Gwyn Headley

by Gwyn Headley

Managing Director

… and Pennsylvania, and Indonesia …

Once upon a time (early this morning, actually) there was a photographer who came across a lovely website called fotoLibra.

“Gosh,” he thought. “If I sign up I can upload my pictures to fotoLibra and if they sell I’ll make some money.” So he uploaded two pictures for nothing.

This very same morning a nice lady in New York found the same lovely website.

“Gee willikins,” she thought. “I’ll sign up, and what I’d like to do tonight is buy a photograph of some guitar strings, for 5000 corporate CDs in Europe.”

Within minutes another nice lady in Pennsylvania also discovered fotoLibra and signed up. “Now, let me see,” she mused, “I think tonight I’ll have a photo of some guitar strings on my commercial internet site for a year. Ah! Here we are! The very thing!”

And both ladies, by fortunate happenstance, had hit upon the same photograph, uploaded by our lucky new member in Indonesia only moments before.

What joy! Two satisfied customers and one happy photographer! And they all signed up within 30 minutes of each other! The picture was uploaded and sold twice before it had been online for half an hour. Job done by fotoLibra!

But then, far away on the other side of the world, a new day dawned, and deep in her feculent pit the great JACQUI NORMAN stirred. She pointed one terrible eye at the computer screen and in an instant spotted the improbability of such transactions.

“FF RR AA  UU DD !!” she bellowed slowly and heavily, shaking the sere and devastated land around her lair.

As I write, there is no happy ending. The money — a fair amount, paid by credit card — will be deposited in the fotoLibra account by close of play tomorrow. In 30 days we have to pay the photographer.

And in four or five months HSBC will slowly realise there has been a fraudulent transaction and will remove the entire amount from our account without informing us first.

So maybe we won’t be paying this gentleman from Indonesia in 30 days. We’ll just hold on to the money for a little while, and see what happens.

We could be wrong.

But we don’t think so.


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18 Responses to “A Fairy Tale Of New York …”

  1. Dave Tait says:

    I think selling an image the same day it is uploaded should be an auto flag warning, unless of course you snapped a plane as it hit the twin towers, or were swept out to sea in your boat during the Japanese Tsunami.
    Apparently I would have been a millionaire 20 or 30 times over if I had claimed all the inheritance money sitting in my name in Nigerian banks. However I am not as dumb as people think I am. Like this so called image sale, alarm bells ring when something fishy shows up. Things like being asked for bank account numbers where my millions can be deposited. Many online frauds are ingenious with the methods used to try to con people. Sadly, the fraudsters do not realise that 99.9% of intended fraud victims possess a brain.

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      Alas, 0.1% is all they need. Someone spoofed one of our email addresses recently and sent out an email telling thousands of people they’d won the lottery. The first we knew of it was when we found 4,000 “Undelivered Mail – Return To Sender” messages in our mailbox in the morning. If 4,000 bounced back, imagine how many got through.

  2. Ian Smith says:

    WELL DONE Jacqui for keeping your eyes wide open and I bet you don’t wear glasses.


  3. Impressive Jacqui… great write up it made me smile then frown… within seconds..

  4. Jamie Waddell says:

    As one who lives in Thailand and wrks in Papua New Guinea I would have smelt a Rat quite quickly! Congrats to Jacqui for being switched on but I could tell you some similar stories and quite cunning ones at that!

  5. Chris Fagg says:

    I’ve just looked up ‘feculent’. I do hope Jacqui hasn’t…. C

  6. Chris Fagg says:

    I’ve looked up ‘feculent’. C

  7. Vaffah says:

    If the intention is to cheat, then end up counting bars

  8. Careful, they’ll get used to this and things’ll get more tricky soon enough: there’ll doubtless be a bit of a wait next time before ‘purchase’.

    I recall your last blog post on this very subject: not before time that the banks started to take care of their (business) customers, eh?

    • Gwyn Headley says:

      I was nearly taken in this morning by an email asking me to reset my AppleID. It looked very real, but then I realised I didn’t have an AppleID on that particular email account. They are getting cleverer.

  9. Nicole Mackay says:

    Hectic! That’s an awful but well written story:)

  10. Gwyn Headley says:

    Today, Wednesday 3 October 2012, a substantial amount of money has been removed from fotoLibra’s HSBC bank account by HSBC themselves, without any prior warning. They haven’t informed us why they have removed this money — they haven’t even informed us that they’ve taken it — but curiously it’s exactly the same amount as we were paid for those two Guitar String sales back in August.

    Well, well. Another scam fails.