Money Transfer Scams Cost Victims £236m In 2017

Business Money Transfer Scams Cost Victims £236m In 2017 Victims of a notorious money transfer trick have been losing an average of almost £3,000 each, according to new figures. Banking trade body UK Finance has been taking a closer look at so-called authorised push payment fraud. It has said that those duped lost £236m in total last year, and that banks were unable to return 74% of victims’ money. Such fraud often occurs to People Transferring Money during a property transaction or when paying an invoice for work undertaken to their home. Victims believe they are transferring money to an official person such as a solicitor.

However, they are instead being tricked by fraudsters who may have hacked emails or intercepted mails. These scammers typically send a payment demand, posing as the legitimate business. What Else Do We Know About The Epidemic? This is the first time UK Finance has made calculations for these kinds of cases. It recorded 43,875 reported cases in total, with 88% of victims being customers, who lost £2,784 on average. The remaining victims were businesses losing an average of £24,355 per case. A “super-complaint” was madein relation to this type of scam in September 2016. Consumer group Which? complained to regulators, urging banks to take on greater responsibility when victims are deceived in this manner. It said that the new figures indicated the “shocking scale” of such scams. Which? Made its complaint due to concerns that victims misled into transferring money via bank transfer to fraudsters were not legally entitled to their money back from their bank. It said that this differed from the situation with a lot of other payment methods.

The Payment Systems Regulator has since devised an action plan that should lead to improved protection for such consumers. Financial providers only returned 26% (£60.8m) of the losses from authorised push payment scams in 2017. Tips For Preventing ‘Push’ Fraud You can protect yourself against ‘push’ scams in various ways, according to UK Finance. These include never assuming that an email, text or phone call is authentic, and never disclosing security details such as your PIN or full banking password. The body also urges potential targets not to be rushed, as genuine organisations will not mind waiting. It’s also important to listen to your instincts and stay in control when something seems suspicious. Don’t panic yourself into making a regrettable decision. Here at SmilePass, we are very familiar with the human fallibility that can lead to successful scams like these. It’s why we offer solutions developed by experts who know exactly How To Prevent Social Engineering that could leave victims thousands of pounds out of pocket. Why not Contact Us Today to find out more about these acclaimed services?

After a big year for cryptocurrencies, what’s on the horizon in 2022?

The year 2021 was marked by several major breakthroughs for cryptocurrencies.

For one, new crypto applications like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) gained ground, with sales of these digital assets setting new records at major auction houses. Secondly, Bitcoin made strides towards mainstream acceptance with major websites like Expedia and Microsoft accepting the coin as a means of exchange. Third, in September, El Salvador became the first country in the world to accept bitcoin as legal tender.

There are many more examples of how the market for cryptocurrencies has expanded just in the last year. With this uptick of activity, what’s ahead in 2022 for cryptocurrencies?

We believe there are three main areas where cryptocurrencies will gain steam in the next year: greater acceptance of Bitcoin as a means of payment, increased regulatory scrutiny and a rise in NFT activity.

The embrace of Bitcoin

Understanding what motivates individuals to adopt Bitcoin has been a challenge for researchers. A recent study suggests five main factors contribute to someone’s likelihood of using Bitcoin:

  • Trust in the system
  • Online word of mouth
  • Quality of the web platforms available for transaction
  • Perceived riskiness of the investment
  • Expectations about Bitcoin’s performance

Other studies have added more nuances to this argument by considering gender, age and educational level as equally important factors.

The conditions in the crypto space have made it increasingly likely that Bitcoin will become mainstream in the near future.

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Stablecoins: these cryptocurrencies threaten the financial system, but no one is getting to grips with them

Cryptocurrencies have had an exceptional year, reaching a combined value of more than US$3 trillion (£2.2 trillion) for the first time in November. The market seems to have benefited from the public having time on their hands during pandemic lockdowns. Also, large investment funds and banks have stepped in, not least with the recent launch of the first bitcoin-backed ETF – a listed fund that makes it easier for more investors to get exposure to this asset class.

Alongside this has been an explosive rise in the value of stablecoins like tether, USDC and Binance USD. Like other cryptocurrencies, stablecoins move around on the same online ledger technology known as blockchains. The difference is that their value is pegged 1:1 to a financial asset outside the world of crypto, usually the US dollar.

Stablecoins enable investors to keep money in their digital wallets that is less volatile than bitcoin, giving them one less reason to need a bank account. For a whole movement that is about a declaration of independence from banks and other centralised financial providers, stablecoins help to facilitate that. And since the rest of crypto tends to go up and down together, investors can protect themselves better in a falling market by moving money into stablecoins than, say, selling their ether for bitcoin.

A substantial proportion of buying and selling of crypto is done using stablecoins. They are particularly useful for trading on exchanges like Uniswap where there is no single company in control and no option to use fiat currencies. The total dollar value of stablecoins has shot up from the low US$20 billions a year ago to US$139 billion today. In one sense this is a sign that the cryptocurrency market is maturing, but it also has regulators worried about the risks that stablecoins could pose to the financial system. So what’s the problem and what can be done about it?

The problem with stablecoins

Initially introduced in the mid-2010s, stablecoins are centralised operations – in other words, someone is in control of them. Tether is ultimately controlled by the owners of the crypto exchange Bitfinex, which is based in the British Virgin Islands. USDC is owned by an American consortium consisting of payments provider Circle, bitcoin miner Bitmain and crypto exchange Coinbase. Binance USD is owned by Binance, another crypto exchange, which is headquartered in the Cayman Islands.

There is a philosophical contradiction between the decentralised ideal of cryptocurrencies and the fact that such an important part of the market is centralised. But also, there are serious questions about whether these organisations hold enough financial reserves to be able to maintain the 1:1 fiat ratios of their stablecoins in the event of a crisis.

These 1:1 ratios are not automatic. They depend on stablecoin providers having reserves of financial assets equivalent to the value of their stablecoins in circulation, which adjust with supply and demand from investors. The providers promise they have reserves worth 100% of the value of their stablecoins, but that’s not quite accurate – as can be seen in the charts below.

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opening a cryptocurrency account for starter

If you're one of several 20% of crypto-curious Americans who wish to buy their first cryptocurrencies, you may feel just a little overwhelmed to start with. Not only it is possible to vast number of coins (over 13,000 ones in accordance with CoinMarketCap), though the logistics of opening a cryptocurrency account and depositing money may also be daunting. With that in mind, let's take a review of a little gem to help you get started, in addition to three cryptos that is your steppings stones to the market.
Minimize the risks
I don't wish to scare you by beginning with the potential risks which might be part and parcel of cryptocurrency investing, but it's preferable to be prepared. So before we to the best cryptos for the starter portfolio, let's touch on some of the approaches to protect yourself.

Only invest money you really can afford to lose. Cryptocurrencies are incredibly volatile, so that your assets could easily gain or lose 20% or maybe more in a single week. Not only that, however, many coins will fail. If you only invest money you'll be able to cope without, you'll not be so affected if the market crashes.
Top up your emergency fund and retirement savings first. It's easy to get caught up within the hype around cryptocurrency investments and feel like you'll miss the boat if you don't invest now. But your emergency savings and retirement account have to take priority. They are what's going to sustain you, in a choice of your senior years or in any financial crisis you face before that.
Limit your crypto investments to 5% of your overall portfolio. Another common mistake is always to go all in on crypto. Instead, ensure your digital assets really are a small portion of a much more balanced portfolio, so you will not be overexposed to fluctuations within the crypto market.
Use an excellent cryptocurrency app or exchange. Look for a cryptocurrency platform that may maintain investment safe by storing assets offline in what is known as cold storage. It's a bonus whether it also offers vacation insurance to offer additional protection against hacking.
Never stop researching. You don't have to be a blockchain expert, but one does need to find out the basic principles. Otherwise, how can you pick out the worthwhile investments in the sea of pretenders? It's crucial you do due diligence on any crypto prior to deciding to invest.
Invest for the long term. Rather than seeking quick gains, a long-term investment approach will assist you to avoid panic selling or buying. It makes it easier to ride out your volatility and focus on cryptos with real-world utility that are prone to work as time passes.
Understand the tax implications. You need to keep track of all crypto transactions, as you will need to pay capital gains tax on any profits. Crypto taxes might be complicated, so be sure to determine what you have to report.
Without further ado, let's consider the three best cryptos for first-time investors.

What is cryptocurrency mining?

Cryptocurrencies have risen in popularity over the last few years to become one of the most widely talked about forms of investment and payment methods for online shoppers. The emergence of Bitcoin over the last ten years has attracted a following of technology enthusiasts as well as speculators drawn to its tendency to fluctuate wildly in value. This digital token, however, is just one of many cryptocurrencies out there.

This blockchain-based form of currency has become more and more viable over time, despite its tendency to create unpredictable highs and lows in value, with organisations like PayPal letting users pay for goods using Bitcoin. The value of cryptocurrencies, however, is still a major stumbling block to widespread adoption and use, but this ever-changing reality is favourable for those seeking to use cryptocurrencies as an investment vehicle as well as for cryptocurrency miners.

It’s actually quite difficult to create cryptocurrency relative to how traditional money is printed by a central bank. These legacy currencies, also known as fiat currencies, are managed centrally, with the central bank of any particular country issuing new physical notes and coins to replace older variants in circulation, which are removed from the economy. Cryptocurrency, on the other hand, is generated through a process called ‘mining’.

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Different Methods of Mining Cryptocurrencies

Different methods of mining cryptocurrencies require different amounts of time. In the technology’s early days, for example, CPU mining was the go-to option for most miners. However, many find CPU mining to be too slow and impractical today because it takes months to accrue even a small amount of profit, given the high electrical and cooling costs and increased difficulty across the board.

GPU mining is another  method of mining cryptocurrencies. It maximizes computational power by bringing together a set of GPUs under one mining rig. For GPU mining, a motherboard and cooling system is required for the rig.

Similarly, ASIC mining is yet another method of mining cryptocurrencies. Unlike GPU miners, ASIC miners are specifically designed to mine cryptocurrencies, so they produce more cryptocurrency units than GPUs. However, they are expensive, meaning that, as mining difficulty increases, they quickly become obsolete.

Given the ever-increasing costs of GPU  and ASIC mining, cloud mining is becoming increasingly popular. Cloud mining allows individual miners to leverage the power of major corporations and dedicated crypto mining facilities.

Individual crypto miners can identify both free and paid cloud mining hosts online and rent a mining rig for a specific amount of time. This method is the most hands-free way to mine cryptocurrencies.

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Crypto-mining malware: Uncovering a cryptocurrency farm in a warehouse

Crypto-mining malware in corporate networks

Crypto-mining malware has the ability to hamper and even crash an organization’s digital environment, if unstopped. Cyber AI has discovered and thwarted hundreds of attacks where devices are infected with crypto-mining malware, including:

  • a server in charge of opening and closing a biometric door;
  • a spectrometer, a medical IoT device which uses wavelengths of light to analyze materials;
  • 12 servers hidden under the floorboards of an Italian bank.

In one instance last year, Darktrace detected anomalous crypto-mining activity on a corporate system. Upon investigation, the organization in question traced the anomalous activity to one of their warehouses, where they found what appeared to be unassuming cardboard boxes sitting on a shelf. Opening these boxes revealed a cryptocurrency farm in disguise, running off the company’s network power.

Had it remained undiscovered, the crypto-mining farm would have led to financial losses for the client and disruption to business workings. Mining rigs also generate a lot of heat and could have easily caused a fire in the warehouse.

This case demonstrates the covert methods opportunistic individuals may take to hijack corporate infrastructure with crypto-mining malware, as well as the need for a security tool which covers the entire digital estate and detects any new or unusual events. Darktrace’s machine learning flagged the connections being made from the warehouse boxes as highly anomalous, leading to this unexpected discovery.

In organizations with Antigena active, any anomalous crypto-mining devices would be blocked from communicating with the relevant external endpoints, effectively inhibiting mining activity. Antigena can also respond by enforcing the ‘pattern of life’ across the digital environment, preventing malicious behavior while allowing normal business activities to continue. As bad actors continue to proliferate and hackers devise new ways to deploy crypto-mining malware, Darktrace’s full visibility and Autonomous Response in every part of the digital environment is more important than ever.