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News Report Page 8 of 24
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WARNING - Very worrying hacking email doing the rounds again...

WE have been alerted to an email that is still going around UK inboxes, this email targets people with a threat to expose their image and what they have been viewing to email contacts. This email often shows a commonly used password or password that, it is said, was obtained from a "breach" in security, by methods that include the use of malicious software, like the Onliner Spambot, in August 2017, also data breach Dailymotion, in October 2016, Army Force Online in 18 May 2016, LinkedIn in May 2016, Vodafone, in November 2013, Adobe in October 2013, Dropbox in mid-2012, tumblr, in early 2013. Another way that 'hackers' gained the data was via fake shopping websites and games... Some of the most well know included Sony which suffered breach in 2011... Remember no account is safe, be it a game or banking and so that is why you need to use different passwords!

Another iffy email warns the user that the sender of the email has 'hacked' the user's computer and in this case, it says they have also used a computer's webcam to identify the recipient of the email.

These types of email often shows a commonly used password or password that have been obtained in "breaches" of security online, via methods that include the use of malicious software, like the Onliner Spambot, in August 2017, also data breach Dailymotion, in October 2016, Army Force Online in 18 May 2016, LinkedIn in May 2016, Vodafone, in November 2013, Adobe in October 2013, Dropbox in mid-2012, Tumblr, in early 2013.

Another way that 'hackers' gained the data was via fake shopping websites and games...

In this case, the email used was to a computer that does not have a webcam. Sadly, this same email, which we have received, had also recently been seen by a 13 year old girl. Her parents contacted us and we helped them to report it to the Police.

If you get emails like this and you do use the password they quote on any of your websites which have sensitive data and you are still using it, change it!

In the above case, the password quoted is a very bad password to use... We will not publish it, but it is worth you checking most used passwords out to see if yours is on the list... In this case, this password quoted was a bluff, as they reckoned their user might just use it. Even if you use the cited password, do not react to the email; send it to the Police, via:- Phishing@CityOfLondon.Police.UK if you are in the UK.

Should you think the Scam might have come from a fake website, don't go back on it!

We would also suggest that if you ever use any sites that require a password to access its services, use a disposable password and never put sensitive information on it until you are 100% that it is a genuine website.

Sadly, some of the scam sites can wait a year before sending out emails out, so when you receive an email from them you might think your computer has been hacked... So we also recommended that you always include a code on any website you use, so if a hack has occurred on a website, or it was a scam site, you know where the email has originated from.

Never use the same password for more than 1 account...

Plus Security Questions should be different, and remember to use different and non common replies, they don’t even have to be true. For example, to the question:- "What is your favourite food?" nearly 20% of American users answered:- "pizza." try something more fantastic.

When signing up to new online services, we suggest you go 1 step further, by using a disposable email address, like Hotmail etc. until you know the service is legitimate...

Sadly, this scam attached has been known for some years now but has changed to using a Bitcoins instead of the traditional methods of scams, such as escrow.

Always check your computers and devices with an up-to-date anti-virus. We recommended Avast also use Trend Micro's House Call to scan your computers and devices online as well.

Also, you can check to see if your information has been sold to hackers in any of the major security breaches.The older your email address, the more likely that it was. A "breach" is an incident where data has been unintentionally exposed to the public.

You can check to see if your email account that has been compromised in a data breach for free at:- HaveIBeenPwned.Com  If your email address pops up, it might be worth changing passwords and even consider changing your email address for that service, in some cases!

It's worth adding some of the most well know included Sony suffered a breach in 2011, Tesco in February 2014 and even the likes of Avast's very own anti-virus forum was hacked and 423k member records were exposed in May 2014. Even this year HSBC in November, this year (2018) said some of its US customers' bank accounts were hacked in October. Hacks and issues like this have lead to a better understanding from businesses, public and law makers about the risks online and the effects that can last for years, if not a lifetime of those affected.

Most importantly, website owners have become increasingly aware of their responsibilities to alert the public should data be found to have been compromised. Data breaches and scams like this not only cause emotional and in some cases financial distress to those who get them, but also, in the worse cases can put people in danger... This is what new European General Data Protection Regulation (better known as GDPR) is partly about.

We stress... Remember, just because an account is managed by a big company, bank or Government body, no account is safe and this is why you need to use different passwords! Also, never react to an email like this. Alert the appropriate agency.

HMRC warns of tax scams targeting University students

University students are being targeted by scammers with fake tax refunds in an effort to steal money and personal details, warns HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The scammers are using seemingly legitimate University email addresses (for example ‘’) in order to avoid detection.

This is the largest direct attack HMRC has seen on students with thousands of fraud attempts being reported in just a few weeks across the UK.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride MP, said:- "HMRC will never inform you about tax refunds by email, text or voicemail. If you receive 1 of these messages it is a scam. Do not click on any links within these messages, and forward them to HMRC’s phishing email address. Although HMRC is cracking down hard on internet scams, criminals will stop at nothing to steal personal information. I’d encourage all students to become phishing aware; it could save you a lot of money."

Director of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said:- "Devious fraudsters will try every trick in the book to convince victims to hand over their personal information, often with devastating consequences. It is vital that students spot the signs of fraudulent emails to avoid falling victim by following HMRC’s advice. Together with HMRC, we work tirelessly to stop fraudsters in their tracks and to prevent unsuspecting members of the public from falling victim to fraud."

HMRC is working with and encouraging all universities to raise awareness of scams and many have already begun taking action to warn their students of the risks.

Often HMRC related email scams spoof the branding of GOV.UK and well known credit cards in attempt to look authentic. The recipient’s name and email address may be included several times within the email itself.

Fraudulent emails and texts will regularly include links which take students to websites where their information can be stolen. Between April and September this year, HMRC requested that 7,500 of these phishing sites be deactivated. This compares to around 5,200 requests during the same period in 2017.

Students attend hard hitting Real Men Don't Carry Knives event

ON Monday, 5 November 2018, Hugh Baird College students attended a hard hitting event aimed at reducing knife crime in Liverpool and educating students on the risks associated with carrying knives.  As part of the event, which was delivered through the Liverpool based:- 'Real Men Don't Carry Knifes' campaign and the national:- 'No more knives' campaign, students met with Alan Walsh from Anfield Boxing Club who spoke about the devastating impact knife crime has on the local communities and families. The students then broke in to groups to undertake a range of activities looking at stereotyping, knife crime consequences and the results of stabbing attacks on the human body. Knife crime in Merseyside is at its highest level in 10 years, with more than 900 serious incidents reported in 2017. The latest crime data from the Office of National Statistics reveals Merseyside Police recorded 945 serious crimes involving knives, during the last financial year (2017-2018). This is up 18% on 2017, which saw 801 knife crimes recorded, and the highest total on record for figures going back to 2008/09.

Alan Walsh from Anfield Boxing Club and part of the:- 'Real Men Don't Carry Knives' campaign said:- "Knife crime is devastating communities and families, I believe we can win this battle and young people are the enablers. The first step is educating the young people and working in partnerships with colleges like Hugh Baird College to make students aware of the impact their actions could cause."

Chelsea Rutherford, Princes Trust Team Leader at Hugh Baird College said:- "It is so important that our students get to grips with the severity of this awful crime, working alongside Alan and the 'Real Men Don't Carry Knives' campaign have been a really successful and I'd like to thank him for his time today. It is important that we educate all our students about the damaging effects of knife crime. I believe that with events like this will one-day help to abolish knife crime in the Liverpool City region."

The Prince's Trust Team programme is a free 12 week course, that offers work experience, challenging community projects and an adventurous 5 day, team building residential trip. For more information on Prince's Trust courses at Hugh Baird College visit:- HughBaird.AC.UK.

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