Scam Mail Reminder

Most people can’t understand how people fall victim to scam mail, but in many cases the chronic victims are overly trusting, some are socially isolated, or suffering from mental health issues / dementia.  In some cases the victims become “addicted” to the scam mail, as they fear they are missing out on a prize or are afraid of bad things happening to them if they don’t respond.

stacked mailThe main scams are:

  • You have won the lottery, sweepstake or competition – even though you haven’t entered one.
  • Money is being held by a holding company – just needing you to send cash or a cheque to get it released.
  • You have been left an inheritance – but you need to pay an admin fee.
  • Secret deals that will make you rich – and don’t tell anyone.

The most worrying are those from “clairvoyants” or “mediums” that threaten you will be cursed or you’ll receive bad luck if you don’t pay for a talisman to keep you safe.

This was the case for Jessica who didn’t believe her family when they told her that she had responded to a scam letter, which had looked like an official document. For over 5 years Jessica continued to send money to these scams and was using all of her pension to respond to the scammers demands.

Once you respond to a scam letter and send off any money, you are added to a “suckers list” which is sold on to other scammers. In some cases victims can be receiving 30 or 40 letters a day and around £3.5 billion is ‘scammed’ from UK consumers a year.

The Post Office is legally obliged to deliver all addressed mail therefore they cannot intercept an individual’s mail, unless a family member holds power of attorney over their affairs. Therefore we are urging people to keep an eye on their vulnerable relatives and neighbours. Are they receiving a large amount of post? Are they having lots of packages delivered?  Are they visiting the post office more regularly – to send money orders or cheques off?

If you are concerned, contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06 for more help and advice. If you want to decrease the amount of junk mail you are receiving you can sign up to the Mail Preference Service on 0845 703 4599.

For more information about Jessica and how scam mail affected her and her family, go to http://www.thinkjessica.com where you can find out more if someone you’re close to has been taken in by scam mail

About suffolktradingstandards
Suffolk Trading Standards is working towards creating and fair and safe trading environment. By creating empowered consumers, that are armed with the knowledge to stop 'rogue traders'.

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