Fake NHS vaccine texts part of major scam 

  • Fraudsters are sending out bogus text messages about the coronavirus vaccine in an attempt to steal bank details
  • The scam tells recipients they are “eligible to apply for your vaccine” with a link to a bogus NHS website, trading standards officers have warned
  • You are then asked  for personal information and – crucially – bank details “for verification”
  • The warning comes the same day as MPs heard that Covid is leading some people into the net of pension fraudsters
  • The fake NHS message is one of a range of scams that  have sought to take advantage of the pandemic and the isolation and legitimate worries of potential victims, according to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute
  • For the full story, select here

Twitch bans popular emote following violence in US capital 

  • Twitch banned the popular PogChamp emote on Wednesday after the person depicted in it published tweets “encouraging further violence” following a riot at the US Capitol
  • “We’ve made the decision to remove the PogChamp emote following statements from the face of the emote encouraging further violence after what took place in the Capitol today,” Twitch said in a statement on Wednesday evening.
  • The PogChamp emote is one of the oldest on Twitch and is widely used by viewers to display excitement in stream chats
  • PogChamp, or “poggers,” has become synonymous with the gaming culture and streaming platforms like Twitch due to its popularity
  • For the full story, select here

Misinformation ‘superspreaders’: Covid vaccine falsehoods still thriving on Facebook and Instagram

  • Researchers say big Facebook accounts still condemn vaccines, while anti-vaxxers banned from Facebook have fled to Instagram
  • Conspiracy theories and misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine are still spreading on Facebook and Instagram, more than a month after Facebook pledged it would take them down
  • Under pressure to stem the flow of misinformation, Facebook announced that it would ban debunked claims about the safety and efficacy of vaccines now being distributed worldwide
  •  The company said it removed more than 12m pieces of content from Facebook and Instagram between March and October, and that it worked with fact-checkers to place labels on 167 million more pieces of content over the same period
  • But researchers say that big Facebook accounts, some with more than half a million followers and long histories of promoting falsehoods, are still openly churning out new posts questioning the vaccine
  • For the full story, select here

Two teenagers charged with murder of 13 year old boy 

  • A 13-year-old girl and two boys, aged 13 and 14, have been charged with murder over the death of 13-year-old Oliver Stephens in Reading on Sunday, Thames Valley police have said
  • The trio, all from Reading, have been remanded in custody to appear at the town’s magistrates court on Thursday. They have all also been charged with conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm
  • Two other boys, both aged 13, have been released on bail with strict conditions until 1 February
  • Officers were called just before 4pm on Sunday after reports of a stabbing at Bugs Bottom fields in Emmer Green, a park popular with dog walkers, joggers and families.
  • In a statement issued through police, Oliver’s family described the autistic youngster, known as Olly, as “an enigma” and said he “could get his own way with a wry smile and a cheeky grin”
  • For the full story, select here