[jhb_airlines] Life's a sod

  • From: "Bones" <bones@xxxxxxx>
  • To: "JHB Email List" <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 17:14:42 +0100

Grab yourselves a cup of tea because this tale will take some time to tell.

It all started this morning when the postman delivered a package from AFE.
Inside should have been a copy of the Bottling VFR Flight Guide but what I
had actually been sent was the full UK I04 Airways manual. Instead of 250
pages showing the UK airfields I had the complete UK Instrument Approach
Procedures plus all the other pages that go with the IFR manual. That's
basically two volumes, each about four inches thick. There's a slight
difference in price too - the VFR guide being 34 quid but the IFR Airways
Manual is 399.00 <g>.

I wasn't even tempted to keep it as we have copies of the manual in each
aircraft - and we use Aerad which are nicer to read than the Jepp plates.
Before phoning AFE to explain their error I thought I would check to see
that they hadn't debited nearly 400 smackers from my account. There wasn't
any deduction on my last printed statement (sounds odd but the order was
placed some time ago) so I went online to check my balance on the web site.
And this is where the story really begins...

As soon as the statement appeared I knew there was something wrong. The
first one that hit me was a payment to O2 and then another to T-Mobile -
both which can't operate in the IoM because the government have the monopoly
on mobile networks (via Manx Telecom). Further up the list was a payment to
www.digico.co.uk who I'd never heard of but are one of the many discount
electronics companies online. Altogether there was about 1000 pounds worth
of deductions.

One very quick phone call to credit card fraud and I had the account frozen
and, luckily, will get the monies repaid into the account. Which leads us to
ask how someone could have got my details. I must explain that this card is
for a "household" account that I do not normally use very much. It was
originally my mortgage account but when the mortgage stopped I kept paying
into it with the money primarily going on house renovation. Any monies paid
from this account are mostly by cheque and the credit card is rarely used -
it's basically a sleeping account.

So how did this happen? Going back over previous statements nothing untoward
was obvious, the only debits being to Amazon and RC Sims. Then the lady
asked about a Paypal debit to PAYPAL *BETFAIRLIM. Well, on 25th July Paypal
had taken two debits from my account, both for 120.00. I didn't know this at
the time and I didn't chase it up because by the time the statement was sent
to me both payments had been paid back into my account. But this is where
the problem begins - the fraud was originated right here.

I didn't fully understand her explanation but it has something to do with
setting up online gambling accounts. When paypal can't match the data
supplied with their known records for me (one advantage maybe of having
registered with them) they closed the gambling account and refunded my cash.
Exactly 28 days later the card details were successfully used to buy
something from digico and 28 days after that from O2UK.

I was puzzled as to why the fraud started in late July. Apart from insurance
direct debits the statements show a few Amazon payments and now't else back
to the beginning of the year. No shop purchases, no mad online spending. "It
doesn't matter." the lass explained. "Over the period you have had the card
you may have given details to shop assistants, on telephone orders or over
the Internet. If the card number plus the three digit code exists in written
records anywhere it could be been easily obtained. These details could have
been hacked into, found on a dumped computer or looked up by a disgruntled
employee - there's no way of telling."

So that's it. Once your number and three digit code are given away then you
no longer can guarantee your account is safe - which means all of us. There
is no protection at all. It's bloody horrifying.

Someone suggested a while back that the three digit code should be computer
generated daily. After today's fright I think it would be a grand idea. You
could write it down freely knowing it will be dead in 24 hours.

angry bones


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