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03
May
2021

Robbers elude Jesus

first_imgThieves made off with two students’ credit cards and a mobile phone from Jesus College, despite being questioned by porters after arousing suspicions that they might not be members of the college. The incident occurred at around 1pm on Monday of first week when two intruders stole the items from the college library after attempting to pass themselves off as students. The casually dressed young men were spotted in the lower level of the library by Jesus student, Ben Bell. He told Cherwell that the men were “taking random books from the shelves in an effort to pretend they were students”. The porters were alerted but the two men were released before students realised that anything was missing. A student, who wishes to remain unnamed, had his credit card stolen, and said he “wouldn’t have noticed for hours” but for the fact that his mobile phone was also taken. The men then attempted to spend £500 on another student’s stolen credit card, buying camera equipment in Jessops. The shop phoned the girl to check whether she intended to spend such a large amount. A statement regarding the theft has been made to the police, but the two men have not yet been apprehended. It is not yet clear how the perpetrators gained entry to the College. A Jesus College porter said “in this case it is the students’ fault, as the intruders couldn’t have entered without someone letting them in through the Ship Street gate.” Patrick Wilson, a first year student at Jesus studying Languages commented, “You can’t know everyone in College. When you see someone coming in through the side gate you hold the door open for them.” Students received a cursory email from the JCR President notifying them of the security breach from the College.ARCHIVE: 1st week TT 2004last_img read more

03
May
2021

Oxford fraudsters con up to £100m a year

The Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner Anthony Stansfeld has stated that Oxfordshire loses over £100 million a year in fraud and cybercrime, putting residents and firms at risk. According to comments made by Mr Stansfeld, Oxford’s fraud “is on the rise”.Despite having himself been accused of scamming thousands of pounds worth of travel expenses last year, Mr Stansfeld argued that not enough has been done to tackle the issue of fraud, both in Oxfordshire and across the nation. He speculated that money sent abroad from stolen Oxfordshire businesses could vastly exceed conservative estimates, and in fact be up to £1 billion.“I don’t think it is a very satisfactory system nationally,” he said. “We should be putting a lot of money into countering fraud nationally because the loss to the Treasury must be huge every year.”The Governmental Action Fraud Centre recently lost nearly 2,500 fraud reports due to alleged computer errors, leaving those cases as of yet unsolved. Responding to complaints, Mr Stansfeld suggested the creation of a “full-time fraud investigation bureau with departments in every police force” as an alternative to the current UK-wide system.He added that he believed Oxfordshire was at particularly high risk for fraud given its affluence as a county. Last May, a hairdressing salon in North Parade, Oxford had to replace their network after a cyber attack. The owners reported they lost £15,000 worth of business during the time they closed to recover their systems.At present, fraud is thought to cost the UK as a whole over £50 billion a year. A majority of these crimes involve identity theft. Common advice for avoiding fraud includes having a complex password, not clicking on suspicious links, and avoiding giving personal information to strangers online.However, first year David Klemperer told Cherwell that basic common sense is not always enough to avoid fraud. “While logically one should avoid opening these messages, if you have a dozen or so emails to read, it’s very easy to make a mistake,” he commented. “Besides, human nature tends to be trusting of other people; that’s why fraud is so successful.”Online fraud can easily affect unsuspecting students, even with university email filters in place to protect people from suspicious content. Examining the junk folder of one student’s Nexus, for example, reveals scam e-mails offering a chance to “earn easy money” with online football betting, “a nice girl looking for a man for a serious relationship”, and a request for a reader to “Write me, handsome!”.One anonymous Oxford student who was victim of a fraudster’s e-mail told Cherwell, “After having accidentally clicked a link, my computer became infected and various adverts kept popping up whenever I used it. It was incredibly annoying and significantly delayed my work that week.”Oxford legal academic Professor Andrew Ashworth recently made headlines by arguing that fraudsters should not go to jail. Instead, he suggested, they should receive community sentences and fines. Professor Ashworth stated, “We should be reserving our most severe form of punishment for our most serious types of offending. Should someone be sent to prison and deprived of their liberty for an offence that involves no violence, no threats, and no sexual assault?”Professor Ashworth’s reasoning is that taking fraudsters out of prison would reduce problems of overcrowding. Crime Commissioner Stansfeld maintains a stern stance towards Oxford fraud. “This is not a victimless crime. It ruins people’s lives,” he said.Oxford East MP Andrew Smith similarly urged caution, saying, “With more and more shopping and banking being done online and through mobile phone apps, online security is becoming nearly as important as locking your back door.” read more