Wednesday, 20 April 2011

A Close Shave


This is Restormel Castle, where Viv, Titch, Molls and I went for a wonderful walk on Sunday.

On Monday I got back around 6pm to find an answerphone message asking me to call the automated department of the Santander Fraud Prevention Scheme.

It’s a scam, I thought. Surely if it was real, they wouldn’t ask me to ring an automated service? But I rang one of my brothers, who’s into this sort of thing. He said, “Shall I ring it for you and find out?”

So he did and reported back that they weren’t asking for any bank account details. So I rang. Pressed the 1 of this and 2 for that to answer security questions. And then I was asked if I’d made a payment of nearly £2,000 to a stranger. Press 1 if you have, Press 2 if you haven’t and need to talk to an advisor.

I pressed 2 quicker than you can bet, and talked to someone who said they would freeze my online banking and make sure the money was back in my account within 48 hours. Could I run a virus scan on my computer and ring them back?

I did that, but talked to Niki, my brilliant computer man who snorted. “No point in running a scan on your computer,” he said (with a Russian accent). “You ‘ave no virus on your computer.” There was an intake of breath as he inhaled his ciggie. “These people are stupid,” he continued. “Nowadays they get caught straight away. Ees waste of time.”

Somewhat mollified, if not confused, I did run the scan, rang back the bank and held on. And on. Until an automated message said they would ring me back when an advisor was free. I went to bed.

Next morning, repeat of last paragraph, without going to bed. I put the phone down and at 10am got a phone call from the bank. No one had made notes on my account so the bloke didn’t know what had happened the day before. I told him about the virus scan, about bank account being blocked, and having rung but no one getting back to me.

“Oh, you need to ring another number,” he replied.

At this point, not having slept too well, I exploded. “My husband has died, I have already rung three times and I am not ringing any other numbers. YOU sort it out,” I cried.

There was an infinestimal pause and he said, “Of course, Mrs Jackson. Absolutely.”

At this point, for some reason, I burst into tears. Relief I think. “So I don’t need to do anything?”

“No, of course not. We’ll sort this out Mrs Jackson, and I do apologise.”

I don’t think he probably knew what he was apologising for by this time, but that didn’t matter – the problem was being sorted. And thank god Niki was right and the bank were alerted to this amount of money whistling out of my account in time. And, more to the point, will replace it.

So while that was a near miss, I’m very fortunate. Even better, my dear brother in law came round last night with a boot full of wood he’d chopped up for me. We spent half an hour unloading it and stacking it and then retired to the kitchen for a glass of wine or two.

You know me – give me wood and wine and I’m happy.

26 comments:

Akelamalu said...

I've had the bank fraud squad ring me on a few occasions just to check that it has been me that has made big payments, which is good really isn't it? On one very embarrassing occasion though they had actually stopped my credit card because a large amount had been paid out and not told me. I found out when I tried to pay for my shopping in Morrisons! Thankfully my bank branch was in Morrisons and they sorted it out for me there and then.
Glad you got it sorted out FP. x

Elaine said...

Oh God. How utterly horrible. But at least they did call and inform you of it, even if the 'press 1 for this, 2 for that' system is diabolical.

Hugs, FP. I'm glad you have wine and wood and a lovely brother-in-law. x

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Laney - it could have been a lot worse (she says crossing fingers!)

Flowerpot said...

Oh Ak how embarrassing! Still, glad that, like me, you got it sorted quickly.x

Chris Stovell said...

I really feel for you; it seems utterly unfair that in the midst of everything you're going through that this kind of stuff happens too. It's about time the fates gave you a break!

Flowerpot said...

Thanks Chris - well I have the walks book and the weather is fab so it's not all bad!

Jane Lovering said...

Well done to you for really letting your feelings out and telling them to do it their bl***y selves! Too many of us continue to be polite and quietly seethe.

And you were right to be suspicious. We get genuine 'Bank Fraud' calls now and again (would rather spend ten minutes on the phone than lose loads of cash) but also calls and e-mails from banks we don't even bank with telling us our accounts have been hacked, so you can never be too careful.

Flowerpot said...

Jane - that's it, isn't it? There are so many fraudulent emails and phone calls around yuo don't know what#s legit and what isn't.

Alcoholic Daze (ADDY) said...

Things can get to you when you are feeling low. So glad you have brothers you can rely on.

Flowerpot said...

Addy - as my brother in law said, that sort of thing will make you feel wobbly regardless of anything else going on!

Jenny Beattie said...

Phew; crumbs. I quite often get a call from the fraud dept - being out here in Thailand which is, obviously, a proper den of iniquity - sadly, it's usually me that has spent the money!

Mother Lover Breadwinner said...

It makes you want to stash it all under the mattress, doesn't it?

Talli Roland said...

First of all, what a gorgeous photo of the castle.

I'm glad you got it all sorted. Those kind of things are so stressful!

And yes. A glass of wine does make it all better at the end of the day!or two. Or three...

Flowerpot said...

JJ - well at least you know who it is if you're the one who's been spending it!

Flowerpot said...

MLB - well I would but I thnk I'd worry then about someone breaking in!

Flowerpot said...

Talli - I loved those primroses at the castle - just magical. Bring on the wine. Well no bit early for me just now but definitely later!

Manchester Lass, Now and Then said...

What a terrible experience. So thankful to read that everything has been sorted out for you. Stress you could certainly do without. Eh nothing beats a glass or two of wine to help calm the situation. What a thoughtful BIL you have♥ Had to chuckle when you wrote about wood and wine:) We are off for a few days next month where we will be using wood for the fire, cannot wait. Even if we have to open all the windows we will be lighting that fire:) Sending special thoughts to you for Easter♥♥ Linda xxx

Flowerpot said...

Thanks for your kind thoughts Linda and hope you have a great Easter - love the idea of your fires!

Debs Carr said...

How horrible for you, I'm glad you were able to have a glass of wine later on.

I've only just received an apology from my bank for them letting my ex-husband withdraw money from my account. He even do it on purpose, it was the Teller who made the mistake!

Flowerpot said...

Debs - I can't believe the bank let your ex-husband withdraw money. Blimey! have a great weekend and hope the sun is shining with you.x

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It's frightening isn't it. Always best to find out for definite though, just in case it isn't a scam. Good that the bank have sorted it out, that was very professional of them.

I've had this problem a few times now. Received phone calls from the Fraud Squad (!) asking me to verify the last few transactions. Last week we bought a car and they stopped my debit card because of the money being debited from my current account. It was genuine and I'm glad they rang to ask.

Take care,
CJ xx

Flowerpot said...

CJ - I'm glad i'm not the only one though it's good the banks are so clued up about it now. Glad they checked with you.

Leigh Russell said...

Glad to hear it's sorted now and well done for not allowing them to give you another run around. Sometimes you have to stand your ground. Hope you are enjoying a well deserved glass of wine!

Flowerpot said...

Leigh - yes we all have to fight our corner don't we? Glass of wine beckoning!

Bluestocking Mum said...

I'e be suspicious ever time Sue as I used to be a bank manager and you won't believe some of the scams that go on!

Err on the side of caution, that's what I'd say. Good for you for being on guard, and sorting it.

xx

Flowerpot said...

That's very interesting BSM - thanks for the endorsement!