‘Smishing’ reports increase by nearly 700%

  • Figures from software security company, Proofpoint, and Which? show an increase of nearly 700% of ‘smishing’ in the first six months of 2021 compared to the second half of 2020.
  • ‘Smishing’ or text message scams often involve texts pretending to be from banks, delivery companies and phone networks asking for personal details.
  • This rise in these scams is likely due to the increase in online shopping since the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Since launching its own scam report tool in March, Which? has received over 9,000 reports – two-thirds of which involved calls and texts.
  • Which? has published an SMS best practice guide for businesses to help protect their customers from potential fraud, which has already been adopted by Barclays and Hermes.
  • For more information on other types of scams, check out our blog posts on common COVID scams and ‘whaling’.
  • Full story, here.

Apple issues emergency patch to stop ‘zero-click’ spyware

  • Apple has released a suite of updates for iOS, macOS and Apple Watch to fix a bug uncovered by researchers at Citizen Lab for ‘zero-click’ installs of Pegasus spyware.
  • ‘Zero-click’ means that targeted users don’t have to do anything to be infected by the spyware.
  • The spyware allows for data and passwords to be stolen and for phone cameras and microphones to be activated.
  • Citizen Lab highlighted the potential for the bug to be exploited to allow governments to access phones of journalists, lawyers, and activists.
  • Apple released these updates on the 13th of September and urges everyone with an iPhone, iMac, or Apple Watch to install the patch as soon as possible.
  • Full story, here.

Survey reveals worry about climate change among young people

  • A new global survey by Bath University, involving 10,000 people aged 16 to 25, illustrates deep anxiety among young people about climate change.
  • Nearly 60% of those surveyed reported feeling very or extremely worried about climate change, with more than 45% claiming the worry affects their daily lives.
  • Three-quarters claimed that the future was frightening and over half reported thinking that humanity was doomed.
  • The authors of the report highlighted that climate anxiety was greatest in nations where government climate policies were weakest and that failure from legislation may be defined as a human rights violation.
  • UK responses in the survey reported low levels (28%) of trust in governments and showed that 65% of young people believe that the government is failing them.
  • Full story, here.

Wales Police dealing with daily suicide calls

  • Gwent police in Wales are dealing with daily calls from families and friends who fear a loved one may be suicidal and do not know where to turn.
  • The number of 999 and 101 calls to Gwent police has increased by a third between January and July with more than half of the calls relating to mental health.
  • The Gwent police force experienced a 34% increase in calls to its control room with 24,000 people calling 101 and 8,000 dialling 999 for help in July alone.
  • This follows the appointment of a social worker specialising in safeguarding children and young people to Gwent police in 2019 to help deal with young victims, witnesses, and perpetrators.
  • The mental health team in Gwent work alongside operators in the control room to help cope with the increasing number of calls for help.
  • For tips on discussing suicide with young people, check out our blog post.
  • Full story, here.