UK porn block could see Brits ‘conned out of £100s’ in sinister scams to steal your credit card info

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UK porn block could see Brits 'conned out of £100s' in sinister scams to steal your credit card info



BRITAIN’S upcoming “porn block” could lead to a rise in online scams targeting bank accounts, experts have warned.
The age-checking system – which could roll out in a matter of weeks – might see hackers pilfering “hundreds of pounds” from unsuspecting Brits through fake web-pages, The Sun has learned.
Getty – Contributor Brits will soon have to verify their age to log onto adult websites
The Government’s plan will restrict access to porn sites by default, and will be regulated by the UK’s film certifier, the BBFC.
To access adult websites, Brits will have to hand over ID to verify their age – either online, or at a shop in exchange for an access code.
Porn sites can choose from a number of “age verification” tools, but the fact that there may be many options could cause confusion – and lead to Brits getting scammed.
“Not all of these products are going to sign up to the BBFC’s safety scheme. So as a consumer, you’re going to have to guess which ones are regulated and which are ‘wild west’ products that you shouldn’t touch with a barge pole,” said Jim Killock, executive director at Open Rights Group, speaking to The Sun.
Getty – Contributor Experts have warned that hackers and scammers could take advantage of Brits by exploiting confusion over the porn block
“That’s not an easy task. Some of them won’t be safe. Some of these will just be out-and-out scams,” Jim, who heads up ORG, a non-profit aimed at preserving digital rights, explained.
“There will be websites saying ‘please give us your credit card details so we can verify that you’re over 18’, and people will naively put their credit card details into these sites, and find £100s of pounds have disappeared from their accounts.
“This kind of scam is just being enabled by this. Those sorts of problems we want to be looking at in a consultation around security.”
The plan was first approved as part of the Digital Economy Act 2017, and was earmarked for an April 2018 launch.
However, the Government pushed this back to December 2018, and then again to early April 2019.
Now the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport says that it plans to announce a new “commencement date shortly”, which is expected to be later than the April 1 deadline previously reported.
We’re also expecting a 90 day “grace period” from the BBFC before penalties are doled out to offending sites who don’t offer age verification.
Websites who offer legitimate age verification services will be flagged up as BBFC approved.
“They’re having this certification scheme, and they want the top providers on board – even though it’s voluntary,” said Stuart Lawley, the founder of AVSecure, one of the age verification services that will help Brits access adult content when the block rolls out.
“So yes, you’ll have a little kite-mark that shows this is a BBFC approved AV provider, you can trust them, it’s been checked against strict data protection rules.
“The vast majority of the adult website operators are going to comply and want to do this in a very cooperative manner.
“They’re not looking to avoid this.”
However, he admitted to the The Sun that it’s possible scammers will pop up with fraudulent websites trying to scam users.
“Yes, there are scammers and people who are hardly in the industry – or not in the industry – who will do that. That’s the same in any specific industry,” Stuart explained.
In a statement given to The Sun, a BBFC spokesperson said: “The BBFC will work with law enforcement agencies to provide information about safe use of age-verification and their general advice for consumers on online safety.”
Porn BLOCKED in UK from April 1 – but you can unlock it by buying £5 ‘porn card’ on your local high street
The controversial porn block will restrict access to adult websites, including free porn sites like PornHub and YouPorn – which attract nearly 2billion visits a month between them worldwide.
They’ll join a number of other sites in using the AgeID system, which requires users to verify their age via an official form of ID such as a driver’s license or passport.
From April, when the new system is expected to launch, randy internet lurkers will be shown a non-pornographic “landing page”, according to AgeID spokesman James Clark.
“When a user first visits a site protected by AgeID, a landing page will appear with a prompt for the user to verify their age before they can access the site,” he told The Sun.
“Each website will create their own non-pornographic landing page for this purpose.”
When someone first clicks on a site, they’ll be asked to register with AgeID and verify their age using a Mobile SMS, credit card, passport, or driving licence.
Users will then be able to use their AgeID username or password to access all porn sites that use AgeID – though some may use different age verification systems.
Clark said: “It is a one-time verification. Once a user has age verified once, on ANY site protected by AgeID, they will then simply pass-through or login to any other site using AgeID without needing to re-verify.”
As well as registering with AgeID, Brits will also be able to access porn sites using a voucher you can buy from high street shops.
Thousands of shops will offer the special ID cards, which users can link to an app known as Portes.
Through Portes, they can then login to sites without having to hand over their email address.
Clark said: “The PortesCard will be available to purchase from any of the UK’s 29,000 PayPoint outlets as a voucher.
“It will also be available from selected high street retailers, which we can share more details on soon.
A unique validation code on the purchased card must be activated via the Portes app within 24 hours, otherwise it’ll expire, he added.
Verified users will then automatically be granted access to all sites using AgeID.
Each PortesCard will cost £4.99 for use on a single device, or £8.99 for use across multiple devices.
Portes You’ll be able to unlock the pornography by handing ID – or purchasing a Portes Card from a shop
Sites face fines of up to £250,000 or a blanket block by UK internet service providers if they do not comply with the rules.
Regulators will be also able to block porn websites if they fail to show that they are denying access to under-18s.
However, there are some reservations from experts.
Dr Victoria Nash of the Oxford Internet Institute says “it may make it harder for children to stumble across pornography, especially in the younger age range, but it will do nothing to stop determined teenagers”.
Experts have also raised concerns that people’s privacy will be threatened by the new system.
Dr Joss Wright, also from the Oxford Internet Institute, says: “There’s privacy issues – you’re requiring people to effectively announce the fact they are looking at this material to the credit card authorities.
“And there’s serious security issues from requiring people to enter their credit card details into untrusted sites.”
And Jim Killock, of the Open Rights Group, told The Sun: “Is pornography such a serious issue that we should run the internet like we’re Saudi Arabia or China? Or are we going to, at some point, try a more pragmatic approach?”
We’ve asked the BBFC for comment and will update this story with any response.
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Brits are watching more sex videos online as the UK’s April porn block deadline approaches.
The Sun recently revealed how the porn block risks creating a “sex tape black market”.
For our full guide on the new porn block rules, click here.
Do you think the UK porn block is a good idea? Let us know in the comments!

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