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Hello,


I have some very serious concerns about some friendships my parents have developed in the past few years and one of the friends has seriously crossed the line with me, asking very inappropriate medical questions about my parents, etc. This recent behavior has been very concerning for me and I'm starting to connect some dots and I'm seeing a whole lot of red flags that indicate grooming of vulnerable adults. If I speak to my mom about my concerns and setting some basic boundaries, my mom turns on me and I am the bad guy (she has early stages of dementia).


I'm in communication with our Elder Law Attorney. And I am seeking advice from a social worker about how to set healthy boundaries.


I want to do a background check on this particular friend and her family. I've run across websites that claim to do background checks, but I've never used one. I'm curious if anyone here has any experience with a good service for background checks?



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I am going through the same thing. After a very inappropriate event, I started searching and hit paydirt! Felony convictions for theft, forgery, drugs. I found mugshots too (www.bailbondsearch.com)! I did most of the searching myself on the county website for case histories (criminal and civil) and county sheriff's website. I also paid to use instant checkmate but it didn't reveal anything I hadn't already found by myself.
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dafodil Dec 31, 2019
I'm sorry you are going through the same thing. It really stinks. It's enough having to take care of our parents, but then people trying to take advantage of them too.

I've tried looking at the county courthouse but no luck. The hard part is that I don't know if this person has a criminal history somewhere else.

thanks so much for sharing your experience. best wishes!
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Trust your instincts. Your gut is warning you. Do the research. Take appropriate actions.

Weird things come up in our lives. I had a neighbor once who kept asking if he could have his mail sent to my house. My antenna went up. I just felt like something was off but I thought, okay, I will bite. So, I just asked him why did he need his mail sent to my house.

He came up with a BS story about wanting to surprise his wife with a special gift and he couldn’t risk her finding out about it in the mail. He claimed it was correspondence about her gift. I just didn’t trust this guy. I told him no that I would not allow him to use my address to receive his mail. He never discussed it with me anymore.

A few months later another neighbor told me that she had bought his story and allowed mail addressed to him to be sent to her house. It was mail from a woman.

This guy was married. He was having an affair on his wife. He had this double life going on, had children with this other woman and everything.

My neighbor got curious about the mail and opened it. She shouldn’t have opened his mail but she did. She confessed to opening his mail. He got furious but she was holding the cards because she could take it to his wife. She put a stop to him using her address for his secret love life.

People do dumb things. I wondered why he didn’t just use a post office box. This is how people get caught. They are stupid.

Stay on top of things. Have you decided what you will do? Will you tell your mom who may or may not believe you about these so called friends or will you confront them yourself? Awkward...

Tough situation...but you are wise to protect your family.
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Myownlife Jan 2, 2020
It can also establish residency at your home, and at some point down the line could make a claim to your home.
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If you decide to do checks on these people, I would explore using a licensed private investigator. Your attorney may be able to provide a referral. To me, it's worth their fee.
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You do know that a background check doesn’t predict the future and it doesn’t reveal anything the person hasn’t been convicted of? I personally wouldn’t waste money on an internet background check. Almost all of the information they provide can be obtained for free if you do the work yourself.
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Cali,

I appreciate your husband being ethical. I have seen it go both ways. I am sure that you have too. I know officers that do periodically run names. Dumb in my opinion. It is risking your job. Not to mention, it’s a shady thing to do.

I even know a person who works in the credit department of a large company and runs credit checks on people because she is nosey! Now that is really a crappy thing to do.

It will catch up to her. How did I find out? She offered to run a check for me on a guy that my daughter was dating. I politely declined.
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Can you elaborate on what this friend has done? You can always say that you cant discuss moms medical issues with her. Then change subject. It's not up for discussion.
Can you get the bills sent to you? Lock down the money accounts. Do your parents have access to money, credit cards, bank accounts? Can you get POA and keep on top of the spending so your mom isnt giving gifts/cash etc. Store items of value somewhere. Not where mom can give them away. Keep popping in at random times.
You have to keep on top of this. There are a lot of people who would take advantage of a vulnerable person. This happened to my great grandmother. A guy showed up and tried to be her bf. He wanted her to sell her home and move to florida so he could buy a boat. He didnt care anything about her. My mom was so worried he would dump her in florida and take off in the boat. Luckily my great grandmother didnt do it. And she was of sound mind. Very scary.
Definitely talk to the lawyer. Good luck. Stay on top of it.
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Reply to Jasmina
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No need to pay any website to do a background check. The things that are most apropos, criminal or civil court activity, is a matter of public record. Just go to your local court website and do a search there.
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Myownlife Jan 2, 2020
You could also find out where they have lived in the past... just a simple conversation, of have you always lived here, where do you come from...
and then check those county public records.
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Oy. This would be different if the person was/is hired; there would be a legitimate reason then to ask and have them sign a consent so you could get a true criminal background report. There are two kinds, BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigation) which is state, and FBI which is federal/across the country...and as someone said, nothing can predict the future behaviors. If you want to do something online, it still may not show up. Or you could have someone with the same name...you might do better if you have a birth date to narrow things down. Google the person's name. You can also google for "best internet or online background check" if you want to spend some $$. Are your parents in an assisted living? You might want to talk to administrators/staff if anyone is trustworthy to share your concerns and keep an eye out. I have a friend who had a wealthy aunt out of state and it was a dreadful situation, something similar to what you're describing. Lastly, and perhaps the best advice: you might want to touch base with the local police dept, for guidance and to just document your concerns. You can also give a heads up to the MD's your folks see, in case this friend becomes an "escort." Glad you are in touch with an attorney.
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Dafodil, how have your parents met these people?    In reading the responses thus far, "neighbors" were mentioned, so I'm wondering if these people are close, as in w/I walking distance, or are your parents meeting them through organizations or other entities or activities?

If through senior centers, you could raise your concerns with the management, as perhaps other families have shared similar issues. 

In the last few years there were a number of threads here on this potential elder abuse, one of which arose from a woman who cultivated men at senior centers.    That's kind of like "shooting fish in a barrel" - it's a "target rich" environment for predators.

I agree with those who advise against Internet background checks.  Unless you do a very thorough research on the company, its corporate structure, people involved, and more, you really can't rely on the data they produce.    And I'm assuming they gather it from public records, which anyone can do on their own.

Law enforcement entities have access to much more, so I would go that route, also providing them with examples of how your concerns developed so they realize you're concerned about elder abuse.

Law enforcement could also determine if these people are using aliases, and/or if similar behavior has occurred in other jurisdictions. 

If they can't be of assistance, you might ask if they could recommend a private investigator.  

In the meantime, check local court records for any lawsuits against them.  Check with your state's prison record to determine if any have had served time.   Michigan has a good and helpful site to check prison records, with a list of past and current charges as well as aliases.
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worriedinCali Jan 2, 2020
I can only speak for my state but law enforcement in CA wouldn’t be of any help to the OP. They wouldn’t disclose anything. They wouldn’t investigate the people. Not unless actual crimes were being committed & even then they would limit the information given to the OP. I suppose Jf you had a friend in LE willing to risk their job, they could look up some information for you. My husband has been asked to do “background checks” by friends family who thought someone was suspicious & he refuses to do it because he’s not allowed to just run names.
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You could check your state's records.
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