Monday, 28 November 2016


I've just received an interesting email from someone called Loris Ayoub. Loris is publicising a book, snappily entitled "How to protect Yourself from Identity Theft, Internet Scams & Phone Scams" written by Brett & Deborah Christensen who publish the "Hoax Slayer" web site.

She has identified this blog (don't ask me how) as listing the site as one of my favourites and is asking me to promote the book which I am very happy to do. I have used Hoax Slayer many times to debunk social media stories which to any normal person couldn't possibly be true but manage to fool people anyway.

The book covers the following subjects and offers advice on how to recognise and deal with each.

  • Do you know the six essential strategies for safe computing?

  • Do you know how poor smartphone security can lead to identity theft?

  • Do you know how scammers target people looking for love or work online?

  • Do you know how to protect your information while shopping or banking on the Internet?

  • Do you know how to help your elderly parents stay safe from scammers?

  • Do you know how to recognise and deal with phone fraudsters?
To learn more about it, click on this link to the review.

To download the book, click on this link not the one in the review as it takes you to the Australian site.

Brett & Deborah Christensen
While we are on the subject of online hoaxes, I thought I would repeat some of what I have written about before which is the nonsense story that appears on social media such as Facebook.

Anyone receiving a story of doubtful provenance can simply type a description of the story followed by the word "hoax" into a Google search and something is sure to come up. You might think that as it's so easy to do, most people would before sharing a fake story. Sadly, that is rarely the case and my inbox, along with many others will find themselves bombarded with tales of religious festivities, social events, presentations and the like being banned because they offend Muslims/refugees/immigrants etc., etc., etc.

While this sort of stuff is regularly the preserve of neo-Nazi tabloid rags like the Express and the Mail, it's the publishing of this inflammatory rhetoric on social media that can be the most damaging because of the way it can spread so rapidly.

One of the most successful exponents of the art (if you can call it that) of spreading malicious rumours is a fellow called Joshua Bonehill-Paine. Regular readers of this blog will have heard me mention him on a regular basis. He publishes his own blog, or actually several, but all of the same ilk which is to make up completely fake stories, mostly with a racist, misogynistic or otherwise discriminatory content. It is quite easy to see that all these stories are fake, but people are taken in by them all the time.

One of his stories was about a pub in Leicester that, he claimed, had banned armed forces personnel in case it offended immigrants. This resulted in thousands of people threatening to attack the pub and staff working there. The Judge at his subsequent trial on a charge of malicious communication described him as "Moronic". 

Joshua Bonehill-Paine is many things but moronic isn't one of them. The Judge had nothing to say about the real morons, that is, the ones taken in by the hoax and starting a hate fuelled campaign of terror against a completely innocent victim.

This book doesn't deal with the obvious social media scams designed solely to be malicious and instead gives advice on those designed to steal you money, your identity or both and covers all types of scam including the now popular phone scam which are used by criminals to create false identities or to convince you to part with your money.

You can obtain the whole book for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited or for a modest price if you don't. I thoroughly recommend it. 


I do enjoy looking at where referrals to my blog are coming from, both referring URLs and referring sites. I know I've covered this before but it's fascinating.

This weeks offerings include This is a single issue page, written by a fellow called Barrie Trower, who is unhappy about a company called Ashley Davidson's Marvellous Events. This company, according to Barrie, booked him and his band for an even for which they have never been paid. Sorry to hear that Barrie, and for anyone wanting to read more, click on the link to the site.

I have no idea how someone went from that page to mine as there is no mention of it anywhere, but I get my hits where I can.

The next one is is "an interactive, multiresolution next-generation brain atlas". I don't know how I've managed without one for so long. As with the last site, I have no idea how anyone would get from there to here. is just a blank page so again, I can't see how anyone could have been referred here from it.

Ditto this one

I'm also getting hits from various URLs which bounce me to a sex contact site. Very frustrating.


This is a picture I took a few days ago of one of a pair of Peregrine Falcons flying over Crossness Nature Reserve. You see them quite a lot.

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