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Woman issues warning about text scam that stole ‘every penny’ she had

Make sure you don’t fall for this

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@EmmelineHartley / Twitter

After a young woman was conned by a text scam that saw her lose ‘every penny’ she had, she took to social media to warn others.

Student and actor Emmeline Hartley went viral after sharing her experience, with others saying something similar had happened to them.

Emmeline received a text from some scammers pretending to be Royal Mail, which kicked off a chain of events that led the con artist’s to call her and pretend to be from Barclays, her bank.

She took to Twitter to warn others: “I mentioned yesterday that I’d been scammed out of every penny I had. Thought I’d post what happened in case it helps anyone avoid being in the same position.

“Please save the lectures, I don’t think it’s possible for me to feel any stupider”.

It all began when she received a text claiming to be Royal Mail saying they needed an additional £2.99 payment in order for her parcel to be delivered, and as her birthday was coming up she believed it was genuine.

To be sure it was legitimate, she even checked Royal Mail’s website, and decided it was safe to enter her bank details.

This is when things took a turn, and someone claiming to be from her back, Barclays, contacted Emmeline to say somebody had tried to set up direct debits from her account at Vodafone and Currys/PC World, as well as an attempt to spend £300 at Argos.

Emmeline added: “The next bit is going to sound stupid, but I was so embarrassed by my stupidity of falling for the Royal Mail scam, shocked and scared that somebody had been trying to use my card.”

She went on to explain that, because the man on the phone knew so many details about her, she believed it was actually her bank, and transferred all the money she had into a new ‘safe account’.

The scammer told Emmeline that because she’d used her bank details in the Royal Mail scam that her account was compromised, and that she needed to transfer her money out to protect it, while she waited for a new card.

To highlight how sophisticated the scam actually is, Emmeline checked the number she was being called from and it showed up as the same number as the Barclays fraud team.

It was only after the scammers told her to clear her overdraft that she began to realise something was off, as she didn’t actually have one on her account.

She said: “Despite knowing deep down that something wasn’t right, I tried to transfer the sum of money he told me to transfer. It didn’t work, confirming what I guess I already knew. I broke down in tears and he hung up.”

Cristiano Betta / Flickr

After calling the real Barclays, they explained that the scam she’d been tricked by is quite common at the moment.

She added: “After several hours [on the phone to my actual bank], they’d cancelled my cards, issued new ones and launched an investigation into my fraud claim. They said that this a very common scam known as the ‘safe account scam’.”

A spokesperson for Barclays told Cosmopolitan UK: “Following an investigation of this case, it is evident that our customer has been the unfortunate victim of a very sophisticated scam. We have provided the customer with a full refund of the amount that was lost.

“Fraudsters try to appear as legitimate as possible, so it’s important to be vigilant and stay alert to anything suspicious.

“No genuine bank would message you to transfer money to a ‘safe account’ – we advise any customers to ignore anyone who asks to do this, whether it’s by phone, email or any other method.”

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Nearly 30,000 people are having affairs in Manchester according to ‘cheating map’

Some of you have a lot of explaining to do…

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Sekgei / Flickr

A new ‘cheating map’ has revealed the staggering number of people allegedly having affairs in Greater Manchester.

The Official Infidelity Index, run by married-dating site Illicit Encounters, allows users to see just how many affairs are getting underway by location across the whole of the UK using specific counties, cities and even postcodes.

And, low and behold, there’s a staggering amount of you unfaithful lot doing the dirty right here in Greater Manchester.

@iceeedc / Unsplash

The map claims that precisely 27,224 people are having affairs in Manchester alone, while 2,994 are cheating in Altrincham, 1,251 in Salford, 1,141 in Bury, 916 in Hale, 906 in Wigan and 684 in Bolton.

Manchester ranks in fourth place out of all UK cities for affairs, with it being narrowly beaten by Nottingham (28,719), Birmingham (45,787) and London (a whopping 168,322).

And while this data may seem a little untrustworthy, the figures are based on Illicit Encounters’ very own extensive data, who claim the rise in cheating is a result of pandemic restrictions being lifted and people feeling unhappy with their partners during the 2020 lockdowns.

Illicit Encounters spokeswoman Jessica Leoni said on the results: “We have seen a rise in cheating over the last year throughout Greater Manchester, particularly since the start of autumn with almost all adults being double jabbed.

Andrew Neel / Unsplash

“Record numbers of people came back from their summer holidays miserable and looking for excitement after 18 months of being bored and stuck at home with their partners.

“We have enjoyed the busiest year in our history with women in particular looking to start afresh and joining in unprecedented numbers.

“The cheating surge will continue as more of us return to the office in the run-up to Christmas. Adulterers often use work as a way to cover up their affair.”

To see how unfaithful your area is, visit the Infidelity Index here.

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Andy Burnham calls out ridiculous price of 15 minute train journey from Manchester

The mayor shared a photo of his single train ticket from Manchester to Newton Le Willows

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World Economic Forum / Flickr & Matt Buck / Wikimedia Commons

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has reiterated his stance on London-style fares after sharing the cost of a fifteen minute train journey he took from Manchester. 

Burnham tweeted a picture of his train ticket, an off-peak single journey from Manchester stations to Newton Le Willows, with a price of £8 printed along the bottom.

The mayor wrote: “Public transport is so expensive in our part of the world. This is the cost of a one-stop, 20-minute journey [later corrected to fifteen minutes]. To be levelled up, we need London-level fares. Accept nothing less.”

This isn’t the first time Burnham has spoken publicly about the benefits a London-style public transport system would provide to Greater Manchester; last month, he spoke about the proposed system at the Transport for the North conference in Leeds.

He insisted that fares set at £1.55, just like they are in the capital, would have ‘the potential to elevate’ millions of Northern residents and predicted that the set fare system could be in place by mid-2024 with Greater Manchester due to take buses back into public control under a franchising system from 2023.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Burnham said: “We could be a template for the rest of the North, particularly for combined authorities where the powers do exist to put buses under public control.

“We think what we would do would be helpful to Leeds, helpful to Liverpool and helpful to other places as they look to go down a similar path. It’s perfectly doable.”

He added that in Greater Manchester, buses could be ‘integrated with the tram system’, suggesting that commuters would have a ‘daily cap on what they could expect to pay on any given day, no matter how many buses or trams they took.'”

Rishi Sunak is due to unveil his Spending Review covering the spending priorities up to 2025 along with an Autumn Budget on October 27th.

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Aldi, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons respond to calls to ban firework sales

Sainsbury’s has been widely praised for it’s decision to ban the sale of fireworks

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Bob Harvey / Geograph & Joshua Harkon / Unsplash

Following the news of Sainsbury’s nation-wide firework ban yesterday, Aldi, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons have now revealed their own stances on the matter.

Sainsbury’s made their announcement yesterday, where they confirmed that all fireworks will be banned from public sale in all 2,300 of its stores with immediate effect.

A spokesperson for the supermarket said on the decision: “We regularly review the products available in our store and we are no longer selling fireworks based on a range of factors.

“Customers can continue to choose from a range of seasonal products, such as glow sticks and light-up spinning wands.”

@alexjones / Unsplash

Since the announcement, customers from all over the UK applauded Sainsbury’s for their decision, noting that for many, fireworks cause more harm than good and can be detrimental to the wellbeing of pets and wildlife.

And now, following the positive response to Sainsbury’s ban, other British supermarket giants have responded. 

An Aldi spokesperson first said: “Aldi understands the importance of animal welfare when celebrating [with fireworks] which is why our sales materials include reminders that pets should be kept safe indoors along with advice on how to make them feel secure.”

An ASDA spokesperson also said: “We know that many of our customers love fireworks, but we also know that some customers and their pets don’t like the noise, which is why this year we have launched a collection of low noise fireworks so that everyone can still enjoy the show.”

David Smith / Geograph

Tesco confirmed that it will still be selling fireworks on its website, while Morrisons stated it will be selling fireworks in-store only. 

Meanwhile, Dogs Trust, a charity focusing on the welfare of dogs, congratulated Sainsbury’s on their decision and have encouraged others to do the same, with a spokesperson saying: “Although they can look beautiful, fireworks can be very distressing for dogs when let off unexpectedly, and because they are so easily accessible all year-round, dog owners are on tenterhooks as to when their beloved pooch will next be frightened.”

This comes after senior vets from Vets Now called on the government to ban the sale of fireworks in supermarkets and retailers, stressing that pets are being put at risk.

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