Archive for August, 2010
Legal and security experts are warning fraud victims to be alert for criminals claiming to be able to recover lost money.
People who have been cheated out of their savings are being approached by legal recovery companies promising to recover their money for a fee.
However, all too often the company is a front for the original fraudsters or another criminal who has been sold the victim’s details.
The Association of Chief Police Officers’ Working Group on Fraud discussed the crime and alerted forces to be aware of the threat.
Daniel Berke, head of fraud at law firm Lewis Hymanson Small, said;
“These are clever fraudsters, targeting innocent victims and conning them out of their last savings. Be wary of any firms that contact you directly claiming to be able to help, especially if they’re getting in touch before you have even contacted the police or your own legal expert.”
Jim Watson, managing director of Shred Easy, one of the UK’s largest confidential data destruction companies, said;
“You should avoid any company asking for cash to recover stolen monies. In order to stop fraudsters from getting hold of confidential information in the first place, you must always securely destroy confidential data such as bank statements, receipts and credit cards. Plus I would check the security of gadgets such as your computer/laptop, BlackBerry/iPhone and memory sticks. Try and make sure you create a password so only you have access to your private data.”
Official figures from the National Fraud Authority, which was set up in 2008, show that fraud costs the economy more than £30 billion a year.
Fakes flooding Olympic markets
With just over 600 days to go until the starter gun fires for the start of the London 2012 Olympics the black market has seen an upsurge in fake souvenirs.
The 2012 Olympics will see athletes from around the world competing in 26 sports as diverse as badminton, canoeing and horse jumping from 20 July – 19 August.
Recently, Trading Standards officers confiscated 1,300 fake t-shirts and baseball caps with the 2012 logo and the Olympic rings printed on. Olympic organisers say that sales of official merchandise contribute to the £2bn cost of staging the event.
As technology evolves the increase in forged goods means spotting a fake is harder. Experts say counterfeit items must be shredded securely to stop them getting onto the black market, which contributes to wider criminal activity and presents consumers with poor quality items.
Jim Watson, managing director of Shred Easy, the UK’s leading counterfeit confidential destruction company, said:
“Sports fans should know how to spot fakes online and in the street. Look out for faded Olympic logos, cheap material, badly stitched labels, the age of the item and where it was made.
“These items must be securely shredded by accredited shredding companies, like Shred Easy, to protect the official Olympic trade mark.
“If you have bought a fake item under the impression it’s an original, you have legal rights against the seller and should contact Trading Standards immediately. Your statutory rights may allow you to claim for false advertising.”
In November 2009, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) revealed that a large number of T-Mobile customer data had been stolen and sold to a third party company by an employee of the company. The revelation came as a result of a campaign by the ICO to introduce tougher punishment for data thieves.
T-Mobile, a part of Deutsche Telekom AG, confessed that the details had been sold and stated that they were working with the ICO to not only find the culprit but to wipe out a common problem for all mobile phone companies.
Rival companies had bought and used the information to call customers that were nearing the end of their current contract and would offer them a new one with a new network.
Now, 9 months on, former T-Mobile employee David Turley will be prosecuted after confessing to the crime. Turley admitted to selling the data at Chester Crown Court in July and faces 18 charges under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act.
These charges come on the tail of increased penalties for Data Theft. Before April this year, the maximum penalty for data theft in the UK was a fine of £5000. Now, new legislation has now enabled the ICO to charge companies fines of up to £500,000.
A second former employee, Darren Hames, will submit his plea regarding his role in the theft later this year.
Many companies are already taking precautions to deal with the ‘Insider Threat’ regarding Data Loss Prevention and are adding such tools and technologies such as cryptography and Secure Erasure to ensure that data is accessed only by those with authorisation and destroyed when no longer required.
Anusree Saha, Channel Marketing Manager of Data Destruction company, Shred Easy Ltd explains that, “the fact that the employees have now been charged and the introduction of new powers for the ICO, in April, shows that data theft is an increasing problem that requires harsher penalties.”
“Confidential information is constantly made accessible to would-be thieves and it is encouraging to see the increased severity of the punishments.”
The whole subject of Data Privacy has grown over recent years and has even seen the establishment of an International Association of Privacy Professional (IAPP) with membership spanning the globe.
COURTESY OF DIGITAL FORENSICS MAGAZINE: http://digitalforensicsmagazine.com/
Securely shredding confidential data is the best way for businesses to stay safe from identity fraud, according to experts.
A recent survey by the Association of Chief Police Officers revealed that £20 billion is lost through weaknesses exploited in information and data security. Companies House says between 50 and 100 cases of corporate identity fraud occur every month.
In light of these findings, Shred Easy, one of the UK’s biggest confidential data destruction companies, is urging businesses to step up their data security.
Jim Watson, managing director of Shred Easy, said:
“Businesses are risking millions by having no confidential data policy in place. Fraud against businesses is rising and will continue to do so during and after the recession.
Companies which protect themselves now will weather the storm of this increase in fraud.
“Creating or updating a confidential data policy must be a priority for businesses. It’s not just confidential paper documents that need to be securely shredded but computer hardware such as disk drives and data sticks.”
“With little knowledge or effort, a fraudster can change the registered office of the business, trading address and even names of directors. Companies with a good trading record are then vulnerable if orders for expensive goods are placed and not paid for.”
Shred Easy has produced ten top tips to help prevent business fraud:
1) Create a confidential data policy – if you don’t have one already you are already in the high risk category for being a victim of data theft.
2) Store data safely – don’t assume that bagging it up is the end of the matter. Criminals have rich pickings outside business premises where confidential data has been poorly disposed.
3) Destroy data properly – shred all confidential data and arrange for a professional shredding company to help store, collect and securely destroy confidential information.
4) Check identities – use credit reference agencies to verify the identity of business customers, suppliers and clients.
5) Secure your accounts – don’t allow details of your business banking to escape into the public domain. Thieves are well adept at impersonating signatures.
6) Inform staff – train staff on how to deal with confidential data properly and monitor their behaviour. Most business fraud is committed by people within the business.
7) Keep post safe – theft of post is a major issue for businesses. Scammers may try to redirect your mail without your knowledge.
Restrict key documents – don’t allow staff to have full access to all your company documents. This applies to paper and digital data.
9) Use anti virus software – businesses still get fleeced by online scammers. Installing credible anti-virus software is necessary to combat this threat.
10) Beware of carrying large amounts of confidential data on laptops, data sticks or mobile devices such as BlackBerrys and iPhones. These small portable gadgets are magnets for thieves who can exploit your confidential information.