South Park Self

I'm a huge fan of the way you lose control and turn into an enormous green rage monster

The Avengers trailer has been tabbed in my browser for about four days, which means it auto-plays every time I boot up and load the browser, forcing me to watch it yet again. Oh, fiddlesticks. Oh, darn. All those lovely men being superheroic and flip with authentic Joss Whedon dialogue. Daily. Oh, woe is me. Of course, a superhero movie doesn't have to be particularly intelligent or actually good in any way to make me ridiculously happy (viz. the Fantastic Four Secret Shame), but I'm really looking forward to this one. Apart from Scarlett, who's just a pain.

So, update on the Great French Bank Account Fiasco! I attribute solely to this recent experience my sudden need to re-read Going Postal, which I did yesterday, possibly in morbid fascination with successful cons. Last week's unsuccessful attempt to illegally boost EUR4150 from my account has been superceded by this week's perfectly successful removal of EUR4150 from my account. (This bastard is nothing if not consistent). The bank are being very sweet about it and managed, after much scurrying, to reverse it yesterday, but apparently the thrice-accursed spawn of financial evil (the thief, not the bank. The bank are lovely) actually sent them a hard copy transfer request with all the correct banking details and (drumroll!) my correct signature. This is, to say the least, disturbing. We seem to have ruled out Eric the Hedge-Trimmer, the nice policeman assures me that said Eric has been righteously incarcerated for the last two weeks, so unless he's part of a Ring, it's probably not him.

What it is, is someone who has laid hands on enough of my private documentation to include both a bank statement and a signature, a conundrum which my immersion in Ngaio Marsh and her ilk is responding to by causing a little-used detective gene to come to attention. The availability of my signature is not surprising, I must sign several thousand pieces of paper every year in pursuit of my legitimate admin activities, but its coincidence with the bank statement is considerably curiouser. The bank statement must have come from my study, or from the postal service before it came anywhere near me - I don't carry those around. (I still think it's mostly likely that someone nicked it from the postbox outside our gate). The signature could have come out of something in our recycling, I suppose. Both together could have been accumulated by a half-hour spent sitting outside our house sifting the recycling in conjunction with rifling the postbox, but it would have been rather obvious. Both could also have been lifted off my desk, but I don't really see how. (Apart from anything else, the giant pile in my inbox is giant, and frequently weighed down by the Hobbit). I am gently revolving a third theory, that both were the result of someone digging around on the hard drive of my old computer, the one which was stolen a couple of years ago. But I really don't think the French bank details were ever on there; hell, they're not on the current one, which means it's not even that my nice new wireless wossname has allowed someone to hack me. In the immortal words of Detritus, it a mystery.

The whole thing is causing me (in addition to the moments of incandescent rage, because how bloody dare he) to become horribly paranoid, and to spread that paranoia around a lot. Anything that goes into recycling, for example, is going to be shredded into teeny tiny bits. All correspondence at all about anything whatsoever is going to go to the box number, not the postbox. I've put another padlock on the postbox, in a futile stable-door-horse-bolted sort of gesture, but I don't trust it. I shall discuss with the nice bank people the possibility of simply shifting the whole bang shoot to another bank account, although that's going to be a royal pain in the butt. But I ask you, nice witterers: do you know where your bank account details go? what bits of paper are innocently being recycled? Can you say you are safe? she says in the thrilling tones of a bad drama trailer or an insurance sales pitch. It happened to me! it could happen to you!

And while we're at it, are you making sure you exercise your feet on long plane journeys, too? My mother didn't raise me to be a cautionary tale, but if it's a gig that ends up being any use to anyone else, I'll take it.
Hawkeye and Black Widow
We shred everything that has even a name and address on it, before I carefully try and conceal it in the bottom of the recycling bin. Tedious, but it must be done, I feel. I'm still concerned that's not enough though.

Yeah, the Avengers trailer looks awesome! I am looking forward to seeing Loki again, and Mark Ruffalo's Hulk. I just hope RDJ doesn't steal every scene he's in, as the Guardian fears: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2011/oct/13/avengers-trailer-superheroes-iron-man?newsfeed=true
Re: Hawkeye and Black Widow
I'm actually thinking giant black koki marks through all the incriminating stuff before I shred it. I find it obscurely horrible to have to think like this.
Sensitive government role
I have plenty of RESTRICTED papers at home, mostly secured. I also found a SECRET document in my trouser pocket while doing laundry after my foreign jaunt. Proper disposal has become a habit for fear of becoming the subject of the next story like the one above.
Re: Hawkeye and Black Widow
It's a really thick thing to do, mind-bogglingly stupid, really. But sort of understandable, too, for someone who's never had to engage on a personal level with such issues.
Anyhow, he's my mother's MP and while I (ahem) don't always agree with his politics, he has been extremely good at serving the local constituency.
Hmm
Your blog post detailing exactly how to transfer money out of the French account was not friends-locked (I checked just now), and your signature is freely available as you say. Maybe I was a prosecutor too long, and maybe I am putting 2 and 2 together and getting 5, but an LJ lurker is not entirely out of the question.

I'd recommend switching account details immediately and having everything sent to a PO Box from now on. Use a shredder before leaving any documents containing personal information out on the pavement.
Re: Hmm
Interesting thought, but technically there's no way to link my real-world identity with this blog. Me saying "you now need to send a signed hard copy" is only useful if you already have my name, address and bank account details, and you might have those, but they won't lead here. I think it's more likely that they simply re-tried with the hard copy as the next logical thing. Unless, of course, they're sitting with my old hard drive, which is the only thing that would link here and my real world details; even so, it doesn't explain why they've waited several years. They could have hacked my email, I suppose, but they'd have to have accessed my domain on the one day I actually did send my bank account number to my sister; my email isn't stored on the server.

The possiblities are endless, and it's bizarrely beguiling to try and work out how they've done it. The sods. But accessing this blog is an extremely outside chance.
What pinkthulu said. We put everything that isn't entirely anonymous or trivial through a cross-cut shredder before it leaves the house.

A similar thing happened to my mum quite a few years back, with a German bank. Forged signature, the works. I don't think these things are entirely opportunistic, but are perpetrated by organised criminal gangs who know how to get information and what to do with it. The mystery is how one gets chosen as a target.
All of my friends are apparently way more paranoid and also way more sensible than I am - until this whole debacle, this particular kind of security had honestly never occurred to me. I am shamed.
I own a shredder and lackadaisically accumulate to-be-recycled stuff for batches of shredding. But I'm not very organised about it and stuff with details on does go out. I'll stop that. See? You're a cautionary tale indeed. They say things happen in threes. I recommend wearing a hard hat every time you leave the house. In fact, inside the house too.
I can't wait
I srsly can't. My Marvel fangirl blood boils with impatience. I might have to watch all the other movies until May 2012 (which seems soooo far away!). Maybe I'll reread all my Ultimates until then.
Re: I can't wait
Hah, a Marvel fangirl, just what I need. Following strawberry's comment, below, who is a good candidate for the "mage" slot in the Avengers? I'm thinking a psychic, but in terms of actual comics knowledge I got nuttin'.
Re: I can't wait
I'm not holding out much hope for an appearance by Doctor Strange. Recent Marvel movies have been all underpinned by the super-science (even Thor had some), and Magic is right out of fashion. Besides, it wouldn't fit the tone.

The Avengers cast suggest that what we've seen is what there is.
Hmmmm Adds 2 Fantastic Four movies to the rental queue, but not as high priority.

Also something seemed slightly off to me the first time I watched The Avengers trailer. After a rewatch, I think I can explain it: their party seems to consist of three or more big muscly fighters (even if they do have different weapons, they're still similar) and one thief. No wizards. That won't make for an interesting game. Comic. Thing. Hulk. I hope it doesn't actually play out like that.

I'll still try to go and see it, in the hope that it's good.

Edited at 2011-10-14 06:25 pm (UTC)
Please do not watch Fantastic 4 movies on my say-so, they're terrible movies. Fluffy and plastic and entirely lacking in brain. The clockwork kittens of the superhero genre. The meeping is mechanical and they bump into walls. I only enjoy them because superheroes appeal to a deeply primitive aspect of my psyche which is, alas, almost entirely without discernment. (I draw the line at Wolverine and Spawn, which were respectively completely pointless and deeply awful).

Your party composition comment interests me strangely. There is, indeed, a plethora of muscly men (to which I say, squeee!), but you underestimate the prevalence of (a) ranged weapons (Hawkeye, and Iron Man's fireball) and (b)the technical wizardry of Tony Stark. That being said, they need a good psychic. In the Marvel universe psychics seem to congregate in the X-Men, whose movie world seems rather different to the Iron Man/Thor/Captain America worlds leading up to the new Avengers movie. Failing an X-men crossover I have no idea who they'd tap, and insufficient experience with the comics to suggest a good candidate. There is, I darkly suspect, an expensive date with Loot collected Marvel volumes in my immediate future...
Actually...
I think Loki fulfills the role of mage nicely, in a Raistlin flavour :).

But srsly, Magneto's daughter Wanda (the Scarlet Witch) joined the Avengers for a time, along with her brother. So there you have your Avenger magic-user :)

Also Cap is very much the Paladin type, isn't he :P. I never liked him, he's too Scott Summers goody-twoshoes for me. I like my heroes on the edge of villainous, like Wolverine or Gambit. Mmmmmm, Gambit. I should tell you who a friend and I cast in our theoretical Xmen movie when we were teenagers.

If you don't get around to the comics, you can get a lot of backstory here: http://marvel.com/universe (warning, life-eating capabilities).
Re: Actually...
Loki is definitely mage-oid, but he's not in the party, surely? As any role-playing fule kno, it's fatal to go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line. Wait, no. It's fatal to go up against a mage without a mage.

My point is that you can't really use an X-universe psychic in the Avengers movie universe, they honestly seem to be living in different universes. Thor and Cap America and Tony seem blissfully unaware of any mutant problem, at any rate.

Captain America's paladin is extremely enjoyable, imho. So over the dangerous man thing. Even Tony Stark has palled. My Lawful Good is clearly showing in my old age.
Huh. The last robot that I built didn't bump into walls. To be fair, that was its only skill at all, but at least it did that.
Exactly my point. Fantastic 4 is the early-generation ineptly-built clockwork kitten of superhero movies. Damn you, now I want to watch them again. Possibly for Chris Evans.
I'm very sorry to hear about your banking fraud woes. This sort of thing should stop now: you've had quite enough to put up with this year alone.

I'm starting to come over to the school of thought that suggests you cultivate _two_ very distinct signatures - a quick scrawl for most work-related things, and a proper signature for all formal, personal purposes, such as banking or passport applications. It could even be something as simple as spelling out a first name in one and not in the other. That way you have a very clear distinction between your professional and private interests, and with it an added layer of security.

We used to shred everything as well, with a cross-cut rather than strip-cut shredder. But we've gone through two shredders so far (we have a lot of documents that need shredding, not least because of the nature of my SO's work). So what we tend to do now is pile the papers up and burn them every once in a while.
The in-laws have a cottage which can be heated only with a central wood-burning stove, so it's fairly easy for us; but if you braai relatively frequently anyway, you can dispose of a regular stream of documents that way, too.
There is a shredder in my future, definitely. I'm obscurely looking forward to it. I fear I reject the braai solution on purely ecological grounds, however inconsistent :>.

I completely agree with you as to this year, the suckage thereof, and would be grateful for any words you can put in for me to the relevant authorities. Honestly, if I'm abducted by aliens in the next two months it'll be no more than I expect.