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To worry this is a scam?

23 replies

BettyBotter · 08/05/2021 23:38

DM only told me this today, a week after the event.

One afternoon a woman knocked on the door of my parents (in their 80/90s). Dm opened the door and the woman walked straight inside past mum and said My hubby is being mean to me .
Dm assumed the woman was escaping a domestic violence situation and asked if she could help. The woman said she lived 2 streets away (in a very expensive street) and asked for wine. Mum said I can give you a cup of tea Woman asked if she had gin. Mum said she only had tea or coffee.

The woman then said Are you on your own? and mum said no. (true, dad was snoozing in front of the TV oblivious). At this point the woman said she had to go, turned and left.

Dm says the woman seemed mid fifties and fairly well turned out (which would fit with the pricey street she mentioned) and didn't appear drunk at all. On the face of it she was a (harmless alcoholic?) neighbour, but I'm really uncomfortable that she asked if mum was alone.

Of course Dm reacted like a true polite Brit and offered tea Hmm but we have now spoken to her seriously about not letting people in, chain on the door, telling person to leave and reporting dodgy people to police.

So, is this some kind of scam? Should we do anything now a week later in regards to reporting?

OP posts:

Redglitter · 08/05/2021 23:41

It might be genuine but equally likely to be a scam especially since she left without help.

Google it & you'll see a lot of reports of similar incidents


Sparklesocks · 08/05/2021 23:47

It’s hard to say. It might be a scam, or genuine, or maybe she is mentally unwell. Hard to say. I would probably leave it if they haven’t heard from her again.


CatWillSaveMe · 08/05/2021 23:53

If your parents are in a well off area i would assume this was a way to look around the house to assess if it’s worth burgling. Sorry.

The woman had a brass neck for someone escaping domestic violence- asking for wine and gin! Nevermind walking straight in!

I’d be looking to install a bell with a camera and a few cameras outside as a deterrent tbh..


BettyBotter · 08/05/2021 23:54

Thanks. I've googled as you suggest @Redglitter . Nothing similar in the area recently, thank goodness.

OP posts:

Docsmix · 08/05/2021 23:54

I would actually call 111 and ask for their advice. Sounds like a burglary reckie.


pheasantsinlove · 08/05/2021 23:57

Report it to 101 as if it's a scam it may have happened to other people who have subsequently be victims of crime. It may be a bit of intelligence to help police with a wider investigation.


TestingTestingWonTooFree · 08/05/2021 23:57

A ring doorbell would allow you to keep an eye on people at the door.


BettyBotter · 08/05/2021 23:58

A ring doorbell is a very good idea.

OP posts:

Awwlookatmybabyspider · 09/05/2021 00:00

Definitely sounds like a scam to me. Its funny she turned and left when she found out you weren't on your own. She doesn't seem very down trodden to me having the audacity to just walk into a strangers home not to mention asking for wine. She's either mentally unwell or a scammer.


1Morewineplease · 09/05/2021 00:11

Sounds like this woman was casing the joint.
Get some security ASAP and give your mum a chat about doorstep visitors.


atracurious · 09/05/2021 00:17

This sounds very fishy to me. I'd log it with 101 too and a ring doorbell might ward them off in future. How bizarre


Awwlookatmybabyspider · 09/05/2021 00:59

When your mum wasn’t on her own, sorry


BlackDaffodil · 09/05/2021 01:02

do your parents have cctv at the door? or could you perhaps get a system.


memberofthewedding · 09/05/2021 02:14

Your parents need to be very careful as I have been targeted since I got older. I live alone in a nice suburban area and several years ago some youths tried t kick my door in. They didnt get in as I dont use that door and have a heavy piece of furniture behind it but it was a frightening experience.

I was visited by a crime prevention officer who advised me to answer by calling out through the door or from an upstairs window where I could see callers. If its someone who appears to be in some kind of emergency or distress I would offer to call the police or emergency service for them but not open the door. For anyone else I tell them its not convenient now as I have guests. This implies that there are other people inside and the caller does not know who it is or how many. I would never allow a stranger into my home without a male relative present and a prior appointment. I just tell them to write to me on their headed paper and apply for an appointment. Genuine callers who are from the council, social services or a trade body etc will understand and be happy with an appointment.

Ive now replaced the window opening with a discreet cctv camera mounted above the door so I can talk to callers even when Im not physically present. It means I can make a decision as to whether to respond at all judging by their appearance when someone knocks.


Annetisa17 · 09/05/2021 10:18

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BettyBotter · 09/05/2021 11:08

Thanks for the advice @memberofthewedding - your experience sounds terrifying. I'm so sorry. Flowers

Everything you're saying is right and with hindsight dm knows she shouldn't have let the woman in but dm says it all happened in an instant. DM opened the door and woman just stepped past her into the house talking about hubby as she did. There was no invitation and as a small lady in her late 80s I don't think mum would have a chance of blocking the door once it was open.

We're working on getting them a doorbell camera system as we speak. (Now just have to persuade the parents who are not fans of technology or fuss that it's a good idea.) Knowing them they will just open the door anyway and offer the burglars extra sugar in their tea.

OP posts:

Tambora · 09/05/2021 11:13

They need to have it drummed into them that they absolutely must put the door chain on every time they open the door.


Oldraver · 09/05/2021 11:29

If they are not really into technology you could set up the camera so it alerts you

I've recently got a camera and it works like a Ring in that it will alert you and there is two way talking. £25 on Amazon but there are cheaper available


Thatisnotwhatisaid · 09/05/2021 11:56

I also advise they get a ring doorbell, that way they know whether it’s someone they should answer the door to or not. I’d be concerned about this, given the fact the woman left as soon as she informed her she wasn’t home alone... I’d also be concerned they were casing the house for a future burglary since it’s an affluent area.


CorianderBee · 09/05/2021 12:29

You must remind them that it's not just theft they risk if they don't use the doorbell. They could be seriously hurt by someone.


ThatIsMyPotato · 09/05/2021 12:38

I'd report it to non emergancy number so they can be made aware. Also has she checked any drawers/pots for keys/spare cash that were in reach?


Liliolla · 09/05/2021 13:01

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VeganVeal · 09/05/2021 14:07

Ah I see the old wine and gin scam is doing the rounds again

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