*WARNING*

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Avoid this man at all costs. Do not approach him, do not get to know him, and whatever you do, do not befriend his stupid mammalian face. I made that mistake and have paid the price, quite literally. This is Nicholas Alabaster Snead. I have known him for over twenty years and we have been good friends for most of that. Yet, the last two times I have stayed with him in London, I have been a victim of crime. In March of last year, I stayed with him in Finsbury Park, and I had my beloved iPhone stolen by two Turkish tossers. Now, in just the last month, I spent a couple of days in his company at his new place at Turnpike Lane. During that time some fucking chancer nicked my credit card details and attempted a massive spending spree!

Remember that face. That sly, repugnant face. It is the face Nicholas
Miroslav Snead. And it will cost you dearly.

In all seriousness, though, I was lucky to catch these strange transactions when I did. It’s only because I randomly checked my account online that I saw what was happening. If I waited for my statement I still wouldn’t know now and probably wouldn’t until this time next week!

Whomever it was who half-inched my card details tried to spend a small fortune in a very short time. They tried buying a laptop from a website for over a grand, tried to get a mobile phone from Carphone Warehouse, tried topping up a mobile on T-Mobile, tried spending a few hundred dollars on something from America, and tried setting up a paypal account. And to think, I bemoaned Barclaycard when their fraud detection cancelled my pre-order for the new iPhone 3GS a couple of months ago, now I have never been more thankful for it. Recognizing these purchases were out of the ordinary, they blocked my card. That said, four did get through. Two separate transactions for £10 and £20 to Lycamobile, and another two separate transaction for £45.39 and £46.02 to UPS Ltd. I was stung, but it could have been a lot worse.

I would love to know how that the hell these chancers got my card details. I can only think of the two ways. The first (and most likely) was when I staying with Nicholas. I ordered tickets to Thorpe Park over the webs using my iPhone. I checked that the “https” came up in the address and looked for the little lock symbol before entering my details. I think that’s why I used my credit card instead of my debit, for the added protection, just incase anything like this happened. It’s funny, around the time the person was running amok, I read this and similar articles detailing how my precious phone could be hacked and any details on it could be stolen, so I deliberately cleared it’s cache, cookies, and history to be safe. If only I had done it sooner. That is, of course, if it was that way they got my details.

The second way I can think of is when we went to Thorpe Park itself. In order to collect the tickets, I had to got to a kiosk, give the person my order reference number, and hand over my card to verify that it was the one I ordered the tickets with. It’s the only time I can think of when the card left my possession, and because I was laughing and joking with pal, Grant, I wasn’t paying full attention to what they were doing with it and it could of been easily swiped and cloned at that point.

All in all, compared to some things in life, it’s nothing too major. The phone call to Barclays was relatively brief and stress-free (When calling helplines, I’m always reminded of a sketch Simon Munnery did on the TV version of The League Against Tedium, “How may I appear to help you?”). They cancelled my card, blocked my account reassured me best they could. And today, I’ve spent all of three minutes filling in a form (Does anyone else know your PIN? Do you mind if the Police get involved? Etc.) and signing a disclaimer to say I’m not trying to defraud Barclaycard myself. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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