Category: information

Nicehash Bitcoin Theft

Criminals love Bitcoin because transactions are largely untraceable, no physical objects to store and can be converted into any currency.

Speculators love Bitcoin because although the value changes wildly and is unreliable, it has risen hugely during 2017.

Lots of scammers are pushing Bitcoin as much as they can – get the punters hooked while the price is rising.

Almost certainly it will crash at some point as there are no physical assets to underpin Bitcoin.

One other group that love Bitcoin is corporate hackers – break into an organisation that has Bitcoins stored on its servers, steal them and escape. There’s no cash or gold to move – it’s all on computer.

Nicehash was broken into and $64 million in Bitcoins stolen. Nicehash doesn’t know whether client accounts have been compromised.

Nicehash is an unusual business – It’s based in Slovenia and mines Bitcoins on behalf of its customers.

This is a strange process for which there is no correlation with real world currencies. Mining is how more bitcoins are created and requires huge amounts of computing power to solve equations.

If the price of Bitcoins continues to stay at such high levels then we can expect even more of this kind of attack.

Nicehash say that “Highly professional” hackers made off with around 4,700 Bitcoin and the Nicehash service was taken down so they could assess what had happened.

At least gold can be stored in a vault.

Do enter your email address and click on the subscribe button on top right to keep up to date with new posts.

Fightback Ninja Signature

Bank Transfer Scam Compensation

In 2016, Which? Consumer Magazine launched a Super Complaint to the Payment Systems Regulator. Which? is one of only a few organisations empowered by government to raise super complaints on behalf of the general public.

The super-complaint said:- “We think banks need to do more to protect customers who are tricked into transferring money to a fraudster.”

Which? thinks banks should shoulder more responsibility for money lost to bank transfer scams. Customers who lose money due to scams via direct debit or credit and debit cards are reimbursed, for example, but not bank transfers. This would give banks an incentive to develop better mechanisms to prevent the fraud in the first place.

Which? Say “You only have to read the harrowing real life stories in our super-complaint to realise that these scams are often so sophisticated that it’s impossible for people to be savvy enough to completely protect themselves. And the people being scammed are not only the stereotypical vulnerable groups; they are often financially and technologically literate.”

Which? did some research by asking more than 1,000 members of the public if they could spot the difference between real and spoof emails and found that 50% of people were fooled by these sophisticated scam emails.

At last check, 359,823 people had signed the petition about this matter.

The Payment Systems Regulator has announced it is consulting on plans to reimburse victims of bank transfer scams. From the 1 January 2018, people who’ve been victims of a bank transfer scam will only need to deal with their bank when making a complaint – not the bank the fraudster was with. This means that banks will provide access to a dedicated team of staff trained to deal with scams.

However, the Regulator is also consulting on a reimbursement scheme for people who are tricked into transferring money to a fraudster when their bank failed to do enough to protect them. This is very good news.

The Regulator’s actions in response to the super-complaint will go a long way to tackling these scams. However, if banks are going to solve this problem and really protect their customers, they must also look at what other steps they can take to stop these scams from happening in the first place.

Do enter your email address and click on the subscribe button on top right to keep up to date with new posts.

Fightback Ninja Signature

Are Online Directories Still Useful

In the early days of the World Wide Web, a lot of people were setting up websites, but for people trying to use the web – the problem was how to find what they were looking for.  The idea of online directories made sense as online versions of paper directories, which had been useful for a long time.

Online directories appeared by the hundred and served their purpose until the search engines became effective enough to replace them as the best way to find websites, topics, phrases, names etc. on the Internet.

Online directories can still serve a purpose as part of an online marketing strategy. For example, they are handy for businesses that do not have a website. This at least gives the business name, address and contact details findable on the Internet.

The Big Two Directories

There are two online directories that are still highly regarded  by the search engines.  These are the Open Directory Project (DMOZ) and the Yahoo directory.  Publishing in either of these is difficult as a free entry may not be reviewed for months and even then there is no guarantee of inclusion.  There is the option to pay for a review but again that does not guarantee inclusion in the directory.

Niche Directories

Having an entry in a niche directory can be useful and can get traffic to your website.  These directories target a  specific to an industry or an interest etc.  If your website falls into such a specific  niche, then consider an entry.

This can have a positive effect on your website ranking if the directory is well respected.  Trade Association directories are the main niche directories.

Free or Paid Listings?

Most directories offer free listings with the option to pay to get a better listing such as with more photos, more prominence in searches etc.

But, it is difficult to justify spending a lot of money on an enhanced listing when the money could be spent on direct online advertising instead with Google, Bing, Facebook and others.

Do enter your email address and click on the subscribe button on top right to keep up to date with new posts.

Fightback Ninja Signature

Online Watch Link

Online Watch Link known as OWL is an online service for Neighbourhood Watches, the Police and associated bodies involved in preventing and stopping crime.

It’s designed to keep people informed of what’s going on locally relating to crime prevention for both the public and the Police.

It’s used by a lot of the Neighbourhood Watches across the UK but not all so if you input your postcode in the Find a Watch scheme box on the home page – you may well get the message “Sorry that postcode is not covered by OWL”.

OWL has been featured on Crimewatch and is growing in popularity.

The website is https://www.owl.co.uk/

Q. How does OWL help?

Local authorities send out alerts via OWL about crime and local issues in your area. It can help to prevent burglary, find missing people, makes people feel safer and catch suspects.

OWL Has National Police Approval

There is some advice on the website relating to various categories of crime, but the website is all about the OWL service.

Searching the Internet shows that many communities have incorporated OWL into their local information websites and neighbourhood watches.

Owl was created by a British company based in Hatfield.

It seems a useful tool in crime prevention and the more communities and Watches that us it the more useful it will become.

Do click on the Facebook or Twitter icons on top right to follow Fight Back Ninja.

Fightback Ninja Signature

Clickbank Causes Spam

For much of this year, there have been huge numbers of spam emails relating to a Flight Simulator game and to Wood Working plans.

These message seem crazy as they are so frequent and sent to the same people and surely if someone wants to buy a Flight Simulator package they will have done so and why would anyone in their right mind buy thousands of wood working plans, supposedly to instantly start a carpentry business.

But these two products are very very popular on Clickbank.

Clickbank is a marketplace for people selling products online (mostly digital products) and people wanting to make money by helping to sell those products as affiliates of the seller. These people earn commission for each product sold.

Typically an affiliate will use a website (their own or other people’s) and send out emails to attract people to a website that sells the product (sometimes  called a sales landing page).

This marketplace works well for a lot of people but sometimes very high commission is offered on stupid products and the world fills up with spam.

e.g. Ted’s Wood Working Product offers 75% commission to affiliates getting people to visit Teds sales page and buy the product.

The original sales pitch is for thousands of wood working plans for $69 but then there’s an upsell and more sells and the average purchaser ends up paying over $125 in total.

Ted’s Wood working claims to be number one 1 in Clickbank’s home and garden category for 5 years running, so people flock to try to sell the stuff and the world is full of stupid emails claiming you can make huge money making wooden objects within days of reading the plans.

e.g. 2. Virtual Pilot 3D Flight Simulator offers 70% commission on sales and claims sellers make an average of $88 per sale including upsells and more sells.  They claim to convert page views to sales at the rate of 8% so eight in every hundred people visiting the sales page go on to buy the product.

Again, people flock to sell this product and the world is full of stupid emails claiming this software can make you a real pilot or is good as actually visiting the places depicted etc. Idiots use any line to try to get people to the sales page.

Oh to rid the world of spam!

Do Share this post on social media – click on the post title then scroll down to the social media share buttons.

Fightback Ninja Signature

Neighbourhood Watch

In these day of everything going digital, does the Neighbourhood Watch still have a role to play?

YES!

Neighbourhood Watch can provide security and assurance that nothing online can offer.

The Neighbourhood Watch scheme began in the United Kingdom in 1982 and is a partnership intended to bring people together to make their communities safer. It involves the police, Community Safety departments of local authorities, other voluntary organisations and individuals and families who want to make their neighbourhoods better places to live. It aims to help people protect themselves and their properties and to reduce the fear of crime by means of improved home security, greater vigilance, accurate reporting of suspicious incidents to the police and by fostering a community spirit. It is claimed that over 3.8 million households are covered by a neighbourhood watch.

Objectives of Neighbourhood Watch

  • To improve community safety generally including e.g. fire safety
  • To prevent crime by improving security, increasing vigilance, creating and maintaining a caring community and reducing opportunities for crime by increasing crime prevention awareness.
  • To assist the police in detecting crime by promoting effective communication and the prompt reporting of suspicious and criminal activity.
  • To reduce undue fear of crime by providing accurate information about risks and by promoting a sense of security and community spirit, particularly amongst the more vulnerable members of the community.
  • To improve police/community liaison by providing effective communications through Neighbourhood Watch messaging systems which warn Coordinators of local crime trends which they can disseminate to their scheme members, and by members informing the police of incidents when they occur.

Neighbourhood Watch schemes are run by their members through a coordinator and are supported by the police and in many divisions, a local Neighbourhood Watch Association.

A volunteer resident coordinator supervises the scheme and liaises with the police, they receive information and messages to keep them in touch with activities and some have marker kits, alarms and other security items, which are available to members. The schemes are a community initiative, which is supported by the police, not run by them, so success depends on what the members make of it.

Do Neighbourhood Watches Help to Reduce Door-to-Door Scammers?

The anecdotal evidence is that they do reduce this type of crime. This is largely because people are more aware of possible crimes and do keep an eye out for unexpected visitors to their doors. Also, door-to-door crooks tend to avoid areas where there are any signs of organisation against crime and Neighbourhood Watch areas are usually identifiable by stickers on homes and buildings.

If there is a Neighbourhood Watch in your area, then consider joining.

If there isn’t one, then consider starting one.

Do you have an opinion on this matter? Please comment in the box below.

Dodgy Business Loans

The big banks and lenders give business loans but there are also a lot of small operations that claim to offer business loans and sometimes how they operate seems very dodgy.

A recent email from social-credit.co.uk tells us that says we are eligible for funding options.

“We help you gain access to rates as low as 4.9% for Unsecured loans and 2% for Secured Loans (indicative).”

“Gain access to funds in 24 hours”.

There is a website social-credit.co.uk which isn’t about loans but about getting your ‘social credit report’ on a subscription basis.

There used to be a UK company called Social Credit Report but it was opened and closed by Jason Jamie Roberts in 2016.

He is currently a director of four other companies.

The bottom of the email says copyright 2017 loans2grow.co.uk so you might assume that is the actual lending company.

Loans2Grow is  not a UK registered company.

There is a website loans2grow.co.uk which lists the name Intatrade Data Network Limited at the bottom of the home page.

This is not a UK registered company name.

At this point I give up on trying to find a genuine company name – but I would certainly not want to have any business dealings with a business that seems to hide behind aliases.

Do enter your email address and click on the subscribe button on top right to keep up to date with new posts.

The Banks and Your Tax Residence

You may receive a strange letter from your bank or from a bank you used to have an account with, anytime from 2015 onwards.

There are endless phishing emails and calls from scammers pretending to be your bank. Mostly these are very amateurish and easily spotted but some are more sophisticated, look genuine and are harder to recognise as fake.

But the banks are sending out these unexpected letters about your tax residence and they are genuine.

These letters are in response to a piece of legislation called “Common Reporting Standards” which requires all banks to confirm their customers place of tax residence and report that to HMRC.

If you receive one of these letters, it may just mean that your account had an overseas phone number or address included or any other reason to question your tax residence.

If you are no longer a customer of the bank but did have an account with them since January 2015 then they have to ask the questions, even if the balance on the account is zero.

This is all part of a global crackdown on tax evasion.

If you do receive such a letter and you are unsure, call the bank in question using the telephone number listed on the back of your bank card or on its website.

Do Share this post on social media – click on the post title then scroll down to the social media share buttons.

FEMA Concentration Camps

There are a lot of spam emails warning about FEMA concentration camps and offering ways to avoid ending up in such a camp e.g. buying specific guns, survival techniques and camouflage etc.

There are conspiracy nuts who believe that there are these camps across America and some even believe they are also across Europe and elsewhere .

Now, there is an organisation named FEMA in America and it stands for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and it is a United States government agency tasked with the management of major emergencies within the country, including ensuring the continuity of government during a large-scale disaster such as a nuclear war.

So, the camps exist – but they are storage for times of emergency. FEMA is also the largest flood-insurer in the United States in areas where private insurance companies don’t offer flood-insurance.

FEMA has been the focus of a lot of conspiracy theories, such as :–

1.     Shadow Government

FEMA is the shadow government which will run the show after the current government dissolves, through a series of executive orders issued by the President.

FEMA supposedly has the power to declare martial law and round up half a million American citizens into the concentration camps.

2.     Removal of Guns

Many believe that FEMA intends to take away all guns from private ownership. The sheer quantity of privately held firearms in America makes this an impossibility.

3.     North American Union / One-World Government

The camps will be used to detain dissenting US citizens after the consolidation of the North American Union in preparation for the establishment of a one world government or New World Order.

The Evidence

There are numerous photos and videos of these camps and some websites list over 800 such locations.  Some are FEMA camps and some are everything from National Guard training centres to Amtrak repair stations.  Plus, anyone can photograph or film these centres which doesn’t exactly make you feel they are anything secret.

The reason you don’t have private access to the camps is that they’re on military installations, which are generally not open to the public.

If you receive any emails about FEMA then just delete them.

Do Share this post on social media – click on the post title then scroll down to the social media share buttons.