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UK millennials most likely to fall victim to banking impersonation scams, poll finds

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UK millennials most likely to fall victim to banking impersonation scams

A new survey has revealed that UK millennials are more at risk than other Britons when it comes to falling victim to banking impersonation scams.

The poll, which was conducted by Lloyds Bank, recorded a four-fold rise in the number of consumers aged between 18 and 34 who were duped over the past 12 months by such scams, during which fraudsters pretend to be workers from banks, tax authorities or police in order to con victims into handing over cash.

In the course of such scams, which can be conducted over the phone or online, fraudsters attempt to convince people to hand over their banking or personal information such as passwords or PINs, or persuade them to make a credit card payment or bank transfer to a bogus recipient account.

While younger people were found to be more likely to fall for such fraud attempts than any other age group last year, victims aged over 55 lost the most in banking impersonation scams.

People in this age group lost an average of £10,716 ($12.850) to this type of fraud over the past 12 months, which compares to £3,573 for those aged between 45 and 54, and £2,630 for millennials.

Oftentimes, people who fall victim to this type of scam in the UK are unable to get their money back on account of the fact they have willingly compromised their account security.

Many banks argue that they offer customers ample warning about the dangers of providing banking information or making a payment to these types of scammers.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Paul Davis, Retail Fraud Director at Lloyds Bank, said: “Helping to keep our customers’ money safe is our number one priority – being a victim of fraud can have devastating effects not just on people’s finances but also their lives.

“While we are working 24/7 behind the scenes to protect customers and millions of pounds have been frozen, every day fraudsters are trying to trick people into handing over their personal information like a PIN or password or transferring cash.

“Our new campaign will help people to recognise the signs by reminding them that we will never call and ask them to move money to another account. The more we all know about spotting scams, the safer we will all be.”

In May, the Daily Telegraph reported that new measures intended to prevent this type of fraud had been delayed.

Under a new system that will now not be introduced until March of next year, banks will be compelled to confirm the name on a payee account before actioning a transfer of funds.

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Over-90s admitted to English hospitals after cocaine use rises 10-fold in little over a decade

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Over-90s admitted to English hospitals after cocaine use

The number of English pensioners aged over 90 admitted to hospital after suffering from psychological and behavioural disorders following cocaine use has rocketed over the past decade, figures published by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) revealed last week.

Data made public by NHS Digital showed that while only one person aged over 90 was admitted to hospital after suffering from psychological and behavioural disorders following cocaine use in 2007/08, that figure had risen ten-fold last year.

Overall, the total number of people of all age groups hospitalised after suffering from psychological and behavioural disorders following cocaine use hit 15,423 in England last year, which was up from 5,148 in 2007/08.

In 2007/08, 19 people aged between 60 and 69 were admitted to English hospitals after consuming cocaine, a number that rose to 314 last year.

Experts said the rising number of older people being treated in hospital after using cocaine was the result of existing users living longer and falling prices.

Discussing the increase with the Sunday Times, Dr Emily Finch of the addictions faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: “Many people don’t realise that cocaine use can cause mental health problems, resulting in people becoming so unwell they need to be admitted to hospital.”

Back in 2017, a report from the UK’s Office for National Statistics revealed that the so-called “Trainspotting generation” in their 40s had become the age group most at risk of drug overdose deaths.

The report found that for the first time ever in England and Wales, drug users aged between 40 and 49 had the highest incidence of deaths in which illegal substances played a role, overtaking those in their 30s.

ONS researchers put the emerging trend down to the fact that many addicts in that age group were beginning to lose their battles with substance abuse due to poor physical and mental health.

Separately, the Independent reports that NHS hospitals are being forced to install additional CCTV cameras in order to prevent the widespread and open dealing of drugs on hospital wards.

The news website quotes doctors and nurses as saying that patients are able to order drugs from their beds as though they were calling out for pizza and have their substances of choice delivered to the door of the ward they are on.

One nurse told the Independent that a major hospital had been forced to keep rival drugs gangs apart to prevent the breakout of violence on wards.

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Woman with 2kgs of gold taped to bottom of her feet arrested at Russia’s border with China

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Woman with 2kgs of gold taped to bottom of her feet arrested at Russia’s border

Russian customs officers working on the country’s border with China have caught a woman attempting to smuggle gold discs taped to the soles of feet.

Border force guards stopped the 27-year-old Russian national after spotting that she was walking in an unusual manner.

After using a metal detector, investigators from the Far Eastern Customs Administration of Russia discovered that the woman, who is said to have been behaving in a nervous fashion, had taped nearly 2kgs of gold estimated to be worth more than five million roubles ($78,650) to the bottom of her feet.

In a statement, officials said the woman claimed she had been paid to smuggle the gold across the border by a Chinese citizen.

“The customs post inspector noticed that before the woman reached the checkpoint, she was nervous was behaving suspiciously.,” the Far Eastern Customs Administration said in a statement.

“She unnaturally rearranged her legs while walking. Gold bars were detected using a stationary metal detector.”

Speaking with Russian news outlet Komsomolskaya Pravda, Marina Boiko, a customs spokeswoman based at a border post near Chita in eastern Siberia, said: “A check with portable detector showed that it rang when the inspector pointed at her feet.

“The woman was asked to take her shoes off, and in her socks they found eight pieces of yellow metal bullion taped to her soles.”

The woman was arrested and could now face a maximum sentence of seven years behind bars if she is convicted of gold smuggling.

Customs officers said they have repeatedly caught Russian nationals attempting to sneak gold and other precious metals and stones into China over the course of the past year, noting how in August one woman was apprehended with 10 gold bars hidden beneath the insoles of her trainers.

The woman was caught after being stopped at a vehicle checkpoint close to the border town of Zabaikalsk while attempting to travel to China.

At the beginning of October, it was reported that customs authorities at an airport in India had stopped a man who had shaved the hair from the top of his head before gluing a package of gold to his bald scalp and covering it with a hairpiece.

The man was stopped at Cochin International Airport after arriving on a flight from the United Arab Emirates after customs officers received a tipoff.

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Terrorism experts gather in Dushanbe to discuss how biometrics can help police track extremists

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terrorism experts gather in Dushanbe

Experts on extremism have gathered in the Tajikistani capital of Dushanbe to attend an Interpol meeting focused on combating the terrorist threat throughout Central Asia.

The two-day Project Kalkan meeting, which brought together terrorism experts to share best practice and identify gaps in intelligence-gathering techniques, was the latest in a series of special regional events coordinated by the global law enforcement agency.

As well as exchanging information on the terrorist use of drones and the funding of terrorist activity, delegates were told about the value of systematically recording and sharing biometric data that could help law enforcement authorities identify extremist suspets.

Addressing the meeting on his first official visit to Tajikistan, Interpol chief Jürgen Stock told attendees: “[The sharing of biometric data] is especially relevant for individuals suspected of terrorist activity, including those serving currently in prison and ahead of their release.

“Going forward, this information will help strengthen Interpol’s role as a global early warning system to help countries detect and interdict suspects as they attempt to cross borders.”

Project Kalkan is funded by the Japanese government, and currently involves Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Georgia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

Separately, a new report published by the Chief Coroner for England and Wales on the London Bridge terrorist atrocity in June 2017 has said that police and MI5 failed to recognise the threat posed by attack ringleader Khuram Butt, despite the fact he had appeared on a Channel 4 documentary called the Jihadi Next Door.

In the programme, Butt was seen with a group of Islamists kneeling in front of a black flag in London’s Regents Park.

Chief Coroner for England and Wales Judge Mark Lucraft said in his report that an investigation into Butt’s extremist views before the attack had been suspended on two occasions due to a lack of resources, and that investigators did not act on information about his beliefs provided by one of his relatives.

“In my view, the appropriate response to these submissions is to raise the fact that suspensions of priority investigations are a matter of legitimate public concern,” Lucraft wrote.

“In its continuing review work, the Security Service should give careful consideration to the way in which such investigations are suspended, including the value of flexibility in the systems.”

Lucraft concluded that under current UK counter-terrorism legislation, “it may be impossible [for police] to take action even when [they have intelligence about] the most offensive and shocking character”.

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