A Scam Mail Victim’s Story
July 18, 2016 1 Comment
The family of a Suffolk scam mail victim have given their consent for us to provide you with the information below.
In September 2014 Suffolk Trading Standards received an urgent referral from the National Scams Team, who had identified a Suffolk resident, Mrs W, who’s name appeared on a scammers hit list.
Trading Standards officer’s visited Mrs W and were shocked to find 1000’s of pieces of mail in her home.
The volume of mail in the property had created a fire hazard. So much had been received that it prevented them from using some of the rooms in their home. The scam mail had taken over and consumed the couple’s life, preventing them from going out.
Mrs W was targeted, groomed, befriended and conned by many criminal scammers, many of whom were clairvoyants. Below is an example of a letter Mrs W received, along with a poignant letter Mrs W wrote in response.
It was estimated that Mrs W had collected over 5000 pieces of scam mail, received around 20 pieces of scam mail per day, and lost over £10,000 to mail scammers.
It was soon established that Mrs W and her husband were also being targeted by cold callers at the door and on the phone.
Suffolk Trading Standards were able to build a rapport with the couple, gain their trust and with their agreement remove some “sample scam mail” from their home.
After a second visit to her home, Mrs W was able to acknowledge that the letters she had received were scams and agreed for further samples to be removed. A TrueCall phone blocking device was installed by Trading Standards to stop all unwanted cold calls.
During a third and forth visit with our Adult Community Services colleagues, more scam mail was removed from the property. Contact was made with family who then worked with us to remove all scam mail.
Since our intervention, Mrs W has been diagnosed with vascular dementia.