To worry my MIL is about to be scammed

(20 Posts)
Corriewatcher Fri 03-Jan-14 18:17:06

DH took MIL on Monday to buy a bed 15 miles away at a large bed store in a retail park. Unbeknown to us, she went back there by bus yesterday because she changed the order so had to reapply for the interest-free finance in person again. Anyway, it turns out that she met a 39 year old man on the bus who befriended her and helped her find the store. No problem with that. Except he waited with her the whole time she was in the store, sitting with her whilst she went through the financing, then took her around other shops, had a coffee, came back on the bus with her and then exchanged addresses. He clearly knows MIL's date of birth as he commented that his birthday is the next day.

This all sounds very fishy to me. Most people (especially your average 39 year old bloke) would surely just explain where the store is and leave it at that. She is nearly 80, but looks much closer to 70 and is pretty spritely.

Can't help but think that he's going to turn up on her doorstep, she'll invite him in for a coffee, and he'll rob her or something. Either that, or he'll get someone to apply for finance in her name now he knows her details and address.

Both DH, his sister and I have explained our concerns and have said not to let him in if he turns up. What do you think and what else can we do to protect her?

hmmmmm...

was he sort of potatoey looking? Wearing shorts?

wink

catgirl1976 Fri 03-Jan-14 18:19:47

Can you ring her bank and alert them and let them know to look out for unusual activity on her account?

Maybe also sign up for Equifax and Experian and look out for any credit checks or applications being run?

It might be worth reporting to the police but I doubt there is much they can do

I agree it sounds very dodgy

ParsingFancy Fri 03-Jan-14 18:23:35

Sounds incredibly fishy.

Phone police on 101 number or ActionFraud on 0300 123 20 40, or email on them, details here: www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud.

Also, call the store and mention that there may possibly be an investigation, and can they keep the CCTV from that time and date.

RandyRudolf Fri 03-Jan-14 18:29:36

I agree with parsing re the CCTV.

Caitlin17 Fri 03-Jan-14 18:32:39

Sounds extremely fishy to me. I don't think there is any harm at all in contacting the police.

So far as your mother's bank that will be a bit more difficult as you are not the account holder.

Do you have his name and address?

RandyRudolf Fri 03-Jan-14 18:52:16

I definitely think you should inform the police, it could be someone they're already aware of and your information will be useful.

Corriewatcher Fri 03-Jan-14 19:52:15

Thanks all. I was thinking of phoning the police but worried I was over-reacting. Will now do it on the non-urgent number. MIL has his name and address (well, the ones he gave her), but funnily enough when we googled him nothing came up. He must be one of those rare people in their 30s without a FB account!

MIL is adamant he was just a really nice person and that we have horrible suspicious minds.

ParsingFancy Fri 03-Jan-14 20:42:25

You can also look him up on 192.com, which lists electoral rolls and other info (although it's not infallible as people can ask not to be on the public roll).

Caitlin17 Fri 03-Jan-14 20:56:39

192.com is a good idea. I think you can get more information if you pay more.

I'm not sure how Experian checks work. I can check my own as part of a pointless freebie with my bank account but is it possible to pay and check some one else? Obviously banks and mobile phone companies and anyone offering credit can do it but I don't know if private individuals can.

Oh dear it does sound fishy.
Will she sit down with her Ds and get her credit report checked and put an alert on it so she gets a phone call if anyone is checking her score or applying for credit of any kind.
Same with her bank?

Caitlin17 Fri 03-Jan-14 21:17:24

If you can access other people's credit checks it might be worth checking his as well. It shows up things like outstanding court decrees as well.

SoonToBeSix Sat 04-Jan-14 05:43:25

No Caitlin you can't that illegal.

bragmatic Sat 04-Jan-14 06:11:02

Does she have his contact details? Phone number? If so, I'd call, and tell him not to contact her again.

karatekimmi Sat 04-Jan-14 06:21:44

My DH has some sort of credit check guard - he gets emails everytime someone does a credit check / opens a bank account in his name.

I agree it does sound dodgy. Maybe phone him up and invite him round when your there?

NynaevesSister Sat 04-Jan-14 07:04:02

We have a family member who has been in a similar situation. The money given was all in small amounts adding up to thousands over time. All for 'emergencies'. It only stopped when ill health forced her into a home giving her children control of her bank account. This so called amazing friend has not been to visit her once. So yes all my alarm bells would be ringing here. What I would suggest is that you don't go on too strong. Of you do, and then he scams her she may be too embarrassed to admit what is happening. She could even go into denial. These guys are very good and they know how to groom elderly women.

Caitlin17 Sat 04-Jan-14 13:33:26

Soontobesix some letting agents check prospective tenants' ratings so it is possible to check a third party's status.

SoonToBeSix Sat 04-Jan-14 13:37:21

Yes but not without their permission.

soverylucky Sat 04-Jan-14 13:40:37

Do you have his address? I would call 101 and pass on to the police.

WitchWay Sat 04-Jan-14 14:03:02

This is the sort of difficulty my mother would get into - she chats away to complete strangers on the bus, in shops etc & gives away all sorts of personal information without realising.

Hope your MiL is OK - I'd definitely report this.

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