Rugby World Cup: the top 5 scams to watch out for

first_img On the ball: the World Cup has seen cyber criminals at work but there are ways to dodge them (Pic: Getty) Stuart Fuller, Director of Commercial Operations at NetNames, says: “Fraudsters are deploying increasingly sophisticated tactics, taking advantage of SEO, affiliate networks and varying international jurisdictions. The onus falls to big brands, which are associated with the tournament, to do as much as possible to protect their customers from phony websites and apps.“Brands need the ability to monitor the internet for infringements in real time so they can minimise the threat to fans. Given the global nature of the internet, and the Rugby World Cup, it’s crucial that brands take into account the diverse attitudes to intellectual property in different countries so they can follow the correct legal procedures and get fraudulent websites or listings quickly taken down.” 1. Fraudulent ticketsDemand for World Cup tickets since the application phase opened last year has been huge, with the initial ballot stage massively oversubscribed for many games. Whilst a further 100,000 tickets were released in late May on a first-come, first-serve basis, the most popular games are sold out.Despite the organising committee issuing warning messages on the official ticketing website about the dangers of buying through unauthorised third parties, a simple search for the term ‘Rugby World Cup tickets’ on Google provides thousands of results. Among these search results, research uncovered:Ticket listings on sites that don’t appear to be authorised to sell the tickets, with prices ranging from £657 for the England-Australia pool game, to £10,000 for the final on 31 October.Even games that appear in low demand on the official ticketing website are being sold on websites for nearly £400 – almost ten times as much as face value.Some organisations with no official link to World Rugby or the organising committee state that they can “provide authentic tickets for all games” or “guarantee best tickets”.Gold in your fingers: Demand for the major matches far outstrips supply – attracting ticket fraudsters2. Fake stripAs with any sports tournament, you can expect an increase in sales of replica kit in the run up to the World Cup. A limited-edition England home World Cup jersey shirt costs £120 in the official RWC online shop, with other adult options priced at £60-70.However, a search on some overseas online marketplaces reveals that the shirts are for sale for just £7, with quantities on offer in excess of 20 units at a time. At that price and in that quantity you would have to question the authenticity of the product – if it actually arrives at all.3. Unofficial appsThis World Cup will see more fans access information via their smartphone than ever before. World Rugby Ltd has an official app that is free for users, but a simple search on some of the major app stores reveals a couple of unofficial apps, that could be dangerous for fans not wary of scams. This number is set to rise as the tournament gets closer.During recent major sports events, some unofficial apps, that have featured official colours and logos, appeared to illegally stream matches live. Users need to be cautious as rogue mobile apps are capable of infecting devices with viruses and can also access personal data.One app you can trust is the one from Rugby World. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALScenter_img 4. Unauthorised merchandiseThe RWC organising committee started launching official merchandise last year, setting up shops in major tourist centres such as Oxford Street and Covent Garden in London and the St David’s Centre in Cardiff. In addition, the official online store offers a full range of products.However, websites are already offering counterfeit merchandise, trying to pass it off as official – one online marketplace is selling England polo shirts, which retail for £30 on the official website, for around £6. Every official product has a Rugby World Cup 2015 hologram on it, although some online listings may use misleading pictures displaying the hologram. If in doubt, report an item to the Rugby World Cup team.Shirt off your back: merchandise has long been a soft target for the con men (Pic: Getty Images)5. Betting sitesOne of the most popular traditions of any major sports event such as the World Cup is betting, whether on the winning team, top try-scorer or individual match outcomes. Most fans will probably be using the mainstream betting companies to place their bets, which offer a safe, secure environment for gamblers.But some fans may be lured by other alternatives that offer odds on games that seem too good to be true. In most instances, these deals are too good to be true and winning bets may never be settled. Before you hand over any money, it’s worth doing some simple research online about the reputation of the website or company. See RW’s guide to spread betting.Brand responsibility NetNames, the leading online brand protection company, reports on the top five online rip-offs to avoid ahead of and during the World Cup…last_img read more

Speech: Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 16 November 2020

first_imgHealth and Social Care Secretary statement on coronavirus 16 November 2020Good afternoon and welcome to today’s Downing Street coronavirus briefing.I’m joined today by Professor Jonathan Van Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Office and Dr Susan Hopkins, the Chief Medical Advisor to NHS Test and Trace.Before we talk about testing and vaccines, I’d like to update you on the latest coronavirus data.The average number of new cases each day is now 25,329 up from 22,443 last week.There are today 14,915 COVID-19 patients in hospital across the UK, compared to 13,025 a week ago.And, sadly, yesterday 168 deaths were reported.This means that in the last week we’ve seen an average of 413 deaths, up from 332 a day a week ago.My profound sympathies are with everyone who’ve lost a loved one throughout this pandemic. These numbers make painfully clear, this virus remains a potent threat. And that threat is not just to the oldest and most vulnerable but to anyone, of any age, and of any background.We have already seen the serious impact that long COVID can have on peoples’ quality of life, even the fit and the young. Symptoms like fatigue, breathlessness, muscle pain, and neurological problems long after they first had the virus.We know that long COVID affects thousands of people, many thousands of people. We have already opened long COVID clinics in many parts of the country. And I am very pleased to be able to confirm that the NHS will have a network of 40 long COVID clinics right across England in place by the end of the month.They will bring together doctors, nurses, therapists and other NHS staff like physios to help those suffering with the long-term effects of coronavirus. Long COVID shows that this virus can strike us all, and we must all do our bit to strike back by following the rules and denying the virus the connections that it needs to spread.I know that this has not been easy and that it has meant celebrating Diwali or commemorating the fallen in ways that have been different this year from what we might normally do.I want to say thank you to everyone for their patience. We must persevere and get this virus under control. Coronavirus is not a short term problem that can easily be fixed. We must focus on the long term solutions, underpinned by the best possible science that can see us through this crisis and also lay firm foundations for the future.Testing capacityThis includes our ability to test at scale. We’re constantly improving our response, to bring the confidence that high-quality testing can provide. We’ve already built the largest coronavirus testing capacity in Europe.Up from 2,000 tests a day in March, to our current capacity of more than half a million. But we will not rest, because testing capacity helps keep people safe and can help us get things back more like normal life.Today I am delighted that we can announce two new mega labs, which will open early in the new year. They will add another 600,000 capacity to our daily capacity, that doubles the current capacity. They will also create 4,000 jobs. Crucially, they will represent a permanent part of the UK’s new diagnostics industry.We didn’t enter this crisis with a major diagnostics industry, and so together we have built one. Both to help beat the virus by testing more people and returning results more quickly and to give our country a permanent defence that we need for any future epidemic.And to improve our care for so many other diseases, like heart disease or cancer or flu.I am absolutely determined that we must have a massive diagnostics capacity, not just for this pandemic, but long into the future.More capacity also speeds up turnaround times but speeding up turnaround times isn’t just about the test, it is also about the logistics.So I want to take one moment to thank the Royal Mail, who, from this weekend, will empty some of their post boxes 7 days a week to speed up home testing. It is a big team effort and I am very grateful for our posties for playing their part to help keep people safe.This expansion of testing matters because it helps protect people. I just want to touch on some of the reasons why it matters.It means we can test the most vulnerable, and those who care for the most vulnerable, and we can test them more frequently.Over the last week, for instance we have delivered more than 3 million tests to NHS staff, to begin their regular bi-weekly testing.And today I know so many people have been relieved to hear that we have started a pilot for testing visitors in care homes, to use tests to allow people to visit loved ones in care homes in a way that keeps them safe and bring back some of those magical moments of social contact.Our expansion of testing also means we can roll out mass testing further.We are making progress in the city wide testing across Liverpool and we are now rolling out this localised approach to other areas.83 local authorities have now signed up to receive regular batches of these new lateral flow tests, which can allow for results in minutes.This is an important step and it combines the local insight of the brilliant Directors of Public Health right across the country with our strong national infrastructure of NHS Test and Trace combining to keep our communities safe.VaccinesI also want to turn to vaccines. While we don’t yet have a vaccine, we can now have hope.You may have heard the two promising pieces of news from earlier today.First, Janssen’s Phase 3 clinical trials are beginning today in 17 sites across the country, including Southampton, Dundee, Cardiff and Belfast.It’s the third vaccine to enter clinical trials here and should the trials come good, and that is by no means certain, and it can be proved to be safe and effective. We have 30 million doses on order by the middle of next year.Finally, you will no doubt have seen the excellent news that Moderna have today announced results from their preliminary trial data, suggesting that their vaccine has an effectiveness of 94.5 per cent. This is another encouraging step forward, although I stress that this is preliminary.The safety data is limited and their production facilities are not yet at scale.Should this latest vaccine be approved, the doses would be available from spring next year.And I can announce that we have today secured an initial agreement for 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine.It is a similar RNA technology to Pfizer/BioNTech, of which we have already ordered 40 million doses, which should that be proved to work will come on stream potentially at the end of this year.Across diagnostics and vaccines, great advances in medical science are coming to the rescue. And while there is much uncertainty, we can see the candle of hope.And we must do all that we can to nurture its flame but we are not there yet.Until the science can make us safe, we must remain vigilant and keep following the rules that we know can keep this virus under control.Now I’d like to hand over to Dr. Hopkins to say more about our work on mass testing.last_img read more

Phish.Net Launches Phish Narration Chart Featuring Transcripts Of 173 Song Narrations

first_imgToday, has announced the launch of a new project dubbed the Narration Chart, a resource intended to “compile transcriptions and summaries of every narration available on audio recordings,” much like they do with their Jam Chart.Chosen to be launched on the 25th anniversary of “arguably the purest live performance of Trey’s Gamehendge saga, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday“—Phish‘s 3/22/93 Sacramento performance—the extensive catalog contains 173 transcriptions “of songs featuring Phish’s unique storytelling style, representing our best attempt to catalog every available performance.”The folks over at and their team of heroic volunteers have been working on their Phish narration chart for almost a year. After over 200 hours put in by almost a dozen people, the team has transcribed at least 20,000 words. This database includes transcriptions of all five Gamehendge shows, with standalone songs most commonly transcribed throughout the years including “Fly Famous Mockingbird”, “Harpua”, “Icculus”, and “Divided Sky”. As detailed in’s announcement about the project’s origins,Born inside a .net forum thread, a group of regular contributors committed to what seemed to us a worthwhile endeavor to compile transcriptions and summaries of every narration available on audio recordings. The thread began shortly after the release of St. Louis ’93, prompted by my listening to the powerful “Harpua” from the April date. As soon as the thread got legs, I knew I would have to put my money where my mouth is.The Phish narration chart allows users to search for transcriptions by date and by song (complete Gamehendge performances are highlighted at the top), while also providing a link to listen to a show’s recording along with a brief summary of what makes the narration unique. While the list thus far is fairly exhaustive, the announcement notes that there are still “a significant number of versions that we can’t currently transcribe because tapes do not circulate,” though many of the transcriptions cover the more elaborate stories from over the years. The site also specifically calls out Phish’s 3/8/93 performance at Santa Fe’s Sweeney Center as an audio they hope to eventually locate.The massive undertaking has produced a really special resource for Phish fans, with the site noting,While not every one holds up to repeated listening, many versions reveal new qualities with each review. … The transcriptions provide good scripts to follow while listening, but we hope they provide enjoyable reading on their own. Indeed, we view this project as a significant addition to the encyclopedic collection of resources compiled here at We hope that it contributes to the continued erudite examination of the history of our favorite band by providing a resource to explore a vital and unique facet of the experience, while helping to promote the important charitable mission of the Mockingbird Foundation to expand access to music education across the United States.In the future, the site hopes that their Phish narration chart will continue to grow, and plans to move it to a permanent home on at some point in the future. Check out’s newly launched narration chart here. If you enjoy this service and want to show appreciation for the hard work that went into its making, please make a donation to The Mockingbird Foundation, the charitable organization that aims to increase access to music education and serves the sponsor of the site.last_img read more