Saturday, 28 September 2013

Future Learn Course - FREE

I thought you may be interested in a bit more detail about the University of Leeds ‘mini-MOOC’ to share with U3A members. It’s a short two-week course with wide appeal which begins on 21 October.
Fairness and nature: when worlds collide

Do you think nature should be conserved for future generations, or is it a resource to be exploited for its financial value? How can government policies provide economic benefit, whilst being environmentally sustainable and delivering social fairness for all those affected, even the most disadvantaged groups? How we make difficult but fair decisions about managing our natural resources has relevance to many local and international issues, for example, in the UK there are currently lively debates about high-speed train lines and fracking for shale gas. This course examines how we can make those difficult decisions about natural resource management, when there are many competing interests and values to consider, using fundamental principles and learning how to apply them to international case studies.

Join us at:

I also attach a publicity poster, please do pass it on along with the above text if you think it would be helpful to spread the word about this new opportunity to learn.

I hope it is of interest to your members and we can share this online journey together! We are also actively learning about this method of sharing knowledge and the experience and contribution that U3A members bring would be greatly appreciated.

Please do get in touch if there is anything else I can provide or if you have any questions.

Many thanks,
Katy Sidwel
Head of Digital Communications | Communications | University of Leeds
T: +44 (0)113 34 34100

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Elderly hit by new phone scam

Housebound and elderly people are being targeted with a new telephone scam that involves con men posing as bank staff or police, a fraud watchdog has warned.
The fraud, which has cost victims £7m in a year, is difficult to detect when well- executed, Financial Fraud Action UK said.
The criminals instruct the victim to disclose credit and debit card information before emptying the person’s bank accounts.
Those who have fallen into the trap have had their life savings wiped out within 24-hours. Around one in four adults in the UK has received a cold call like this. Financial Fraud Action said 43pc of victims have been aged over 50
possibly reflecting the higher proportion of elderly people who spend working hours at home.
The new con is dubbed “vishing”. It involves a fraudster posing on the phone as someone from a bank or building society fraud investigation team, the police or another legitimate organisation such as a telephone or internet provider. An automated system calls the unsuspecting victim. Once they pick up the receiver the criminal, posing as a representative of a reputable organisation, claims an urgent need for their debit or credit card details, this often involves telling the bank customer their card has been cloned and fraud is about to be enacted on their account.
The crook urges the victim to act straight away to avoid the disaster.
If he or she can sense doubt, they urge their victim to put down the phone and ring back. However, the criminal simply stays on the line and either pretends to answer the phone or passes the receiver to another member of the gang.
It may sound far-fetched, but the scam is so believable that four in ten people fail to see through tricks, Financial Fraud Action said.
Once the details have been handed over, the criminal simply empties the account. In some circumstances, victims are being persuaded to go into their bank, withdraw their life savings and then hand them over to a courier who arrives at their front door later in the day.
Financial Fraud Action said it had seen a £36m increase over the past year in crimes involving either online or phone banking, purchases made online and over the phone or criminals filling out fraudulent applications.
The fraud prevention body said people should not be afraid to just put the phone down on someone if they are unsure about handing over details.
It warned consumers never to assume a caller is genuine just because they hold some information about them. Criminals may already have obtained some basic information to try to make the call appear legitimate. Real bank employees would never ask for passwords, it stressed.
Caldwell and Jessica Winch. Daily Telegraph. 31.8.2013