28 June 2022

Santander warns about celebrity endorsed crypto scams


Chris Ainsley, Head of Fraud Risk Management, Santander UK said: “We’re seeing a worrying rise in ‘celebrity-endorsed’ cryptocurrency scams, where familiar faces are being misused on social media in order to con people out of often life-changing sums of money. Rather than revelling in the promised high returns, people are losing significant sums after being duped by these highly sophisticated criminals. Always do your homework and thoroughly research any investment opportunity before moving any money - irrespective of who is endorsing it. “

How the scam often works:

1.    The customer sees a celebrity advertising a cryptocurrency on social media, Google, or even reputable media sites, or is introduced by another social media user to a crypto investment opportunity. The celebrity appears to be endorsing the opportunity.

2.    The customer clicks on a link and shares their contact details in order to find out more.

3.    They are then contacted by phone, email or social media, and offered high returns on the crypto investment with little or no risk. The fraudster will often employ high pressured sales tactics. 

4.    They are told to download specialist software to support them opening cryptocurrency accounts. The software is remote access software, giving the fraudster full access to the customer’s computer. 

5.    The customer opens (often multiple) crypto currency accounts and deposits money in them.

6.    The fraudster freezes access, and takes over the customer’s account, leaving the customer unable to access their money. 

What to do: If you think you’ve been the victim of a crypto scam, report it to your bank straight away. If you have downloaded software to supposedly help with the investment, turn off and unplug your computer and do not use it until you have removed the software and had it checked by a computer technicianIf you think you’ve already been the victim of this type of scam, report it to your bank straight away. 


24 June 2022

Stormzy says: ‘I bear fruit and I share fruit; that’s just what we’re meant to do.’

Earlier this week, Stormzy was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Exeter. In his acceptance speech, the rapper, who set up the #Merky foundation in 2020 and has pledged millions to tackling racial inequality, encouraged students to use their God-given talents to benefit  those around them. Here’s the full transcript.

In part of his speech, Stormzy said, "I’ve been so richly blessed by God, and I don’t just mean financially, I mean with love and life and family and joy and peace and with purpose. So to put it simply: I bear fruit, and I share fruit. And without sounding too fantastical, that’s just what we’re meant to do in whatever way we can".


Microsoft to send out "Windows 8.1 end of support" pop-ups

Microsoft is preparing to send reminders to Windows 8.1 users that support will end on January 10th 2023. The software giant will start sending notifications to existing Windows 8.1 devices next month, as a first reminder leading up to the January 2023 support cutoff.

The notifications will be similar to ones Microsoft has used in the past to remind Windows 7 users about end of support dates. Microsoft originally sunset Windows 8 support in 2016, but the Windows 8.1 update will cease support fully in January 2023. Microsoft will not be offering an Extended Security Update (ESU) program for Windows 8.1, so businesses won’t be able to pay for additional security patches and will have to upgrade or accept the risk of running software without security updates.


20 June 2022

Where do techies store their crypto tokens? Spoiler: we don't use Crypto!


Slashdot is a very popular website for techies.

In this poll, we were asked where we store our crypto tokens.

Over 3/4 of the respondents gave cryptocurrencies & NFTs a wide berth. 

I strongly recommend that you do likewise!

Cryptocurrencies & NFTs are not only a waste of money (very likely to loose some or all of your "investment"), but a huge drain on the Earth's precious resources.

Like I keep saying on this topic: DONT GO THERE!

Bill Gates says crypto and NFTs are a sham

Don't count Bill Gates among the fans of cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Those digital asset trends are "100% based on greater fool theory," the Microsoft co-founder said Tuesday at a TechCrunch conference, referencing the notion that investors can make money on worthless or overvalued assets as long as people are willing to bid them higher.

Gates added that he's "not long or short" crypto. And he mocked Bored Apes NFTs, joking that "expensive digital images of monkeys" will "improve the world immensely." (Meanwhile in other news: Bored Apes creator sues conceptual artist for copying its NFTs - honestly, you couldn't make this stuff up!)

Instead, Gates said he prefers old fashioned investing. "I'm used to asset classes, like a farm where they have output, or like a company where they make products," he said.

His comments come as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are crashing. Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $69,000 in November 2021. Since then, the world's most valuable cryptocurrency has lost two-thirds of its value, tumbling below $23,000 on Tuesday. It has lost about 25% of its value since Friday.


13 June 2022

Reading for today: Creation declares the glory of the Lord!

the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 
Day after day they pour forth speech; 
night after night they reveal knowledge.

I say: look, see & & give praise to our God!

Read all of Psalm 19 at Bible Gateway

08 June 2022

Non-Geographic Phone Numbers - careful it's the "Wild West" out there!

Non-geographic calls are those made to 03, 05, 070/076, 080, 0845, 0870, 083/4, 0871, 09, 116 and 118 numbers. People use these numbers to call businesses and Government agencies, to get information, make payments for services and vote on TV shows.

How does Ofcom regulate them at the moment? Ofcom decides how these numbers can be used. For most numbers, there is a limit on how much BT can charge for calls. Other providers are not restricted as to how much they can charge, but in many cases the landline providers set their call charges around BT's prices. From mobiles, charges are typically much higher.

In 2009, consumers paid around £1.9 billion for calls to these numbers. They accounted for around 12% of the total call traffic volume, and generated 10% of the total revenue.

The current system does not work for consumers. Consumers face problems when making calls to these numbers including:

Confusion about the price: People are confused about what these numbers mean and how much calls cost. As a result, they lack confidence and trust in these services. Consequently, consumers make fewer calls and sometimes go to great lengths to contact organisations in other ways, possibly at higher cost or inconvenience. The lack of scrutiny by consumers means that phone companies can set prices with less concern about the impact on consumers.

Impact on low-income households: The cost of calling these numbers is generally significantly more from mobiles. The impact of the higher cost on mobiles is particularly pronounced for people on lower incomes who are more likely to live in mobile-only households, and use their mobile to call essential services on these numbers; such as some benefit offices, councils, utility services and doctor surgeries.

Call charges are not clearly advertised: Under the current system, those providing services via a non-geographic number can not easily advertise the price of calls to their service (since the price varies between phone companies). This leaves consumers unsure, and prevents competition between providers from working as well as it might.