Wednesday 21st November 2012
I got a bit of a shock when I got in last night. I was checking my bank statement on my phone (something I do pretty regularly luckily enough) when I noticed a payment of over £500 had gone out to Wonga.com. This is a website that I have never used and one of the loan companies that are springing up these days which I don't really approve of. So it was pretty easy to spot, although I am certainly not so wealthy that the loss of £500 from my current account could go unnoticed. But had it been to a more likely company I might have had to think hard about whether I had bought something when I was drunk.
I rang the bank who were able to confirm the fraudulent payment, but not able to do anything about it at 2am. I had to ring their fraud department this morning. They did, however, cancel my card. I had no idea how my details had got into criminal hands - my card had been safely on my person at all times. I have bought a few things online recently. Embarrassing my last legitimate purchase was a willy brush (for use in my show - my helmet is always sparkling clean and fresh). I could sense an awkward air of judgement from the woman on the end of the line. I couldn't tell her that my penis was fragrant and unsullied by cottage cheese. And yet I knew she was thinking that.
Surely the willy brush website is not a phishing scam to get the card details of smegma covered men, who will then be too ashamed to complain in case their filthy secret is revealed? I mean if you were going to phish for credit card details you'd surely choose a product that people were more likely to purchase as a cheap price. My willy brush had cost me £28. Aside from a cock-obsessed comedian desperate for material it would be difficult to think of anyone who would pay that rather than just say, buying a flannel. I would hate to think that the willy brush people were a front for an inefficient and largely redundant con, rather than some concerned citizens trying to promote bellend cleanliness. I am convinced that they are innocent. But had a conman thought that all willybrush customers would be too ashamed to complain they hadn't counted on me. I am proud to own a willybrush. And so should you be. It's the perfect Christmas gift for any smelly cocked men that you might know.
But I've often wondered what barriers are put in place to stop someone who works for any business that you've given your card details to just using them themselves for internet/phone based financial interactions. I suspect that this is how my details have ended up in someone else's hands.
Anyway it's quite unnerving to think that money can be syphoned off that easily and if you're the kind of person who only checks your balance once a week or monthly, or not at all, then you might get your account drained. When I rang the fraud people they said that there were already another two transactions pending, meaning over £1000 was being defrauded. Luckily as I had not done anything wrong it looked pretty certain that the money would be refunded (indeed the initial payment was back in my account within the hour), but I was still unsettled by it. I can't see how the con works, because if someone is paying off their own Wonga bill with my card then it can't be that difficult to find out who they are and prosecute them. But perhaps they used my details to take out a loan which they're then repaying (though how would they get the loan money to a different account?).
It's a rum business.
I had one day to pull off a difficult rewrite of my Gorgeous script before it was handed in to Radio 4 tomorrow. I had sent something in to the producer at the end of last week and she'd had a lot of issues with it and I had assumed that I didn't really have time to deal with them all. Indeed by 5pm I had basically got nowhere with it and more or less decided that I'd knock the whole thing on the head. But somehow my brain clicked into gear and what felt like an impossible amount of work was (more or less) completed in the next six hours. It does seem that I am much more in the zone with writing than I have been for a long time, even if there's still a lot of procrastination involved. You know I love a deadline, though I did have the get out clause of not bothering to give in the script this time. What had seemed insurmountable in the evening had been overcome by midnight. It's certainly true that a good proportion of the job of the writer is application of the buttocks to the chair.
But if the script ends up getting commissioned and a series gets made then think how different my life will end up being than had the negative side of my brain got its way. Have you seen the film Sliding Doors? It's shit isn't it?
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