Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Slow Start

I've been out to Margate and the bank this morning, cash-strapped after the extended Xmas and New Year holiday like so many other people.

What struck me in the long queue for the cashier, waiting to pay in a couple of cheques, was the number of people ahead of me attempting to negotiate a small withdrawal to get them by or simply trying to discover what their account balance might be.

With Medway Citizens Advice revealing the average debt problem they deal with, now being over £30,000, one has to ask what this might be locally, as Thanet and in particular, Margate, has an unfortunate habit of setting records for all the wrong reasons.

It's no wonder that payday loan companies or the notorious 'Wonga.Com' can afford to run so many TV advertisements after Xmas; that and ambulance-chasing lawyers with spurious accident claims and missold payment protection insurance.

Already today, I have unsolicited spam text messages, offering me a new credit card and a PPI claim for the loan or purchase I never had. This doesn't stop them estimating I could be owed over £3,000 which is nice. Let's not forget the Inland Revenue of course. But is it?

I've received an email from the head of the Inland Revenue, telling me that following their recent error, they are now ready to pay several million into my bank account, which is very nice of her, so soon after Christmas. A quick look at the spelling, syntax and the poorly disguised email address, shows me that the Revenue has now moved its offices from Newcastle to Lagos; government cuts I assume. After all, the BBC have moved their news staff to Salford to set an example.

So please beware of spoofs and cons. The first few weeks of the New Year invariably sees a spike in new ideas to catch the naive, gullible and the desperate and the fraudsters are becoming increasingly sophisticated and steadily better at 'Inglish', which up until now has let them down.

Most of all, beware of politicians and bloggers more than most!

Happy New Year...

1 comment:

Don Wood said...

Caveat emptor especially in the world of bloggers. I have often said that HMRC is unfit for purpose now I know why.