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Attack of the Facebook Clones: BBC Rip Off Britain

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.

Robotics, AI and Blockchain: 4 Years from Now at MWC Barcelona

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.

Hosting TV Industry Awards in Cannes

Last weekend I was in Cannes at the iconic InterContinental Carlton Hotel to host the TV industry’s Content Innovation Awards 2018.

David McClelland hosts the Content Innovation Awards 2018 in Cannes

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.

BBC Rip Off Britain: Live

Fakebook: How to Spot Fake Facebook Adverts – BBC Rip Off Britain: Live

Whether it’s fake news, fake likes or fake adverts, Facebook hasn’t been far from the top of the news agenda over the last few months.

Rip Off Britain - Fake Facebook Adverts

Don’t trust an advert just because it features a trusted face (Image: BBC)

On Monday’s Rip Off Britain: Live (BBC1, 9.15am) I addressed the fake Facebook adverts issue which has recently seen money-saving expert Martin Lewis sue the social network for damages after his face appeared in fake adverts for scam financial products.

The fake Facebook adverts I see generally fall into three main categories:

Fake Celebrity Endorsements

Advertisers have long worked with trusted names to grow reach and sales – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

However, as Martin Lewis and others have found, it’s a doddle for rogue advertisers to mock up fake celebrity endorsements, fake news reports – even entire fake websites – in an attempt to ensnare unwitting readers into their sales funnel.

MY ADVICE: Don’t trust an advert just because it features a trusted face, or appears to be a news story from a reputable news site, do your own research first.

Click to read on

Channel 4 Supershoppers

Wi-Fi Router Workout with Channel 4 Supershoppers

I’ve been filming some items for Channel 4 prime-time consumer programme, Supershoppers. In tonight’s show, I’m investigating broadband and Wi-Fi speeds.

Is the internet speed you pay for the speed you actually get throughout your home? There are lots of reasons why that may not be the case, one of which is how well your broadband router performs.

The majority of us make do with the router provided by our internet service provider when we sign up. While that’s often the easiest way to get up and running, that bundled hardware may not always provide the best internet experience around the house.

Supershoppers Wi-Fi Router Testing

(Images: Channel 4/Firecrest Films)

So, we’re testing the kit shipped by the some of UK’s top internet service providers – as well as some after-market options – to see which router works the hardest to send Wi-Fi around your home.

In the show we test:

  • BT Smart Hub
  • Sky Q Hub
  • Virgin Media Hub 3.o
  • TP-Link TL-W940N
  • Linksys WRT1900ACS

Watch Supershoppers on Thursday 14 June 2018 at 8pm or catch up on All 4.

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BBC Rip Off Britain Season 10

Rip Off Britain is back with a new series on BBC1 this week.

In one of this season’s films, I talk about how internet-connected doorbells are now being used help to catch crooks.

Filming in Manchester for series 10 of BBC Rip Off Britain Think of a connected doorbell as a video intercom – similar to those already popular in flats and offices – that connects your front door to your phone. Not only do they provide peace of mind when your doorbell – or perhaps that of an elderly relative – rings, these smart devices can also record video of who is at the door. Needless to say, they have already been used to help identify criminals.

In another item for the show this series, I take Julia Somerville to a Bitcoin cashpoint to explain what cryptocurrency is and how it works – and how some viewers may have lost substantial sums of more traditional cash to so-called Bitcoin scammers.

This year for the show we’ve also been making some quick advice films for Facebook – here’s me talking about why some viewers’ second-hand smartphone have suddenly stopped working days or weeks after they’ve bought them:

Rip Off Britain airs on BBC1 at 9.15am from Monday 13th June 2018, available on catch-up on BBC iPlayer.

London Tech Week Logo

London Tech Week 2018: Where 5G, AI and Blockchain Converge

London Tech Week is the UK capital’s annual celebration of technology and innovation.

Once again, I’m hosting the online broadcasts for LTW’s flagship event, TechXLR8, live every day from 9am until 6pm.

We’ll be interviewing tech industry movers and shakers from around the world to learn how 5G, AI, blockchain – even space tech – will converge to have a profound impact on business and society in the next two to three years.

I’ll be speaking with Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Matt Hancock; with leaders from Oracle, Microsoft and Nokia, also with the only VC investing solely in space tech, Seraphim Capital.

London Tech Week is also a great platform for start-ups, and we’ll be covering as many as we can, including the Project Kairos start-up pitch-off competition at TechXLR8 on Thursday.

Here’s one of my favourite reports from last year’s London Tech Week, but do look out for this year’s #LTW coverage at TechXLR8 and London Tech Week.

BBC Watchdog Nectar Card Fraud

BBC Watchdog: Nectar Card Fraud

I was back in the BBC Watchdog studio last night for an item on how Nectar card fraud has been leaving some viewers with a decidedly sour taste in their mouths.

BBC Watchdog Nectar Card Fraud

(Image: BBC)

Reports of fraudsters targeting the Nectar loyalty scheme aren’t new, but a recent spate of activity has brought it back to the top of the Watchdog mailbag.

Nectar began rewarding shoppers in 2002, and now around 20 million members collect and spend points at a variety of high-street and online retailers. In February this year, Nectar was bought by supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, which now also owns catalogue chain Argos.

In the fraud, Nectar points are redeemed – often in high street stores – to buy goods. The first victims know is when they try to spend their Nectar balance and find instead that their account is empty. So prolific are the fraudsters that, in some cases, victims have even found they‘be been left with a negative balance.

There are some patterns to the fraud:

  • Victims are adamant that their physical Nectar card – which is required to redeem points for goods in store – hasn’t been stolen, mislaid or even in the same town as where the points were redeemed
  • Argos appears to be a hot-spot for fraudsters redeeming Nectar points

How does Nectar card fraud work?

That is the million Nectar point question. On the surface, this is very straightforward:
Click to read on

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