mom is losing hair over money problems

Hi forum,
A bit of a background may be necessary to explain the situation my 51 year old mother is in right now, so bare with me!

My mother raised me and my sister by herself, working multiple jobs until we were of working ages (I'm 36 months older than my sister). My dad left when I was 6 and I don't have any memories of him being part of the family setup. It was always me, mom and sister. We always struggled for money and she would often not eat so that we could. She is completely selfless and is the sweetest person I know. You would think that having this upbringing would have moulded me and my sister into a similar type of person. That is only half true. I'm a very frugal man because of my mom. I'm not materialistic and could (indeed have) live out of just a rucksack. As a child I quickly realised the stress raising two young children had on a single parent; and as a direct result I never asked for any birthday or Christmas presents from aged 11 upwards - an idea that shocked a lot of school friends.
My sister on the other hand went the complete opposite way. She never looked for a job after school, instead fell pregnant, and has since perfectly timed three pregnancies to perfection with three different men and now sits back and gets all the literal benefits. She has stolen in the past. Taken out fraudulent catalogue orders in false names and kept the goods. Taken birthday money and used it for herself when given as gifts to her children... etc ad infinitum.

13 years ago my mom met a man and fell in love, after two years of being in a relationship with him they were engaged; I was happy for her. She sold her house - the house she raised us in - and moved down south to live with her new fianc!. The plan was to sell his house ASAP, pool the money from both sales, and buy a bigger house in our hometown (he had agreed on this destination too). After 3 years of being on the market there was still no sign of selling and my mom reached a tipping point... she could either get a part time job to ease the outgoing flow of savings or hope that it would sell soon. My mom hated this town and she hoped for a sale. I think she felt that getting a job was tantamount to giving up on the dream, and as a family we have had a lot of bad luck.
After 3 years became 5 and she was now reconciled to living there. I noticed a decline in her over this period, as if she had lost something and it wasn't nice. After 8 years they seperated - he had cheated on her multiple times while he was away driving lorries and he had manipulated her into not looking for a job - he even bought a dog so that she had more of a reason to be housebound.
She moved back to our hometown last year. All of her savings had been eaten up and she was penniless. I helped her out with money and food but now I no longer live near her to help as much as I'd like. She turned 50 last year and is in a worse position than she was in 10 years ago.

Enter my sister.

As you know my sister is a horrible, greedy and manipulative person and she takes advantage of my mom whenever possible. My mom is soft and often a walkover and earlier this year I was informed on something my sister had done to my mom. Incidentally not for the first time; she has in the past stole and pawned my moms wedding rings and jewellery - which was subsequently sold. She has opened accounts in my moms name which got my mom blacklisted too.

My sister had an idea to take advantage of all the iphone and ipad craze. She advertized iphones and ipads on ebay - asking to use my moms account because she has been barred. My mom agreed not knowing the full extent of things to come. She then sold 30-40 ipods on her account, generating around £8000-£10000 which went into my moms paypal account. My sister then ordered dodgy looking "iphones" and "ipads" from Asia with the cash as well as spending about £3000 on a car, clothes etc.
Paypal, seeing this influx of cash immediately suspend my moms account pending a review. My mom, not knowing what was happening contacted my sister to ask what happened. My sister gave some reassuring !!!!-and-bull story to appease my mom who due to past experiences is a complete worrier and stresshead (the result of living on the breadline for most of your life).
I can imagine my sister told my mom something like "I'll give you £500 if i can use your account, ive found some cheap iphones that are selling at half the price, we could make a lot of money". My mom, being desperate for money probably agreed but with limited involvement. This is a woman who when she broke her ribs walked 4 miles to the hospital because she didn't have £5 for a taxi... I can understand, from growing up with her - that any money for free would be to good to refuse.

Anyway, a day later - paypal refund all the ebay buyers, but my moms account is now £2700 in debt, because of my quick acting sister - who bought £2700 worth of stuff before paypal could assess the activity (something tells me she knew exactly what she was doing).
This was about 10 weeks ago. I'm by no means rich but I helped my mom out with some cash because she is really struggling to survive at the moment. I found out today that paypal have sent her a threatening letter demaning the money. My mom is really worried about this and losing hair and sleep over it. I hate seeing her this way while my sister lives in luxury. I'm concerned for her health and think she'll have a breakdown soon - I'm surprised that she hasn't already.

Is there anything I can do to help? Legally what roads are available?

Comments

  • Hi forum,
    A bit of a background may be necessary to explain the situation my 51 year old mother is in right now, so bare with me!

    My mother raised me and my sister by herself, working multiple jobs until we were of working ages (I'm 36 months older than my sister). My dad left when I was 6 and I don't have any memories of him being part of the family setup. It was always me, mom and sister. We always struggled for money and she would often not eat so that we could. She is completely selfless and is the sweetest person I know. You would think that having this upbringing would have moulded me and my sister into a similar type of person. That is only half true. I'm a very frugal man because of my mom. I'm not materialistic and could (indeed have) live out of just a rucksack. As a child I quickly realised the stress raising two young children had on a single parent; and as a direct result I never asked for any birthday or Christmas presents from aged 11 upwards - an idea that shocked a lot of school friends.
    My sister on the other hand went the complete opposite way. She never looked for a job after school, instead fell pregnant, and has since perfectly timed three pregnancies to perfection with three different men and now sits back and gets all the literal benefits. She has stolen in the past. Taken out fraudulent catalogue orders in false names and kept the goods. Taken birthday money and used it for herself when given as gifts to her children... etc ad infinitum.

    13 years ago my mom met a man and fell in love, after two years of being in a relationship with him they were engaged; I was happy for her. She sold her house - the house she raised us in - and moved down south to live with her new fianc!. The plan was to sell his house ASAP, pool the money from both sales, and buy a bigger house in our hometown (he had agreed on this destination too). After 3 years of being on the market there was still no sign of selling and my mom reached a tipping point... she could either get a part time job to ease the outgoing flow of savings or hope that it would sell soon. My mom hated this town and she hoped for a sale. I think she felt that getting a job was tantamount to giving up on the dream, and as a family we have had a lot of bad luck.
    After 3 years became 5 and she was now reconciled to living there. I noticed a decline in her over this period, as if she had lost something and it wasn't nice. After 8 years they seperated - he had cheated on her multiple times while he was away driving lorries and he had manipulated her into not looking for a job - he even bought a dog so that she had more of a reason to be housebound.
    She moved back to our hometown last year. All of her savings had been eaten up and she was penniless. I helped her out with money and food but now I no longer live near her to help as much as I'd like. She turned 50 last year and is in a worse position than she was in 10 years ago.

    Enter my sister.

    As you know my sister is a horrible, greedy and manipulative person and she takes advantage of my mom whenever possible. My mom is soft and often a walkover and earlier this year I was informed on something my sister had done to my mom. Incidentally not for the first time; she has in the past stole and pawned my moms wedding rings and jewellery - which was subsequently sold. She has opened accounts in my moms name which got my mom blacklisted too.

    My sister had an idea to take advantage of all the iphone and ipad craze. She advertized iphones and ipads on ebay - asking to use my moms account because she has been barred. My mom agreed not knowing the full extent of things to come. She then sold 30-40 ipods on her account, generating around £8000-£10000 which went into my moms paypal account. My sister then ordered dodgy looking "iphones" and "ipads" from Asia with the cash as well as spending about £3000 on a car, clothes etc.
    Paypal, seeing this influx of cash immediately suspend my moms account pending a review. My mom, not knowing what was happening contacted my sister to ask what happened. My sister gave some reassuring !!!!-and-bull story to appease my mom who due to past experiences is a complete worrier and stresshead (the result of living on the breadline for most of your life).
    I can imagine my sister told my mom something like "I'll give you £500 if i can use your account, ive found some cheap iphones that are selling at half the price, we could make a lot of money". My mom, being desperate for money probably agreed but with limited involvement. This is a woman who when she broke her ribs walked 4 miles to the hospital because she didn't have £5 for a taxi... I can understand, from growing up with her - that any money for free would be to good to refuse.

    Anyway, a day later - paypal refund all the ebay buyers, but my moms account is now £2700 in debt, because of my quick acting sister - who bought £2700 worth of stuff before paypal could assess the activity (something tells me she knew exactly what she was doing).
    This was about 10 weeks ago. I'm by no means rich but I helped my mom out with some cash because she is really struggling to survive at the moment. I found out today that paypal have sent her a threatening letter demaning the money. My mom is really worried about this and losing hair and sleep over it. I hate seeing her this way while my sister lives in luxury. I'm concerned for her health and think she'll have a breakdown soon - I'm surprised that she hasn't already.

    Is there anything I can do to help? Legally what roads are available?

    Have you asked your sister for the money?
    Be happy, it's the greatest wealth :)
  • I'm not in contact with my sister. I disowned her for all the bad things she has done to people. Knowing my sister, she doesn't have the money. She lives outside of her means and takes advantage of the credit culture.
  • Your Mum needs to report it to the police and then get the crime number and give it to paypal.They are insured aganst fraud and theft.
    Can you not have a very stern word with your sister?
  • Your Mum needs to report it to the police and then get the crime number and give it to paypal.They are insured aganst fraud and theft.
    Can you not have a very stern word with your sister?

    Surely if her mother agreed to the sister using her Paypal account, she's involved in the fraud as well. It will be against Paypal's T&C to let someone else use her account.

    Your mother is liable for the debt but if she has no assets and very low income there's not much Paypal can do to get the money back, is there? If she was reported for theft/fraud by Paypal that would be more serious - I don't know if they do that though. She should contact one of the debt charities e.g. CCCS for advice, or CAB might be useful.

    It might be worth posting the basic info about what your sister has done on the Ebay board as there are a lot of knowledgeable posters there.

    PS Your sister sounds like really bad news. Can you get your mother to steer clear of her?
  • DCFC79
    DCFC79 Posts: 40,598 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Hope you somehow get it sorted OP, its a shame your own flesh and blood has gone to these lengths to do this and especially your mum too.
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