A close shave or let's not get taken to the cleaners!

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18 Dec 2017 22:30 by gazzerb Star rating in Malaga/Winchester. 34 posts Send private message

This is not a tale of woe but it's more of a heads up on what can quickly lead to a disasterous situation.

No names mentioned.

A friend of mine was waiting on a hospital operation that would render him bed ridden/house bound for a couple of months.

In order to make sure he had help on hand he asked an aquaintance for help on an "as needed" basis. He declined but offered to make a call to another who could help. That person agreed to help.

Arrangements were made to visit at least twice a week. Shopping trips were also part of the deal as well as dog sitting. In order to pay for this my friend offered the only solution of handing over his debit card and PIN number. The proviso was for authorised purchases of shopping, the carers fee per week and some fuel for the carers vehicle in connection with travel.

During this time the carer's vehicle had to go for service so requested to "borrow" my friends car. As my friend couldn't drive, he thought it made sense. Whilst the carer had the vehicle, after 3 days, in the carer's opinion the brakes were faulty and took it to a garage for assessment. The estimated repair nearly 400€. Without any hesitation it was repaired and paid for on my friends debit card. (Pont 1: Why was my friend not consulted before authorising the work? Point2: Why did the carer not return the car after 1 day when the carer's car was back available to use?)

As my friend has cancer, whilst in hospital he was visited by a representative of Cudeca. Left a number for him to call should he need home help once dicharged. once discharged, he called them twice for help which they were willing to give and prompt, free of charge. When the carer got to hear of this there was an exchange of views warning that they (Cudeca) will demand money from you! Not true!

Some days later a representative from the local council and a Police officer visited. As my friend lives alone, in the middle of nowhere and is nearly 80, they came to assess his needs. He can't speak Spanish, they spoke no English. They went and I have no idea what the situation is. Once again the carer was informed and a more heated discussion ensued, "They'll have all your money you know, put you in a home, sell your house!" Frightening tactics and terrorising my friend who could not move about his own house..luckilly no stairs. Spent most nights asleep on the sofa.

I made a routine call and he told me this tale. I went to see him the next day. The carer was also due that day but said would come the following day so as not to interrupt my visit. 

On the day, I asked where the car was. "Still got it and as there was a further fault, back in the garage!" I asked "Were your asked permission for this?" "No" came the reply. "How long has it been gone?" "3 weeks!". So much for a 1 day service. I advised him to be stern and insist the car was brought back immediately, repaired or not.

The following day the carer came back (in own car not my friends). My friend asked for his car, with that the carer spat out the dummy and the carer stormed off. Just over an hour later his car was returned. The carer threw his keys at him and his debit card and then the carer was gone.

Left in the lurch and only able to move now with a wheely frame, half a step at a time.

I went back over the following day and encouraged him to check his online banking. He was very nervous about doing so. To his delight he had not been cleaned out. However many unexplained transactions and cash amounts for care had been taken even on the previous day. Without in depth investigation I couldn't tell whether the carer was paid in advance or arrears.

I have made alternative local arrangements for my friend with people he knows. I live 50 mins away so not ideal for me to help as such but will if no one else can.

So my friend has undergone a serious operation and been subject to intimidating "care" by an unscrupulous person.

I cannot acuse the carer of theft but few receipts were provided for purchases (e.g. 50€ receipt from Lidl may have been 35€ of his stuff and 15€ of the carers), yet he paid the lot.

This carer works for others, cash, so is on a good screw.

I said to my friend "You're the sort of person who is a tale of woe on daytime TV" "Vulnerable disabled pensioner robbed of savings!!" He felt ashamed and inadequate but he was a desperate lonely old man who was forced into an emergency situation.

So please, if you are still with me here, spare a thought for the oldies amongst you, especially singles, check up on them but have morals and dignity not to rob them.

Merry Christmas


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