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Beware! Don’t let smishing fraudsters catch you off guard

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Fraudulent texts from postal services are now the most common cyber sham hitting phone-users during the pandemic.

How cyber criminals are targeting you through your text messages.

Parcel and Package delivery scams in the form of text messages are one of the most common forms of “smishing”, according to new data

Smishing is a technique criminals use to target phone-users through texts that impersonate trusted organisations.

Often, these messages contain a link to a fraudulent website that looks very much like a company’s legitimate website.

Questions are then posed to prompt the victim to enter both their personal and financial information. 

Katy Worobec, Managing Director of Economic Crime at UK Finance, says cybercriminals are capitalising on the pandemic, knowing that many consumers will be ordering goods online.  

“We are urging people to always stop and think whenever you get a text message out of the blue before parting with your information or money,” Worobec says.

Cyber scammers targeting online shoppers

Data by cybersecurity company Proofpoint which was provided to the banking trade body UK Finance, says recent fraudulent cybersecurity saw millions of mobile users receive deceitful texts from postal delivery services.

The messages claimed a small payment was required from the victim to pay for an unpaid shipping fee. 

“Always avoid clicking on links in a text message in case it’s a scam and forward any suspected scam text messages to 7726, which spells SPAM, so that the criminals responsible can be brought to justice,” Worobec says. 

The data from Proofpoint also shows that within a 90-day period, 53 percent of fraudulent activity came from smishing attempts claiming to be delivery services. 

Another 23 percent of messages claimed to originate from banks and financial institutions. 

Worobec urges consumers to take advice from the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign which reminds consumers to stop, challenge and protect themselves from such behaviours.

Sarah Lyons, NCSC Deputy Director for Economy & Society, also encourages mobile-users to be extra vigilant when encountering any suspicious tech messages. 

“Scammers and cyber criminals regularly exploit well-known, trusted brands for their own personal gain, and sadly these latest findings bear that out,” Lyons says.

“These scam messages can be very hard to spot, so if you think you’ve already responded to a scam, don’t panic…there’s lots you can do to limit any harm.”

If you believe that you have encountered fraudulent cyber activity, report it to your state or country’s cybercrime security centre.

Written by Rebecca Borg

Tech

Iran cuts internet access over “hijab violation”

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Iranian authorities say they will restrict internet access in the country until calm is restored to the streets

Protests over the death of a young woman in the custody of the morality police continue to rock the Islamic Republic.

Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in protest since the death last week of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was apprehended in Tehran and taken to a “re-education center,” apparently for not wearing her hijab properly.

Amini’s death has sparked outrage among Iranian women, who have long been subject to repressive rules mandating their dress and behavior.

In recent years, the government has stepped up its enforcement of these rules, with morality police attacking women for offenses such as wearing loose headscarves or talking to men in public.

The death of Amini, who was reportedly beaten in custody, has galvanized young Iranians who are fed up with the repression they have faced for their entire lives.

In addition to taking to the streets, they are using social media to spread the word about the protests and to call for an end to the government’s oppressive policies.

It remains to be seen whether the current wave of protests will lead to lasting change in Iran. But one thing is clear: the country’s young people are no longer willing to tolerate the status quo.

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Video game actors are worried that they’ll replaced by AI

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A new generation of video game characters are being created, and they look eerily lifelike.

Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), these digital avatars can learn and adapt, making them more realistic than ever before.

As a result, some video game actors are worried that they may soon be replaced by AI technologies.

While it is true that AI characters can be created relatively cheaply, they still require a lot of work to create and animate.

In addition, they lack the emotional range and subtlety of human actors. As a result, it is unlikely that AI will completely take over the role of video game actors anytime soon.

However, it is possible that AI could be used to augment or supplement human performances in the future.

For example, an AI character could be used to create a basic motion-capture performance that could then be refined by a human actor.

Gaming industry

Whether or not AI technologies will have a role in the future of video games remains to be seen.

However, one thing is certain: the gaming industry is changing rapidly, and all those involved will need to adapt to stay ahead of the curve.

However, it’s important to remember that AI is still in its early stages of development, and it’s not clear how far it will ultimately be able to advance.

For now, video game actors still have a valuable role to play in the industry.

Their experience and performance brings a human element to video games that simply can’t be replicated by AI.

As the technology continues to evolve, it will be interesting to see how it affects the role of video game actors. But for now, they can rest assured that their jobs are safe.

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Business

YouTube to start sharing its ad revenue from Shorts

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If you create Youtube videos here’s some welcome news for your wallet

YouTube will start sharing its ad revenue.

It’s no secret the platform has been focusing in on shorts and so have its creators 

As it tries to compete with TikTok, YouTube has announced it will release a new revenue-sharing model for creators of popular short-form videos.

So starting next year thee company will pay a portion of is revenue based on videos that get the most views.

YouTube said that every month it will pool together ad revenue from Shorts.

Of that sum, an undisclosed percentage is allocated to creators, and YouTube will pay them 45 per cent of that amount.

YouTube’s growth rate in the second quarter was the slowest since Alphabet started breaking out the unit’s revenue in 2019.

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