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New paid 'Undo' button for Tinder

Written By andika jamanta on Rabu, 05 November 2014 | 23.58

Tinder profile

We've all been there. Idly swiping through Tinder, dismissing people at will... then disaster strikes.

In a momentary lack of concentration you accidently swipe left across the face of "the one".

Well, in a bid to end those heart-stopping moments, (and to make more money) Tinder has announced plans to introduce a paid Undo service.

Tinder Plus is what it will be called. But would you be willing pay extra for it?

"The most-requested feature we get is a button to go back and have a second chance with people that users swipe left on," said Tinder co-founder Sean Rad.

"Everyone has wanted it from the beginning. It's absolutely at the top of the list."

Whether you're a paid user or not, there'll be no avoiding the temptation of the new feature.

Tinder plans to put a big yellow Undo button on the home screen, in the hope it will encourage people to cough up the cash to use it.

But that's not the only feature of the proposed premium service, according to TechCrunch.

Passport feature

Discovery settings on Tinder
Tinder is also going to introduce a' Passport' feature, allowing people to extend their location search

Tinder Plus will also include a Passport option on the far right of the home page.

It will let people search for matches outside the current 100 mile restriction area, opening up the possibility of matching up with people from cities all over the world.

"We often hear that people want to be able to start swiping in a location before they've left to go on a trip or holiday, and that once they've actually made a meaningful connection with someone in a new location, their trip has come to an end," said Rad.

"We also hear people saying that they want to get recommendations for places to go and where to eat in a new city, and Tinder Plus can do better at that."

Despite Rad's enthusiasm for the feature, there is a potential downside.

It'll mean regular users who are choosing to search for a specific location may be served potential matches a long way from where they live.

Rad, though, doesn't see that being an issue.

"We don't think it'll be a big enough problem where it will hurt the experience to search locally," he said.

"A lot of users will be paying for the feature, and the voyeuristic quality probably isn't enough of a value add as opposed to those who are actually travelling."

BBC

Tinder is almost two years old and has received some investment, but has yet to generate any revenue.

"We need to keep the company afloat and make money to invest in innovation," said Mr Rad.

It's thought Tinder Plus is going to be rolled out first in a few select countries, including the UK.

The company hasn't decided on monthly prices for the features yet.

Instead they'll be testing a number of costs from around 60p to £12.50.

"We think different people will pay on a wide range, but we want to find that sweet spot that most users can agree on," said Rad.

Once they see how popular the service is and iron out any teething problems, Tinder will figure out a set price and launch the premium version of the app globally.

Tinder hacks

Mr Rad said that the company had also been observing the success of "Tinder hacks" - people using the platform for reasons other than finding a date.

"Whether it's using Tinder to get local recommendations when travelling or trying to make friends or doing business - we hear all the time that people are cutting deals on Tinder," he said.

"Whether you're an artist trying to get your music out there or trying to get fans... people use Tinder to get more followers on Instagram.

"We're now learning from our users and those hacks to find the next opportunities."

The company has not released user numbers but in April 2014 analytics firm Comscore said there were 2.7 million smartphones using Tinder in the US alone.

Follow @BBCNewsbeat on Twitter and Radio1Newsbeat on YouTube


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Investors flock to gay 'hook-up' app

4 November 2014 Last updated at 13:32

A "hook-up" app for gay men in China has secured $30m (£19m) funding from venture capitalists DCM.

Blued, created by social media site DanLan in 2012, claims to have 15 million active users.

According to news website Tech in Asia, those users seem to be mainly based in three cities - Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Homosexuality in China was illegal until 1997 and defined as mental disorder until 2001.

Xiaofeng Wang, an analyst at Forrester Research, said in a report for the firm that data-light services such as messenger apps enjoyed high popularity in China because mobile internet speeds were slow.

However while dating and hook-up apps are openly used by heterosexuals - a flirting app called Momo has 52 million users - the gay scene in China is traditionally rather quiet.

"Beijing's gay community is often quite reserved," wrote Rupert Angus-Mann on a website about being a tourist in the city.

"You will not find many people who feel the need to broadcast their sexuality."

Official statistics suggest that there are 118 boys for every 100 girls born to Chinese families.

Mr Angus-Mann added that China's policy of allowing families to have only one child, in place since 1979, meant most people aged 29 and under had no siblings.

"When a son is gay, he faces a hugely difficult set of decisions and it makes coming out to his family infinitely more difficult.

"Not only is he telling them he is gay, that there will probably be no grandchildren, that there will be no wedding and no wife, he is also telling them that the family line, the rhythm of hundreds of years of Chinese tradition will end with him, because there is no brother who can step into the role."


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Facebook government requests up 24%

5 November 2014 Last updated at 01:02

Requests by governments for Facebook's user data are up by nearly a quarter in the first half of this year compared with the previous six months.

Global government requests were up by 24% to almost 35,000 in the first six months, the social media giant said.

The amount of Facebook content restricted because of local laws also rose about 19% in the same period.

News of the increase comes as Facebook fights its largest ever US court order to hand over data from 400 people.

Photographs, private messages and other information involving people in a benefit fraud trial were given to a New York court last year, but the request was only made public in August.

"We're aggressively pursuing an appeal to a higher court to invalidate these sweeping warrants and to force the government to return the data it has seized," the social media giant said in a blog on Tuesday.

The world's largest social network also said that they "scrutinize" every government request for legal sufficiency and "push back hard when we find deficiencies or are served with overly broad requests."

Privacy

Facebook has been under fire for its use of user data in recent years, fuelling online privacy concerns.

Last month, Facebook admitted that it would change the way it does research on users after a controversial experiment where it manipulated some users newsfeeds to affect their emotions.

Meanwhile, the tech giant has rolled out a series of features this year to help users protect their personal information.

In April, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg introduced new features that allowed users to limit the amount of personal information they share with third-party mobile apps.

In 2012, Facebook had settled privacy charges with US authorities over a case that it had deceived users and forced them to share more personal information than they had intended.

In September, Google reported a 15% increase in the number of requests in the first half of this year compared to the prior six months, and a 150% rise in the last five years, from governments around the world to reveal user information for criminal investigations.


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Jawbone wristband targets sleep data

5 November 2014 Last updated at 14:58 By Leo Kelion Technology desk editor

Jawbone has a new wristband that uses a relatively unusual technique to provide feedback about sleep patterns.

The Up3 measures the wearer's heart rate via metal-covered sensors that protrude from its underside to press against the skin.

This contrasts with the approach of rivals that combine infrared and visible-light LEDs with photosensors, which are more battery-intensive.

However, it faces further competition from more feature-laden smartwatches.

The Up3 wristband uses a technique called bioimpedance to track its owner's pulse. This involves passing an imperceptible electrical current through the body to measure its resistance to the effect.

The process is already used by several specialist medical devices to measure heart rate, body fat, fluid levels and other body composition readings, and has featured in a few consumer devices such as Fitbit's Aria weight scales.

However, Jawbone is pioneering its use in a mass-market wristband. It follows the firm's takeover of Bodymedia, a Pennsylvania-based company that had been carrying out research into the technology.

"Because bioimpedance requires significantly less power compared to optical sensors for the same level of accuracy, we can deliver a smaller form factor and longer battery life," said Jawbone of the innovation.

Initially, the sensors will be able to accurately measure the Up3 owner's heart rate only while they are resting and just after they wake up, but the company intends to extend their use with a software update to other times of the day.

One feature that will be offered at launch is the ability to continuously record a user's pulse when they are asleep, to show when they shifted between the REM (rapid eye movement) stage - when their heart rate should be fairly irregular - and deep sleep, when the rate should be more steady.

Jawbone believes this will provide more accurate readings than other devices that rely on accelerometer sensors to deduce changes via body movements.

To make use of the data, Jawbone is also providing software to measure the user's response to suggestions - including late-night showers and cooling the bedroom - to determine which best help the wearer get a better night's rest.

"There are a lot of people out there who feel they don't get enough sleep or feel they are stressed and want to monitor their levels from a healthy lifestyle standpoint," said Tim Shepherd, a wearable tech specialist at the market research firm Canalys.

"We are seeing a surge in interest in people getting data on their lifestyles, but the important thing is to offer not just data but a means of analysing it, graphing it and telling you what it means, and vendors still need to have to prove they can be relevant."

The Up3 costs £150, is waterproof up to depths of 10m (33ft), and promises up to seven days' battery life between charges.

Unlike some rivals, however, it lacks a display and relies on a connected smartphone, tablet or PC to provide feedback, beyond a few LEDs that signal the mode it is in.

Crowded market

Jawbone is already the world's second best-selling fitness band manufacturer, behind only Fitbit, according to Canalys.

But the market is becoming more crowded, with Microsoft the latest of the major tech firms to unveil a device of its own.

Its Band features 10 different kinds of sensors, including an optical heart rate component that is capable of being used during activities.

Intel is also putting its Basis Peak fitness and sleep tracker on sale this month, which promises to automatically detect users' sleeping cycles.

And Fitbit has released new devices of its own ahead of Christmas shopping season, including the Surge, which integrates a GPS part to track the wearer's location, allowing it to offer more accurate data about their runs.

The sector also faces increased competition from smartwatches, which are capable of running a wider range of apps.

Motorola, LG and Samsung are among those with new Android Wear devices, while Apple has promised to launch its Watch next year.

"There are going to be consumers who will purchase a smartwatch and will therefore not need to buy a separate device to activity track," said Mr Shepherd.

"But there is still plenty of growth potential for dedicated devices that are priced aggressively.

"And almost invariably you have to take a smartwatch off to charge at night.

"An activity-tracking device is more capable of offering sleep-tracking data because of its longer battery life, plus it's smaller and lighter and therefore more comfortable to wear through the night."


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Tech firms 'in denial' over extremists

4 November 2014 Last updated at 13:48

Web giants such as Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp have become "command-and-control networks... for terrorists and criminals", GCHQ's new head has said.

Islamic State extremists had "embraced" the web but some companies remained "in denial" over the problem, Robert Hannigan wrote in the Financial Times.

He called for them to do more to co-operate with security services.

However, civil liberties campaigners said the companies were already working with the intelligence agencies.

None of the major tech firms has yet responded to Mr Hannigan's comments.

Encryption challenge

Mr Hannigan said IS had "embraced the web as a noisy channel in which to promote itself, intimidate people, and radicalise new recruits."

The "security of its communications" added another challenge to agencies such as GCHQ, he said - adding that techniques for encrypting - or digitally scrambling - messages "which were once the preserve of the most sophisticated criminals or nation states now come as standard".

GCHQ and its sister agencies, MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service, could not tackle these challenges "at scale" without greater support from the private sector, including the largest US technology companies which dominate the web, he wrote.

Analysis

By Leo Kelion, BBC News website technology editor

One of GCHQ's key concerns is over the shift to encryption - techniques to digitally scramble messages and make their creators anonymous - becoming the default option for many leading internet services.

Both Apple and Google recently switched to making encryption opt-out rather than opt-in in their mobile operating systems iOS8 and Android Lollipop. Apple said it wanted to provide "security and privacy", while Google said the move was intended to protect data from "thieves and snoops". Other tech firms such as Yahoo and Microsoft are taking similar steps.

The firms compare the moves to safes being built with locks, and note that the authorities still have ways to obtain records. For example, Google can still pass on documents and calendars if they have been backed up from a smartphone to its cloud services.

The companies say that while they are willing to co-operate, government surveillance must occur under a legal framework and with oversight.

Mr Hannigan calls for a "mature debate" on just how much privacy these firms should offer, but has yet to be specific on what restrictions he proposes.

GCHQ v tech firms: Internet reacts

GCHQ, terrorists, and the internet: what are the issues?

Snowden leaks

Mr Hannigan wrote: "They [US technology companies] aspire to be neutral conduits of data and to sit outside or above politics.

"But increasingly their services not only host the material of violent extremism or child exploitation, but are the routes for the facilitation of crime and terrorism.

"However much they may dislike it, they have become the command-and-control networks of choice for terrorists and criminals, who find their services as transformational as the rest of us."

The challenge was to come up with "better arrangements for facilitating lawful investigation by security and law enforcement agencies than we have now", he said.

The debate about whether security agencies should be allowed to access personal data was brought to the fore in 2013 after Edward Snowden leaked details of alleged internet and phone surveillance by US intelligence and GCHQ.

Mr Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia, faces espionage charges over his actions.

Earlier in the year, an investigation by the Guardian revealed how IS was using popular hashtags - including ones used during the Scottish referendum - to boost the popularity of its material on Twitter.

Analysis

By Gordon Corera, BBC security correspondent

This is a hard-hitting article from the new GCHQ director in his first move on taking up the role. His aim is clear - to pressure tech companies to work more with government.

Following the Edward Snowden disclosures last year, some of those companies have been less willing to share data with intelligence and law enforcement and more inclined to encrypt it - making it harder for authorities to gain access.

Tech companies may be surprised by the ferocity of the attack. And they - and privacy activists - may also argue that the spies started this fight with the scale of their intelligence collection and by hacking into some of those companies.

But Robert Hannigan has wasted no time in wading into the debate over security and privacy and making clear he will not shy away from a fight.

'Immense powers'

Emma Carr, director of civil liberties group Big Brother Watch, said the companies were co-operating with the authorities.

She said: "It's a very funny way to go about doing this. On one hand he's saying we need the co-operation of the tech companies while at the same time, pretty much on the first day of his new job, pointing the finger at the tech companies and implying that they just aren't co-operating with law enforcement.

"Which we know from these companies' own transparency reports that's simply not true."

Eva Galperin, from internet freedom group Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is part-funded by the technology industry, said Mr Hannigan was going too far.

"If GCHQ wants the co-operation of American internet companies they have many, many avenues through which to do so," she said.

"GCHQ is responsible for what has come out in the Snowden files as the largest internet surveillance programme we have found to date. Their powers are already immense. I think asking for more is really quite disingenuous."

Brent Hoberman, founder of lastminute.com, said he thought there should be a compromise.

He said: "We need more trust in the security services, I agree, and there were too many people that had access to the Snowden files - 800,000 people or something - that's too many for high-level security.

"But if we had enough confidence that they were only under due process with a warrant that was specific in limited cases - I want the security services to be able to get into my phone."

Rachel O'Connell, a former chief security officer at social networking site Bebo, said the security services were taking a "polarised position".

She said this was the case "particularly post-Snowden, where we were realising that there was a suspicion, in some cases substantiated, that the security services have total access to whatever is happening online".

Security minister James Brokenshire recently met representatives from technology companies - including Google, Microsoft and Facebook - in Luxembourg to discuss ways to tackle online extremism.

The government's Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), set up in 2010, has removed more than 49,000 pieces of content from the internet that "encourage or glorify acts of terrorism" - 30,000 of which have been removed since December 2013.

Scotland Yard's head of counter-terrorism, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, has previously said that officers are removing more than 1,000 online postings a week, including graphic and violent videos and images.


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Space Oddity cover back on YouTube

4 November 2014 Last updated at 16:57 By Zoe Kleinman Technology reporter, BBC News
Chris Hadfield

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Canadian commander Chris Hadfield version of Space Oddity, recorded on the ISS (footage courtesy of Chris Hadfield, NASA and CSA)

Canadian astronaut Cdr Chris Hadfield's cover of David Bowie's track Space Oddity, recorded on board the International Space Station, is back on YouTube.

The track was recorded as Cdr Hadfield prepared to return to Earth.

It was released on YouTube under a one-year agreement from David Bowie's publisher and had nearly 24 million views.

It was removed in May 2014 at the end of the deal.

Chris Hadfield, who has now retired from the Canadian Space Agency, announced its return in a blog post.

He said there had been "no rancour" in the decision to honour the original agreement and remove the video, and that everybody was keen for it be reinstated.

"The day we took the video down we started to work again to get permission to get it re-posted," he said.

"It wasn't anyone's ill-will or jealousy that kept this version of Oddity off YouTube. It was merely the natural consequence of due process."

He explained some of the legal complexities behind the arrangement.

"The Space Station was built by 15 countries, and depending on where I floated while singing and playing, whose copyright laws applied? Which Space Agency owned the recording? Whose jurisdiction was I in?"

David Bowie himself described Cdr Hadfield's cover as "possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created".

This undoubtedly helped negotiations, Cdr Hadfield suggested.

"As a result... the recent reapplication of the legal process has been fairly straightforward," he added.


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Government crackdown on 'notspots'

5 November 2014 Last updated at 08:36 By Jane Wakefield Technology reporter

The government plans to oblige mobile operators to improve their coverage, possibly by sharing rivals' networks.

Partial 'notspots', where there is coverage from some but not all of the mobile networks, affected a fifth of the UK, leaving people unable to make calls or send texts, it said.

One possible solution would see people transferred to rival networks when they lose signal.

But experts are not convinced this would work.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said he was determined to sort out the issue of mobile notspots.

Mobile phones

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Culture Secretary Sajid Javid speaking on BBC Radio Four Today programme

A series of talks held with mobile operators has so far failed to find a solution.

"It can't be right that in a fifth of the UK, people cannot use their phones to make a call. The government isn't prepared to let that situation continue," he said.

The proposals to end the frustration - currently only aimed at improving 2G services - are as follows:

  • National roaming - phones would use another network when theirs was unavailable, similar to how roaming works when abroad
  • Infrastructure sharing - mobile networks would be able to put transmitters on each other's masts
  • Reforming virtual networks - agreements that companies such as Tesco and Virgin currently have with single operators would be extended to all four networks
  • Coverage obligation - obliging the networks to cover a certain percentage of the UK - and leaving them to decide how to do it

The government has given the industry, businesses and the public until 26 November to respond to the proposals.

Leaked letter

Mr Javid may face opposition to the move from within his own party.

The Times newspaper has reported that a leaked Whitehall letter contains a warning from the Home Secretary Theresa May that allowing people to roam between networks could compromise efforts to track criminals and terrorists.

"[It] could have a detrimental impact on law enforcement, security and intelligence agency access to communications data and lawful intercept," states the letter.

It adds that further research is needed to ensure the change would not make it more difficult for police to access information about calls and emails that is "crucial to keeping us safe".

The Labour Party has seized on the apparent clash.

"The detail of this policy needs careful consideration," said Harriet Harman, shadow culture secretary.

"Rather than briefing against each other as part of the ongoing Tory leadership squabble to replace David Cameron, cabinet ministers should be making clear what the impact will be on 4G services for consumers and the emergency services, as well as any possible implications for national security and the fight against serious crime."

Phone masts

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones said mobile phone operators had indicated that national roaming would be bad for the consumer.

"Operators argue that roaming would shorten battery life as phones searched for the strongest signal, and pose a risk to the security of their networks," he said.

He said the operators wanted changes to planning laws and the ability to build and share more phone masts.

Matthew Howett, an analyst with research firm Ovum, also thinks that the government's preferred plan of national roaming is "a messy solution that ought to be abandoned".

"The cost, complexity and side-effects of national roaming make it such an unworkable fix that the industry thought had been dropped," he told the BBC.

"What needs to happen over the next month is collectively for the the mobile operators to work with government to come up with an agreeable fix that addresses not only poor voice coverage, but also data too," he added.

Making it easier for operators to put up masts quickly in a cost-effective way would also help current coverage issues, he added.

Mobile spectrum auctioned last year was well-suited to covering rural areas and operators were starting to make use of it and that too should help improve the situation, he said.

While the government's consultation is looking specifically at 2G services, a study commissioned by consumer watchdog Which indicates 3G and 4G coverage is also patchy around the UK.

The report into the state of the mobile phone network found big differences between the four operators in different parts of the country.

  • Both 3G and 4G are best in London and worst in Wales
  • Three had the best 3G coverage and Vodafone the worst, but Vodafone offered the fastest 4G speeds
  • Three was the slowest 4G network and had the worst coverage, while EE had the best 4G coverage

The report, compiled by OpenSignal, a company that crowd sources phone signal strength, looked at the 3G and 4G mobile signals of nearly 40,000 phone users of EE, 02, Three and Vodafone's networks.

It found that 4G speeds have almost halved in the past year as more people sign up to such services.

The difference between operators in different parts of the country highlighted the need for detailed information for consumers before they signed up to a particular service, said Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which.

"We're calling on providers to publish the reliability and speeds their networks actually achieve, so people can make an informed choice before signing on the dotted line," he said.

Vodafone agreed that an industry-wide standard for measuring network performance was needed.

"We've now had numerous different reports with different conclusions," said a spokesman.

All the operators are currently investing in their networks and offering more rural coverage.


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STD dating site faces $16.5m penalty

5 November 2014 Last updated at 12:01

The operator of a dating site for people with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) faces paying out $16.5m (£10.4m) after losing a privacy case.

The owner of PositiveSingles was accused of sharing photos and profile details from its site with other dating services, despite promising a "confidential" service.

A jury found the Californian firm had broken local consumer laws.

It also decided the business was guilty of fraud, malice and oppression.

The case dates back to 2011 when an unnamed claimant sued the parent company - SuccessfulMatch - as part of a class action case.

SuccessfulMatch runs a number of niche dating sites and also manages an affiliate scheme for those wishing to set up sites of their own. It offers both software and databases containing details of "hundreds of thousands of profiles" registered to its existing services.

Court papers state, however, that the PositiveSingles site advertised itself as a "100% confidential and comfortable community" and stated: "We do not disclose, sell or rent any personally identifiable information to any third-party organisations."

'Misleading promises'

The plaintiff acknowledged that after completing a registration page, a link to the terms of service was provided, which noted that profile details - which contained information about HIV and other STD statuses - might be shared with other sites within the SuccessfulMatch network and that by posting a profile users had agreed to this.

However, he suggested that few members would ever click on or read the terms.

Court filings highlighted that examples of other sites operated by SuccessfulMatch included AIDSDate, Herpesinmouth, ChristianSafeHaven, MeetBlackPOZ and PositivelyKinky.

"Plaintiff is... not black, gay, Christian or HIV positive and was unaware that defendant was creating websites that focused on such traits that would include his profile, thus indicating that he was all of these things and more," his lawyers said.

The jury agreed that SuccessfulMatch had made misleading statements and ordered it pay $1.5m in compensatory damages and another $15m in punitive damages.

The verdict follows a previous attempt by two women to sue SuccessfulMatch on similar grounds.

A judge dismissed their claims in April after ruling they had failed to specifically allege they had actually read the sign-up promises they had claimed were misleading before using PositiveSingles.

Their case is still active, however, as they have filed an amended claim.

When contacted by the BBC, a spokesman for SuccessfulMatch was not able to say whether the company planned to appeal against the latest ruling.


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German police stage piracy raid

5 November 2014 Last updated at 13:05

More than 400 police officers in Germany have taken part in a nationwide clampdown against piracy, Cologne's Public Prosecutor has announced.

They searched 121 apartments across 14 states in the hunt for people sharing music and films illegally online.

Officials targeted members of a file-sharing forum called Boerse, who the prosecutor says have uploaded movies, music, software and e-books.

At time of writing the platform itself is still online.

Its terms and conditions warn against the sharing of copyrighted material, but recent uploads include Taylor Swift's new album 1989 and recently released movie Gone Girl.

The German police said some of the suspects in the latest raid were willing to cooperate.

"The investigating authorities are hoping to gain further insights into the piracy scene on the evaluation of the evidence," they added.


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'Thousands of students prey to scam'

5 November 2014 Last updated at 13:20 By Jon Douglas Reporter, You & Yours

Mobile phone company EE believes one in 10 of its mobile phone contracts in some university towns are at risk of being used by fraudsters.

Thousands of students are being conned into taking out new contracts and passing the handsets to someone else, Radio 4's You and Yours has been told.

The students are promised an income in return, but they end up liable for bills and chased for debts.

Police are investigating and say thousands of cases could be unreported.

The students have contracts taken out in their names and pass on the phones to a private company for around £50 each, with the promise of more money in the future.

You & Yours has spoken to students who have been conned. One said: "I started getting bills from phone companies and letters from debt collectors. I got really scared and pretended it wasn't happening. I'm in debt for roughly £6,000."

EE's Chris Sims said: "We're seeing a high level of sophistication from the conmen. They're using social media to contact more people, and that's why this type of fraud is on the increase."

The National Mobile Phone Crime Unit is advising students to not give away personal details, and to look at their credit ratings to see if any changes have occurred.


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