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£34.5 Million Stolen In Pandemic Scams



More than 6,000 cases of Covid-related fraud and cyber-crime have been recorded by the UK’s police forces during the pandemic.

The Action Fraud team said £34.5m had been stolen since 1 March 2020.

It covers activity in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, but not Scotland.

In a related development, the National Cyber Security Centre has told the BBC it is tackling about 30 “significant attacks” a month against the country’s pandemic response infrastructure.

These involve attempts to breach the NHS, vaccine producers, and vaccine supply chains, among other organizations.

“There, unfortunately, have been a number of successful ransomware incidents against businesses – I can think of roughly around 10,” NCSC operations director Paul Chichester said.

Smartphone scam

This is one of the scripts used to con victims to believe they were talking to their bank

Twin peaks

Other figures disclosed by City of London Police, which co-ordinates efforts to combat fraud, include:

  • more than 150 related arrests were made since the pandemic began
  • more than 2,000 websites, phone numbers and email addresses linked to the crimes were taken down
  • there was a total of 416,000 reports of fraud and cyber-crime

The activity peaked between April and May 2020, and January 2021 – both times when lockdowns were in force.

But this may be the tip of the iceberg.

The National Crime Agency estimates that just one in five fraud cases are typically reported to the police.

And the volunteer-run Cyber Helpline told the BBC only a quarter of those who had contacted it after a cyber-attack said they had also reported the incident to the police.

Bank loan scam

Many of the scams involved conning people out of their money and financial details by focusing on internet shopping.

Related fraud was 42% higher over the pandemic than the preceding year, as criminals took advantage of the fact many physical stores had been forced to close.

Anna – not her real name – from Cheltenham was one of the thousands of people who received an SMS message asking her to go online and rearrange a parcel delivery.

She filled in her details, but later suspected something was wrong. She alerted her bank and cancelled her bank card.


Anna came close to being thousands of pounds out of pocket

“I thought, now I have nothing to worry about, everything is fine and case closed,” she told the BBC.

But the criminals used the details they had already obtained to authorise her bank to credit her account with a £9,000 loan.

And a short while later they called her, pretending to be the bank.

Not realising the scam, Anna told them she had not taken out a loan.

“They gave me the sort code and bank account number I needed to pay back the loan, and said if I paid the £9,000 there wouldn’t be any charges.

“But then I was still feeling suspicious, so I Googled the sort code, and it came up with a completely different bank.”

So, Anna called her bank directly and realised the scammers had returned.

“I didn’t lose any money but it did feel like a real burglary to be honest,” she said.

She closed her account, and changed her email address and mobile number. But she still does not feel safe.

Email attack

Charities are also common targets.

One in three charities suffered a cyber-attack during the first 10 months of the pandemic, according to Ecclesiastical Insurance.

One victim actually specialises in offering cyber-security advice to others.

Hackers got inside Charity Digital’s network for seven days without being detected. They compromised its email accounts and sent false invoices to clients.

The organisation’s chief executive, Jonathan Chevallie, told the BBC the breach had not been noticed in part because all his staff had been working from home.

Charity Digital spent more than £10,000 investigating the attack and has produced an online webinar to help others avoid a similar fate.

Fake tech support

Another popular type of cyber-fraud involved romance scams, in which people looking for relationships via the net often get fooled into sending money to prospective partners, who prey on their emotions.

This type of crime was 20% more common over the past year than the one before.

Sim farm
Fraudsters sometimes use “Sim farms” to send texts – this unit holds eight cards to quickly send multiple messages at once

City of London Police also said key workers had also been specifically targeted.

In one case, a man was arrested on suspicion of using social media to advertise bogus car insurance policies to NHS workers.

The pandemic appears, however, to have coincided with a fall in one type of cyber-crime.

Reported cases of computer software service fraud – in which criminals call offering fake tech support to fool victims into sharing their payment card details and other credentials – dropped by 15.5%.

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Family Of 10 Die After Drinking Herbal Mixture



Ten members of a family have been sent to their early grave after consuming a local herbal mixture purported to be the cure for an ailment.

The tragedy happened in Biogberu village in the local government area of Kwara State in Nigeria on June 18.

Confirming the incident, the spokesperson of the state police command, SP. Ajayi Okasanmi said one Ibrahim Bonnie reported the incident at the police station on June 22.

He said that one Okosi Musa and Worugura Junlin, came to his mother, Pennia Bonni of same Fulani camp, who was having a foot infection, with a local herbal mixture purported to be the cure for her ailment.

“She was also told to ensure that all her family members take some of the mixture to prevent the spread of the disease to other family members. After taking the local herbal mixture, the family members started dying one after the other, at the last count, 10 members including the infected mother, have died.

“The Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Lawal Bagega, has ordered a discreet investigation into the incident; the two suspects are already helping the police in their investigation,” Okasanmi said

“Suspects will have their day in court at the conclusion of investigation,” he said

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Netherlands 2-0 Austria: Dumfries Strikes Again As Oranje Win Group C



Denzel Dumfries scored his second goal in as many Euro 2020 games as the Netherlands beat Austria 2-0 to qualify for the round of 16 as Group C winners.

The Oranje cruised through with a game to spare on Thursday after Memphis Depay opened the scoring at Johan Cruyff ArenA with an early penalty.

Dumfries opened his international account with a late winner in a 3-2 victory against Ukraine on Sunday and the impressive wing-back sealed all three points again in Amsterdam.

Frank de Boer’s side were a cut above a poor Austria side and will face one of the third-placed finishers at the Puskas Arena in Budapest a week on Sunday for a place in the quarter-finals.

Austria must regroup ahead of a final group game against Ukraine, with second place up for grabs.

The Oranje were in front just 11 minutes in, referee Orel Grinfeld pointing to the spot after taking a second look at David Alaba’s rash challenge on Dumfries. Depay found the bottom-left corner from 12 yards after a short run-up.

Austria were vulnerable under pressure from the Netherlands high press and Depay fired into the side-netting after a mistake from Austria captain Alaba.

Depay wasted a glorious chance to add a second goal five minutes before the break, prodding high and wide with his left foot from close range after Wout Weghorst unselfishly set him up.

Austria tried to pose more questions after the break, but the Netherlands remained much the better side and ought to have been two goals to the good just after the hour mark.

Weghorst’s header from a corner was nodded towards goal by Stefan de Vrij from point-blank range and Daniel Bachmann palmed into the path of the fit-again Matthijs de Ligt, who failed to convert the rebound.

The second goal finally arrived midway through the second half, though, Donyell Malen racing clear and drawing out Bachmann before setting up Dumfries for a tap-in.

Alaba flashed a venomous long-range drive wide and Karim Onisiwo should have done better with a header on an evening to forget for Austria.

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Tristan Thompson Accused Of Cheating On Khloe Kardashian Again



Tristan Thompson, NBA star has been accused of cheating on Khloe Kardashian again.

Hip-hop podcast host, Adam22 interviewed 4 girls, who call themselves The Blackout Girls, on the No Jumper podcast. The interview eventually turned to sexual experiences they had recently.

Tristan Thompson accused of cheating on Khloe Kardashian again

During the conversation, one of the girls, Hayden, turns to her friend, Sidney, to ask a question.

She says, “How was Tristan Thompson’s di-k?”

Sidney initially appears embarrassed but finally answers.

She said, “It was a peek-a-boo di-k but baby it was good.”

Sidney then goes on to spills details of her alleged hookup with Thompson.

She claims, “I did not know he was in a relationship. He told me he was not in a relationship anymore.”

Sidney also claims she, “talked and hung out” on multiple occasions with Tristan.

One of the friends asked Sidney when the alleged encounter took place and Sidney said she believes it was in January or February.

She claims to have asked him if he was really single and she says Tristan told her he was single and ready to mingle.

Sidney claims she eventually ended things between them.

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