Tighter Controls Needed On Scam Mail

Carers and care-home staff are made aware of scammers targeting vulnerable people as 26 boxes of scam mail are discovered.

Plymouth City Council's Trading Standards service was recently contacted by Plymouth resident, Mrs Cooper after she discovered vast amounts of scam mail which belonged to her uncle who passed away in 2008.

26 boxes of scam mail were found at the residential home where Mrs Cooper's uncle was living.

Each box contained thousands of pieces of mail asking for money, to which he appears to have replied. On a number of envelopes the uncle had printed how much money was sent and on what date.

Some of the 26 boxes of letters found

The scam letters included clairvoyants, prize draw letters, astrologers and letters from organisations of which the uncle was a member. Some of the mailings were repeatedly sent.

Mrs Cooper's uncle died owing £13,500 in debts but the overall amount spent on the scams is incalculable.

Officers from trading standards had never seen so much scam mail before from one person.

Mrs Cooper said: "It's been a nightmare; I knew nothing of the scam mail until my uncle passed away. The bank asked me to be executor and it was as a result of that I found all the boxes of mail. I was horrified to discover how much money had been paid to these scammers."

If anyone has lost money in a scam then they are advised to contact Action Fraud on 0300 1232040 or via www.actionfraud.org.uk

General consumer advice is provided by Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 or via www.direct.gov.uk