you connect to the VPN, to whichever of their hubs in whichever country you wish and all of your Internet traffic is directed through their servers where the data is encrypted. Likewise any traffic from the Internet returning to your is also encrypted.

You will appear to be connecting to the Internet at one of the VPN provider’s IP addresses.

Most VPN providers also have a ‘no logs’ policy whereby they don’t keep any records of the data through their system and hence even if hacked – nothing except your profile could be found.

Using a VPN may slow down your Internet access marginally but is unlikely to be an issue as VPN providers need to have fast systems to stay in business.

In practice the only noticeable difference for users of VPNs is that when starting up a PC the VPN will connect automatically so you can it.

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

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The 38 Degrees Campaigns

https://home.38degrees.org.uk

38 Degrees is one of the UK’s biggest campaigning communities, with millions of members.

Campaigns

16,344

Total Actions Taken

39,649,749

 

38 Degrees say they are independent of all political parties. They are driven by issues and outcomes, and judge all politicians by the same standards regardless of what party they belong to.

They don’t take money from political parties, government or big business.  The campaigns are powered by small donations from thousands of 38 Degrees members averaging about £12 per donation.

If you have an idea to make your community, or the country, a better place, Campaigns by You helps you make it a reality. 38 Degrees let everyone create petitions, organise meetings, and win campaigns on the issues close to their hearts.

38 Degrees launched in 2009 and has several million people involved in the campaigns.

Highlights

  1. They helped stop the government’s plans to sell off our ancient national forests.
  2. They stopped plans for a massive mega-dairy in Lincolnshire.
  3. They stopped Donald Trump’s plans to build a golf course at the expense of families in Menie, Scotland, who were at risk of eviction.
  4. They also helped convince the government to sign up to the EU Directive on human trafficking.
  5. They forced the 2012 Olympic sponsors not to dodge their tax.
  6. They stopped eBay from selling illegal bee-killing pesticides.
  7. They helped make sure plans to cover up investigations into MPs expenses were scrapped.

Current campaigns

38 Degrees members campaign on a variety of different issues all year round – from keeping privatisation out of our NHS, to keeping libraries open, to stopping Murdoch’s power grab of BSkyB. They say they are concerned with defending fairness, protecting rights, promoting peace, preserving the planet and deepening democracy.

  • Provide a British Sign Language interpreter for Daily Government Briefings
  • End Our National Cladding Scandal
  • Urgently commit to doing more for all healthcare staff
  • Take real action on the climate emergency

Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment.

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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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