Category: Fraud

Radiation Protection Phone Shields

Scammers spread fear over the possibility that your phone emits radiation that can cause illness or even death.

Scientists are still researching the long term effects of electromagnetic (EM) radiation, but there is no evidence of any such problems caused by the radiation from phones or other screen based devices.

It is true that these devices emit EM radiation – that’s how they work. No radiation means they cannot work.

Scammers want to cause fear and offer a solution to it by selling various devices, covers, stickers, addons etc. None of these have been shown to have any positive effect.

Some offer a phone cover that supposedly absorbs the radiation but if that was true the phone wouldn’t work.

Others sell gadgets designed to reduce the radiation, but if that was true then it would just mean the phone would have to increase its output signal to counteract the dampening and so that would be counterproductive.

Some offer little stickers that supposedly stop all radiation – these are simply fake and do nothing at all.

Spending time sunbathing can mean absorbing about 3 times as much as the maximum allowed with a mobile phone.  However, most of us recognise there is a risk with sunbathing and use sun protection.

Cell phone radiation is nonionizing radiation as opposed to ionizing radiation, meaning that it doesn’t break down atoms and molecules as does sunshine.

How to reduce Your Exposure to Your Phone

  1. Turn the phone off when not needed – such as at night.
  2. Do not have the phone near where you sleep if its turned on.
  3. Use hands free where possible i.e on speaker
  4. Use a headset if needed
  5. Text rather than talk
  6. Keep phone call length to a minimum
  7. Put your phone in airplane mode when you can

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Stupidest Spam of the Week Exotic Seeds

The world of gardening and flower creation can be competitive with people chasing down exotic looking flowers and vegetables and keeping secret anything they do find.

But there are also scammers in this market who create fake photos and videos of exotic looking fruits for example blue strawberries and sell the seeds at a high price.

There are no seeds as the fruit does not exist, but it is a simple game to colour fruit artificially or fake pictures on Photoshop to make plants look strange and then sell ordinary seeds at a very high price to unsuspecting punters.

Most of these fakes come from China and Hong Kong currently.

Don’t buy ridiculous looking fruits, vegetables or other plants. Stick with what you can get in the local garden centre or if on the Internet then only buy from reputable dealers with a long track record of sales and happy customers.

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Instant Company Rebadged Product

This is about how companies can suddenly appear and have new “fantastic” products at bargain prices.

In the UK as long as you haven’t been banned as a director then it’s an easy, cheap and quick process to register a new company. In some countries it’s even easier and people can churn out new companies as fast as they want.

Making a New Product

Inventors and designers may spend years perfecting their product, but the simple approach is to find a product that already exists, rebadge it in some way – maybe just a different colour scheme. Then you give it a new name and that’s your new product. There are patent protection laws to prevent this but scammers operate quickly and aim to have disappeared before the law catches up with them.

Lots of companies (mostly in China) will manufacture anything you want at very low prices. If it’s an item they already make and you just want a different colour or a version with your logo on – no problem.

Then comes the Marketing. Modern Marketing through email lists, social media etc. can be cheap and quick.

The Reality

The method described above is very simplified of course and it’s not really this simple, but for people who do this regularly it is quick and easy.

Here’s an example.

An email arrived titled ‘Cleaning Scrubber Works for Arthritis”

Then a sales pitch for the Hurricane Spin Scrubber.

It’s a rechargeable device with a rotating head designed to make cleaning bathroom surfaces quicker and with less effort. It comes with an extending arm so the user doesn’t have to bend down – hence the claim that it helps arthritis sufferers.

Sounds good.

Strangely the email is from diabetichlp.bid although this product cannot be considered to be an aid for people with diabetes.

Following up on this shows that the product is real and does work. However, customers complain about faulty items, the difficulty of getting any money back and terrible customer service. The product itself is very cheaply made and generally not very good. The company selling this product only came into existence months ago and if the pattern is followed then is likely to disappear fairly soon, to be replaced by another similar company with a slightly modified version of the device. Then the process starts again.

Buying this kind of product may be right for you, but be aware that if there are problems – you may wish you’d invested in a reputable make with good customer service.

If you’ve purchased this kind of instant product or dealt with such companies – do let me know by email.

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Lekoil Scammed

Lekoil is a  Nigerian oil company and their share price dropped 73% on the London Stock Exchange, on the announcement that it had been scammed to the tune of $184.

Lekoil needed a huge loan and was approached by Seawave Invest Limited acting on behalf of the Qatar Investment Authority.

Negotiations ensued and went on for months as executives sorted out the fine details of the loan, which was needed to pay for development of the Ogo field within Oil Prospecting Licence 310 in Nigeria.

Lekan Akinyanmi, the Lekoil chief executive led the negotiations for the company and in time a formal agreement was reached.

Control Risks, a consultancy headquartered in London, prepared a due diligence report that did not raise red flags. Analysts said the loan’s relatively low interest rate of 3.72 per cent should have raised suspicions.

Norton Rose Fulbright, an international law firm that has previously worked for Lekoil, provided legal advice on the deal.

Control Risks, a consultancy headquartered in London, prepared a due diligence report that did not raise red flags, the people said. Analysts said the loan’s relatively low interest rate of 3.72 per cent should have raised suspicions. Norton Rose and Control Risks declined to comment.

But it was all fake – the people claiming to be from the Qatar Investment Authority were criminals, who went to great lengths to appear genuine.

Lekoil was left desperately trying to find money or be forced to sell off assets.

OOPS. Better do better checks next time someone offers a huge loan.

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European Law Strong Authentication

In September 2019, the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2), specifically the requirement for Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for remote payments came into effect.

These requirements will impact the way consumers in Europe access their Internet banking applications, pay for e-commerce purchases, and use new financial services provided through Open Banking.

The starting point for any financial transaction must be to establish the identity of the parties involved. In person, a valid ID card may be sufficient  and digitally, using a login and password is usually enough.

However, when interactions are happening remotely through multiple channels and multiple partners, there is often a need to use multiple factors of authentication e.g. a login and password plus a pin number.

PSD2

PSD2 is increasing the security level for authentication to financial services across the whole of Europe, and is harmonizing the strength of authentication processes for financial applications. Because of PSD2, financial institutions have been phasing out weak authentication methods.

PSD2 ensures that advanced authentication concepts, such as dynamic linking, device binding for mobile apps, mobile application shielding and transaction risk analysis become standard security tools in financial services.

PSD2 is also accelerating the adoption of adaptive authentication methods, which adjust the way in which the user is authenticated to the risk of what the user wants to do.

Deadline for banks to implement SCA for Internet banking: 14 September 2019, except in the UK where the deadline is set as 14 March 2020

Deadline for banks to offer Open Banking interfaces: 14 September 2019

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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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