I had a shock on opening my bank statement when I returned home today. I knew I’d relaxed my spending control over Christmas, but I hadn’t realised I’d spent quite so much. In fact I couldn’t remember spending anything like the amount that was missing. That initiated a search for my bank statement from last month, which I confess I hadn’t opened. I’m not good at things like that. My fear was that my account had been hacked. I worry about things like that as I get older and criminals get sneakier. It turned out that I had simply misremembered the running total I keep in my head. Normally I keep tabs on my cash by using ATMs, but since lockdown I have hardly used one. Julia and my sister, who fill the roles in my life that Bertie Wooster;s aunts played in his, are both keen on me growing up and going online with my banking, but I feel that as long as I don’t go online I can’t be robbed online. Seems logical to me.
Last year, or maybe the year before, I refused to give Amazon my phone details when they wanted to add them to my account. The reason? If my number isn’t on the internet people can’t ring me with nuisance calls. Julia gets a lot of nuisance calls from time to time. There will be none for a while, then they start again, often using software to disguise where they are coming from. Once we had a month of calls from numbers that, according to the caller ID, were coming from all over West Africa. They weren’t, they were coming from one call centre with some clever software. They haven’t quite grasped the psychology of it – if you aren’t going to answer a call from Ghana, you really aren’t going to answer the next one either, even if it does claim to be from the Ivory Coast.
As a result of being careful my mobile has never rung with details of a “parcel delivery” or news that I am the beneficiary of the the will of a deceased African politician.
I’m running out of inspiration for photos, so am reverting to the George II shilling with cunning colour effects.
I commend your wisdom in keeping offline as far as possible. We have had a welcome break from nuisance calls lately. I use 1572 to report them when we do get them. A government spokesman the other day had the cheek to say that crime had fallen but this is because they don’t count online and phone frauds as crimes. I had a bank account opened in my name and was told it wasn’t a crime when I reported it to the police.
It’s amazing what isn’t a crime when the police don’t feel like doing anything.
Wise caution if you ask me. However, I was forced into on line banking by the closure of local branches, and I have found it most secure – mind you that gives increasing hoops to go through to make a transaction.
I may eventually be forced into it. I can’t even order groceries without going through more rigmarole than I used to. It seems to be the modern way.
Do you have NoMoRobo service over there? It intercepts a lot of SPAM calls.
I don’t think so – I will have to look.
I highly recommend online banking if you’re afraid of being hacked. I used to have to wait for my statement to see what the bank thought was going on with my balance, but now, I check in at least once a week to make sure all is well. It’s reassuring, and I spot any problems quickly. They’re also good about calling now (at least here) when something odd appears, like a plane ticket being purchased in Abu Dhabi…
Yes, Julia has now had her debit card cancelled three times by the bank due to strange activity which they detect. On the other hand, if her details wren’t out on the net, they wouldn’t need to. One of those was a holiday. Seems hacking and fraud requires relaxation . . .