Elderly woman loses thousands in scams

Piles of scam mail sent to a 93-year-old woman targeted by fraudsters and (below) Coun Gillian Campbell, cabinet member for public protection.
Piles of scam mail sent to a 93-year-old woman targeted by fraudsters and (below) Coun Gillian Campbell, cabinet member for public protection.
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An elderly woman was scammed out of thousands of pounds after being targeted by fraudsters.

The 93-year-old woman was left with piles of scam mail and bogus packages in her home, including false lottery cheques, appeals from fake charities, bogus investment opportunities and letters from clairvoyants.

Coun Gillian Campbell

Coun Gillian Campbell

Her worried daughter called Blackpool Council’s Trading Standards team after finding the piles of letters in her mother’s Marton home.

The woman had sent off a number of cheques to companies targeting her.

Now people are being warned to be wary of scam mail addressed to residents personally in order to look genuine.

Coun Gillian Campbell, cabinet member for public protection, said: “We will continue to warn elderly consumers against the dangers of engaging with scam mail in the hope of reducing incidents like this.

“This case is just one example of a resident not recognising the difference with scam mail and its dangers.”

Trading Standards have also warned how fraudsters can circulate addresses of vulnerable residents to other scammers.

Coun Campbell added: “Scam mail and phone calls to vulnerable residents cause significant risk.

“In this case, the sheer volume of mail was shocking and the woman has sent off cheque after cheque to pay for fake invoices or in hope of receiving her ‘winnings’.

“It is a sad fact once these fraudsters have a victim who has sent them money, they will often sell their contact details to others to create a so-called ‘suckers list’.”

For information or advice, contact the Trading Standards advice team on (01253) 478375.

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