Express & Star

Star comment: Watch out! There's a cyber thief about

We ought to be on our guard – our personal information may be on sale to criminals for as little as 56p.


A multi-national operation to bring down an online martketplace that trades nefariously in personal information has been a big success. But rest assured there will be others out there filling the gap and looking to cash in on the misery of others.

Cyber crime is huge and our personal information is the prize that criminals want in order to steal our identity or break into our bank accounts.

That’s why we must always be aware of online security, with secure passwords and, above all, a level of suspicion about anyone who contacts us asking for information.

While distraction burglaries used to involve psuedo workmen posing as council workers, taking money from the homes of the elderly and vulnerable, now criminals are more sophisticated. There are many ways in which they try to entrap us; sending fake invoices, sending text messages asking for us to log into a website, contacting us with spam emails.

All will try to get us to provide our bank details, under the guise of being legitimate and authentic. However, we must know better than to give such information.

Banks, financial institutions, and other authorities never ask for such details over the telephone. Similarly, those who require online payment have secure systems that are fully encrypted and cannot be broken into by criminals.

Online trading is part of our lives and will increase in the years to come. However, we must be wise to the tricks of criminals and avoid being duped out of hard-earned cash by those who seek to make a quick buck by ripping us off.


The growth of numbers at Birmingham Airport is good news, not just for the airport for the West Midlands economy. A thriving airport is important for our region. It attracts more business people, more tourists, and more people who wish to visit relatives in our region.

Thousands are departing looking for an Easter break, showing there is an appetite for foreign travel despite the cost of living crisis.

For those of us stuck at home, we should use Easter to recharge our batteries and perhaps use our time to support one of the countless attractions in our own region.

They need our support as they embark on a new season. Many are struggling financially and this will be a make-or-break year, when they look to bolster low bank balances as we trade in the post-pandemic era. There are lots of free attractions, too, for people to enjoy.