The new series of BBC Rip Off Britain kicks off this week and once again I’m helping to shine a light on the digital shams and scams that have been plaguing viewers across the country.
Such as this one, where Facebook fraudsters buy or cultivate pages with thousands of likes, then rename the page and clone their victim’s shopfront before defrauding their customers:
It can be difficult for shoppers to know which pages are real and which are fakes.
For this film I created an almost identical clone of the BBC Rip Off Britain Facebook page within a matter of minutes. It’s also a challenge for owners of Facebook pages who feel can powerless to stop scammers ripping off both their business and their customers
My advice for Facebook page owners – and for visitors to those pages – is to look out for Facebook verification badges. These grey or blue ticks alongside the profile name indicate that the page has been vetted by Facebook, with official documentation provided in some cases, and can reasonably be expected to be the real deal. Page owners can request a grey tick by following Facebook’s verification process.
To find out more about this – and other digital rip offs – tune in to BBC1, weekdays 9.15 to 10.00am or watch on-demand on BBC iPlayer.
The weekly podcast takes a lighter look at the serious business of cyber security, and I appear to have been pigeon-holed as the show’s resident cyber-sex reporter. Oh well.
In last week’s episode I reported on AgeID, the latest attempt by a leading adult-content outlet to adhere to the UK’s upcoming age verification legislation which seeks to protect under-18s from accessing explicit online material.
We’ve never had so many people download an episode of the “Smashing Security” podcast as quickly as our latest one:
“Hijacked homes, porn passports, and ransomware regret”
— Graham Cluley (@gcluley) March 19, 2019
Clearly, there are a lot of challenges with this piece of law – practically, technically and morally – which is why the UK government has struggled with guidance and deadlines. At the time of writing, we’re still no clearer when the go-live date will be or how effective any block may prove.
Also in the episode we ask when it makes sense to pay off that ransomware fee, and uncover the ‘$150 million mansion hijack’.
Tap here to catch the full episode, or find it in your favourite podcast player.
What a super time at The Photography Show in Birmingham this week.
Tens of thousands of visitors, hundreds of cracking cameras and dozens of the world’s most inspirational photographers.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have worked on The Photography Show since it began in 2014. This year, as well as hosting the show’s pop-up TV channel, I was thrilled to be asked to deliver some workshops on mobile journalism and mobile content creation – an area I’ve also been involved in for a long time.
In one workshop I covered the basic principles of mobile journalism apps and workflow; in another I set up a mobile-only multi-camera studio, perfect to live stream blogs, podcasts, radio shows, panel discussions and more.
Yet my favourite parts of the show are the fireside chats with photographers; it’s a privilege to be able to speak with industry legends such as David Bailey, Martin Parr, Sebastiao Salgado and – above – leading fashion and beauty photographer and all-round inspiring person, Lindsay Adler.
Watch Photography Show TV on demand here.
Mobile World Congress (MWC) is where the world’s mobile industry meets.
An enormous event attracting over 100,000 visitors, MWC sets the agenda for the technology that impacts our lives the most.
This year, working with the show’s official broadcast outlet, we were challenged to produce a daily hour-long TV show that captured the energy, creativity and invention of MWC’s startup-focused event, 4YFN.
The result – The 4 Years from Now Show – achieved all that and more, with top quality broadcast output that surfaced the scale and spirit of the show.
We spoke with startups applying robotics, AI and blockchain to solve real-world challenges; we chatted biohacking, transhumanism and brainwave modulation with experts and practitioners; we even tried a sleep robot, a connected cat litter tray and a post-workout training shoe drying and sterilising device.
Individual packages from the show are now available on demand over at Mobile World Live TV.
Last weekend I was in Cannes at the iconic InterContinental Carlton Hotel to host the TV industry’s Content Innovation Awards 2018.
The awards fall on the eve of MIPCOM TV, the annual television industry marketplace in which networks from around the world buy and sell the shows we watch.
Categories at this year’s awards included best entertainment format, best use of social media, best VR project as well as recognition for outstanding contribution in the industry.
Here’s a taste of the evening:
It was my first time in Cannes, and I had a terrific time at the awards helping the industry to celebrate its successes. I’m very grateful to the team at Informa, Television Business International and Digital TV Europe for asking me to host this year’s prestigious event.
Earlier this year on BBC Rip Off Britain I reported on how Martin ‘Money Saving Expert’ Lewis had found himself the unwitting face of adverts for bitcoin and cryptocurrency get-rich-quick schemes.
Understandably angry, Martin embarked upon a public campaign – and legal proceedings against Facebook – to make it clear that he in no way endorses any of these schemes.
Then, last week, I began receiving messages asking about a bitcoin scheme that I was apparently supporting. A quick web search and scan of social media revealed that it was my turn to be the face of dodgy cryptocurrency money-making schemes:
To be absolutely clear: these adverts are fake. In no way do I endorse any bitcoin or cryptocurrency money-making schemes. And as for me making ‘millions of pounds every month’? I’m still working on it.
The photos are genuine, though not the captions. The irony is that the scammers now using my face in those fake ads had the cheek to come to my website to steal the images.
There’s also an entire website now dedicated to my endorsement of the so-called trading platform. It goes so far as to provide a fabricated transcript of a conversation between me and Susanna in which I explain how the scheme works.
When I perform a web search on some phrases on the site, I find it’s identical to another site on the web in which Martin Lewis is the proponent.
It’s desperately frustrating that my face may now be helping to rip people off, and that there’s little I can do to stop it from happening.
However, what I can do is to help spread the word that these adverts should not be taken at face value. Also, steer well clear of any get-rich-quick schemes like these – whoever appears to be endorsing it. And be very cautious of any screenshot of a new story – they’re very easy to fake.
Recently, I shared some tips on how to spot fake adverts.
Photokina is the most eagerly anticipated event in the calendar for photography professionals and enthusiasts.
This year I’m privileged to be a guest of Canon, hosting its social media live-streams and interviewing some of the best-known photographers, photojournalists and filmmakers in the world.
It’s also an opportunity to get some hands-on time with amazing new kit — such as the EOS R camera — before it officially launches.
Expedition photographer Ulla Lohmann is a new hero of mine, and it was a thrill to interview her — and her 3-month old son — about her work. A force of Mother Nature, Ulla descends into volcanoes for a living and explores untrodden environments to uncover the stories that reveal the beating heart of our planet.
If you’re in any way curious about the world around you then New Scientist Live could be one of the most exciting places in the universe to be this week.
Here in London, Nicki Shields and I have been presenting the New Scientist Live live stream, running around the venue’s five zones to interview some of the biggest brains in science, and get hands-on with as many experiments as we can.
Today I’ve been in conversation with Jim Al-Khalili, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, Bobby Seagull and Dr Rangan Chatterjee – I even spoke with an impassioned Clare Balding about the grandstand role that technology is now playing in sport. Yesterday, Nicki got to sit down and chat with astronaut Tim Peake.
Whether you’re into gene editing and quantum cryptography or good old spaceships and slime, I’m pretty sure New Scientist Live has something for you.