Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Credit Card Cloning

A few months ago I was checking my bank balance and noticed a couple of transactions that were unusual ( especially as they were for £250). On closer inspection these transactions were taken in euros and from holland. I had to stop and think for a moment as I had just returned from abroad ( Ireland though not Holland, but was expecting foreign exchange transactions). I immediately phoned my bank (Natwest, very good and helpful) and explained these eroneous transactions and got put through to the Fraud department .There they explained that there were several more transactions that were queing up on my account from ATM's in Holland, they said my card had been cloned and was probably from a petrol station or similar and advised me that if a shop has used the chip'n'pin device they do not and should not also swipe your card. If they do then this is probably a fraudulant action and possible cloning process. Apparantly when this happens they have your pin from the cctv and the card number from the swipe.

Just yesterday I went into my local Threshers for a bottle of wine, payed on my switch and entered my pin. They then swiped my card before I knew it, unwanting to cause a scene I left the shop with the thought of ' Oh no not again'. I promptly went to the nearest cashpoint and changed my pin number, just to be on the safe side.

Note to self - Hide entry of pin, watch them swipers and check bank account regularly.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Invitation for partnership

'I am well confident of your capability of executing this transaction for the mutual benefit of both families, believing that you will not expose or betray the trust and confident I am about to repose to you. etc..'

The sum was inherited from my late husband who was assassinated by Robert Mugabe's aides in view of acquiring his land and property....

What is this all about, trying to pull at the heart strings of others with continuous mass mailing of people asking to use their bank accounts to safeguard a large sum of money for them to look after for their children?

Apparantly they found me on the internet as a ' reliable person for partnership overseas'.

Shhhh.. though as this is a secret.

Friday, 16 March 2007

Premium Rate Phone Cards 2

Recently I was coming off the train at Blackheath station and lo and behold there were several people dishing out phonecards promising huge discounts and free minutes to unsuspecting passers by. Taking a closer look I could see that these were very similar if not the same phonecard as had previously rung up a gigantic phone bill.

It is astounding that these companies can carry on doing this to visitors to this country.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Dutch National Postcode Lottery

Wow! I have won the lottery again. This time in a different country without even entering.

If it wasn't for these emails I would not even know these lotteries existed. Apparantly they ask for a fee upfront for fake worthless certificate.

Whatever you do, do not send any money top these people.

The real Dutch "Nationale Postcode Loterij N.V."
explains on its website (
Warning: fake e-mails Postcode LotteryPlease be careful with messages you have received from the Postcode Lottery telling you've won a prize, because it might be a hoax. Currently we are trying very hard to find out who is responsible for this. We would like to point out that any prizes you win in our lottery will automatically be transferred to your bank account. Any message you might receive telling you to take any action in order to obtain a prize is surely fake.

Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Beware Premium rate phonecards

This week I have just received my phone bill, to my astonishment a normal £23/month bill had transformed itself into a £200 bill for the month (with unbilled calls I suspect being another £100 !).

From further investigation of the bill I have found a premium rate number which has been dialled, unwittingly I may add, by my aupair. She had rang the number thinking that this was a prepaid card ( actually it was left by a previous aupair). The card boasts cheap international calls with 200, 400, even 900 mins free. On the reverse are the instructions of how to use it to receive your free minutes. The long and the short of the instructions are that after 10 mins (£15 cost) you will be told a freephone number and pin, you are then supposed to hang up and redial using this freephone number and pin- beware if you do not you will be continually charged at £1.50/min.

To someone with english as their first language the instructions are not 100% clear and confusing, to a visitor to a country, here to learn english these are nigh on impossible to fathom out.

I would advise anyone not to use these 09 numbered cards unless they are sure of the consequences.

Friday, 23 February 2007

Two for one offer!

I do not know whether it is a lack of training or bad cashup systems, but every now and then I get conned into picking up a two for one offer or buy two for £2.50 type offer at my local Tesco express to find when I get home the offer has not gone through.

Is there a special button to press prior to taking your money that not all cashiers press? Are they trained not to press said button unless asked to in the hope that you do not notice?

Advice and note to self - prompt cashier to calculate discounts prior to leaving the shop.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Unsolicited sales calls

Gorden Bennett, I had another one of those stupid sales calls last night, you know the ones, they phone you up and clarify who they are speaking to and try and sell you something like you are their best mate !

After a couple of seconds of his 'matey' behaviour talking about loans and the interest rate, I said ' If you are trying to sell me something I am not interested'.

To which I got the reply, 'Oh no sir I am not trying to sell anything, it is money I am offering you'.

I told him that he was trying to sell me a loan, so therefore trying to sell me something, but he persisted with the 'No sir I am not selling anything' so I hung up.

These people must think we were born yesterday.

There has to be better ways of making a living than making a complete nuisance of yourself to people.

Although there is a service to try and prevent these calls, telephone preference service (register here, of which I have registered, it does not prevent all calls and god knows how, but the calls still slip through.