Spot the signs of financial abuse - video transcript

On a warm and nice day, Jim, a recent widower, is at home in his bungalow. The bungalow is in good condition and has a spacious garden which is well maintained but in need of a tidy.

Sitting at the kitchen table with his laptop, Jim is video chatting with his daughter, Abby.

Jim: You got back to America ok then?

Abby: Yeah, the flight was fine. I'm sorry I couldn't stay longer after the funeral but with the kids at school and...

Jim: It's alright love, hopefully I'll be over to see you soon, when the insurance company money comes in.

[Abby is concerned]

Abby: You're doing ok though aren't you dad?

Jim: Fine! I'm keeping busy keeping the garden tidy. You know how I let things go when your mother got ill and I've got Deirdre.

[Deirdre leans over Jim's chair and smiles at Abby]

Jim: She's supposed to be a home help. More of a hindrance if you ask me.

[Deirdre and Jim chuckle together].

Later, Jim is saying goodbye to Deirdre at the front door as she leaves for the day: A man watches them from a van

[Title card] They pick their target

Jim is in the garden tending to some flower beds. He is kneeling and facing away from the main gate, so cannot see the man from the van approaching him.

Man: Sorry to bother ya.

[Jim turns around and sees the man looming over him]

Man: I was just doing a bit of work in the area and I noticed that your garden could do with a bit of a spruce up. I could do it for you, no bother.

[Jim is startled]

Jim: Well I don't know...

Man: It's a really nice house, it would be a shame to see it getting shabby. First impressions are everything and all that if you ever think about selling.

Jim: No I think i'm good.

Man: Ok, maybe next time yeah?

[The man leaves]

[Title card] They appear professional and friendly.

Jim is walking along the street carrying two heavy bags of shopping. He is almost home.

The man pulls up alongside him in the van.

Man: Alright there mate! Do you want a hand with those?

[Jim smiles]

Jim: That's very kind. I maybe could've done with you about half a mile back. But I just live up there [Jim gestures up the road] so thanks anyway.

The man waves as Jim walks away.

[Title card] They befriend their target

Jim is kneeling in the garden again with his back to the main gate. The man walks into the garden uninvited.

Man: Hi again!

[Jim turns around startled].

Man: I've just finished a job a few streets down there

[The man gestures behind him].

Got a bit of spare time on me hands, how about I give you a hand with the garden?

[Jim stands up]

Jim: Well...

Man: I've got my tools in the van and I can start right away if that's alright with you, and i'll give you my best price.

Jim: Well... how long would it take?

Man: About half a day - a day tops.

Jim: Okay, just for a day.

[They shake hands]

[Title card] It starts as a small job

The man is working in the garden, we see him carrying rubble away in a wheelbarrow, raking leaves and having a cup of tea with Jim.

Later, Jim hands over a large pile of bank notes.

[Title card] They identify extra, unnecessary work

[The man is being assertive with Jim]

Man: You're going to need to get that fixed.

[The man points to the house]

man: That looks dangerous. That could hurt somebody.

[Jim looks worried]

Jim: Okay I, err, I guess so. I'll need a quote though.

Man: Alright no problem, leave that to me.

[Title card] More and more money is handed over

A neighbour has been watching the conversation from over the fence: The man walks over to him.

[Jim's neighbour looks concerned]

Neighbour: Looks like Jim's got you working hard.

Man: Yeah the place is looking alright isn't it?

[The neighbour looks around to try and see what has been improved]

Neighbour: Yeah. Yeah it'll be good to have some life back in the place. Poor Jim's been having a tough time lately.

[Title card] They are only interested in the victim's money

Jim and the man are standing outside the house. The man is counting a large pile of bank notes that Jim has just handed over.

Jim: You know you haven't finished the garden yet?

[The man is counting money]

Man: I think that other job is more important don't you.

[Jim is unconfident]

Jim: I suppose. But look i'm trying to keep track of the payments. I've asked three times for that invoice and I still haven't seen it.

[The man is still counting money]

Man: Yeah you're right Jim, i've been up to my eyes. I'll get it to you as soon as I can.

[The man puts the cash in pocket and walks away without looking at Jim]

Man: Don't worry, it's all fine.

[Title card] They cause fear and distress

A booted foot holds a door open. It is Jim's door and the man's boot.

The man stops Jim from closing his door as he leans in the house .

[The man is being aggressive]

Man: Jim, this work needs to be done mate! I'm just looking out for you pal.

[Jim hides behind the door]

Jim: It's just that it's getting a bit pricey. I'm on a fixed income. I need to keep my savings to see my daughter in America.

Man: I know mate but for me it's the price of materials, the list of problems we didn't see at the start. Look don't think about the cost, think about the value you're adding. With the state that it's in at the moment you'll get pennies for it. What would you leave your kids then?

[Title card] They leave victims isolated and lonely

Jim has been driven to his bank by the man; they are parked outside in a van.

Jim: Last time I went in they asked me what the money is for.

Man: Use the cash machine, that's what it's there for and if it blocks your card go inside and tell them it's for personal use.

[The man points aggressively at Jim]

Man: Don't tell them it's for building work alright!

[Jim doesn't move]

Man: Go on then!

Jim leaves the van and walks to the cash machine. He withdraws a large amount of money and gives it to the man who then drives off, leaving Jim on the street.

[Title card] They become threatening and aggressive.

Sitting in his front room, Jim looks unwell: He's clearly agitated, tired and cold. He is on the phone with the man.

Man: Pay me my money Jim! Don't make me take you to court Jim. Pay me my money! Do you understand Jim?! You owe me!

Later, Jim goes to the doctors looking sad and weak. He is prescribed some medication but at home he trembles so much he struggles to open the bottle.

He video chats with Abby.

Abby: When are you coming over dad?

Jim: I don't know love. Money's a bit tight at the moment and I need to supervise the work that's being done.

[Abby is surprised]

Abby: What work is that dad?

Jim: Just some minor improvements.

[Abby is concerned]

Abby: Dad, you know you can talk to me if anything's wrong yes?

Jim: Just leave it

Abby: Dad...

Jim: Just leave it

[Jim closes the laptop]

[Title card] Doorstep criminals target vulnerable people

Jim sits alone in his front room during the night. The man appears at the window: He aggressively and loudly bangs his fist on the door continually.

Man: Jim! Open the door Jim! open the door Jim! I know you're in Jim. I want my money Jim! I want my money open the door!

[Jim hides behind the sofa. He is terrified]

Man: Open the door Jim! Come on, come on Jim! Open the door!

[Jim covers his ears and shakes]

Man: I know you can hear me Jim, I know you can hear me.

[Jim breaks down in fear and cries into his hands]

Man: Open the door Jim! Open the door!

In a series of images, the man counts a large pile of Jim's money,  Jim struggles to take his medication and the man forces him to hand over more money.

Jim's daughter Abby, his neighbour, home-help and doctor all look directly into the camera before Jim does the same.

We see Jim sitting in a darkened care-home alone. He is shaking with anxiety.

[Title card] Victims may be targeted by other criminals impersonating police or Trading Standards Officers. Victims are 2.5 times more likely to end up in care or worse. Would you spot the signs?

The man uses a smartphone to check death notices online. Jim is listed as having recently died following a short illness.

[Title card] Doorstep crime is financial abuse. Protect the vulnerable. If a crime is in progress call the police on 999. To report a crime call the police on 101. For further advice contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

[Logos of supporting organisations] Oxfordshire County Council, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Medway Council, Kent Trading Standards, Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Public Protection Partnership, Greater Manchester Police, Slough Borough Council.