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Mythical Muggings

August 22, 2011

I have apparently just enjoyed a virtual holiday in Spain being held at gunpoint by internet hackers. It was fine. I didn’t feel a thing. How could I? I wasn’t actually there.

Hackers somehow gained access to my email account and sent a mail to everyone in my address book asking for money to tide me over until the bank sent me some of my own.

The first I heard of it was an early morning phone call from my insurance broker, telling me that I had been hacked. He wasn’t the only one. Four hours later the phone finally stopped ringing. By the end of it I had lost all my social skills and wasn’t even bothering to say hello.

“Yes I know!” I shouted into the mobile, while the landline went off again. .

“No, I’m not in Spain!” I shouted into the landline.

When I did get any space between well-wishers offering me money or telling me that my email account had been hacked, I rang my bank and shouted hysterically at them too.

It actually had nothing to do with them. It was just my emails that had been infiltrated, not my bank account. But how was I to know that? How am I to know anything? I’m a sad middle-aged lady and I really don’t “get” the internet.

All right, I know there are millions of computer-literate people of my age and older but I’m not one of them.

I’m the kind who remembers a time when young men had good manners and shop assistants understood the concept of service. The computer sometimes still baffles me.

So I got my knickers in a twist and decided that the hackers were inside my computer staring out at me.

Yes, that was very silly.

I must say, I was overwhelmed by the kindness of people who don’t know me well enough to know that if I was robbed at gunpoint by Spanish ruffians I would not respond by sending a global email asking for a sub.

Three times I have found myself without money in a strange place and I have simply thrown down a hat or some such receptacle and burst into glorious song whilst passers-by threw money at me.

It wasn’t always successful. A little old man in Newcastle was so outraged by my behaviour that he went and found me a job in British Home Stores.

So, no, I wasn’t robbed in Spain and I didn’t need any money to get home, thanks for asking. It wasn’t until the dust had settled on the last call that I realised I should have given out my own bank details and watched the money pour in.

It could have worked. But where would I have sent the hackers’ cut?

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