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Constituencies, wards and local councils

Constituencies (a.k.a. parliamentary constituencies): each electing one Member of Parliament (MP) every 5 years to the House of Commons (Parliament). There are 650 constituencies in the UK.Wards (a.k.a. electoral divisions or electoral wards) is the primary unit of English electoral geography for borough and district councils, county councils or city councils. Each ward elects either one or two councillors to be members of the local council. There were 9,456 electoral wards/divisions in the UK and each ward has an average electorate of about 5,500 people, but ward population can vary substantially.Local council is made up of a number of Councillors (Cllr) who meet regularly to make decisions about the direction of the council and the work it does for the community. As elected bodies local councils are responsible to their local community. Attending a council meeting is the best way to find out what they do and how they make decisions. Members of public can attend public council meetin…

Many phishing telephone calls recently

About one month ago, I received a strange telephone call. At that time I was suffering from a bad cold, I had a very high temperature, very bad headache, and felt dizzy, but in high vigilance, though.

Phone rang, I struggle up from the sofa, the people on the other side was a man who claimed himself as "Yang", from certain department, certain committee in China, Chinese government would like to invite oversea Chinese to participate in the Olympic Games opening ceremony.

I was wandering how he knew my surname and phone number, I asked him where did he get my phone number.

He did not answer my question, instead, continued to ask me whether or not to participate the opening ceremony.

I said that I was not celebrities, why would Chinese government invite me?

He has asked me if I had a fax number, some documents should be sent to me.

I said that I did not have a fax.

He asked me if I could give him my email, he might sent the documents by email.

I said, you could find it from the company's Web site.

He said that if I do not intend to go, he would like to make arrangement for another person.

I say, you could do so.

I regretted a little bit that time for not making this telephone call clear, should I have missed the chance of attending the opening ceremony of Olympic Games to Beijing? Could I have opportunity to meet some important state leader, If I am lucky enough, might I have the opportunity to make a fortune promotion?

During last several weeks, I always received some strange telephone calls. As soon as I started to speak, the other side hung up the phone. A few days ago, I received a similar phone call again, that person also claimed himself as "Yang", his voice was so familiar that I suspected if he was the same person who wanted to invite me to attend the opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics, This time, he claimed that he was from some Department, some Committee of Chinese government in Beijing, there will be a summit take place in the People's Great Hall, Chinese government would like to invite overseas entrepreneurs to participate.

He then asked me if I have no fax, he might sent me important documents.

I said, no fax, you may send it via e-mail to me. I give him my company's e-mail address.

So far I have not received the promised e-mail. I talked with a friend of mine, he said that's telephone phishing scam. This kind of phishing have been discussed for a while in a Chinese community BBS, the wisest way to protect yourself from this kind of phishing scam is to speak in English. If he ask if he can speak Chinese, you just answer "sorry, I can't speak Chinese." No wonder that the phone call stopped strangely several times before I start to speak in English. But I am a Chinese, how can I resist to talk in my mother language if someone speak to me in my mother tongue first. How can I deny I can speak Chinese?

I told this story to another friend, who claimed that's definitely some spies, who are working for Chinese State Safety Bureau or some other department, specially collecting oversea Chinese personal sensitive information, good or bad. While he say so, his make a sly and mystery face and winked to me. I knew he was kidding, why do those spies want to collect my personal information?

It's said phishing attacks aren't just for e-mail anymore. Cybercriminals hoping to coax sensitive information from unwitting victims have a new weapon in their arsenal: the telephone.

Scam artists can make quick work of phone fraud with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which delivers voice calls quickly and cheaply, using the same technology that delivers e-mail via the Internet. I wonder that if that person use VoIP, such as Skype, because Skye is cheap. In some cases, fraudsters use what's known as a war dialer to make one call after another to a host of phone numbers in a given region. I always received some phone call in a Chinese takeaway, those caller claims themselves from some credit card company, they have Indian accent.

Even so, what can people do to protect themselves from new phone threats? Most experts recommend the same common sense that will keep you from getting into trouble online: Don't give out your information to unknown sources. Whenever you need to call someone, such as a banker, who would ask you for verification of personal information, make sure you got that phone number from an official directory, card statement, or Web site.

"If someone is calling you unsolicited, the No. 1 advice is to say 'I'm not interested."


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