Recently, I’ve been in almost total isolation in Chingford, North East London, bent over a hot laptop trying to compose thoughts and facts about Renewable Gas, so it came as a bit of shock to me to find out my name had been living a double life, opening bank accounts in Bayswater, London, applying for loans at a number of finance companies, and taking large sums of cash, on consecutive days, out of just one ATM cash machine in Rainham, Kent.
Yes, I’ve been a victim of Identity Theft. Just what you need when you’re too busy to deal with annoyances.
How did I find out ? Well, the bank that was happy enough to let someone or some people open four bank accounts in a branch in West London, in my name and with my address in East London, finally worked out that all was not right, and closed the accounts, whereupon I received the final printed bank statements in the post. I hadn’t seen a shred of paper from the bank before then. I hadn’t signed an application form to open an account, I don’t bank with the particular bank concerned and I’ve never been to that branch, so I don’t know how four accounts were opened there in my name.
I immediately phoned up to talk to the bank’s Fraud Department, the Metropolitan Police and ActionFraud. The bank couldn’t have been more helpful, and promised to sort the problem out. They advised I get a Credit Report to find out if Bank Searches had been done with other lending institutions, which I did, and that’s when I found out to my surprise that my name had borrowed a large sum of money. But again, I hadn’t seen a single piece of paper from these lending institutions, and I have no idea how the money was borrowed. I didn’t make any loan applications, and I certainly hadn’t signed anything.
I don’t do debt as a rule, so I immediately got on to the financial institutions concerned to lodge complaints and offer them crime reference numbers. They were all really apologetic, practically falling over themselves to help me, and hopefully, soon, this will all be cleared up.
And now I find that my name is appearing higher in ranked Google Searches. Some person or persons is still Googling the variations of my name. So it behoves me to write this post to make sure that my real name is associated with this weblog, as well as my nickname.
Although my first name is legally Joanne, I have always been known as Jo. It lends a certain gender-neutrality to my name, which has been very useful when applying for jobs in engineering and Information Technology. But that’s an issue to cover another time…
Although my full name is :-
Ms Joanne Abbess MSc
I am known almost everywhere as :-
for example, on Twitter :-
and in email addresses, which you can probably find if you search for them.
I have just searched appearances of my full official and legal name in Google and I have found that I can never escape the past.
So, for example, this is me, when Climate Change science denier Mr Roger Helmer MEP was targetting me (my team included a Mr Jean Lambert) for a mistake in Microsoft Exchange Server’s Auto-Correct (or Auto-Complete) facility which meant that he received an email that he should not have had about a “Stop the War” meeting in Brussels, Belgium, back in 2002 :-
And this was me, when I was asked by Steve Lambert, of the Hornbeam Environmental Centre (and spouse to Mrs Jean Lambert MEP), to support the candidacy of a Green Party member in the Local Council elections in order to give a wider range of representation. Of note, I’m not a member of the Green Party, or any political party for that matter :-
and this is me, posting part of my MSc Dissertation, which I was urged to publish by some of my contacts :-
This was also me, when James Delingpole, another Climate Change science denier, decided I was fruitloopy :-
Well, now, hopefully, this post will link my offical name and my nickname together, and in future, it will be harder for people to impersonate me.
No, I’m not going to ask Google to erase me from the Internet, before anybody asks.