Wednesday, May 15, 2019
A Scam, by Tamas Lukas and Sabrine Vitch
Ok I've been a tad tardy with regard to posting guff of late but there are reasons for this of which you will be made aware later in the piece.
You may enquire as to what business have I perusing the Business section of the Sunday Thunderer.
Well we had a few cold nights that week and Madam requested that the wood burner be lit. The article described an investigation into dodgy data produced by several water companies in the UK. Our own water company was chief among the culprits and I'll repeat my assertion that data gathered by water companies and agencies charged with protecting aquifers does not reflect the true state of play with regard to groundwater levels in this chalk valley.
Water Companies and Dodgy Data? who'd a thought.
Weasels, weasels, weasels!
While we're on weasels, or perhaps another predator that strikes when it's victim least suspects, could I extend the very same sentiments to the organisation that scammed Madam and myself out of the best part of four figures of hard earned pocket money.
The houseboat in Amsterdam that these lowlife offered as a holiday let did not actually belong to them.
Advertised on Booking.com, a website we have used previously, we were fortunately made aware of the scam weeks before we were due to travel. During the trepidatious quest for alternative accommodation we were twice warned by the host website (Homeaway.com, formally Owners Direct.com, a website that we have also used many times, mostly en France.) that the property we were enquiring about could be a scam.
Word at the forum has Amsterdam targeted by organised scammers for the past few months with bogus websites very much to the fore and good people's money siphoned off to all corners of the globe.
Pitch back through this interminable line of guff, and you will find that we have been booking trips online for fifteen years. The default state may appear to be addled, but we are reasonably confident booking travel online, even with wine onboard.
This scam was very convincing.
and suddenly wounds received are reopened.
I'll own that the experience unnerved me for a few days.
The threat of physical assault was a given in this job back in the day, particularly post harvest when swathes of the surrounding countryside were considered open season for a particular section of society. I was once roughed up by four choice characters outside the village shop in the middle of the afternoon because I objected to their modus operanidi with regard to bothering wildlife in the local environs and I've suffered mental assault, principally when Richard Madeley is invited to fill in on BBC radio programmes.
This scamming experience with the possibility of identity theft has left me feeling more violated than either of the two examples already given. We were offered victim support, but the wounds were still a little raw and we were in "trust no-one mode" so the offer was politely declined.
To the ledger of weasels we can add the names Sabrine Zwich, Tamas Lukas, A Frenchman called David Brown (I know, I know) somebody called Susan plus the rest of the miscreants at the immoral and sophisticated organisation who are currently targeting honest people taking holiday lets in European cities,
and hey if any of you are your reading this chunk of guff,
a thousand curses on your icy souls.
The UK, Dutch Police and OLAF the EU fraud crime team are currently investigating a scam that has caught quite a few people out during the past few months.
Looking up and not down we see that all trees are now in leaf bar the ash trees, which is a bit of a worry. The valley always attains a certain sparkle at this time of the year with glossy leaves and hawthorn blossom. We are still short of swifts and swallows, the local cricket league got underway last weekend. A haven for swifts there were none in evidence during the season opener which is uncommon. Lord Ludg reports that there are squadrons of the things around Ludgershall Towers so perhaps they will enter stage left sometime soon.
Following recent events a reference to Partridge seems apposite.
Regular readers of this guff will appreciate that I am a keen listener to Danny Baker (Prodnose) and his Saturday morning radio show. A quick trawl of my bag of emails confirms that this house made just shy of sixty contributions to his show over the past few years as one of the "chiefly yourselves" The first as follow up to John McGovern singing AC/DC's Whole Lotta Rosie in the manner of Brain Clough. It was a tough gig but my tale of a French campsite reproduction of Riverdance, sans dance steps, which featured a chorus line shuffling about the stage may/may not have received mixed reviews.
I didn't go a lot on his TV stuff but as a broadcaster, he is up there with Old Tel.
An error of judgement, and perhaps "of a piece" for a particular generation. For some time Danny has agonised on air over life's third act. I'll miss him on the radio on Saturday morning and I hope his third act centres around "living for pleasure alone" and he is not castigated too much by the media or his own mind.
Jonathan Ross (for whom he has written many a script) made his way back after a similar serious error of judgement, Fingers crossed Dan can do the same, because he's radio gold.
And hey Richard Madeley if you've any notion of a return to radio, you'll get a similar response to your previous efforts when you were picked up for playing fast and loose with planet earth's daily quota of the words I and Me.