The MIDAS Trawler

December 2019 and January 2020

The increasing difficulty of identifying a fake Rolex Watch.

Fake Rolex watches are nothing new, but where historically it has been relatively easy to spot a fake it has now become a lot harder. It is not difficult to see why there is such a large demand for counterfeits when the Rolex Daytona series retails at around £10,000 and has a waiting list that stretches into years. The exclusivity of these watches has seen genuine Rolex watches sold for at least double the selling price which has in turn led to sophisticated fakes being sold for around £1,000.

The work that forgers are putting into making fake Rolex’s is quite remarkable.  The counterfeits are made from the same 904L steel metal, real sapphire crystal and even has the exact same locking construction to the bracelet.

Due to advances in milling and rapid prototyping machinery forgers are able to create the watches with minimal hand-craft involved, whereas real Rolex watches are constructed predominately by hand. This difference in the manufacturing of the watches allows experts to identify a machine constructed watch from a handmade one.

Synthetic Identity Fraud

Synthetic Identity fraud is the term given to fraudsters who are using a combination of other people’s data and fake ‘facts’ to create false identities. The fraudsters buy cars, take out loans, and obtain credit cards using false ID’s. Some of the more sophisticated Synthetic Identity’s have been built up overtime and now have good credit scores which enable the fraudsters to obtain larger loans and / or purchases.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Due to the complex nature of Synthetic Identity Fraud they are more likely to be carried out by criminal gangs than individuals. Children’s data is frequently used to build a false ID and it is believed that 1 in 4 children have been targeted, but generally the fraud does not come to light until they turn 18 and are eligible to be credit checked.

A number of credit check agencies are now offering the ability to add fraud alerts that will notify their parents / guardians of any credit taken out in the child’s name to help combat fraud, however the majority of these services incur fees.

Twitter’s ‘Bluesky’ ambitions

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently announced an  ambitious new project currently named ‘Bluesky’. If the project is successful it is likely to fundamentally transform how Twitter operates as well as providing a new model for social media services going forward.

Mr Dorsey tweeted: “Twitter is funding a small independent team of up to five open source architects, engineers, and designers to develop an open and decentralized standard for social media.” 

Currently every major social media service is a closed platform, which means users can’t interact directly with users on a different platform. ‘Bluesky’ would allow users to effectively build their own social media service that will surrender some control over their products, in a similar way that Google and Yahoo mail now allows users to add rival email services to their platforms.

One to watch…..