Sunday 31 December 2023

New Rules Roll Out for UK E-Scooters: Driving Licence Check Required

As of December 5th, 2023, there were some new rules introduced for e-scooters in the UK, specifically for those participating in the government-approved trials. Here's a breakdown of the key changes:

Driving Licence Verification:

  • Mandatory driving licence: All riders, both new and existing participants in the trials, must now provide their name, driving licence number, and a photo of the front of their licence to the rental operator.
  • Minimum verification standards: Operators must have robust systems in place to capture, store, and verify this information. This aims to ensure responsible use and deter unauthorised riding.

Other Regulations:

  • Speed limits: E-scooters in the trials are still capped at 15.5 mph (25 km/h).
  • Road restrictions: Riding is permitted on roads and cycle lanes/tracks, but not on pavements.
  • Safety recommendations: Helmets are strongly encouraged, although not mandatory. Riders must also avoid using mobile phones, carrying loose bags on handlebars, and riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Further Changes on the Horizon:

  • Technical standards: The government is working on setting technical standards for e-scooters, which could include specifications for maximum speed, power, lights, and registration. This aims to crack down on the private market and prevent the sale of non-compliant scooters.
  • Long-term regulations: While the December 5th changes focused on trial participants, the government is still developing broader regulations for e-scooter use in the UK. These are expected to be announced in the coming months.

It's important to note that these new rules only apply to e-scooters used in the government-approved trials. Privately owned e-scooters are still illegal to use on public roads in the UK.

Here are some additional resources you may find helpful:

Thursday 14 December 2023

What is ransomware and how to stop it

Online attacks, like ransomware, are constantly evolving. Ransomware is a virus that takes over your computer and files on it, usually demanding payment in exchange for access. But don’t worry; we’re here to help you protect your device from it. We share advice on the best free antivirus software you can use to secure your device without spending any money.

Reduce your risk

Source: Which? (13 Dec 2023)

Fake ads impersonate parking apps

Scammers abuse online advertising to trap drivers. We found ads on Google that are impersonating JustPark, PayByPhone, and RingGo – all of which appeared at the top of search results on mobile phones and above the genuine websites for these companies.

We’re warning drivers to avoid searching for parking apps online and instead download official apps through Apple or Google Play app stores. These sneaky scams are easy to fall for, take a look at some examples so you can avoid them.

Rogue parking ads

Source: Which? (11 Dec 2023)

Can you spot a fraudulent search ad?

You may see ads displayed within your search results when you use a search engine such as Google or Bing. Although they are intended to attract your attention and clicks, scammers often exploit this idea by creating fake ads that can jeopardise your data and money.

It can be challenging to differentiate a genuine search ad from a fraudulent one, but we are here to help you. Check out our three tips for spotting a fake search ad.

Our three tips

Source: Which? (11 Dec 2023)

Wednesday 13 December 2023

Secure Your Digital Life with a Password Manager

In today's increasingly connected world, safeguarding your online security is crucial. Password managers have emerged as indispensable tools for protecting your digital life, generating and storing strong, unique passwords for your various accounts.

Why Password Managers Are Essential

While the idea of keeping all your passwords in one place may seem daunting, password managers offer a multitude of benefits:

  1. Strength: Password managers create complex, unique passwords for each of your accounts, making it incredibly difficult for hackers to crack them.

  2. Ease of Use: Password managers eliminate the need to remember numerous, complex passwords, saving you time and hassle.

  3. Convenience: Password managers seamlessly autofill login credentials, ensuring one-click access to your online accounts.

  4. Security: Password managers employ robust encryption techniques to protect your passwords from unauthorised access.

Choosing the Right Password Manager

With numerous password manager options available, selecting the right one is essential for optimal security. Reputable password managers like 1Password, Bitwarden, and Dashlane offer a comprehensive range of features:

  1. Password Generation: Automated password generation ensures strong, unique passwords for every account.

  2. Secure Storage: Passwords are encrypted and stored securely in the password manager's vault.

  3. Multi-factor Authentication: Additional layers of security, like biometrics or security codes, enhance protection.

  4. Password Audits: Regularly scans for weak or reused passwords, prompting password changes when necessary.

Securing Your Password Vault

To safeguard your password vault, prioritise these essential measures:

  1. Strong Master Password: Choose a strong, unique master password that serves as the gateway to your password vault.

  2. Two-factor Authentication (2FA): Enable 2FA for added security, requiring a code from your phone or email for access.

  3. Regular Password Changes: Change your master password regularly, especially if you suspect any breaches.

  4. Trusted Devices and Networks: Access your password vault only from trusted devices and secure networks.

Embrace Password Managers for Enhanced Security

Integrating a password manager into your digital security practices significantly enhances the protection of your online accounts. By embracing the power of password managers, you can safeguard your digital life with peace of mind, knowing your sensitive information is securely locked away from prying eyes.




Thursday 7 December 2023

Copycat Royal Mail websites flog phoney stamps

The price of stamps has risen again this year, and with the holiday season approaching you might be looking for ways to save when sending cards and gifts. However, scammers are unsurprisingly taking the opportunity to impersonate Royal Mail with fake offers for stamps at bargain prices.

Dodgy ads on Facebook for these phoney offers lead to phishing websites designed to steal your personal and financial information. See what these scams look like and learn how to spot a dodgy post and website.

Stamp scams

Source: Which? (5 Dec 2023)

'A scammer tried to sell me Taylor Swift tickets'

A Which? member got in touch after a scammer targeted her on Facebook with fake Taylor Swift tickets for £100.

The victim was on a budget and asked their local community Facebook group if anyone had tickets they’d like to sell. The scammer sent a fake Ticketmaster email to convince the victim the tickets were real. They then asked for payment via bank transfer, and when the victim confronted the scammer, their Facebook page disappeared.

We explain how to buy tickets safely and what to do if you’ve handed over personal information to a scammer.

Get our help

Source: Which? (2 Dec 2023)

Can you spot postal scams?

From fake lotteries and prize draws to investment scams and pyramid schemes, postal scams are letters sent to obtain money through deception or fraud. Learn how to spot postal scams and how to avoid falling victim to them.

Dodge postal scams

Source: Which? (5 Dec 2023)

Tuesday 5 December 2023

Five Golden Tips to protect against online shopping scams this Christmas

Avast have shared Five Golden Tips for how you can shop online safely, and protect yourself from scams and fraud this Christmas!

Check who you’re buying from!

If you’ve found an unbelievable deal on a website you’ve never heard of, chances are it is too good to be true. Scammers are getting better at presenting themselves as legitimate organisations, but a good way to check to see if a business is genuine is to find the company’s details. If you can’t find any information about them, it’s likely the deal you’ve found isn’t genuine.

Avoid sites that only accept bank transfers

Although the money is still coming from your bank account, paying with a credit card is the safest option. Even if you use a debit card, you could get your money back if you never receive the goods you paid for, subject to your bank’s terms and conditions.

Avoid giving sellers any gift card numbers

Be wary of any online seller who will only accept payments in gift cards. Fraudulent sellers on eBay for example may list an item for sale and ask you for eBay gift card numbers instead of regular payment. You should only enter gift card numbers at the checkout and never share them with anyone else.

Look out for stock images on eBay, Etsy, and Amazon Marketplace

Buying stuff online can be cheap, but be aware of when you’re buying from an individual or a marketplace seller and not, say, Amazon itself. If you are buying from eBay, Etsy or Amazon Marketplace, watch out for any that use stock photos for their products as this could be a red flag. Perhaps the product doesn’t really exist!

Beware of the ‘photo only’ and ‘box only’ tricks

The idea of the ‘photo only’ eBay scam’ is to trick buyers so desperate for a deal that they fail to fully read the listing. As the listing is correct you, the buyer, were informed up front that you would receive a photo only, meaning eBay – or any online marketplace – will likely not be able to intervene and refund you.

🎄🎅 Read more on safe online shopping!🎄🎅

Source:National Dec 2023 Newsletter (pdf)

Fire Kills - let’s prevent it

The Home Office has developed the Fire Kills campaign to raise awareness of how deadly fires can be easily prevented at home, and the importance of checking your smoke alarms. People are 10 times more likely to die from a fire if they don’t have working smoke alarms on every floor of the home. 

Visit their website for more guidance at https://firekills.campaign.gov.uk 

Source:National Dec 2023 Newsletter (pdf)

Christmas Home Security Tips

Source: National Dec 2023 Newsletter (pdf)
[Click image to view enlarged]

Access our exclusive Neighbourhood Watch 50% discount here!

Sunday 3 December 2023

What is SIM SWAP FRAUD?

Here's a summary of the scam and how to protect yourself:

What is SIM SWAP FRAUD?

SIM SWAP FRAUD is a type of scam where criminals trick your mobile phone provider into transferring your phone number to a SIM card under their control. This allows them to intercept your text messages, including those used for two-factor authentication (2FA), and access your online accounts, including your bank account.

How does it work?

The criminals will call you and pretend to be from your mobile phone company.

They will tell you that there is a problem with your network and that you need to press 1 to fix it.

If you press 1, the criminals will be able to take control of your SIM card.

Once they have control of your SIM card, they will be able to intercept your text messages and access your online accounts.

How to protect yourself:

  • Be cautious about sharing personal information. Don't share your phone number, Social Security number, or other personal information with people you don't know and trust.
  • Set up strong passwords for your online accounts. Use a different password for each account, and make sure your passwords are strong and complex.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for your online accounts. 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring you to enter a code from your phone, in addition to your password, when you log in.
  • Be careful about clicking on links or opening attachments in emails or text messages. These could be phishing attempts that are designed to trick you into revealing your personal information or clicking on a malicious link.
  • Be aware of the warning signs of SIM SWAP FRAUD. If you suddenly lose service on your phone, or if you receive a text message that says your SIM card has been changed, contact your mobile phone provider immediately.
For more information, visit Sim-swap fraud by Which?


Also at https://www.instagram.com/reel/C0kIQ5FIdrB/?igshid=MTc4MmM1YmI2Ng==

Watch out for this WhatsApp scam

Watch out for this nasty WhatsApp scam that enables hackers to take control of your account and access all of your messages. Find out here h...