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The current debate over the difficulty of distinguishing genuine news sources from fake news mirrors the world of online digital scams. As hackers and digital grifters become more sophisticated, it is increasingly difficult for individuals to determine if a contact or communication is legitimate or fraudulent. Less obvious digital frauds tend to develop over a longer period of time as they slowly convince their victims to divulge sensitive information or to send money to unverified sources.  

The case of an otherwise intelligent individual who lost $50,000 in a scam that originated with a Facebook contact is instructive. He first accepted a friend request from a woman who claimed to be an army drill sergeant in Afghanistan. They sent emails back and forth for a few weeks before she asked for his help in getting a few packages delivered from Ghana into the United States. Over a period of five months, he wired money to various parties for legal and government fees and storage before he finally realized that the whole relationship was designed to gain his confidence in order to steal his money.

Another digital grift followed a similar pattern. A woman who was searching for funds to pay for a child’s college education discovered that her name was on a list of government grant recipients. The organization that published the list convinced her to pay a $400 application fee and to send another $2,500 before they released the funds. The organization took time to gain her confidence and took advantage of her desire for a larger sum of money to defraud her of what little money she did have.

These incidents reveal that digital grifters are adopting techniques that fraudsters have been using on unsuspecting victims for many years. First, they establish a relationship that gives them critical information about their intended victim. The individual who lost $50,000 wanted to help a soldier who was stationed overseas. The desperate mom needed money for her child’s education. Digital grifters will be more likely to request information than they will to divulge any information about themselves.

Next, they display unparalleled confidence in their ability to deliver results. The army sergeant left no doubt that her packages in Ghana were valuable, and the government grant agency gave its target multiple assurances that education funds were available. If something in a digital solicitation or communication seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Third, the digital grifter creates an appearance of legitimacy. The scammer who posed as an army sergeant posted photographs of an individual in army fatigues, and the college funding website used the legitimate-sounding name “Treasury Grant Fund.” Digital covers are easy to create with social media postings and domain names that cost a few dollars to create.

Last, digital grifters do just enough research to support their stories, but those stories themselves do not hold up to research that the potential victim can perform. Typically, the target does not do that research until after he or she has been defrauded.

You can erect robust defenses against digital grifters, but when those defenses fail, you can fall back on cyber liability coverage to recover your economic losses. That coverage is affordable and increasingly necessary in a world that presents multiple opportunities for digital grifters to target even corporate resources.  

Grifters are now shifting from individuals to companies that have greater asset pools. They might, for example, create different website domains and mimic legitimate companies to give the appearance of a large pool of assets that can be used to fraudulently secure loans. A company that suffers a significant loss might be more likely to attract the attention of law enforcement authorities, but months or years might elapse before the company recovers anything from the grifter, if it able to recover anything at all. 

Grifters evolve with technology, and their means of trickery and deceit are becoming more and more believable every day. Arm yourself by doing research and asking questions, you won’t regret it.

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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How To Improve Your Credit Score

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Improve credit score

Your credit score is one of the most important things you have in life as it can determine how much money you can borrow. It is something that will be analyzed to determine your affordability for large purchases such as a house, car or if you want to put an item like a phone or expensive watch on finance. Your credit score can be bad for a number of reasons, such as if you have large amounts of debt, if you miss payments or are not on the electoral roll. If you find yourself being contacted by skip tracing for late payments, this will also have a negative affect. To avoid this from happening, it is important to try and build up your score. Whether you have a low score now that you are trying to improve, or you are looking to build your score to the best it can be as you will soon be applying for a large purchase, here are some ways that you can improve it in no time.

1. Keep your credit utilisation low

It is important to keep your credit utilisation low so you don’t look like you rely solely on credit. Credit should be to boost your finances and not something that you solely depend on. You should always try to use less than 50% of your credit utilisation so it shows this. If you can keep your credit usage below 25% of the limit that is the best way to improve your score. If you have used quite a lot of credit it could be worth upping your limit (but not spending any more on it) so it means you are within your 50% limit.

2. Make your payments on time

Late payments are a massive no-no when trying to improve your credit and can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. This is why it is so important to ensure that you make your payments on time, every single month. If you find that you forget to make payments on time, why not try setting up a direct debit that takes the money straight from your account and pays the other debt off? This way you don’t need to remember to do it yourself every month and will make sure that you never miss a payment.

3. Build your credit history

If you don’t have any credit, then it is a good idea to get some so that companies can see how well you pay bills and debts. Why not get a credit card with a small limit and pay it off in full each month? Or take out a phone contract that is in your name? Also make sure that you get on the electoral roll. This is often a problem that a lot of young people have regarding credit but can easily be built up with a few steps.

These are just a few of the ways that you can improve your credit score. By implementing this you will find that your credit score will soon improve and help you with future financial applications.

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Would you like getting paid to take surveys?

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Taking paid surveys are one easy way to make money in EEUU because you can work at home. The actual social and laboral situation is being difficult to find a job. You can see the positive side: you have a good opportunity to get paid to take surveys.

Honestly, you will not be absolutely rich even if you don´t have a good personal situation but it´s a good way to make money. And if you live in EEUU, you are lucky because this job is better paid than other countries.

Many companies stay in USA and many market studies are done around the country so it is the place where more money are given to people who do the survey completed. The brands want to know what people are talking about, what are their opinion about one product, how is their life, etc. And the paid surveys are a good way to find out it. While more specifics are the answers, the results are getting better for the companies who will be closer than their public objective.

Would you like working to get paid to take surveys? Pay attention to this.

How to apply for paid surveys work

If you are interested in working to get paid to take surveys, you must to login in a sure platform and register. It´s completely free. Once you sign up, you have to wait for an email be sent you, so you need to check the account inbox serveral times.

You need to answer some questions about you because it´s important to create one profile and they can send you questions according to your personality depending on your preferences. One tip is you can answer the questions as precise as possible. On this way, your possibilites to get the job are higher. When you finish to fill your personal information, just wait.

How paid surveys work

You will be better paid in EEUU than other countries. To be honest, you will not be rich taking surveys but it´s extra money if you need anytime. So, get away those  companies that promise you earn a lot of money with paid surveys because its not so. When you do the first survey, you will be paid with from $1 to $4. It´s not too much but enough money to help you.

There are a lot of places where you can apply but don´t trust those that promise you earn a lot of money taking paid surveys because it´s not real. You can check, for example, the web https://topencuestaspagadas.net. They show you some safe places.

Getting paid to take surveys is a good way to earn money in EEUU. Many companies are making products every time and they want to know the public´s opinion before the product is sold. This is your opportunity because in EEUU nothing is stopped. So if you want extra money, just apply.

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The Cheapest Places to Upsize Your Home Revealed

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Does it feel like you’re seriously lacking in space in your current home? Do you find the clutter has taken over your life simply because you don’t have enough storage space? Do you and your family members feel as though you’re living on top of each other with little to no privacy? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, then there’s a good chance you’re already convinced it’s time to upsize your home. But what if you can’t or don’t want to upsize the budget? Can you upsize your home in an affordable way?

With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the cheapest places in the UK where you can upsize your home.

Orkney

Top spot goes to Orkney, which is not only a great location for upsizing but offers all kinds of other benefits to residents. It’s here that you’ll be able to take advantage of a bigger living space without having to inflate the budget exponentially.

As an in-depth article by deacon.co.uk – a specialist buildings insurance provider – points out, it is often called the happiest place to live. Residents consistently point out their high quality of living, low crime rates, school class sizes in the primary years are low. It’s rare you’ll find anything that would be classified as a traffic jam, there is plenty of open land and wide-open spaces, and you’ll be treated to some of the most exceptional natural scenery in the world.

Richmond in North Yorkshire

Another great location to research is Richmond in North Yorkshire. It features many of the same draws as Orkney does, but this time you will be located in England. The cost of living is more reasonable than many other areas of the UK, house prices are still affordable, the crime rates are low, and you’ve got a robust nightlife and entertainment scene that you can explore.

Rutland in the East Midlands

If you like that quiet kind of setting that is filled with history and fabulous architecture, then you may want to consider Rutland, which is the smallest county in Britain. There are plenty of rolling hills, the River Welland, a lot of agricultural lands, and is a drivable 164 km from London (ideal for a weekend getaway).

Hambleton in North Yorkshire

Hambleton is located in England’s northern regions with Northallerton being the largest town in the district. The district is dotted with small towns and villages, is known for its agricultural lands, and even got the title as the “best place to live in Yorkshire” a few years back. This title was based on life expectancy, overall health and wellness of residents, personal well-being, weather, crime rates, and employment.

Other Notable Places to Consider

And if you’re still not sold on the places listed, other affordable areas that you can potentially upsize your home include Eden in Cumbria, Westminster, and Richmond-upon-Thames. Each has its own unique personality and list of benefits. No matter which of these locations you pick, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to fulfill your goal of branching out and upsizing your home to something that is more functional and liveable.

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