IT was too close for comfort. Minutes away from the modest Unsworth treasury passing into the hands of hackers and plunderers.

A long-expected call from British Telecom engineers to help this self-confessed techy nightmare turned out to be a devious plot to gain control of my computer and empty the coffers – and they were a couple of keyboard strokes from doing it.

The man said he was from BT. My computer first needed cleansing of scores of e-mails designed not only to slow down the machine but which were also a security threat. He and a technician needed to take control of the keyboard. It sounded reasonable.

Their accents were Indian and bearing in mind the chance of speaking to someone from BT with a Summertown tone rather than a sub-continental influence is nil, I saw no reason to be suspicious. Naive? Yes, and such calls should be rejected, but in my defence, I had been expecting a call since late June.

Eventually they said the work had been done and my internet would be back in use again in 24 hours. However, I was not to switch on until then.

It was only when another call came saying they had mistakenly put nearly £1,000 into my account and that they wanted it back asap via Western Union to India that alarm bells rang. My bank confirmed there had been attempts to remove money.

People like me are god’s gift to cyber criminals but it doesn’t help when getting in touch with BT is like trying to contact the council to empty dustbins on Bank Holiday Monday. The difference is you’ll be able to speak to the depot on Tuesday. There are no local offices, phone numbers are not readily accessible or listed in the phone directory, and when you use the internet it is all questions-and-answers. Even complaints have to be sent by e-mail. Mind you, billing is another matter...

I know we have a responsibility to ourselves and others to watch out for fraudsters, but BT doesn’t help.

ON a more cheerful note, heard from a primary school boy in Broad Street: “Uncle David says you have to talk with a plum in your mouth at that college. I like plums.”

Where could he mean?

FINALLY, my dentist suggested I should use an electric tooth brush. The change from the traditional horizontal scrub didn’t come easy and I complained that it was most annoying when water and toothpaste foam from the spinning brush splashed my spectacles.

“Why don’t you take your glasses off?” suggested my four-year-old grandson Arthur.

I told you I’m useless with all this modern technology.