I had a very strange and at the time worrying moment this week when I was shopping online at a well known music and DVD store with a three letter name, when it came time to pay for what was in my basket (a £2.99 DVD) I got this alarming message scrolled across the screen "INSUFFICIENT FUNDS". Now I knew this was wrong I happened to have had a recent mini statement which showed a healthy although somewhat depleted sum. The first thought through my head, as I am very paranoid even at the best of times was that I had been the victim of Internet fraud.
Now I had more dark thoughts circling in my head, was it from a store I had bought from perhaps the one named after a well known Rain Forrest? Or was it from when I won that short story completion online for which the first prize was £40 and my story (see two entries ago) would be printed in the e-magazine of the website? That darn e-zine hadn't been emailed to me yet and I was unaware of any payment from them so I had to investigate. First stop my bank via my online account, I knew this would come in handy one day but alas no joy. I entered what I perceived to be my password (it's one I use often, I know not a good idea) but after doing so I was confronted with another message telling me that my online banking service was frozen.
This scared me as now I had the terrible thought that not only has someone stolen my card details but they had stolen my identity. Panic attack ensued and after a few or maybe ten minutes of thinking I was having a heart attack I told my brother and he took me straight to the bank to get it sorted out. This is the benefit of having calmer heads around you in a crisis I find in these situations I, maybe because of the amount of head knocks and the possible brain damage that I have recently been told I could of experienced or my various other mental health issues basically makes me incapable of functioning at times.
Anyway we get to the bank and after a short queue, we Brits love our queues, I was called over to the cashier we explained the strange messages I had received. She punches the keys of the keyboard at her computer and behold I have not been robbed and I have every penny I thought I had in my account apparently the bank I'm with in the event of your card been used more frequently than normal freeze the said card until the card holder can be contacted via one of those computer voiced telephone services where you push the buttons on the phone that correspond with the security questions asked and you verify that it was you that made those transactions.
I can't tell you how relieved I am by this, I'm not rich by any stretch of the imagination in fact I'm currently unemployed due to my illness and have been for almost ten years so you can guess that I've not got millions in the bank but every penny helps, right? I guess the moral of this story is take a deep breath, don't jump to conclusions and above all else tell your brother. Well I guess I'm back writing again and I'd like to take this time to thank each and every kind person for their moral support during my down time. It meant a lot to me and it is was what gave me the confidence to enter that competition I mentioned earlier for which I still haven't received the e-zine but have received the prize money so that's all cool, anyhoo...