Thursday, 26 February 2009

Beware the Phone Scam.

I'm sure any one who reads this blog is fully switched on and not like to fall for the following scam that was tried on me today, but I thought I'd just warn everyone.

AT 4.15 p.m. I received a call to tell me that my phone was going to be cut off later this afternoon, because of an unpaid bill. I said they must have the wrong number because we pay by direct debit. The answer came back pat, the bank had cancelled the direct debit. By now I was getting a little hot under the collar. The guy on the phone said I could pay over the phone and then sort out the problem with the bank and BT. AT this point I asked him how I knew he was from BT. The answer was that only our provider could cut off the phone, and he would do this for 5 minutes while I tested it and then reconnect it and phone me back. This he did.
I was getting suspicious and asked his name and department, and supervisors name, so I could phone him on a BT number and talk to him. He declined to do this and I said that I wouldn't pay, but would contact BT to sort it out. Needless to say the phone wasn't cut off and there was no problem with my account when I checked with their accounts department. The security department was contacted and they said that this has happened before to their customers. I'm sure that some people, especially those even older than me, who would feel worried and intimidated and would give their card details over the phone. It seems we live in a world of scams.

It was good to see this little flower out along the cliffs today. I Know it is a Speedwell, and think it might be Common Filed Speedwell. Introduced and first recorded in 1825 it was probably dispersed with clover and other crop seeds. By 1870 it was described as pretty frequent in England. Within 50 years it became not only the commonest speedwell but also one of the commonest annual weeds.

I also found several of these caterpillars in the grass. These are the caterpillars of the Drinker moth and they can be seen from August to September feeding on coarse grass and reed, when they hibernate. They usually resume feeding in Spring, but these seemed a bit early this year. Cuckoos can eat them but probably no other birds. Their long-recognised habit of drinking drops of dew from plants gives us the common English name. The caterpillars pupate in June.

This large moth is common and widespread in Great Britain, and can be found in gardens where there are stands of coarse and lightly managed grasses.

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