Monday, December 22, 2008

For once, a welcome Lib Dem appeal letter

Well, I have to say thank you to Tavish Scott for inviting me to set up a standing order to make monthly donations to the Euro campaign recently. It's a good cause, certainly - George Lyon, a farmer from Argyll and Bute and former deputy finance minister, is a credible and dynamic choice to send to Brussels. The current Scottish Lib Dem MEP, Elspeth Atwooll is retiring in June and will be very much missed in the Scottish party. She has been unfailingly generous with her time and support of local campaigns and a star in encouraging women candidates. I will really miss her.

Anyway, I digress. Normally appeal letters go straight in the recycling as I feel that the party has more than enough of my time and energy. Yesterday, though, Christmas spirit and guilt combined provided a powerful motivator to set up a standing order.

I didn't quite understand what I was supposed to do with the form - did I send it to party HQ or the bank, for example - so I decide to set up the standing order online.

As I looked at my account details, I realised that some scumbag had swiped over £150 from my account at an ATM on the other side of the world on Friday. If I hadn't logged on yesterday, I might not have noticed until after the New Year, by which time I might have had no money left.

Both the bank and the police were very sympathetic and helpful. In some ways we are lucky because we weren't reliant on that £150 to live on right now. However, it's still a darned inconvenience. Our cards have been stopped so if we want cash we have to go into the branch with ID, like you had to do in the olden days, until our new ones arrive, which will probably be in the New Year.

The other thing was that my husband was in Tesco doing some shopping as I was talking to the bank yesterday. As usual I tried to get through on his mobile but it was switched off. Not quite sure what the point of him having it is. Anyway, I ended up having to ring the store and get him tannoyed so I could tell him to use another card, cos he'd have panicked if his debit card had been rejected.....

LibDig This!


Jeff said...

Sorry to hear it, bank theft is one of the few things that wakes me up in the middle of the night. Daddy long legs' tends to be the other one.

Anyway, how did it happen, if you don't mind me asking? I'm an accountant and I'm still woefully bad at keeping track of my account, i struggle to imagine how less financially-inclined folks get on in the face of fraud when they need every last pound!

Unknown said...

God knows how it happened. We are usually both so careful with our information - we shred everything with our info on it and try to hide our details at ATMs. The money was taken at an ATM, that's all we know.

Any tips you can give on avoiding any future episodes would be very gratefully received.

There has been a spate of it where we live with a couple of garages being implicated in making cloned cards, but I haven't been to either of them. I know of about 10people just in my circle of friends it's happened to.

Jeff said...

That must be more galling that despite being so careful you still get hit. I make a lot of online purchases and have almost resigned myself to getting scammed one day merely through the law of large numbers.

Regular checks of online banking is my main defence, regrettably detective rather than preventative of course.

The only other things I do is have extra security online (with Natwest) where you need an extra password to make purchases online, so the card alone is not enough.

Also don'y use ATMs with suspicious looking plastic sticking out the slot as it could be a card reader, storing info that can be duplicated later without you knowing.

That might have been what happened to yourselves but it's very hard to combat or know of course.

Hope that's your only experience of it!

And good job with donating money to George Lyon. Last year around Christmas I sponsored a young Somalian child via World Vision but if you think Mr Lyon is more deserving of your money then fair enough (sorry, couldn't resist a wee jokey pop there...!) ;-)


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