Wednesday, August 03, 2005

And now for something completely different...identity theft

In between trying to pull off a massive scary deal in my new job, ( thus justifying them employing me in May) , deal with the backlog of stuff that had accrued during my unfortunate altercation with Al Quaida, wash, iron, pack, organise a house sitter, pay bills, worm the cat, clean the aquarium, resuscitate the tomato plants, yada yada, I paused to make a quick online donation to the famine victims of Niger. Only to dicover my bank wouldn't allow it. It was only £15 and I was paid on the 28th. What the... ? Called robot voice of bank info line, discovered funds in bank were nil. Called non-robot bank manager ( though he might be a cyborg, it's hard to tell) and discover thousands of pounds has been spirited out of bank account.

Goddamnit. Of course, housework, checking bank statements, flossing, all this has gone to hell over the last few anyway, 20-faxed-pages of stomach-churning bank statement later, I discover that someone has been paying bills, buying stuff including £1800 worth of Apple computer equipment, flitting round Tescos since the end of June ...and raiding my current/savings account to do so. Bastard(s). Spent over 90 minutes trying to get through to Islington police, who then dispiritedly told me they can't give me the crime reference number I need to give the bank to get the cash back. 'The crime department isn't about, dear.'

*headdeskheaddeskheaddesk...* Big Client calls, *deep breath,* make upbeat conversation as they... reveal the pitch I've been working for all year is going to hit my desk next week, when I am not here to lead the pitch team. Which is kind of the reason my company hired me ten weeks ago. Choke back a scream.

Rush to bank arriving 5 minutes before it closes. Man in front of me in queue drones on about what sort of chequebook he needs.
Gnash teeth until I fear they will flake.

Persuade the bank to stay open, beg them to allow me to take out £300 holiday money - the max they will allow. I've banked with you for 11 years, I say plainitively .Go through third degree as to who I am, why, what etc. (Why weren' t they making these checks when some sod ran amok with my card and my identity, hmm? Hmm?) Rush to Charing Cross police station, fill in more forms. These must be dropped off at the bank tomorrow along with a full report, written by me of the fraudulent transactions.

So, after I have filled in yet more forms, and ploughed through months of statements, and written a report, and gone back to the bank to hand this in, and a crime reference number has been generated, then they will start to process the enquiry and I will -one day- get my cash back. Meanwhile my bank account - bereft, empty - is frozen. (Natwest didn't phone and tell me this though. I only found out when the internet declined my card. )

I can 'expect some news, and a new card, in 7-10 working days, madam.'
Great, that's when I will be in Turkey,on my holiday. Minus any spending money. And the return of the thousands stolen?
'Hopefully in a few weeks. Maybe a month. Or a bit longer'

Fab. Just...just...argh.

*Sigh* I'm going to bed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel

Quite shocked by this post, but obviously not as shocked as you were. I thought of offering to help, but not sure how. Anyway have a great holiday. You deserve it.


August 03, 2005 5:07 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello rachel,

as if you havent gone thru enough,now this comes along.. but try and have a good holiday.


August 03, 2005 6:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Total total total bastards in excelsis.

Thinking of you. Have lovely hols.


August 04, 2005 2:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The next couple of years of your life had better be fucking *sublime* or my theories of cosmic balance are up the spout.

V sorry, and if you need any cash wiring to Turkey lemme know. Of course, I'll want proof of ID...

August 07, 2005 10:01 pm  

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