A hacker is taking over Instagram accounts before forcing their owners to make hostage-style videos promoting the hacker's money-making scams to try and get their money back. But instead of giving victims their cash back, the hacker then uses those videos to convince further victims that their scams are legitimate investments, according to a victim who shared the video and other material with Motherboard.
“I invested $500 and got $10,000 back. It is real and legit,” Yeri Henfield, a victim of the scam said in a video he said he was told to make by the hackers.
Henfield told Motherboard “These people are the definition of sin. It makes me so sick thinking who else they scammed. My [Instagram] page is also a shrine to my girlfriend who passed away almost 6 years ago. The page is now a disgrace.”
The scam started when Henfield spoke to an old roommate on Instagram, he said. From there, Henfield then started speaking to an account called “jaineverything,” which was advertising the tantalizing deal of investing $500 in bitcoins and getting much more money in return. Henfield sent Motherboard screenshots of what he said was him sending hundreds of dollars of BTC to jaineverything’s address.
But Henfield started to notice something was wrong. He realized that someone else was in control of his old roommate’s account.
“By the time I figured out by asking him where we were roommates at it was a dead giveaway it was a scam,” Henfield said.
Henfield had already sent the money, so he asked for it back. The person said they would return the funds if Henfield made a video saying that the Bitcoin scam was legitimate. He filmed multiple videos until the person was satisfied, Hanfield said. The person then said they would send a confirmation text to make sure the money was being sent to the right person. Henfield provided them with the code he received over text.
“Unbeknownst to me it was my Instagram request to gain access and change password,” Henfield said. Now, the scammer had control of his Instagram account as well.
Do you know about any other scams on Instagram or other social media networks? We’d love to hear from you. Using a non-work phone or computer, you can contact Joseph Cox securely on Signal on +44 20 8133 5190, Wickr on josephcox, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The scammer posted the video from Henfield’s account as a Story and messaged it to his friends, Henfield said. The hacker had rapidly gone from not only extracting money from Henfield, but trying to use his own Instagram account and connections to scam others.
The video “was only on there for about 24 hours. I don’t know why they took it down, maybe it wasn’t so convincing. People who knew me could tell I was in discomfort,” Henfield said. Friends reached out to check he was okay, and when those friends also confronted the hacker through Henfield’s hijacked account, the hacker blocked them, Henfield said.
It appears that the jaineverything account was also a hijacked account. Henfield showed Motherboard screenshots of and forwarded copies of emails between him and the email address linked to the jaineverything Instagram account.
“You see that was my account then I got hacked they did the same thing to me,” the person wrote. They did not respond to a request for comment from Motherboard.
A screenshot of one of the posts on Henfield’s account. Image: Motherboard.
A Facebook company spokesperson said in a statement that “We know that losing access to your account can be a distressing experience. We have sophisticated measures in place to stop bad actors in their tracks before they gain access to accounts, as well as measures to help people recover their accounts. We know we can do more here, and we're working hard in both of these areas to stop bad actors before they cause harm, and to keep our community safe.”
Facebook said it looked into the accounts and disabled the jaineverything account. They said that Henfield should try logging back into this account as he would be presented with instructions on how to recover it. When asked what exactly looking into the accounts entailed, such as reviewing the IP addresses used to log into the accounts, Facebook said it uses a variety of signals, including the user reports themselves and spammy behavior.
At the time of writing, Henfield said he still does not have access to his hacked account. The most recent post is one related to the scam, posted by the hacker seemingly in the hopes of attracting others to send them money.
“God Bless you for helping me trade Bitcoin successfully,” it reads.
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YouTube will pay $100 million to creators using its TikTok competitor – The Verge
The simplest way to attract creators
YouTube plans to pay $100 million to creators who use YouTube Shorts, its TikTok competitor, throughout the next year. The goal is to encourage creators to pick up and continually post to its new service, which doesn’t otherwise give creators a built-in way to make money.
Exactly how much creators can earn is still up in the air. YouTube says that it’ll reach out to creators on a monthly basis, looking for people with the most engagement and views. “Thousands” of creators could get paid each month, YouTube says, and basically anyone who posts to Shorts is eligible. The one caveat is that their videos have to be original content, and, of course, abide by YouTube’s community guidelines.
YouTube started launching Shorts in the US in March. The short videos appear in YouTube’s mobile app and, just like TikTok (or Instagram Reels or Snapchat Spotlight), you can swipe from one to the next in an endless full-screen feed.
Other companies have taken the same approach to encouraging creators to stick with their platform. TikTok launched a $200 million creators fund in July 2020, and Snapchat paid out $1 million per day for a period of time after its TikTok competitor, Spotlight, launched in November 2020.
Payments will be available in the US and India — the two regions Shorts has launched — to start, but YouTube plans to expand its availability as it rolls out the service to more regions. There’s no specific date yet for when YouTube will start offering payments. YouTube says the fund will last from its start this year through some point in 2022.
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Why are we tracked online and should we worry? – Free Malaysia Today
PETALING JAYA: The world is more connected than ever, and that’s in large part due to the rapid evolution of the internet.
While this has brought about services that have become nearly essential to our lives like e-commerce, streaming, and social media, it also means that we all leave a larger digital footprint than ever before which companies can take advantage of.
With this in mind, FMT asked an expert why companies track you, if you should be worried and what you can do if you want to minimise how much information they collect.
SL Rajesh of the International Association for Counter-Terrorism and Security Professionals knows the importance of cybersecurity as well as anyone and understands why being tracked or having one’s data captured can be a matter of great concern.
However, he said there was little to worry about in the vast majority of cases.
“Ultimately, these companies want to make money, and doing nefarious things with your information is not the best way to do that,” he told FMT.
“Companies generally want to gather data because they can monetise the information. A company like Google, for example, will have all this data about its users, which perhaps a clothing shop would be interested in accessing so it can target its marketing strategy to specific customers it’s looking to capture.”
How it happens
The connected world we live in gives our devices unprecedented insights into our routines and interests, which can then be leveraged.
Rajesh said: “Let’s say you click on a random advert for BMW. Now, whichever company is tracking you knows you have an interest in BMWs. It can also assume you are in the income bracket that allows you to afford that sort of car and will advertise other products that other people in your income group tend to look for, like watches and jewellery.
“Same thing if you go to a certain shop often. Because your phone has GPS, companies will be able to see that you tend to go to the same Thai restaurant in Ampang and might start suggesting other Thai restaurants or other eateries in that same area since it knows you’re there often and like that sort of food.”
His clients often complain to him that they suspect their phones are listening to them because they get ads for things they have never looked for online but only spoken about, but he said this was highly unlikely.
“You think these companies have nothing better to do?” he said with a laugh. “Billions of users, and you think they want to listen to your conversation with a friend? It’s more likely you don’t remember looking an item up or somebody you knew searched for it instead and advertisers were able to assume you’d have interest in a product based on those other factors.”
He said it was worth practising good “tech hygiene” online even if most instances of data tracking were not malicious.
“The worry is when you are being tracked by less reputable companies. Google or Facebook (now Meta) would have no interest in doing criminal things with your data, but make sure you aren’t visiting unsafe sites.”
Certain websites display a padlock symbol next to the URL, which indicates a secure site. “So be more careful if a site doesn’t have that,” Rajesh said.
“Also don’t give away your personal information if you have doubts about the site. Don’t click on suspicious links or adverts.
“Just be aware of the risks of being online.”
When you finish browsing, it’s also a good idea to clear your cookies, which are small packets of information a website uploads to your browser to help identify you in future.
If you’ve ever revisited a site to find you’re still logged in, that’s because the site has identified that you already have an account with it. It recognises the cookie from your last session.
Advertisers can also place cookies on a site with the operator’s permission, again, to gather user data for better targeting.
Rajesh said clearing cookies was a simple step worth taking “if it gives you peace of mind”.
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How to Thank a Teacher – Elmhurst College
Read the latest updates.
CHALKING THE LINE | BY DEBRA MEYER | 7 MIN READ
Approaching this Thanksgiving season in the United States, there is a lot to be thankful for and as much to be hopeful for.
Last Thanksgiving and this upcoming one have been enveloped by the unknown—with just-out-of-reach plans for a “back-to-normal” Thanksgiving filled with friends and family in large, indoor group gatherings, without the worry of a pandemic virus. Forgotten in our rush to “return to normal” are the reasons we have these celebrations in the first place. Thanksgiving is a celebration of the harvest and of blessings throughout the year. Key among these thanks should be all the people who selflessly served throughout the pandemic.
That is why this blog is about “How to Thank a Teacher,” especially as these educators navigate a third school year impacted by COVID-19.
In the spring of 2020, teachers were called on to quickly change to online learning and connect with students in an emergency situation. In the 2020-2021 school year, teachers had to navigate myriad changing health guidelines and school schedules. Everyone was hoping this year would be more consistent, but the Delta variant’s higher transmissibility and the return to school put many children and adolescents at the center of the pandemic storm.
Schools, depending on their geographic location, have fared better this year. Teachers are exhausted, while remaining hopeful. Teaching is a profession with intense emotional labor. Emotional labor is common in many professions where the job requires constant care of the needs of others and the expectation of keeping a lot of people happy. This emotional labor often results in hiding personal emotions and experiencing high levels of stress and burnout.
Not surprisingly, the stress from emotional labor during the pandemic brought many teachers to a breaking point.
We need to thank teachers because they are helping our children and youth navigate the pandemic. Being back in school also is helping our society, especially parents, find a path forward.
Meanwhile, teachers have stayed front and center in the pandemic. Although there have been media reports of teachers thinking about leaving the profession—as well as new teachers reconsidering entering it—a pandemic exit has not happened.
Thank a teacher for caring to show up. Before the pandemic began, there was already a teacher shortage, a large group of baby boom teachers were nearing retirement, and schools were having difficulty retaining teachers.
Teachers who are teaching through the pandemic remind us how teaching is a caring profession that puts students first. Teachers know how important it is for students to be back in school for academic and social emotional reasons. And they have shown us this through their actions.
Therefore, this holiday season, consider three important actions you could easily take in thanking the teachers in your lives.
Ask any teacher what was the most meaningful “gift” they’ve ever received and it will probably be a “thank you.” It might be a letter or email from a family member telling them how much of a difference the teacher made in a child’s learning, or a handwritten note from a student. Some of us cherish these keepsakes for decades. They are tucked inside our desks and books, pulled out and read whenever we need to renew our dedication.
Kindness comes in many forms—a smile, a heartfelt “thank you,” or a written note, email, or text. Quotes about kindness are everywhere, but the act of kindness requires an interaction. Kindness is powerful in the smallest doses. A brief mention of appreciation during a school interaction or a quick note attached to homework can be powerful acts of kindness.
And kindness should not be random. Let it be consistent and heartfelt. Give a teacher a year of kindness by making the commitment to regularly interacting with kindness to all the teachers in your life.
Patience is another way to thank a teacher. Teachers have incredibly busy days with little time to take a minute for themselves. From the moment they walk in the school door until they exit, teachers are “on.” Expectations that they can immediately return messages or readily add another “to do” to their lists are not only unrealistic, but they can be unkind.
Patience is a key emotional skill in teaching. When teachers are patient, they make better-informed decisions and respond with more calmness and empathy. Patience helps teachers sustain emotional well-being throughout the ever-challenging and unpredictable school day. When teachers receive patience from others, they can provide a more positive learning experience for students.
Thanking a teacher with patience means interacting in ways that assume the best—accepting that mistakes are common—especially amid pandemic-driven conditions in P-12 classrooms.
To thank a teacher with patience is to carefully think about requests, especially last-minute ones, without jumping to conclusions. Consider showing patience by asking questions instead of making requests, and by not demanding immediate responses. When there is a problem at school, avoid making assumptions, get all the facts, and consider alternate pathways for solving the problem. Patience is a gift that keeps on giving.
Thanking a teacher with respect, in addition to acts of kindness and patience, expands appreciation to the entire profession.
Respecting teaching means advocating for and supporting better working conditions and professional growth for educators. Teaching in many parts of the world, and especially in the United States, is not a highly respected profession. As a recent report found, “most people underestimate how many hours teachers work, and how much they’re paid.” If this workload was underestimated prior to the pandemic, it is inestimable in today’s climate.
How are teachers shown respect? They are given choice and voice in their teaching and professional decisions. In the spring of 2020, several authors speculated that the rapid move to online learning would promote an increased appreciation of teachers. However, a true show of respect for teachers would be to include them in the high-level decisions being made that impact their students’ learning, their teaching, and their professional growth.
Thanking a teacher by showing respect is complex and requires commitment. Respect means showing teachers that their knowledge and skills are valued. Respect can be shown through interactions in which teachers or teaching are discussed, in advocacy for teachers’ salaries and benefits, and making sure that teachers have the professional development and resources they need.
Respecting a teacher is more than appreciation, it is valuing their time and professional expertise. Teachers feel respected when they are listened to, when they are asked for their professional advice and it is followed, and when they can use their professional expertise to make a difference.
Today’s educators are experiencing huge upheavals in their profession. Everything has changed, from physical classroom spaces and school routines to the selection of instructional content, schedules, and available resources.
But they are hopeful, as shown in their staying power.
So, between now and the end of the school year (not just during the holidays), consider thanking a teacher by adopting three simple goals and acting on them whenever possible:
Keep up to date with the latest teaching practices while earning a master’s degree at Elmhurst University. Our M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership program is designed to make you a more effective teacher—the kind others turn to for solutions.
Learn more today. Just fill in the form below!
Deb Meyer is a professor of education at Elmhurst University and a former classroom teacher in Mesa, Arizona. She teaches undergraduate courses to prospective teachers in educational psychology and upper elementary/middle school literacy methods and graduate courses in teacher leadership.
Illustration by Lucie Rice
Posted Nov. 23, 2021
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