Thursday, December 13, 2007

My bank account has been unhealthy to say the least, but it's even unhealthier now because someone has been buying stuff in the States using my money and a cobbled together imitation of my card. My bank's fraud department spotted it, but not before several hundred quid had already been spent. This is the second time it's happened. The first time I didn't get anything back, but I guess all the banks are being vigilant at the moment because of the child benefits and driver's license cock ups.

My address has been used twice, too, to my knowledge, maybe more, by different men - one for a Sky subscription and the other for a Virgin phone. Isn't it strange that these institutions can allow people to use an address without proof of residence? I found out about the Sky man because Sky magazines kept arriving in his name. Eventually I managed to talk to someone, who said there was nothing wrong with anyone using an address they didn't live at. Yes? Sorry? The magazines stopped, but who knows if this man is still passing my home off as his.

The second man's name appeared, too, on a Virgin magazine, I think. Anyway, no longer polite, I opened whatever came through the post and there were details of his new phone account. Virgin did eventually take it seriously. But it was an interesting experience because both times I rang my local police. Oh, madam, there's nothing wrong with that. There's no evidence of fraud, I was told, by various patronising and rather irritated individuals. Apparently fraud only counts if someone's taken money from you.

So do I conclude from this that I can pick and choose an address to use whenever I'm asked for one and there's no offence committed? And lying about your identity or where you live isn't a crime? Okay......just so we all know the rules.

With that in mind, I think it's about time to concoct another identity. I was, briefly, once someone else. I was lent a swipe card to get into a staff loo in a very secure building. It was all above board. But now I think I'd like to be another person, with another address, for a bit longer. Who needs Second Life or virtual avatars when I could pass myself off as a mountaineer from Nepal or a dressmaker in Paris?

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