• Jack Martindale

Shouldn’t we do things the other way around?


Said the actress to the bishop” may of course be the dated vulgar British expression that the title of this blog may instantaneously conjure; in me at least. Though what I am getting at, is how just about every procedure in our society seems – albeit ever increasingly under a Tory Government – orchestrated to benefit the rich i.e. those already in a cushy position and to penalize the poor i.e. the most vulnerable. Yes, we are still this uncivilized.


Or in other words, benefit the already fortunate, whilst further dis-enabling those requiring the greater need of a boost. It sounds so draconian. Though I feel forced increasingly as I age and have inevitably been faced faced with a greater of the system’s procedures, to acknowledge how green I was in clutching to a belief that there had to be some moralistic fiber in accruing success in the world. To again coin a snippet of coarse British slang, this is absolute bollocks. More's the pity.


This current COVID-19 pandemic has obviously made 2020 a hard and dramatic year for us all. I would never wish to deny this in any respect and hopefully without overly pandering to our millennial’s post-Thatcher theme of making everything about ourselves, I’ll explain how I have been afforded a striking example to exemplify my argument for things being done the wrong way around.


It is only as the situation that I found myself within has been rectified, that I feel able to be open in a public forum in reflecting upon what happened. I was the victim of a push-button payment scam. This sophisticated and relatively new form of fraud occurred whilst I was taking my most recent (thanks Corona!) trip to stay with my girlfriend in New York City. Upper Manhattan to be more precise, though what happened to me could have occurred anywhere.


For some context, I found myself tricked on the penultimate morning of my stay. The fact that I have been torn away from and this in a long-distance relationship with my partner for in excess of 18 months is another sensitive can of worms in itself, that would serve to answer the question I pose of things been done the wrong way around in itself. Anyway to try and remain on point, it was after an eventful night that received the call from my bank [Nationwide] alerting me to ‘suspicious activity’ having taken place in my bank account. I was informed on my mobile (and ‘Nationwide’ had come up upon my phone when they dialed) and involved me being convinced that they’d needed to set up a new account number for me that I’d be required to send all of my money across to, in order to prevent money being taken. This succeeded the conversation’s opening of questioning me as to whether I had spent something around £1,500 on Amazon. Which of course I had not.


The call took place around 7 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, so 5 hours behind what it would have been at the origin [GMT] and this only added to the state of disorientated urgency that I was feeling. The fact is that the piece of detritus (who knows what obstacles or how much pressures the female that conducted the scam was under, if I’m being suffering, if I’m to be overly understanding) who conducted the scam had won my trust. That is all they need to take and who knows, if I was on home turf I may well have been less susceptible. The detachment that I felt from my money only fed into the scammer’s success. Once somebody wins your trust, they gain entry to your soul and probably only say 1 every hundred or so recipients of their calls fall victim, but is clearly enough to make orchestrating these scams a highly profitable corrupt industry.


For some more scene-setting, this was not entirely unexpected as I was in the closing stages (envision endless hours placed on hold and having to press endless buttons going around in circles in endless queues) of an Identity Fraud investigation with Sky Mobile. Of all things that I was always entirely disconnected with. In this I was warned of their being an increased likelihood of this sort of thing occurring in the near future. So in what I thought were efforts made to cooperate with my bank and to protect my money, I was in fact being robbed in broad daylight from thousands of miles away.


This communication ended mysteriously and abruptly. Still, I felt that I had succeeded in helping to prevent losing any money. Indeed it were only en-route to the 1st Birthday Party of my friend’s son that I called in at the Tottenham Court Road branch of my bank to check-in person. This was to ensure that my new card – my old one had been blocked upon Nationwide instantaneously being able to prevent the 2 latest transactions – would soon be delivered and to try and take some readies. Only this didn’t happen as the cashier [poor Liam; as his name badge stuck with me, given the amount of time that I spent there] delivered the news that I had paid an extortionate amount of my money to various bank accounts.


Shock would be an understatement to describe how I felt. I still went to the birthday party as initially planned – I mean, the show must go on after all – but the rapid developments across the globe with the pandemic, made for quite a hairy spring. With the hardships and tragedies facing so many, I felt self-absorbed in vesting so much of my emotion towards the redemption of my funds. Suffice to say that to use the trope ‘if I had a pound for every’ minute that I spent liaising with Nationwide’s Fraud team, I’d be a rich man.


Thankfully, all of the money that I’d lost has now been returned to me and I’m thankful – I understand that many banks do not even entertain the notion – that Nationwide (using Resolute and Indemnity) were able to restore my money. Yet the crux of my point, rests in the fact that this was at only meagre consequence to themselves. It was just a ball in the process of waiting as to whether they could recover my money as to determine as to whether they’d return any to my hands. A crowning example of how flawed capitalism and the system that we police is. In that the powerful are protected in being able to lord it over people and are licensed in exerting their force.


For instance, it was surely Nationwide who were responsible for this fraud occurring. They had allowed for their telephone protocols to be leaked and for my sensitive information to be accessed. Only it was me that paid the price rather than their corporation. I was only reunited with the money that I had lost on the basis that Nationwide could effectively be awarded with the funds to do so. The wrongness of this doesn’t even touch the sides in addressing us falling prey to a system that licenses this. An equivalent of positive discrimination is surely needed to offer assistance and security to those with the greatest need. What we have now is the polar opposite.


I find it amoral, that there are supposedly half-intelligent and supposedly sophisticated people who seem to find it socially acceptable for it to be warranted to vote and hold the status quo in accordance to what would best suit their own needs. It is all so short-sighted. This is how the selfish methods and so often instantly-gratifying decision making process is conducted. Let’s hope that we can all wake-up before too much longer.

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