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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

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Business

ChatGPT creator releases tool to detect A.I. generated text

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OpenAI has released a software tool that can identify if text has been generated by artificial intelligence

The company behind the popular chatbot ChatGPT says it has trained a language model to distinguish between something written by a human, and A.I.

‘AI Classifier’ uses a variety of providers to address issues such as automated misinformation campaigns and academic dishonesty.

The detection tool is very unreliable on texts under one thousand characters, and AI-written text can be edited to trick the classifier.

Many schools across the world have already banned ChatGPT from being used for projects.

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Business

Elon Musk asks court to throw case out

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Twitter CEO Elon Musk has asked a judge in the U.S. to throw out a case against him

 
The suit claims Musk’s delayed disclosure over his large stake in the social media giant defrauded shareholders, who sold out at artificially lower prices.

Musk says investors in the proposed class action have no independent right to obtain damages.

The CEO believes he properly disclosed his stakes in Tesla and the former SolarCity Corp on several occasions, as per requirements.

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Business

Samsung reports lowest quarterly profit in eight years

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Samsung has reported its lowest quarterly profit in eight years, dropping 69 per cent

The company believes sluggish demand and macroeconomic uncertainty will make for a tough first half, though demand will likely recover in the second half.

The South Korean tech giant made $3.5billion profit for the quarter – the lowest since 2014 – with revenue down eight per cent.

In its chip business, profits also plunged when compared to year ago.

Memory chip prices are widely expected to decline further in the first quarter as customers continue to hold off purchases and use up existing inventory while device demand remains depressed.

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