Whilst the then Defence Minster Liam Fox was allegedly using a mix of British taxpayer’s money and dictators sheckles to help his sleepover ‘friend’ vicariously fund a parallel foreign policy in Sri-Lanka and Iran whilst living the highlife, fellow Tory MP Oliver Letwin was throwing away state secrets in London’s park bins for the squirrels to build their winter nests with. I think it’s fair to say Cameroon’s government has been in long enough to start being complacent, two guys in serious need of a decent shredder. Once we get into the whole lobby industry controversy next week those shredders will burn out very quickly!
A shredder in the office is understandable as by law companies have to destroy customer and staff private information when they have finished with it but the home boom for these things is, perhaps, a little more paranoid. We know bank and credit card fraud is huge now and one-in-three of you reading this will get done in your lifetime but the idea thieves are rifling through your bin bags every night is perhaps a little far fetched. The problem we have, though, is the banks won’t allow us to have a true picture of the extent of fraud by tending not to encourage the police to investigate it, instead shifting the liability on to the public for the massive losses through proof of possession of the card during the transaction. This means we can’t find out which banks are safe and which aren’t. If you can’t prove someone stole your card then don’t expect to get your money back is the banks attitude. Of course, if you are pretending to lose or have your card stolen and taking the money out for yourself then you have nothing to lose if you don’t get away with it. Either way we still have to protect our personal and financial data as there are people out there looking to rip you off. Cheque fraud is on the rise again as credit card security protection increases and so pushes the gangs back to older traditional scams, the basic methods working along the line of to get a bank account they require proof of income, something like a utility bill. Utility bills require an address that isn't a shed, and so on. Shredders may be slightly indulgent but the older you get the more you worry about stuff and so why not have the satisfaction of a therapeutic shred of your water bill being eaten up by a noisy box?Most fraud and ID theft comes from company employees and criminal gangs, not the general chancer, places like call-centres and restaurants set up perfect for the staff to have the opportunity to get your credit cards away from you for just long enough so to steel the relevant numbers. Criminal gangs - mostly from abroad- are responsible for most credit and cheque fraud here and so the more stuff you shred the better. I used to throw my credit card and bank account receipts on a bonfire at the top of the garden twice a year but our elderly neighbours always moan about the thick acrid smoke from all the pine needles I bung on and so that was that.