Tag: Catch

Covid Crimestoppers hotline launches to catch business loan fraudsters

The UK government has launched a Covid fraud hotline, after being criticised for failing to act on warnings about fraud risks linked to emergency business loans.



a hand holding a cell phone: Photograph: Yui Mok/PA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

The hotline, run by Crimestoppers, allows the public to leave anonymous tips about suspected fraud linked to the government’s emergency Covid loan and grant schemes for UK businesses. That could include identity theft to obtain loans, false grant claims and the use of so-called mule bank accounts to cover the tracks of money launderers.



a hand holding a cell phone: The public is being asked to report suspicions, such as of identity theft to obtain government loans.


© Photograph: Yui Mok/PA
The public is being asked to report suspicions, such as of identity theft to obtain government loans.

The government has been criticised for failing to act on warnings about potential fraud linked to the bounce-back loans scheme (BBLS), which was designed to distribute cheap loans quickly of up to £50,000 to small businesses.

Related: Organised crime in UK

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With schools online, software to catch students cheating is big business

Every Monday this fall, we’re covering how schools are using technology during the pandemic, because Monday mornings are just harder now. It’s not only teaching that’s happening remotely for millions of students — it’s testing, too. And many colleges are using software to watch students take those tests.

Big providers include Respondus, ProctorU and Proctorio. Some of them use webcams to track how often students move their heads or eyes or touch the keyboard. Anything out of the ordinary is flagged for teachers to review. I spoke with Todd Feathers, who recently co-wrote a piece about a “rebellion” against this kind of surveillance for Motherboard. One concern: false positives. The following is an edited transcript of our conversation.

Todd Feathers: Once you start the exam, there are all kinds of environmental factors that can lead to false positives. If you’re a parent who has a child in the room, you’re

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