Category Archives: Announcements

ACTION FRAUD – Phishing emails reported

A number of #COVID19 related phishing emails have been reported to Action Fraud. These emails attempt to trick you into opening malicious attachments which could lead to fraudsters stealing your personal information, logins, passwords, or banking details.

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/alert/coronavirus-related-fraud-reports

Protect yourself

1) Watch out for scam messages
Don’t click on the links or attachments in suspicious emails, and never respond to unsolicited messages and calls that ask for your personal or financial details.

2) Shopping online:
If you’re making a purchase from a company or person you don’t know and trust, carry out some research first, and ask a friend or family member for advice before completing the purchase. If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, use a credit card if you have one, as most major credit card providers insure online purchases.

For more information on how to shop online safely, please visit: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/shoponlinesafely

3) Protect your devices from the latest threats:
Always install the latest software and app updates to protect your devices from the latest threats.

For information on how to update your devices, please visit: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/securing-your-devices
For the latest health information and advice about COVID-19 please visit the NHS website.

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How to Spot and Avoid Coronavirus Scams

Scams are among the most prevalent types of crime in the UK, and coronavirus is creating a perfect environment for fraudsters to thrive using a range of loathsome tactics. What can you do to protect yourself against scams and misinformation?

Malicious e-mail
The things to watch out for in emails and other messages are: Unsolicited emails and texts: be careful of anything you weren’t expecting that claims to be from an organisation such as a bank, BT, Sky, PayPal, Microsoft, the BBC and other large, trusted organisations. And at the moment, particularly watch out for unsolicited emails claiming to come from health bodies such as the NHS, the WHO and the CDC.

An urgent tone: phishing and smishing messages are designed to scare you into clicking on their links.
Grammar and spelling: the phishing email claiming to come from the WHO is clumsily written and has typos such no spaces after commas.
No name: legitimate emails from services you have accounts with will always address you by name. Phishing emails and smishing texts usually start with ‘Dear Sir’ or ‘Dear Customer’.
Fake domains: scammers often set up website addresses that look legitimate in order to trick you. Security researchers Digital Shadows says that more than 1,400 domains linked to the Covid-19 disease caused by the coronavirus have been registered in the past three months.
While many of those may well be legitimate, others will almost certainly be used to trick anxious consumers into thinking they’re genuine.

When it comes to claims circulating via social media, there are a couple of things you can check.
Snopes is the original fact-checking website: if it’s not true, Snopes has probably written it up. Other fact-checking websites are also worth keeping an eye on: Full Fact is a British website that can be trusted, while Channel 4 News has its own FactCheck website.

Above all, make sure your computers, mobile phones and tablets are up to date, and for Windows, Macs and Android devices, you should install antivirus software and keep that up to date, too. Antivirus will protect you from threats such as the banking Trojan contained in the Italian emails, and can also warn you if you’re visiting a website that’s been reported for phishing or that contain malware.

If you’ve been scammed, report what’s happened to Action Fraud, the UK’s national centre for reporting fraud and cybercrime. Categories: Computing, Technology Tagged as: coronavirus phishing Scams.

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/

Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging, it often directs users to enter personal information at a fake website which matches the look and feel of the legitimate site.

A form of phishing, smishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them your private information via a text or SMS message. Smishing is becoming an emerging and growing threat in the world of online security.

Telephone and doorstep scams
Be wary of calls, and even visitors to your home. People are being warned as there has been an increase in scam calls. These could follow typical patterns of callers claiming to be authority figures, which may include the police, HMRC or your bank, and involve requests to transfer money or hand over sensitive account login information, or your Pin code.

We are seeing an increase in scams involving subscription accounts – such as Amazon Prime, claiming that an account has been hacked and requesting that you enter your details to address the issue. We’ve also seen reports of particularly nasty scams where criminals are taking advantage of older people by knocking on their doors. One scam has the criminals offering to take their temperature – thus allowing them into the house, where residents can be robbed or worse. Police in Cheshire warned via Twitter that they had had reports of people knocking on doors and telling elderly residents that they are from the Red Cross and offering to test them for the coronavirus – and charging them for doing so.

Scams selling face masks and hand sanitiser
Other potential scams include criminals claiming to sell you things like protective clothing.

And remember the callers in person or on the phone will sound genuine, friendly and helpful – but they are not they are out to scam you.

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Warning: Coronavirus Misinformation on Social Media

Some coronavirus misinformation recently found on social media

Currently there is no known cure. Unfortunately that hasn’t stopped a slew of health advice, ranging from useless but relatively harmless, to downright dangerous. We’ve been looking at some of the most widespread claims being shared online, and what the science really says.

1. Garlic: Lots of posts that recommend eating garlic to prevent infection are being shared on Facebook. The WHO (World Health Organization) says that while it is “a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties, there’s no evidence that eating garlic can protect people from the new coronavirus”.

2. ‘Miracle minerals’: You Tuber, Jordan Sather, who has many thousands of followers across different platforms, has been claiming that a “miracle mineral supplement”, called MMS, can “wipe out” coronavirus. It contains chlorine dioxide – a bleaching agent.
In January he tweeted that, “not only is chlorine dioxide (aka MMS) an effective cancer cell killer, it can wipe out coronavirus too”. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it “is not aware of any research showing that these products are safe or effective for treating any illness”. It warns that drinking them can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and symptoms of severe dehydration.

3. Home-made hand sanitiser:
There have been many reports of shortages of hand sanitiser gel, as washing your hands is one key way to prevent spread of the virus. Alcohol-based hand gels usually also contain emollients, which make them gentler on skin, on top of their 60-70% alcohol content. Professor Sally Bloomfield, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says she does not believe you could make an effective product for sanitising hands at home – even vodka only contains 40% alcohol. For cleaning surfaces, scientists agree that most common household disinfectants should be effective.

4. Drinkable silver
The idea that it could be an effective treatment for coronavirus has been widely shared on Facebook, particularly by “medical freedom” groups which are deeply suspicious of mainstream medical advice. There’s clear advice from health authorities that there’s no evidence this type of silver solution is effective for any health condition. More importantly, it could cause serious side effects including kidney damage, seizures and argyria – a condition that makes your skin turn blue. They say that, unlike iron or zinc, silver is not a metal that has any function in the human body.

5. Drinking water every 15 minutes
One post, copied and pasted by multiple Facebook accounts, quotes a “Japanese doctor” who recommends drinking water every 15 minutes to flush out any virus that might have entered the mouth. A version in Arabic has been shared more than 250,000 times. Professor Trudie Lang at the University of Oxford says there is “no biological mechanism” that would support the idea that you can just wash a respiratory virus down into your stomach and kill it.

6. Heat and avoiding ice cream
There are lots of variations of the advice suggesting heat kills the virus, from recommending drinking hot water to taking hot baths, or using hairdryers. One post, copied and pasted by dozens of social media users in different countries – and falsely attributed to Unicef – claims that drinking hot water and exposure to the sun will kill the virus, and says ice cream is to be avoided. Charlotte Gornitzka, who works for Unicef on coronavirus misinformation, says: “A recent erroneous online message…purporting to be a Unicef communication appears to indicate that avoiding ice cream and other cold foods can help prevent the onset of the disease. This is, of course untrue.

7. Holding your breath
If you can do it for 10 seconds it shows that you have no infection. Patently untrue.

And finally my current favourite
8. Cow urine and dung
There is a long tradition in India of promoting cow urine and dung as traditional remedies for various diseases. But Dr Shailendra Saxena, of the Indian Virological Society, told BBC News: “There is no medical evidence to show that cow urine has anti-viral characteristics. “Moreover, using cow-dung could prove counter-productive as bovine faecal matter could contain a coronavirus which might replicate in humans.” (Unfortunately already sold out in all our local shops and supermarkets…)

More by clicking on this link:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/51979410/coronavirus-more-myths-to-ignore

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COVID-19 Updated Do’s and Don’ts

DO

We’ll Start With the Obvious: Wash Your Hands With Soap.
Studies show that during hand washing, soap creates a chemical reaction that removes germs from your hands more efficiently than water alone. This is the most important protection against COVID-19. Wash your hands after being out in public, after you use the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and before preparing or consuming food—basically, as often as is practical.

Adhere to Social Distancing Recommendations
Social distancing guidelines come from a place of knowledge—they’ve prevented other novel viruses (like the flu of 1918) from exacting an even greater toll.

Self-Isolate If You Suspect You’ve Been Infected
If you’re ill with COVID-19, it’s important to occupy a separate bedroom from other members of your family if you can, and avoid sharing towels, bedding, glasses, plates and silverware until you’re recovered. This is key to slowing the spread of the virus, experts say. Follow the NHS instructions.

Check in With Others
“Social distancing only applies to physical space, not all human connections,”. “If you know someone who can’t go outside, like an older person, call them regularly.”

Exercising
Even though gyms are closed, daily exercise is a key to staying healthy.

Disinfect Phones and ‘High-Touch’ Surfaces
Take a minute to wipe down frequently touched surfaces such as phones, computer keyboards, remote controls and light switches. Even in normal times, they can carry seven times more germs than the average toilet seat. Wipe them down with disinfectant daily

Wash Your Hand Towels
Experts recommend washing your kitchen hand towels after two days of use, in hot water, with a bit of bleach or a product with activated oxygen bleach.

DON’T

Touch Your Face
Germs are most often introduced into our body when we touch our eyes, nose or mouth, experts say.

Sneeze or Cough Openly
Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow—some call it “The Batman Sneeze”—or into a disposable tissue

Shake Hands
Not to encourage antisocial behavior, but now’s a good time to substitute a handshake for a wave or an elbow bump.

Drink Too Much Alcohol
It’s a scary time, but overindulging in alcohol isn’t the answer. Drinking too much can raise blood pressure and reduce immunity, two factors that could make you more susceptible to COVID-19 and complications.

Sleep Less
Sleep is a time when our immune system recharges, and a lack of quality sleep has been associated with other serious diseases. Aim for seven to nine hours a night.

Share Bogus Information
We all want our friends, loved ones and community to stay informed about COVID-19, but make sure any information you share comes from major news sources, hospitals and health organizations like the NHS and WHO.

Avoid Nature
Going outside during social distancing is “more than okay. It’s a good idea,” doctors say. “Just keep your distance from others. Walking, hiking and biking are good. Contact sports are not. Exercise is physically and mentally important, especially in stressful times.”

Use Hand Sanitizer That’s Less Than 60% Alcohol
Experts say 60% and above are necessary to kill germs.

Go to an A and E Unless You’re Seriously Ill
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, call 111 for advice. Don’t go to an A and E unless you’re having trouble breathing; you might infect others there. Phone for advice first and you will be told what to do.

Blame Others
Viruses don’t belong to one country or discriminate about who they infect. Blaming one country or group of people for COVID-19 isn’t emotionally healthy or constructive.

Visit Your Grandchildren In Person or they visit you.
Older people are more susceptible to complications from COVID-19. Move any visits to Skype or Face Time for now.

One Final Thought
If each and every one of us follows this simple checklist, we can get through this pandemic with fewer infections and fewer deaths.

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AGM Notice 2020

NOTICE OF THE 2020 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF HUCKNALL AND DISTRICT U3A

Notice is hereby given that the 12th Annual General Meeting of the Hucknall and District U3A will be held at the Hucknall Leisure Centre (in the Dance Studio) on Wednesday 8th April 2020, commencing at 2.00 pm. The current Committee was elected in 2018 and so are at the end of their two-year term of office. Three members will be retiring and 9 will offer themselves for re-election alongside other prospective new committee members from the membership. The new committee will then take office at the conclusion of the AGM.

Details of the Agenda are below. Please take note of Item 8 if you wish to have motions/proposals considered, or raise a question. Following the AGM and refreshments, the Guest Speaker will be Maureen Newton who will regale us with stories from in and around Hucknall.

AGENDA

1. Chairman’s Welcome
2. Apologies from the Committee
3. Minutes of the Previous Annual General Meeting held on 10th April 2019
4. Matters Arising from the Previous AGM Minutes
5. Treasurer’s Report – Mr. Geoff Cree
6. Appointment of the Examiner of the Accounts for the Year to 31st December 2020
7. Chairman’s Report for the Year 2019/2020
8. Motions and Questions (pre-submitted only) Items for discussions must be received by the Business Secretary or Chairman, in writing, at least two weeks before the AGM.
9. Retiring Committee Members and Election of the New Committee
10. Handover to the New Chair/Committee for 2020 – 2022
11. Closure and Refreshments

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