Cyber Security: Dating Fraud Reported Once Every Three Hours

One incident of dating fraud is now being reported around every three hours, according to an initiative warning of the dangers of con artists preying on people looking for romance.

Around seven reports of dating fraud on average are received every day by Action Fraud, the national fraud reporting service, equating to around one every three hours.

Typically, victims will make their first transfer of money to the fraudster within a month of contact. The average victim of dating fraud loses £10,000 according to the findings released ahead of Valentine’s Day on Tuesday.

The figures were released as Victim Support, Age UK, the City of London Police, London Metropolitan Police and Get Safe Online said they would work in partnership with the Online Dating Association in efforts to better understand how fraudsters operate and reduce the number of people falling victim to dating fraud.

Tips for people using dating websites and apps using the hashtag #datesafe will be shared online.

Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, said that while many couples do meet online, the problem of cyber criminals targeting people for significant financial gain is growing.

He said: “£10,000 is a staggering amount for the average online dater to lose to a fraudster who they’ve been led to believe is the real deal. It’s not just the financial loss though; dating fraud can have a huge emotional impact on a victim too.”

He said in some cases, people had lost everything – including their savings and their homes.

Security and Risk Online – Western Union to pay $586 million fine to settle fraud charges

western-union-to-pay-586-million-fine-to-settle-fraud-charges

Jan. 19 (UPI) — The largest money service business in the world agreed on Thursday to a half-billion dollar settlement over charges they failed to protect customers from fraud and permitted their agents to illegally launder money for customers.

Western Union will pay a $586 million fine after pleading guilty to charges of willfully failing to run an effective anti-money laundering program and aiding and abetting wire fraud with the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices of the Middle and Eastern districts of Pennsylvania, Central District of California and Southern District of Florida.

“Western Union owes a responsibility to American consumers to guard against fraud, but instead the company looked the other way, and its system facilitated scammers and rip-offs,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a press release. “The agreements we are announcing today will ensure Western Union changes the way it conducts its business and provides more than a half billion dollars for refunds to consumers who were harmed by the company’s unlawful behavior.”

Based on a complaint filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Western Union violated U.S. laws when they processed thousands of transactions for Western Union agents and others as part of multiple national and international fraud schemes.

Among the allegations are criminals who contacted victims in the United States posing as family members, potential employers or people awarding some kind of prize asking for money to be wired to them. The company’s agents were often complicit in the schemes, the FTC said, and sometimes took a cut of the money.

Previous cases have also established that Western Union failed to halt the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars to human traffickers in China and drug traffickers in other parts of the world, as well as not adhering to laws requiring verification and investigation of daily transfer limits.

The settlement requires Western Union to block money transfers to any person who is the subject of a fraud report, provide clear warnings to consumers about fraud on their paper and electronic forms, refund fraudulently induced money transfers if the company did not follow proper anti-fraud protocol and to increase the availability for how consumers can file fraud complaints.

Western Union will also be monitored by an independent auditor for its adherence to the telemarketing sales rule, which bars companies from processing transfers known to be fraud, or those the company “should know is payment for a telemarketing transaction.”

Western Union said in a press release it has increased compliance consistently during the last five years and has dedicated about 20 percent of its employees to compliance functions, noting the issues it settled Thursday occurred mostly between 2004 and 2012.

“We share the government’s goal of protecting consumers and the integrity of our global money transfer network, and we worked hard to resolve these matters with the government,” Western Union said in the release. “We are committed to enhancing our compliance programs to prevent illicit activity on our network and protect customers who transfer money to friends, family and businesses.”

Heimdal Security Company: The Best Encrypted Messaging Apps You Can (and Should) Use Today

If you want to see all the best encrypted messaging apps in one place, then this is the guide you’re looking for.

We did a roundup of these encrypted apps because the battle for our data is fiercer than ever. Governments crave for it, companies seek access to it, and cyber criminals probably want it the most.

But what’s so special about my data?

The fact that it’s yours and it can be monetized one way or another, by any of the entities listed above.

Wake-up call: the data you share in your IMs

Today I’m going to focus on a big chunk of your data that I bet you disregard as unimportant: the information stored and share in instant messages and text messages.

Messaging, either via the Internet or through good, ol’ SMSs, is today’s go-to communication method. No doubt about it.

Younger generations – from Y to Z – would rather text than call someone at any time of day and night (myself included). And not only them. Employees in companies of all types and sizes are heavily using instant messaging apps as well.

This means that a huge amount of data is stored, transmitted and shared through these messages.

Data like:

And this doesn’t happen only on mobile devices. Now instant messaging apps are cross-platform, so you can sync your conversation across your smartphone, tablet and desktop. Messaging apps also offer the option to be used for both online IMs and SMSs.

Everything is just a click or a tap away. But not only for you.

You may think you’re sharing data confidentially when using Facebook Messenger, Skype or Snapchat, but sometimes it’s just an illusion.

Without end-to-end encryption, your conversations are right in the crosshairs of cyber criminals, government meddling and amoral marketers.

Here’s a recent example of how security holes in these apps can expose your data to malware and other cyber threats:

“The Check Point security research team discovered a vulnerability in Facebook’s Messenger (both the online version and the mobile app) that would allow an attacker to modify the contents of someone’s chat history as well as give them the ability to spread malware through the chat service. […] This vulnerability existed because messages are normally stored on Facebook’s servers, and Facebook could also modify the messages itself if it so desired. The attackers are simply using a capability that Facebook already has.”

Do I have your attention now?

Good.

Because you’re going to want to find out about this.

CONTINUE HERE to find out more…