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advice please on reporting a fraud

alwaysfretting

Registered User
Jan 1, 2015
41
I would really appreciate some advice please. Mum has Alzheimer's and we have recently got poa and have discovered a five figure fraud. Mum knows nothing about it so we have thoroughly investigated without involving her and are pretty sure we know who is responsible and she is still in contact with the person. There may have been other transactions over a long period. We are now ready to report it. My question first of all is who to, police or social services and if so are there specific departments such as safe guarding or fraud investigations for vulnerable people? My second question is what is the process for questioning mum as the nature of the crime is that I feel they would need to at some stage.
Can I be with her, or at least an appropriate adult? She is likely to be very distressed. I would want at the very least to be told when the interview will take place so I can stay with her afterwards.

Thank you in advance.
 

katie1

Registered User
Aug 5, 2014
122
Kendal Cumbria
Does she have a social worker?
You need to be sure about all of your facts, double check and make notes take photocopies of documents, photographs etc. Don't leave anything to chance.
The police would be very understanding in such a case and will allow her to be accompanied by a relative or suitable appropriate adult who knows her well and the way she communicates. Take along the PoA certificate and your ID, ask if it is possible for her to be "questioned" in familiar surroundings so as to avoid confusion and distress to her and at a time of day when she is most alert and calm. Ask if they have any specially trained officers for people with reduced capacity who would put questions to her in a way she would understand.Ask the social worker to be there also (if that is appropriate) **look on your local police constabulary web site under something like questioning witnesses or taking statements from those with reduced capacity/mental frailty or dementia......Im sure there must be some guidance they have to follow! there might even be a Community Police Officer who could call round and advise you.
This could all be very stressful for all of you, so please ensure you have all the evidence you need before contacting the police to minimise the stress. Good Luck
 
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alwaysfretting

Registered User
Jan 1, 2015
41
Thank you, she doesn't have a social worker, she is under a community psycho geriatric team. We have been very thorough and have got all the necessary documents. We didn't want to accuse anyone so we have made absolutely sure of our facts before proceeding. It's a good point about time of day and place. Mum would hate to be taken out of her own home for the interview. I'd like to be with her to support her but the police or whoever is investigating might feel I'm too close to the situation as I've been collecting evidence. It's horrible, and one of those situations you never think will happen to you!
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Do you have someone who your mother knows reasonably well but who isn't you to provide her with support in the event you can't support her with the police? I think they may allow you to stay (provided you promise not to prompt her) but I also think you are right to consider they won't. And as such having someone both you and your mother trust might be the best option.
 

alwaysfretting

Registered User
Jan 1, 2015
41
Thank you, there is someone who immediately comes to mind, yes. Sadly the person we think has committed the fraud though is mum's best friend.

I had wondered if they might let me hold mum's hand if I promise not to speak, or go in the other room.
 

Wirralson

Account Closed
May 30, 2012
658
You can and should advise both the police and social services of this asap. It is classed as a Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults (SOVA) issue, and the police and social services will, sadly, be very familiar with this kind of problem. If your mother is as unaware of the fraud as you state, they will rely on forensic accounting or other techniques to catch the individual. However, in such circumstances the criminal investigation is usually secondary to actually stopping the fraud. The police will (almost certainly) wish to keep you out of the interview process as you are so close to your mother, and will probably arrange for an appropriate adult (usually a social worker) to accompany her. There are police guidelines for interviewing people in your mother's situation, but in many cases they will not actually do so - the process is of little use in evidential terms. But I'd alert the authorities now - the earlier the better in these cases. You seem to have done all the right things, and I hope it goes as well as it can.

W
 

alwaysfretting

Registered User
Jan 1, 2015
41
Thank you so much! It's not about the money, it's about mum continuing to have someone in her life who seems so caring and thoughtful but could wish her harm. Do I ring the main local police station?
 

Allypally52

Registered User
Mar 11, 2014
78
My husband is a retired community policeman so I've just spoken to him but he's never had to deal with anything like this. However he says as a CPO he would first find out if your POA allowed him to interview you rather than your mum. But he says there is no way your mum would ever be expected to go anywhere to make a statement - the police will come to her. And there would have to be an appropriate adult present, just as there would if it was a child or someone with learning difficulties.
Sorry not to be more helpful and my heart goes out to both you and your mum. Still find it incredible that people can take advantage of vulnerable people like this. Grrrrrr!
 

Norfolkgirl

Account Closed
Jul 18, 2012
514
You can and should advise both the police and social services of this asap. It is classed as a Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults (SOVA) issue, and the police and social services will, sadly, be very familiar with this kind of problem. If your mother is as unaware of the fraud as you state, they will rely on forensic accounting or other techniques to catch the individual. However, in such circumstances the criminal investigation is usually secondary to actually stopping the fraud. The police will (almost certainly) wish to keep you out of the interview process as you are so close to your mother, and will probably arrange for an appropriate adult (usually a social worker) to accompany her. There are police guidelines for interviewing people in your mother's situation, but in many cases they will not actually do so - the process is of little use in evidential terms. But I'd alert the authorities now - the earlier the better in these cases. You seem to have done all the right things, and I hope it goes as well as it can.

W
Sadly as is the culture these days and according to my experience, the vulnerable (including elderly) are way down the list of priorities for SS and Police to deal with, hence the catalogue of past crimes outlined in the media such as Rotherham and Jimmy Savile scandals which Police and/or SS largely ignored or ignored altogether. This combined with "fudging" of crime figures, corruption in Police and/or non-recording of reported crimes are still rife. I'll be amazed if "alwaysfretting" gets a good outcome but either way I hope she would let us know.
 

alwaysfretting

Registered User
Jan 1, 2015
41
Sadly as is the culture these days and according to my experience, the vulnerable (including elderly) are way down the list of priorities for SS and Police to deal with, hence the catalogue of past crimes outlined in the media such as Rotherham and Jimmy Savile scandals which Police and/or SS largely ignored or ignored altogether. This combined with "fudging" of crime figures, corruption in Police and/or non-recording of reported crimes are still rife. I'll be amazed if "alwaysfretting" gets a good outcome but either way I hope she would let us know.
Thank you so much for everybody's advice. Keep it coming! I'll let you know if we make any progress.
 

Wirralson

Account Closed
May 30, 2012
658
My husband is a retired community policeman so I've just spoken to him but he's never had to deal with anything like this. However he says as a CPO he would first find out if your POA allowed him to interview you rather than your mum. But he says there is no way your mum would ever be expected to go anywhere to make a statement - the police will come to her. And there would have to be an appropriate adult present, just as there would if it was a child or someone with learning difficulties.
Sorry not to be more helpful and my heart goes out to both you and your mum. Still find it incredible that people can take advantage of vulnerable people like this. Grrrrrr!
I am a little puzzled by this. Alwaysfretting is, technically, a witness, and as such can be interviewed in connection with a crime without any reference to the POA. No POA cannot ever "allow" for the POA holder to be interviewed instead of the Donor in respect of any fraud. They can both be interviewed in their own right, or neither, so there is no need to "check" the POA as you describe..

W
 

Pete R

Registered User
Jul 26, 2014
2,038
Staffs
A minor point, but alwaysfretting is a wtiness, and as such is not allowed to be present if or when her mother is interviewed. If she is, as Allypally 52 and I have both pointed out, and "appropriate adult" (either a trained volunteer or soical worker) has to be present.W
Are you really sure as this is not my experience?
 

Wirralson

Account Closed
May 30, 2012
658
Are you really sure as this is not my experience?
About which bit? The standard procedure when I worked in a psych unit (and there was poilice guidance to that effect in te local force) was that where a person was a potential witness they should not be present when another person also a potential witness was being interviewed. No ifs or buts about this - it applies on allcases not just the ones we are describing here. The CPS would be very aware indeed of this as an issue when deciding whether to prosecute. The "appropriate adutl" can be volunteer , a social worker or a friend or relative, provided (in all cases) that they are not a witness in the same case. Are you saying that a witness was allowed to be present when a person with dementia was biung interviewed in connection with an offence committed against them? Or that an appropriate adult was not provided?

W
 

Allypally52

Registered User
Mar 11, 2014
78
I am a little puzzled by this. Alwaysfretting is, technically, a witness, and as such can be interviewed in connection with a crime without any reference to the POA. No POA cannot ever "allow" for the POA holder to be interviewed instead of the Donor in respect of any fraud. They can both be interviewed in their own right, or neither, so there is no need to "check" the POA as you describe..

W
I was referring to the stress of Rosie's mum having to give the police a statement - my husband said he'd just check first to see if the statement could come from someone holding POA on behalf of the victim (although he rather thought not) Of course Rosie can give a witness statement of her own......sorry if I was unclear!!
 

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