To ask for advice, cannot believe what my friend has just done.

(87 Posts)
JakeBullet Fri 30-Aug-13 13:43:21

I am asking here because it is anonymous and I know the advice will be honest and frank!

My friend J has just moved house way from an abusive exH and in a new town. The house she has gone into was occupied by a tenant who has built up massive debts. My friend knows this as she is answering doors to bailiffs almost daily and having to show her tenancy agreement to prove that she isn't the debtor. My friend gets over anxious about things and has been opening post to keep on top of it and contacting companies to point out that the other tenant has moved.

My friend doesn't always think things through, she is agoraphobic with an anxiety and panic disorder plus severe depression for which she is having weekly psychotherapy. This move was supposed to be positive and on the whole it has been.

However, she came to see me in the past 24 hours with her current partner. While he was off seeing relative she told me that she had opened another letter which had all the previous tenant's bank details on so.......had been online and used them to buy an expensive mobile phone. shock

I have advised her that:

* this is illegal (she is fully aware of this)
* that if this comes to light she would be in serious trouble (she seems too confident that it won't come to light).
*that what she has done is wrong (she honestly doesn't seem to care sad).

It doesn't help that one of her new neighbours apparently grows and sells cannabis and has offered to sell to her when she has tried so hard to come off it. He apparently has "a nice set up in the loft" and "plants growing well in the garden" plus "loads of solid" hmm. The order for the phone took place after she had been smoking some apparently "good quality solid" and I think it has clouded her judgement at that point. I wish she hadn't told me though.
My friend always says that "green" makes her paranoid but that the "solid" just keeps her mellow and relaxed. I don't smoke so I have no idea about cannabis.

Now I am so honest it is untrue, I have never knowingly stolen anything (apart from a time when I discovered a pair of earrings in my shopping which were not on the receipt...even then I went back and paid for them).
All this just sits uncomfortably with me but I don't know what else I can say or do. I don't feel I can report this....not given all my friend's mental health issues but I want her to decline the phone when it arrives and return it.

Or does not reporting it make me awful?

I cant do it though, she is fragile at the best and I have seen her in the depths of despair and suicidal over the past few weeks. I don't think she is thinking straight so any psychiatric nurses/doctors/experienced folk welcome with advice.

I feel my only options are to report (cant do it) or ignore and hope for the best. ....or keep advising her to return the phone immediately hich is my preferred option.

My friend feels that as the previous tenant is ignoring all mail and still apparently using the address to set up car insurances etc that nothing can be proved.

Feel really upset that she has done this but cant tell anyone...only people here and ask advice.

JakeBullet Sun 01-Sep-13 19:37:43

Thank you, I hope to God this was an aberration.

Although it doesn't come across from my posts here my friend is very kind hearted. She was a real support to me two years ago when my life was very difficult and really helped me. I cant thank her enough for endless cups of tea and a shoulder to cry on. As such I want to be supportive to her and be the voice of reason she needs.

She is just very mixed up as a person and I know her well enough to feel comfortable in saying the things I did. I did it in a supportive way by just reminding her of what she had to lose.

I am just keeping everything crossed that this was an aberration.

I did talk to my Mum who is very sensible, she advised me not to get involve with reporting the cannabis farm etc. I am in two minds because I really think this is the last neighbour my friend needs. The again if she doesn't get it from him then it will come from elsewhere!

MissStrawberry Sun 01-Sep-13 19:20:45

You must know what number your friend lives at so you just need to say next door to the police.

ZillionChocolate Sun 01-Sep-13 18:54:46

Well done Jake. Think I would report the cannabis farm to the police anyway.

struggling100 Sun 01-Sep-13 16:39:41

You did really well to talk to her about it - it cannot have been easy. I hope she saw sense. It is sad when people make these terrible calls, but I don't think it makes them evil or worth dropping as a friend - and you can usually get further by being sympathetic and lovely (as you have been) and explaining the consequences clearly than by taking the moral high ground. She sounds like she desperately needs a voice of reason in her life right now.

Of course, if she continues to make more bad judgement calls over the ensuing months, you may have to rethink!!

JennySense Sun 01-Sep-13 15:50:07

I would still report the cannabis farm. The scale sounds like its not a personal use set up. Being able to easily buy dope is not going to help your friend as its already had a bad effect on her judgement.

SeaSickSal Sun 01-Sep-13 13:08:04

Ooops! Sorry, didn't see that last post.

SeaSickSal Sun 01-Sep-13 13:07:28

Report her to the police.

If the previous tenant is in as much trouble as that - with baliffs at the door - then they are obviously in dire financial straits.

Her ordering that phone may well make them homeless, mean they can't get to work and are sacked or mean they can't eat for the next month. The consequences for this person could be as extreme as suicide.

Report her to the police. Then hopefully this person will be able to at least recover some of their money.

What she's done is disgraceful.

Thank crap for that!! I hope she took on board what you said, JB.

JakeBullet Sat 31-Aug-13 20:26:49

Okay...phew.....the contract was declined so no phone being delivered. Am relieved.

Had a long chat with her and told her that she has had a lovely fresh start and that this was potentially traceable and could cause her more problems.
She DID acknowledge this and says she wont open any more mail or try anything else.

Also told her to be very cautious regarding the cannabis, reminded her how hard she has worked towards coming off it. Felt like her Mum ....but then she doesn't really have one of those.

So crisis is over for now thankfully.

Exhausted now.....was so worried.

Mumom0 Sat 31-Aug-13 16:24:10

Think carefully about social services involvement , it can end up massively ott whilst completely missing the point, you could end up feeling you are the only one to support her through a load of child protection meetings.

If you think the child is ok it's probably best to leave well alone.

I also wouldn't bother reporting the cannabis factory & phone, tbh the police prob wouldn't do anything about either crimes. I have reported drug related stuff and fraud, the first few times I waited thinking something might happen, perhaps a raid, now I realise they know about loads of activity but don't have resources to deal with it all.

Probably nothing will happen about any of this, she will at some point hit a crisis (again) and will get some help. You could be there for her at that point if she asks?

differentnameforthis Sat 31-Aug-13 15:40:37

If she can't cancel the phone, then she needs to refuse to sign for it, tell the postie that the addressee isn't known at that address (I am assuming it would be in the last tenants name). If this doesn't work, she should immediately phone the supplier & make up some excuse to get it sent back.

If anyone queries it, she can say that she is new tenant, previous ran up huge amounts of debt & she thinks perhaps it was one last ditch attempt by them to get something for nothing (or similar)/they gave wrong address/whatever would get her off the hook.

That way, she (kind of) redeems herself. But I would distance myself too, because if she can do this, she can do anything & she could involve you without you knowing (i.e asking you to look after stuff, but even now, you are involved, aren't you, so she is already trying to drag you down)

RenterNomad Sat 31-Aug-13 13:25:51

She can return the phone within the "cooling off period" allowed for in tbe Distance Selling Regulations act, and might get away with that.

Can you present the phone theft and cannabis as making her life MORE stressful?

JakeBullet Sat 31-Aug-13 12:35:33

Yeah...don't know about needing card details...she just mentioned bank details. The previous tenant is still using the address it seems but unless a new card has arrived (I hope to God not) then I don't see how she has got through a security check either. Odd that.

I wonder if she has set up a new contract with a phone company using the bank details to set up a direct debit.

The one saving grace is that the previous tenant has CCJ's up to the eyeballs by the sounds of things and I have a feeling that the initial order will go through and then fail when it comes to the credit check.....I can but hope.

Anyway have tried to phone her but no reply. Will ring again later.

EBearhug Sat 31-Aug-13 10:40:57

Yes, my new card (on an account I thought had been closed, so I wasn't expecting it) was nicked from the post and no one seemed to question stuff going to an entirely different address until I started getting bills for massive amounts I hadn't spent. It was all sorted in the end, but it was partly the bank's fault. Mostly the thief's, but the bank could have done more to prevent it in the first place.

LadyFlumpalot Sat 31-Aug-13 10:01:42

We didn't open it but you can tell from the envelope usually.

LadyFlumpalot Sat 31-Aug-13 09:59:13

It is possible that the bank has sent a new card, the old one may have expired. In which case the bank will have supplied everything the new tenant needs. The laat tenants here didn't change any addresses for years and we got all manner of official bank stuff through for them.

Pudcat makes an extremely good point.

pudcat Sat 31-Aug-13 09:42:47

The bank details didn't include the card details etc, just account and sort code.
Are you sure your friend is telling the truth about getting the phone? These details are ok for setting up a direct debit, but a one off purchase don't you usually need the security code on back of debit card.

Most phones or similar purchases have a statutory cooling-off period, don't they? Perhaps if you could impress upon her just how traceable this transaction will be, she'll cancel it now and might just get away with it. The fear of getting caught will almost certainly be the only thing that'll motivate her to do the right thing.

JakeBullet Sat 31-Aug-13 09:28:47

No, not keen on this new partner as he is an abusive and controlling arse. However she now lives 35 miles away from him ....I am so pleased.

I suspect that she and I might drift apart in the future anyway now she is so far away.

New partner can now only get there at weekends as he is in work all week.

catinabox Sat 31-Aug-13 09:21:51

Police then was your hands of the deadbeat

Oh my gosh!! I can't believe how harsh that is ^^ NeedaWee

ZillionChocolate Sat 31-Aug-13 09:19:05

Oops, misread about current partner. If he's letting her do all that, he can't be too great.

NeedaWee Sat 31-Aug-13 09:18:07

Police then was your hands of the deadbeat

ZillionChocolate Sat 31-Aug-13 09:17:57

Big cannabis growing set ups give off a lot of heat and smell. If you sent the police to the right bit of the street they could probably identify the house. People often dangerously bypass their electricity meter (hydroponics are power hungry), so I wouldn't feel safe living next door to one.

I think you should report to SS that you have concerns for her DD. The drug use/theft/return of ex are all very worrying behaviour.

catinabox Sat 31-Aug-13 09:13:58

She doesn''t sound at all equipped to put boundaries around herself and other people OP. If she has been abused as a child this is not surprising.

I hope she listens to you OP, you sound like a really good friend.

Do you thing this new partner might be someone who is bad for her? It sounds like she is on a bit of a downward spiral at the moment.

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