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..to consider shopping my friend for her benefit fraud?!

(305 Posts)
NadiaBaggyTwat Fri 28-Sep-07 22:01:00

My friend and I both work in local government. We are quite close and I have known her for years but she is incredibly bad with money and never makes any attempt to get herself back on track. Usually her mother bails her out and she just goes on spending. She is a good hearted person, but this is the one aspect of her that I find really hard to stand by and watch.

Close to Christmas, a group of us, including said friend and our DHs are going to France for the weekend. This was arranged months ago. It's costing £200 per couple and my DH and I are having a really really hard time financially at the moment (not from overspending but problems with DH's business) so we weren't going to go but friend owes me £150 from something I paid for on my card (because it was a surprise from her to her DP and which she's - obviously hmm - never paid me back for hmm) and to my suprise she said "well you can come because remember, I owe you £150..."

So we agreed to go. Anyway the time came for this money to be paid and I gave her the £50 as agreed (for the rest of the £200 for her to pass on to another friend who was paying all the money in) and she said she needed at least £100.. she couldn't afford to pay our money (that she owes!) because she hadn't paid her mortgage for months. I gave it to her (the trip has to be paid for!) but really resented it as I only agreed to go because I knew we wouldn't have to find much of the money!

Meanwhile, at work she is constantly talking to everyone about her posh meals out with DP, her tanning/nails/waxing appointments. And next thing, she's whining to me about the terrible state of her finances. And she does really spend money like this.. she isn't just saying it to impress!

Worse still, despite is both working for a government agency she is actually defrauding them! For well over a year now, since she has been living with her new partner, she has been claiming as a single person (with children). This amounts to over £100 a week that she isn't entitled to!!

I have told her outright time and again she needs to stop spending money like water and on luxuries she can't afford and START declaring that she has a partner living with her and the children, but nothing changes and she says she just can't afford to declare that he lives there. (They even bought a HUGE posh new house on this basis!)

I am so upset about the whole money thing and having to listen to her day in and day out talking about what she's bought (she shops compulsively as well in v.expensive clothes shops) all the while owing me money I lent her in good faith to help her out (albeit for another extravagance.. a birthday present she couldn't afford to buy her DP)... that... (and this is really bad blush.. I want to report her.

But if I did she may even lose her job, bearing in mind where we work.. Not to mention her house. And I would probably feel terrible forever.

I am an extreme regular with a (very inappropriate; sorry!) name change to protect various identities.

What would others do? Please?

DeedeePickles Fri 28-Sep-07 22:05:34

Will be watching responses with interest as I am in similar position...

Like the name BTW, very inappropriate!

NadiaBaggyTwat Fri 28-Sep-07 22:08:00

Yes. I needed an instant namechange and DH was watching the advert with Nadine Baggot so suggested NadineBaggyTwat shock which I amended to Nadia...

Apologies to our NadineBaggot!! I will revert to usual self once I have the answers I need and never use it again Nadine!

MaryBleedinPoppins Fri 28-Sep-07 22:10:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bookthief Fri 28-Sep-07 22:10:34

She would almost certainly lose her job, she would have to pay back all the benefits plus fine. She might even go to jail if they decided to make an example of her. She would be in deep, deep shit.

All this would be completely her own fault. If you don't shop her someone else might if she's being so mouthy about her fraud.

Could you live with yourself though? If so then go ahead. Other people are doing without in the grand scheme of things to fund her theft.

edam Fri 28-Sep-07 22:11:05

I wouldn't report her. Wouldn't want that stain of vengeance-disguised-as-upright-citizenship on my conscience. Her conscience is her problem.

I wouldn't trust her with money, that's for sure.

LittleBella Fri 28-Sep-07 22:11:11

If she would lose her job and home because of it, then no, I wouldn't.

What she's doing is wrong, but being sacked for fraud (making it extremely difficult to get another job and earn a living ever again) is a terribly harsh punishment, disproportionate to the crime imo.

I wouldn't want to be responsible for screwing up someone's life so badly.

Having said that, she sounds like a bloody awful woman, tbh. I don't know why you're friends with her? If it doesn't bother you whether you remain friends, why don't you say "I'm going to report you unless you stop defrauding the state. Don't say you weren't warned"?

fingerwoman Fri 28-Sep-07 22:12:00

I'd definitely shop her. She doesn't sound like a very good friend anyway

coppertop Fri 28-Sep-07 22:13:06

Personally I couldn't/wouldn't shop her.

CantSleepWontSleep Fri 28-Sep-07 22:13:10

Shop her, definitely.

All the detail is irrelevant. She is committing a crime which costs the country millions every year, resulting in poorer public services and people who really do need financial help not getting as much as they otherwise could.

collision Fri 28-Sep-07 22:13:28

Grass her up!

Why the hell should she get the extra £100 per week just because she has lied. You could do with that money too but you havent lied which is why you are struggling and she is not!!

A colleague of DH was defrauding the system like this having his wages paid in, living with GF but she was claiming being a single parent etc DH and I were struggling with new jobs and forking out for childcare and I was so mad about it. In the end someone found out and reported it and now they are kosher!! grin

PeachesMcLean Fri 28-Sep-07 22:13:31

She sounds like she's got real issues with spending. If I was in your situation, I'd try to find a way of helping her through this without shopping her. Tempting though I'm sure it is. Can you talk to her mother?

law3 Fri 28-Sep-07 22:14:20

what she does is her business, not yours. If you are friends what is said between you, should remain between you.

I would just insist that she pay me back what she owes, next time she told me about one of her expenses meals i would mention how can you afford meals, but not to pay back what you owe.

Desiderata Fri 28-Sep-07 22:14:20

Ah, now I see, I thought you were NadineBaggot.

Well, my advice is to do nothing. Life has a way of catching people up all by itself.

Being a snitch, even for all the right reasons (and I agree with you on your reasons), just isn't going to make you feel good.

I would talk to her in depth about it, though. Let her know that her position is precarious, and that it's unlikely she will be able to sustain it without penalty.

She will get found out at some point. Just don't be around to mop up the pieces when she does.

PeachesMcLean Fri 28-Sep-07 22:16:47

How many people know she's doing this? There's a chance that she might get shopped anyway. There's more to being a friend than money issues and IF you value her friendship you may want to get her to a situation where she's not so vulnerable to someone who is prepared to shop her.

sweetkitty Fri 28-Sep-07 22:17:02

I probably wouldn't shop her because she will end of in deep s* very soon if she keeps spending the way she is. DO NOT lend her anything again and focus on yourself not her, she is probably spending like she is as she is deeply unhappy or has issues with self esteen as spnding money will make her feel good.

She will get her comeuppance only a matter of time and you won't feel guilty about it.

CantSleepWontSleep Fri 28-Sep-07 22:17:45

What is wrong with you all? She is committing fraud. Any comeuppance is entirely her own fault.

No wonder this country is going downhill if you all look the other way when a crime is committed.

hmm

Whooosh Fri 28-Sep-07 22:19:23

Shope her-for the benefit of all other truly needy individuals......

MsHighwater Fri 28-Sep-07 22:19:31

This woman is clearly not a good friend.

I'd say she runs the risk of SOMEONE grassing her up for her fraud even if it's not you.

Have you had it out with her? She might be able to argue about most of it that it's her business but when she owes you money and let you down about paying it back in the way that she did, well, I'd find it very difficult to forgive someone who treated me so poorly.

I might hesitate to shop her myself but I'd want to confront her in an effort to get back the money she owes me and, at the same time, warn her that she is treading on dangerous ground. If she is caught, as no doubt you know, she could be in for a lot more than just having to pay back the money she has wrongly claimed.

NadiaBaggyTwat Fri 28-Sep-07 22:21:21

She is a good friend and she is goodhearted but she is just hopeless with money. She infuriates me at what she sees as priorities, such as beauty treatments.

Her new DP is just as hopeless with money as her and they are on a downward spiral.

She doesn't take any notice of the things I say although I have stopped short of ever telling her I will declare her situation if she doesn't. That would be the end of our friendship I expect. But we do often fall out over things, mainly to do with money, sometimes to do with parenting and her putting other stuff before her children.

And whilst I'm making her sound like a monster, she will in fact do things to help almost anyone if she can. She is a strange mixture of personality traits.

haychee Fri 28-Sep-07 22:21:31

You cant do it. Not if she is your friend, how will dobbing her in make her situation any better? She will always be like this. Id just write off the money and expect her to carry on. All you can do is keep offering advice.
It is annoying though when friends go on about stuff, whinging and look to you for some kind of advice, you give it and they dont do anything with it, just keep coming back for more. Irritates me to death with one friend i have. So much so that i just try and keep my meet ups with her to a minimum, which is sad.

Honestly, you cant do it, she has too much at stake.

MaryBleedinPoppins Fri 28-Sep-07 22:21:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CrookshanksinJimmyChoos Fri 28-Sep-07 22:23:09

Why not annonomously (sp!) stick a benefit fraud leaflet on her desk or send in the post...that should shake her up and possibly get her to mend the error of her ways without actually grassing her up? I

I agree with you though. I'd be sooooo tempted to do it if I were in your shoes but then if she went to jail and her kids got upset because of it, that would really get to me...so maybe a leaflet is a kind of middle ground?

paolosgirl Fri 28-Sep-07 22:25:17

She is breaking the law, she is stealing, and you should report her - no doubt about it whatsoever. It's the absolute right thing to do. You can do it anonymously, and no-one need ever know. Hell, CAT me and I'll do it!

haychee Fri 28-Sep-07 22:25:30

My friend sounds the same as yours, very very kind hearted and would do anything for you. Very considerate and just nice and funny too. But she does like to shop, her dh cant sleep for money worries and she is out buying all sorts of designer stuff. She has excellent taste too. She is not frauding any benefit system though. But i know for sure i wouldnt dob her in.

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