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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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Showing Your Love For Healthcare Workers

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When you know and love a healthcare worker during this difficult time, you may be searching for ways that you can show you appreciation for the hard work that they do. Coming up with some great ideas can seem a little difficult, as many items are inaccessible and restrictions are closing shops and limiting travel. Luckily there are still many ways that you can show your love for the health care workers in your life, as there are several brilliant concepts which you can make the most of to put a smile on their face today. So, if you want to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best suggestions that you can utilise to show appreciation during this difficult period. 

Make Their Life A Little Easier 

One of the best things that you can do for a healthcare specialist that you know and love during this tough period is to attempt to make their life a little easier. Extra long shifts battling against this new virus can have a terrible effect on a person’s mental health, as well as sapping away all of their energy at the same time. This can mean that things like doing their grocery shopping and making meals are often the very last thing on their mind, opening up the perfect opportunity for you to get involved and lend a helping hand. Doing a big food shop that you can take to their home after work will be such an amazing gesture they will no doubt appreciate, whilst going an extra step further to actually cook up a delicious meal that they can enjoy after a long day can put such a huge smile on their face. Be sure to make the most of healthy ingredients including lots of fresh fruit and veg, as they must look after their immune system to stay strong throughout. 

Little Extras 

There are several different little extras that you may want to invest in to show your health care loved ones a bit of appreciation, and you can get these items delivered straight to their home so that you needn’t bother trying to work around social distancing measures to drop off their present yourself. For example, something like a heart badge reel that they can add to their uniform can be a great pick-me-up that they can look down at for a little motivation during their long shifts at work! It’s also a great idea to find some self care activities that they can indulge in, such as a luxurious face mask or bubble bath that they can utilise to get some down time at the end of the day.

Showing your love for the healthcare workers in your life needn’t be as difficult as you might think when you can make the most of the top tips and tricks detailed above! Whether you decide to help them get their grocery shopping, cook a nutritious meal or simple invest in a few little gifts to put a smile on their face – every little helps!

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3 Steps to Becoming a Better Person

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We only get one life so it’s important to live it well, make the most of things and seize opportunities that come your way. If you’re hoping to make the most of your time on earth, here are just three ways you can go about it. 

Be more understanding

We all want to be the best person we can be, and a big part of that is relating to and getting on with other people. But it’s not always in the way we think, we don’t need to make grand gestures, we don’t need to be able to give therapist level advice or be a perfect friend in every sense. The main thing we need to do is be empathetic and understanding- be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It can be easy to be irritated, annoyed or upset if a friend lets you down, cancels plans or does something else undesirable but when you’re understanding you’re able to empathise about why this might be. Maybe they’re busy, have other priorities (as we all do) or double booked themselves. We’re able to cut ourselves slack as we know that we’re only human, do others the same justice. Being understanding doesn’t mean being a doormat and being walked over, you do still need to know when someone is taking advantage. But for the most part, the people in your life won’t be purposely trying to upset you, be more understanding and it’s easy to realise this. 

Find your own spiritual path

Having beliefs in something that matters to you can be a great way to live your life, it seems counterproductive but realising how small you are on this planet and as part of the greater universe can feel reassuring. It means that your problems are also small and often irrelevant, and as a result can help you to just get out there and live your best life. Being spiritual and having beliefs doesn’t have to mean being religious, there are many reasons you might be put off from traditional religion. While it helps many, there’s no denying that it’s also a cause of many wars, there are numerous church abuse lawsuits that have been filed across the globe and to some, it simply doesn’t fit their beliefs. But don’t write off finding greater meaning altogether, find your own spiritual path. This could be anything from numerology to deep meditation to trusting in the universe and it’s signals. Do some research and find a path that suits you. 

Find a good work/ life balance

Work is important, not only does it give your life purpose but it allows you to earn the money you need to have the lifestyle you want outside of work. Most of us have no choice but to work, but it’s easy to go overboard with it. Maybe you’re passionate about your job or are just a bit of a workaholic, take a step back. Find the balance between work and life such as travel, family, pets and hobbies. You’ll be much happier for it.

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Preventing Mould: Use These Simple Tips

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Maintaining a healthy and happy working environment is perhaps the most important thing we can do as homeowners. When buying a house, it becomes our responsibility to ensure that the space is kept clean and hygienic to keep us healthy throughout our lives.

One of the biggest health risks in the home is mould, and this can spread throughout the home quicker than wildfire without you even realising. Breathing in mould spores is bad for your respiratory system and it can cause a whole load of health issues if not fixed. That’s why today we are taking a look at how to prevent mould in the house once and for all. Use these easy tips to keep mould away from your home this year.

1. Know your weak spots

Every house will have its own weak spots and areas that are more susceptible to mould than others. Take a look around your house and see what weak spots you can uncover. Do you have a basement? If so, is it prone to flooding? The installation of a sump pump with liquid level sensors to keep water controlled might be helpful. Do the windows often accumulate a lot of condensation? If so, think about wiping them with a cloth and a squeegee regularly. Consider where the worst spots for mould are in the house and you should be able to find ways to fix them.

2. Getting drying

If you are looking to create the ideal environment for mould to grow, keep everything moist and wet. Mould spores thrive in humid conditions so if your house is often wet in places and hot, you need to remedy this right away. Get yourself a dehumidifier to clear the air and wipe all wet areas to make sure they are as dry as possible. If you do this every day you will prevent mould being able to make a home in your home.

3. Ventilate the house

It’s a delicate balance when looking at insulation versus ventilation, to know which one is more important. They are both equally important for different reasons, and if you have gone a bit over the top with insulation, this could be a solid reason why you have mould in the house. Air needs to be able to flow through the house to keep it dry, and if you don’t have airflow, your home will become humid and attract mould.

4. Seal cracks

Even the smallest cracks in your walls or ceilings can be a breeding ground for mould, and if you don’t seal up cracks you’ll run the risk of letting water into the home and therefore mould too. Seal up any small cracks and chips in your walls and this will make a big difference.

5. Clean the gutters

One way for mould to creep into the home is from above, and when water seeps into the foundation of your home the mould will follow. Cleaning your gutters will ensure that water doesn’t build up and end up seeping into the home without you realising. 

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