It will be interesting to hear if anybody else out there has had an experience similar to Adrian Moore, who runs Grizebeck Filling Station at Grizebeck in Cumbria. He suspected a scam when he got a phone call from someone purporting to be from an investigation unit at Streamline asking for his merchant number because they had uncovered fraudulent use of a card at his station. A stolen card had apparently been used there the previous day.

He explained that he did not have and had never had a Streamline terminal. He uses an HSBC one.

The caller got a bit shirty and accused him of being unco-operative because he wouldn’t reveal any of his personal details. The caller’s number was withheld.

Adrian examined his slips for the day in question and it had been a very quiet day, only nine transactions. The biggest was for thirty quid. “Would hardly break the bank,” he observed.

Later on he rang HSBC which said they wouldn’t have been able to get an investigative bureau onto a job as quickly as that.

I rang NatWest to find out if any of this made sense but the press officer was as mystified as the rest of us.

Big question: what could the caller have achieved if he had got the info he wanted?