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Bonkers Blog January 2019

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9 January (Part 1) - Scammers everywhere

In a diversion from Bonkers’ usual fare and with apologies to Hugh Neal it today brings you news of a scam, the sort of thing more often catalogued on Hugh’s Arthur Pewty’s Maggot Sandwich.

This one has nothing to do with cold calling but is very much a practical crime and this abbreviated account is lifted from an original article written by a retired police officer in a Bromley Residents’ magazine. I found it particularly shocking and different, hence its appearance here.

A lady went to the toilet in the Bluewater branch of John Lewis and hung her handbag on the hook on the toilet door. A hand appeared over the top of the cubicle and took the bag. By the time the lady was able to exit the cubicle the thief had long gone.

She informed the head of store security and he in turn the store manager.

Two days later she received a call from the head of security to say her bag had been found but the purse was missing. She arranged an appointment to go back to Bluewater to collect it.

On arrival at John Lewis’s neither the manager nor head of security was expecting her. No one had phoned her.

When the lady got home her house had been burgled, the driving licence had revealed the address and her own keys allowed easy entry.

I think a lot of people might fall for that one, so be careful. The most usual scams probably involve unsolicited phone calls and bank transfers. My phone is fixed such that unless the incoming number is on an approved list the callers either get told where to go or they have to jump through various hoops which keeps almost all the scammers away.

A childhood friend enjoys stringing the phone scammers along sometimes for 20 minutes or more. She especially likes the callers who tell her that her computer is about to explode or similar. She hasn’t got one, in fact until about ten years ago she didn’t even have a TV.

Keeping a scammer occupied for 20 minutes seems to me like a valuable public service.


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