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  • Noah Cyrus Says Her Relationship With Lil Xan Was a "Mistake"

    It all went down in an Instagram comment.

  • Grim discovery made near where San Francisco 49ers fan disappeared

    The search for a San Francisco 49ers' fan who mysteriously went missing during a football game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, took a grim turn when fishermen discovered a body in the water near where the man vanished, police said. Santa Clara and San Jose police have been searching for Ian Powers, 32, a U.S. Army veteran from Spokane, Washington, since Nov. 12 when he got separated from his girlfriend and her two children during a Monday Night Football game between the Niners and New York Giants, police said. On Saturday afternoon, fishermen discovered the body of a fully-clothed man face down in the water about a mile offshore from a marina near Levi's Stadium, Lt. John Hutchings, spokesman for the San Jose Police Department told ABC San Francisco affiliate station KGO-TV.

  • 'I lost £100,000 to a stranger I thought was in love with me' - the devastating rise of romance fraud

    When two policemen knocked on Roy Twiggs’s door and asked whether he had been transferring money to a woman named Donna, he couldn’t understand what on earth they meant by it. He was in a relationship with Donna - why should it be any of their business if he had sent her the odd bit of cash?  “When they said well, it’s fraud, she’s not who she says she is, I just had to lean against the wall or else I’d have collapsed,” he says. Roy, 66, had been taken in by a fraudster, who had built a fake relationship with him online and, over a few months, managed to scam him out of £100,000. He should now be enjoying a comfortable retirement. Instead, he is paying off creditors, using his pension. What hurts most, he says isn’t the humiliation of having been duped, it’s the way his loneliness was abused so cruelly. “I thought we were in love. I thought we were going to get married. I had no suspicion whatsoever. The money seemed to be for plausible things,” he says. “You reckon drink and drugs are big killers, but loneliness is a bigger killer than any of them, and trying not to be lonely is what I do every day.”  It’s a devastating portrayal of an epidemic of isolation in this country. But while Roy, whose story features on tonight’s Panorama, is one of millions of Brits looking for love online, he’s also one of the thousands who have fallen prey to ‘romance fraud’.  The financial losses can be huge; the emotional devastation even greater. And as increasing numbers of us turn to apps and dating sites, the instances are growing. Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime centre, now receives up to 10 reports of romance fraud a day. This is organised international crime at the highest level, played out over email between a vulnerable person on one side of the world and a cold-hearted criminal on the other. The victims - mostly women between their mid 40s and 60s - can lose staggering sums of money (up to £5,000 in over a third of cases), with little hope of seeing it again.  It’s something most people think could never happen to them. And yet, the victims are no fools. Detective Chief Inspector Gary Miles, of the Metropolitan Police’s Falcon unit, which deals with fraud and cybercrime, says the techniques skilled scammers use are enough to con even the most educated. “People are too quick to judge the victims,” he says. “These fraudsters are very good at recognising opportunities. It’s geared around the fact that people want to be in relationships; people want to be in love.” Val McKey was a victim of romance fraud  Credit: BBC Identifying potential victims is the result of an elaborate set of questions, designed to elicit key financial information. In some cases, the victims may even be talking to more than one person. “These fraudsters will show a lot of interest, pay them compliments and focus on getting certain details out of them,” DCI Miles explains.  In a typical scam, the fraudster will use a dating site, messaging 20-30 people and watching to see who takes the bait. They then tailor their ‘personality’ to fit the victim’s criteria. If a woman is seeking someone strong and dependable, they’ll find a picture of a soldier and steal their identity. Military covers are a common choice, as it’s an easy way to explain why the pair cannot meet. One woman in her 60s, from west London, paid around £260,000 over six months after she was contacted by “General Krulak”. She used her life savings, pawned jewellery, sold her car and took out loans, which were transferred into accounts in Ghana.  After deciding a person is worth pursuing, Miles says, the fraudster will move the conversation off the dating site and onto text or email, so they aren’t easily traceable. It’s an attempt to isolate the victim and to make them feel more connected to this exciting new love interest.  Val McKey lost £8,500 to a man she thought was a British Army major. “It was absolutely blissful,” she recalls of their connecting online. Val started giving him small amounts of money. But, a few weeks into the relationship, she saw a warning from a woman who had been scammed by a fake soldier and reality came crashing down. “It was the same name and the same picture. How could I have been so stupid? The whole thing has been a con,” she says. “I told no one about the money because I was so ashamed.”  Once the scammer knows they’ve hooked a victim, they begin messaging constantly. They’ll say they’re working abroad, but want to meet soon. Then comes the first request for cash. Action Fraud estimate it usually takes perpetrators less than 30 days to ask for money - small amounts at first. Then, suddenly, they need a big injection. “There’s always a child in hospital or the need to get out of their country, because there’s a coup,” says Miles.  Sixty-year-old retiree Brenda Parke was scammed out of £60,000 in 2010 after striking up a relationship with a man claiming to be a Dutch businessman called Bradford Cole. After weeks of emailing and speaking over the phone, he claimed that while travelling with his daughter she had been injured in a hit and run and he needed £9,600 for an operation. He didn’t ask Brenda for the money directly, but claimed he had borrowed too much from the bank and had no-one to turn to, subtly manipulating her. Before long, the stories had become more and more elaborate, and Brenda was handing over huge sums to a man she had never met.  Roy Twiggs was twice a victim of romance fraud Credit: BBC “I’m fully aware of how utterly stupid I have been,” she has said of her case, which she eventually reported to the police when Cole failed to return her money. “Having previously considered myself to be a bright and intelligent woman, who has successfully created a secure financial environment for my retirement, I believe that if I could be manipulated and reduced to ‘a puppet on a string’ because of this man’s subtlety and supposed sincerity, then there are millions of vulnerable people out there just waiting to be abused.  “It is so cunning and amazingly well done. I am left reeling with shock at my own vulnerability.” Wayne May, who runs Scam Survivors - which “scams the scammers”, creating fake profiles to lure them in - says romance fraud is becoming more common, as people increasingly head online to combat loneliness and “it’s only getting worse.”  DCI Miles agrees: “It can affect anyone,” he says. “I’ve known victims of all ages and both sexes. I’ve had to send officers to far flung parts of the country to convince people that they are being defrauded.” Putting a stop to it, he adds, can be difficult. There is so much stigma that many victims don’t report it. Even when they do, the money is hard to trace. Vast amounts of cash may have gone through numerous UK or US bank accounts, but then end up in West Africa.  May says one common technique among scammers is to “come clean” when they’re about to be found out. “They admit they’re scamming but then they say ‘I’ve genuinely fallen in love with you, here’s what I really look like, will you still love me?’” And if you’ve been hooked once, he warns, it’s likely you’ll be targeted again.  Not long after he had lost £100,000, Roy Twiggs was contacted online by a woman named Sherry. They struck up a rapport, and she soon began asking for money. It took a reporter to convince him that he was being duped again. “I just want someone to be with and talk to,” he says quietly, as the realisation begins to dawn. “I’m not a brilliant catch. And that’s all there is to it.” Panorama: Billion-Pound Romance Scam is on BBC One on Monday November 19 at 8.30pm

  • These Stylish Winter Boots Are Perfect for People With Plantar Fasciitis

    They provide ample support for your arches and heels. From Prevention

  • Man cancels Grab ride thinking the driver was drunk when he was actually having a stroke

    Maybe it pays to be a bit more patient with people. Facebook user Sid Maderazo shared in a now-viral Facebook post on Saturday about how he mistook a Grab driver having a stroke to be drunk. He wanted the driver to pick up their nanny at his home in Pasig City but decided to cancel his ... The post Man cancels Grab ride thinking the driver was drunk when he was actually having a stroke appeared first on Coconuts.

  • Tijuana residents chant 'Out!' as 3,000 from migrant caravan pour into city on way to US

    Hundreds of Tijuana residents congregated around a monument in an affluent section of the city south of California on Sunday to protest the thousands of Central American migrants who have arrived via caravan in hopes of a new life in the US. Tensions have built as nearly 3,000 migrants from the caravan poured into Tijuana in recent days after more than a month on the road, and with many more months ahead of them while they seek asylum. The federal government estimates the number of migrants could soon swell to 10,000. US border inspectors are processing only about 100 asylum claims a day at Tijuana's main crossing to San Diego. Asylum seekers register their names in a tattered notebook managed by migrants themselves that had more than 3,000 names even before the caravan arrived. On Sunday, displeased Tijuana residents waved Mexican flags, sang the Mexican national anthem and chanted "Out! Out!" in front of a statue of the Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc, 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from the US border. They accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana. They also complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an "invasion." And they voiced worries that their taxes might be spent to care for the group. "We don't want them in Tijuana," protesters shouted. A pro-migration activist argues with demonstrators during a protest against migrants in Tijuana  Credit:  CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/REUTERS Juana Rodriguez, a housewife, said the government needs to conduct background checks on the migrants to make sure they don't have criminal records. A woman who gave her name as Paloma lambasted the migrants, who she said came to Mexico in search of handouts. "Let their government take care of them," she told video reporters covering the protest. A block away, fewer than a dozen Tijuana residents stood with signs of support for the migrants. Keyla Zamarron, a 38-year-old teacher, said the protesters don't represent her way of thinking as she held a sign saying: Childhood has no borders. A migrant climbs the border fence between Mexico and the United States as another looks on in Tijuana Credit:  HANNAH MCKAY/ REUTERS Most of the migrants who have reached Tijuana via caravan in recent days set out more than a month ago from Honduras,a country of 9 million people. Dozens of migrants in the caravan who have been interviewed by Associated Press reporters have said they left their country after death threats. But the journey has been hard, and many have turned around. Alden Rivera, the Honduran ambassador in Mexico, told the AP on Saturday that 1,800 Hondurans have returned to their country since the caravan first set out on Oct. 13, and that he hopes more will make that decision. "We want them to return to Honduras," said Rivera. Honduras has a murder rate of 43 per 100,000 residents, similar to US cities like New Orleans and Detroit. In addition to violence, migrants in the caravan have mentioned poor economic prospects as a motivator for their departures. Per capita income hovers around $120 a month in Honduras, where the World Bank says two out of three people live in poverty. Demonstrators waving Mexican flags, attend to a protest against migrants in Tijuana Credit: CARLOS GARCIA RAWLINS/REUTERS The migrants' expected long stay in Tijuana has raised concerns about the ability of the border city of more than 1.6 million people to handle the influx. While many in Tijuana are sympathetic to the migrants' plight and trying to assist, some locals have shouted insults, hurled rocks and even thrown punches at them. The cold reception contrasts sharply with the warmth that accompanied the migrants in southern Mexico, where residents of small towns greeted them with hot food, campsites and even live music. Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum has called the migrants' arrival an "avalanche" that the city is ill-prepared to handle, calculating that they will be in Tijuana for at least six months as they wait to file asylum claims. Gastelum has appealed to the federal government for more assistance to cope with the influx. Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, rest in a temporary shelter in Tijuana Credit:  HANNAH MCKAY/REUTERS Mexico's Interior Ministry said Saturday that the federal government was flying in food and blankets for the migrants in Tijuana. Tijuana officials converted a municipal gymnasium and recreational complex into a shelter to keep migrants out of public spaces. The city's privately run shelters have a maximum capacity of 700. The municipal complex can hold up to 3,000. At the municipal shelter, Josue Caseres, 24, expressed dismay at the protests against the caravan. "We are fleeing violence," said the entertainer from Santa Barbara, Honduras. "How can they think we are going to come here to be violent?" The Mayor of Tijuana, Mexico, just stated that “the City is ill-prepared to handle this many migrants, the backlog could last 6 months.” Likewise, the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it. They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico. Go home!- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2018 Some from the caravan have diverted to other border cities, such as Mexicali, a few hours to the east of Tijuana. Elsewhere on Sunday, a group of 200 migrants headed north from El Salvador, determined to also find safety in numbers to reach the US. Edwin Alexander Gomez, 20, told AP in San Salvador that he wants to work construction in New York, where he hears the wages are better and the city is safer. US President Donald Trump, who sought to make the caravan a campaign issue in the midterm elections, used Twitter on Sunday to voice support for the mayor of Tijuana and try to discourage the migrants from seeking entry to the US. Trump wrote that like Tijuana, "the U.S. is ill-prepared for this invasion, and will not stand for it. They are causing crime and big problems in Mexico. Go home!" He followed that tweet by writing: "Catch and Release is an obsolete term. It is now Catch and Detain. Illegal Immigrants trying to come into the U.S.A., often proudly flying the flag of their nation as they ask for U.S. Asylum, will be detained or turned away."