Big World Small Boat

Private Diary of A Priest. OK, so we're not all angels...Everyone needs a place to get things off their chest! And yes, I do talk to God about it all! Even He has a sense of humour! Want proof? Well, he made me, didn't He? Oh, one last thought-If you don't like what I've written, please keep in mind - it's MY diary. Go write your own!

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Location: England, United Kingdom

I've been serving children in crisis for over twenty five years. My goals are not to raise money, but to find organisations and individuals who can help change lives! What may be outdated equipment for you could change the life of a child in Eastern Europe! To learn more please visit our site at:


Phone Fraud Fun - Fight Telemarketers With A Vengeance!

Brrrring! Brrrring! The phone was giving me a vigorous nudge to come to my senses and answer it. Saturday – my day off! (Well, sort of). As I forced one eye to half open, casting a contemptuous look towards the offending device, I could just make out the fuzzy blue light of the bedside clock. It wasn’t yet 7! I reached for the phone and tugged the handset to my face, not even bothering to prop myself up.

‘Please hold for an important call for this number.’ It was a recording with a distinctly American voice. And it was giving me instructions what to do in the privacy of my own home! How rude! I couldn’t quite grasp what it was all about. That is until a robotically treacle-friendly voice came on the phone.

It was John Smith! How kind of him. John had changed his name from Sudhanssu Vishwamitra to a much more Anglo-friendly name for the purpose of his call. ‘How are you today?’ he asked. ‘I’m asleep!’ I moaned, hoping that this would be the end of our dialogue.

‘Werry sorry,’ he quickly mumbled, ‘I have some exciting news for you.’ Without missing a beat from his well rehearsed script, Sudhanssu,...excuse me, ‘John,’ or as he pronoun
ced it ‘Yawn,’ told me that I had been specially selected to receive a ‘brand new Motorola BCSD49KG (or something like that) phone, including a million free minutes of talk time, 'photo capabilities,' texting, and 'the ability to download the latest cricket scores from...' (he paused for a nano-second before he filled in the script’s blank with the name of the country he had just phoned,) 'England!'

I told him I already had a phone and thanked him for calling. But Yawn was persistent. He asked me how much I paid each month for my phone. I told him I had no idea. And I don’t! Have you ever once paid what you thought you would when you signed up for a mobile phone?

Now I was really irritated. He waffled on, but I never heard what he said. Somewhere in the midst of his script Yawn heard what must be a most familiar sound – the disengaging of a telephone call when someone on the other end puts the receiver down!

Okay, I was awake - on with the day. And 'Yawn’s' call was out of my mind until shortly after 9. The phone rang again. This time it was Chitragandha Bhagyalakshmi! But I didn’t receive one of those recordings to tell me to hold for an ‘important’ call. Chitragandh
a got straight through. She had been kind enough to change her name to Mary Smith. And she had some ‘exciting news’ for me! I had been specially selected to receive a Sony WiiSCRU-U2 mobile phone, which included a trillion gazillion free minutes, camera, ‘Blue Teeth’ (someone needs to check the spelling of their scripts), and a billion free texts. ‘Not interested!’ I said, as I put the phone down.

It was less than fifty minutes later that the phone rang a third time. Now it was Dharmendra Chandrashekhar and He/She (I couldn’t quite tell) had … you guessed it, ‘some exciting news for me.’ The phone and all the details sounded exactly the same. However, by this time I was fed up.

Dharmendra, posing as ‘Sam’ (A previous Big Brother show immediately came to mind), was asking me what type of mobile phone I used. I said ‘I don’t’ and angrily put the phone down. I dialled 1471 only to discover that the call registered as an international call. Therefore I was unable to block the caller.

We were out for the rest of the day. But shortly after 7PM the phone rang. ‘Good evening,’ I answered. ‘Good evening to you!’ The caller responded in a friendly manner. There was a pause. I asked who was calling. It was Lalitaditya Jnyaneshwar!

It was just Lalitaditya’s poor luck I suppose. We were sitting on the floor, surrounded by boxes and plastic bags, filling each bag with an assortment of toothbrushes, toothpaste, flannels, miniature bars of soap, cheese and cracker
packets, and hard candies. They’re all destined to go out to Eastern Europe and to be honest, filling the bags is a mindless task. The telly was on and I had been half ignoring the fortieth rerun of something on the History Channel.

Lalitaditya, (this time using the nom de plume of Joe…or was it Hoe?) had, (you guessed it), exciting news for me. I had been specially selected to receive a Nokia OMGFU2 clone with a billion gobzillion and 3 free minutes of loco calls, blue teats, camera possibilities, and an eternity of free tests.

‘How exciting!’ I told him. ‘This sounds wonderful.’ You could almost hear Hoe squirm in his seat all the way out in Bangalore! He launched the reciting of his script and I willingly replied in the affirmative to each question he asked. I really didn’t pay that close attention to what he was asking. When he got to the point of requesting payment details I told him I first had a few questions to ask.

I explained that the bulk of my calls are made to Moldova and Romania, especially to
Chisinau and Transylvania. And before I could enter into any agreement I needed to know what those calls would cost. Hoe, (excuse me), Joe, told me I would receive ‘all the answers to those questions’ when I phoned the customer support line after I finished with him.

But I explained that I certainly couldn’t enter into any agreement until I knew what those calls would cost. Hoe Hoe stuttered for a second as he told me he’d have to place me on hold. After a few minutes he returned and said he ‘thought’ the calls would be twenty pence for each call – that’s what calls cost to the European Union, he proudly added.

I pointed out to HoJo that Moldova was not part of the European Union. There was a pause and again he said he’d have to place me on hold. He came back after a few minutes and told me he would have to ‘transwer me to a superwisor.’ The next voice I heard was a lady. I asked her for her name. She was Miss Madhumalati Indumukhi, ‘but everyone just calls her Liz.’

And off Liz went, reading the same script all over again. I let her go all the way through her script. And when she began asking me details regarding payment, I explained that I was quite excited about the phone, but as I had explained to HoJo, I needed to know the cost of the calls to Transylvania Romania and Chisinau Moldova. Not only did I have to spell Transylvania and Chisinau for Liz, but I had to spell Romania and Moldova for her as well.

She placed me on hold and after about ten minutes, she came back on the line. The calls would cost me 90 pence per minute to either country. I told
her that was fine and I was looking forward to having the phone.

Liz seemed to become extremely pleased that she was about to close a deal. She told me she had to take some financial details.

She asked for my bank's name, sort code and 'number.' I politely and methodically called out the name of the bank: ‘squanders National Bank’ and I read out the numbers - the lot and product numbers from the box of Ritz Crackers sitting on the floor before me. Liz said ‘there aren’t enough numbers.’ I was missing one digit. ‘Oops, sorry,’ I exclaimed; ‘6, I forgot to add the number 6.’ (It was the number of times that revolting insurance commercial featuring Michael Winner in drag had run since the call began.

And she asked me for a 'credit card number.' I told her I’d have to go find my wallet and as it was ‘upstairs’ it would take me a moment. Liz said she’d wait. I apologised to her, explaining that our home was quite large and I would have to travel to the other side of the house then go upstairs. Liz was more than happy to wait.

I set the phone down and watched another riveting commercial of Michael Winner, dressed as a scullery maid, feigning fear of a computer mouse, then back to the show – Crustaceans Through History. I got up off the floor and went to the kitchen to turn on the kettle. Coffee for me and tea for Willem and Mary.

After a long sip of my coffee I picked up the phone, winking to my daughter as I began: ‘Liz, I’m soooo sorry it took so long. I really must consider finding a smaller home, especially as the children are getting older.’ Liz must have thought she had reached Nirvana! I heard pages rapidly being flipped as she began reciting a new script on additional phones for the family. I immediately agreed to her offer and she increased our order to three phones. She then asked me for a 'credit card number.'

I began reading out numbers. Liz told me that she couldn’t get her computer to recognise the number I gave her as one of their ‘awailable’ cards. She asked me the name of the issuer. ‘Simpson’s of Piccadilly, of course,’ I replied. Liz said she didn’t know who Simpson’s are. I feigned my best indignation and replied that Simpson’s was one of Britain’s finest haberdasheries. (until it closed in 1999).

Liz’s voice rose an octave. ‘I have to have a "bank number" so you can receive this special offer.’ I put on my best nurturing voice and I profusely apologised to Liz. ‘Oh my goodness! I wish you had told me this before I went all the way to the other end of the house. Now I’ll have to go back and get that number!’

Liz seemed to dispense with her original phone voice. ‘Hold a moment,’ she instructed. There was silence at the other end of the phone. After approximately a minute, Liz returned. ‘How long will it take you to get the number?’ she bluntly asked.’

I actually looked up to the ceiling as I spoke to her. ‘Let me see, well, I’d guess as long as it took me to get the first number,’ I offered with the most gentle voice I could muster up, as I continued to stuff zip bags with items. ‘Hold,’ Liz curtly instructed me.

Liz came back on the phone and told me she’d call me in fifteen minutes- exactly. I asked her to make it twenty-two minutes, ‘just in case the lift at the other end of the house wasn’t on the foyer floor.’ She said she’d phone back in twenty-five minutes. ‘I look forward to hearing from you,' I warmly replied.

Almost exactly twenty-five minutes later our phone rang. It was Liz. She immediately asked if I had the 'bank number.' ‘Of course I do,’ I replied. Liz asked me for the number and I read it out to her: 44 0845 906 4550. Liz asked me for an expiry date. I told her I didn’t understand. She again asked me for the expiry date. I told her that I didn’t think telephone numbers have an expiry date. ‘You mean you’ve given me a phone number?’ she asked, now sounding highly agitated. ‘Well, of course I have! You asked me for a 'bank number,' so I got you the number of our bank.’ I replied with the best perplexed voice I could.

I suppose I better understand the rejection Sudhanssu Vishwamitra (aka ‘Yawn’) experiences every day, because I immediately heard a rather aggressive sounding ‘click’ as Madhumalati Indumukhi (aka Liz) disconnected our call.

I despise these unsolicited interruptions of our private time. Unfortunately, placing our number on a list to block telemarketing calls does not reach to international marketers. Therefore, we remain victims of their relentless and laboriously irritating invasions.

I was shocked to receive yet another call the following afternoon, from the very same group. And although I was busy writing, I thought I might just continue to see precisely how much of their time I could waste as I sat at my desk. The caller went through his spiel, but I stopped him half way. I told him I would only be interested if he could tell me how much my calls to Transylvania Romania and Bandar Seri Begawan Brunei would cost. Of course, ‘Bob’ had to place me on hold.

I was immediately transferred to an ‘awailable superwisor.’ The next voice I heard was a woman named ‘Liz.’ She began to read her script to me and I let her exhaust every bit of her breath in reading through her absurd script. When she finished talking I politely explained that I couldn’t enter into any agreement until I knew exactly what my international calls would cost. When Liz asked me where I was calling, I told her there were two places only. The first was Bandar Seri Begawan Brunei, and the second was Oradea Bihor County Transylvania Romania.

For a brief second or two the silence was deafening! ‘Didn’t I talk to you yesterday?’ Liz demanded. Her voice seemed to have increased by an octave. ‘Why Liz is that YOU !’ I almost shouted as if being rejoined with long lost family. ‘How lovely to hear from you again!’


Three months have passed since my fleetingly brief reunion with Liz (aka Madhumalati Indumukhi), but you know what?.......

I haven’t heard a dicky-bird from a single Bangladeshi call centre since either!!

Perseverance everybody!

P e r s e v e r a n c e!

Report Fraudulent UK Tech Support Calls HERE

See The Latest Frauds Covering the UK HERE

Next target: Those idiots at Kitchens Direct who keep calling my mobile! (ps: An update: I won THAT one too!!)

A personal note: Hearty thanks and salutations to Neil Pringle and Sarah Gorrell at BBC Sussex for focusing on this pernicious problem that's flooding the UK! You've successfully armed our communities with valuable ammunition to combat these social pariahs! Well Done You!

Are you receiving international calls from country code 234? Don't call them back! It's from Nigeria and you're about to be scammed! Fraudsters are targeting mobile phones by ringing your number for only a few seconds, then hoping that you'll press the 'return call' button, thus causing you to pay for a Premium Rate call to a Nigerian Fraudster. For further details see: We've Just Won The Lottery!

india call centres

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When Friends And Family Are Needed Most

‘Well, if she’s not going to call me I’m not going to waste my time calling her.’ Have you ever taken that position with a friend or family member you’ve not heard from in some time? Apparently it’s the position that was taken by the family and friends of Joyce Vincent.

The relationship with her partner had become untenable. Suffering from increasing incidents of domestic violence, Joyce took the frightening first-steps into the unknown. She sought help from a local charity, designed to help protect people -women, men, and children, who are seeking refuge from the mental and physical torment that can engulf relationships involving domestic abuse.

Joyce was only 38 years old when she first sought help. The charity located emergency housing for her, a small one-room flat in a secret location. Her Majesty’s government helped in subsidising part of the rent, the charity covered the remainder. It was a time when Joyce must have been in the direst of emotional turmoil.

The fundamentals of psychology would tell us that Joyce would have been experiencing a range of emotions; A combination of relief mixed with fear, as well as a feeling of shame, whether founded or not, would most likely be part of her psychological composite. Very often victims of domestic abuse have difficulty with their self-esteem and can often believe they’re responsible for invoking the incidents of abuse.

It would have been a time when more than ever; Joyce would have needed the support of family and friends. But instead, Joyce was forgotten about. No one came to offer a friendly ear or to check on her well-being. No neighbours, no support team from the charity, and certainly no members of her family came to check on her.

This week a housing officer brought a locksmith to force open Joyce’s door. Joyce wasn’t paying the difference in the rent that was being paid by the government and charity. She had accumulated a large debt and the housing officer was there to evict her. Joyce had not made a contribution to her rent for over two years! And the countless demands for payment had gone unanswered.

Joyce was at home. They found her in her small single bed. The heat was on, as was the television. There was a small plastic bowl that contained her laundry that she had set to soak. Around Joyce’s bed were several unopened Christmas presents. They had come from family members. The mail had been unopened and the housing officer had to forcefully open the door, due to the mountain of mail at the other side.

But now Joyce would have been forty years old. She had died two years ago. All of the food items in the fridge and cabinets had expiry dates from 2004. And her skeletal remains had decomposed to such an extent that it’s impossible to determine an actual cause of death.

Joyce found the bravery to seek help from strangers. And it would appear that the charity did precisely what it had been set up to do. It found her a place to stay. And throughout the process, for the past two years, everyone involved did precisely what their job descriptions required.

Unfortunately however, everyone involved, or not involved in this case, forgot to realise that there was a human life in the equation; A frightened, vulnerable, and lost individual who desperately needed something that job descriptions, manuals, government grants, and slick, well-oiled charity campaigns simply didn’t provide - demonstrable human compassion.

Shame on us!

Big World Small Boat.

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We've Just Won The Lottery!

It's just too good to be true! We won the lottery! Fantastic! We can’t believe our good fortune!

According to the email my daughter received, ‘we’ were selected from a 'special Internet promotional company in Liverpool' and our ticket number won! This is amazing! We have won in excess of a million Euros! Oh My Goodness! (the rules forwarded with our winning notice have politely explained that if the recipient is under legal age, then the parents become the official winners)

And how timely too! This will allow us to pay the ‘storage fees’ bill we’ve been presented by a security warehouse in Amsterdam, where upon payment they will 'immediately release the $750,000 that a dying woman, named Madâme Sangsue Ebola has bequeathed to me, in order to ‘hold Jesus in my heart and help the suffering children in my Christian goals.’ I’ve been strongly considering helping her, being that she’s such a sterling Christian and all.

But to be truthful, I’ve been torn between some moral decisions I'm facing. You see, the branch manager of the Bank of Abu Dhabi, Mr. Mustapha Sporco Indigeno Baitsim, has written me, 'after finding my name and address through an internet marketing firm, while searching for a reliable and reputable person to handle this transaction.’

He has discovered an inactive bank account in the amount of thirteen million, seven hundred thousand dollars, that belonged to a gentleman who died in an airline crash several years ago. Mr. Baitsim has even kindly sent me a link to the news story carried by the BBC. He’s offering me a 40% share just for banking the funds into my current account. Mr. Baitsim wrote a riveting scenario explaining how I can travel the world, relying upon and withdrawing the funds from Cirrus cash points. And he has even offered to help demonstrate how easy it is to withdraw those funds when I meet him. What a kind gentleman!

Satan step back! I so desperately want to pursue the dream of Madâme Ebola's, but with such a paltry sum, just imagine all I could do with the share of money being offered by Mr. Baitsim! I know this is wrong and I really should be ashamed.

But I think I’ve finally wrestled the beast. I’ve found a solution to all of this temptation. This morning I received an email from a lovely lady; a student at the University of Lagos named ‘Princess Dégénéré Merde.’ According to her email she is ‘a true Christian who follows God’s word truthfully.’ Her father, King Arriéré Merde, recently passed away. Her mother, Queen Vieux Baveux Merde, is illiterate and is unable to manage the estate he 'stored with a security firm in Cape Town South Africa, when he discovered that his body was riddled with cancer.' She has offered me 10% of the forty million pounds, simply for coming to Johannesburg to claim it on her behalf. And she feels I should help guide her in its investment.

So today, I’ve written to the venerable Princess Merde, asking her to withdraw from school forthwith, whereby she will be employed as our grant manager. And she is to proceed directly to Liverpool to collect our winnings. Then she should fly to Amsterdam, to withdraw the funds being held for our charity projects. And once she has achieved all of this, we will meet with Mr. Baitsim, to discuss how he can help us invest and manage her father’s estate!

I do look forward to hearing from her!

An important note: Sadly, the emails I’ve alluded to are real. I’m bombarded with them every day. It’s unfortunate that there is even a need to mention this, but according to the Metropolitan Police, innocent people are falling victim to these frauds every day. These types of communications are variants on a fraud scheme called ‘Nigerian 419’s’ (named after the Nigerian law against fraud), whereby the recipient of the communication is lured into paying a fee of some sort to release funds.

If you receive an unsolicited email, or a letter in the post, stating that you have won a lottery, or you are being requested to assist someone collect or repatriate funds; There is a 99.9% certainty that this is a fraud. Many are quick to represent themselves as churches, religions, or well known national companies.

Under no circumstances should you reply to these emails or letters, even if it's to tell them to 'get stuffed!' If you do, you are merely confirming that you have a live and active address. This can increase your risk of receiving more of these solicitations, if not worse. Additionally, the 'local' telephone numbers that are offered are often expensive re-routing mechanisms that send the calls abroad. Under no circumsance should you attempt to call these numbers!

According to DS Stephen Truick of the UK's Metropolitan Police Internet Crime Unit, the best thing to do is simply delete them immediately. However, if there is something that concerns you in particular, contact your local police internet crime unit. In the UK you may forward the email However, if you do so, you must include the Internet header information that contains where the email originated from. If you reside outside of the UK you may refer to the United States Secret Service section on 419 Fraud.

If you would like to learn more about these frauds and how a number of creative (and brave) individuals are working to create havoc for these criminals, have a look at the BBC’s website, or visit the 419 eater!

They're getting even!

And please remember; if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

Report UK Consumer Tech Support Fraud HERE!

The Latest Frauds Hitting Consumers in the UK READ HERE!

See the latest in Advance Fee Fraud originating from within the United Kingdom HERE.

The Lottery Big World Small Boat

STOP Unwanted Marketing Calls from India!

Sweet Talkers

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