Forget the silent retreat, forget the digital detox, for the last twelve hours I’ve been running around a digital realm with a superhero cape on trying to catch the bad guy.
Mo’ Money Mo’ Problemz
As anybody reading this blog may know (I may have mentioned it a few times), I’ve quit corporate life to potter about the planet and work out what I want to do next. Given my lack of salary and lack of savings, money is kind of precious right now, so I’ve been auctioning off all the materialistic crap I’ve accumulated over the years.
For every day of Fashion Revolution week I auctioned off my designer frocks on eBay and donated 20% of whatever sold to the charity which helps garment workers in Bangladesh. I hosted a car boot sale to offer up my junk as another woman’s treasure with no more than a 50p price tag on everything. I had clothes parties with friends. And I’ve been drip-feeding eBay and Facebook Marketplace with items to keep up a bit of a constant cash flow.
A few weeks ago I listed the only item I have of any real value – a Canon EOS 360D camera with all sorts of accessories to go with it. In total, it’s worth around £1000 but I was happy to part with it for half the price as sending it to a happy home was much more worthwhile than it sitting in a box in my bedroom.
The Mysterious Disappearance of Christine Redfearn
Two days ago, I got a message request via Facebook Marketplace from a lady named Christine Redfearn offering me £530 for the item including tracked postage.
Now my squandering days are over and I’ve finally started to appreciate the value of money, my eyes lit up – this amount of money can easily cover my flights to wherever it is I’m off to next plus some extra pennies for safety. So of course, I accepted her offer.
We talked over Facebook, then WhatsApp and email to arrange payment into my PayPal account and delivery to her address in Bristol. She rang me but I missed her call and I had several pestering messages asking if I’d posted it yet, so I genuinely believed she might have been somebody not used to buying things online and was worried she was sending a lot of money to a stranger.
I put her mind at rest saying she could call me anytime, sent her screenshots of everything and a photograph of the postage receipt once it had been sent.
……..and that’s when Christine Redfearn disappeared.
Christine Redfearn is a real bitch
I actually hadn’t noticed that she’d vanished from Facebook until a few hours later when I was dragging my bicycle up the steep hills of Sa Roca towards my temporary home.
I could feel something wasn’t right in my stomach and I knew it was this.
I kept refreshing PayPal but still no money , I checked the emails I’d received from them and they still said funds processing, 95% complete even though they said they would be in my account within eight hours.
As soon as I got back to the meditation centre I sat down with my laptop and a cup of cocoa and went all Detective Columbo on Christine Redfearn.
PayPal did their investigations on my account and there were no funds pending in received, so they asked for Christine’s email address. It’s only at this point that I realised this middle-aged woman had a rather inappropriate email address – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yeah, willy wart.
Even in the midst of all this frustration I couldn’t help but laugh out loud with the PayPal person when they repeated it back to me. Unfortunately, there are no payments being processed from email@example.com.
They asked me to forward the fraudulent PayPal emails to their investigation team, and as I was doing that I realised that even though the email name was coming through as Service@paypal.co.uk, when you click for details on the address, it was just firstname.lastname@example.org.
So it comes as no surprise that I’m the idiot in this scenario, but Christine Redfearn is a real bitch.
Social Media Superheroes
After calling Bristol police, who said they were unable to do anything, I called Royal Mail but they were closed. So I did what anybody else would these days and posted it on Facebook and Twitter.
It was like that scene in Anchorman where Ron Burgundy bellows News Team asssseeeemmmmmmmmbbllllle. I was Ron Burgundy, minus the exquisite moustache, and instead of a news team I assembled a gang of Social Media Superheroes.
Lots of replies and private messages came through from friends and strangers alike, all offering up their advice or help. I was genuinely overwhelmed by it.
One Hero in particular, Jon Hill, a manager at Altrincham delivery office somehow saw my post and sent me some numbers to call in the morning. Before I’d even woken up out of my monk bed and had a chance to call, he’d already got on the case and tracked down my parcel for me.
He confirmed it had been delivered to Bristol’s sorting office at 6.16 am this morning and gave me instructions on what to do next. I called the numbers he’d given me but nobody was picking up as it was so early. He said leave it with me… and a few minutes later he replies saying my parcel will be held and not delivered. HALLELUJAH.
I happy cried.
So a huge heartfelt thank you to all of those lovely Social Media Superheroes and an enormous gracias to Jon Hill, an incredibly kind and lovely human who helped me beat the bad guy in this fight against postal crime.