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Wednesday March 20th 2019

Local Criminals “Left Behind” By New Technology

Following reports of new “pay by mobile” proximity-payment technology due to be launched by Everything Everywhere, who own Orange and T-Mobile, this year, St Neots pickpockets and nan-muggers have complained that they are unable to keep up with new technology.

“It’s a joke, honestly,” said Jeremy Barrington-Smyth, 41, one of the area’s leading credit card fraudsters. “They just keep moving the fucking goalposts, how are we supposed to keep up?”

Barrington-Smyth, who has previously spoken out about the public perception of “working-class, chavvy thieves”, attended Kimbolton school and earns around £50,000 a year as a professional thief. He explained, “When I was first trained, card fraud involved nicking someone’s Access or Switch, making an imprint of it, and copying their signature. All you needed was a cover job in a restaurant or shop and you were set!”

The first setback came when APACS, who oversee electronic payments, introduced Chip and Pin cards in 2004. “Suddenly,” said Barrington-Smyth, “half our training became worthless. I was expert at copying signatures, and now it was a useless skill.”

Indeed, the market quickly became flooded with amateur muggers, watching people enter their PIN number, then holding them up for their card and emptying their bank account. “No style, you see,” says Smyth. “Just no subtlety at all.”

Now, mobile phone companies plan to introduce payment by phone, whereby a circuit within the phone transmits payment information to a card terminal nearby. No PIN is needed. “Really,” explained Jeremiah Clarkenstein, 36, another so-called Liquidity Liberation Specialist, who lives in Eynesbury Manor’s posh ‘H2O’ development, “the only way to gain funds from people with this technology is to work out which pocket their phone is in and then rub up against them. This is easy on the tube or a crowded bus, but in a small town like St Neots people get suspicious when you brush against their handbag.”

Clarkenstein predicts that within three years, the industry will have totally abandoned small towns like St Neots in favour of larger cities, where people are more readily prepared to relinquish their personal space. “That’ll decimate the local economy,” he said, “and what’s more, these accounts are all pre-paid; so, what if you go through all that aggro and the target – sorry, client – hasn’t topped up? Waste of time.”

Trials of the system continue.

Francisco Sanchez

Francisco joined the team in March 2010, and quickly became one of the highest-contributing reporters whilst not actually writing any features.

Sanchez is a “militant smoker”, often lighting up in bars and restaurants and then running away as quickly as his wrinkled lungs allow, in a never-ending homage to Neg’s Urban Sports from an episode of Balls Of Steel.

He is also a militant car-parker, militant bus-passenger, militant pedestrian and militant toenail-picker.

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