Hope of £20k scam victim

06:30 30 April 2014

One of the most common scams tells the victim they have won a cash prize and that a small

One of the most common scams tells the victim they have won a cash prize and that a small 'administration fee' must be paid to claim it


A pensioner in her 90s who was duped out of more than £20,000 by fraudsters promising cash prizes was hoping to win big so she could gift the money to her family, her daughter has said.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect her mother, has spoken out after she read in the Herald the story of a family who had suffered a similar experience.

She said her mum, a Sidmouth resident, has lost thousands of pounds to post and phone scams over the past five years, and was receiving hundreds of pieces of scam mail every month.

One of the most common cons promises the victim they have won a large cash prize, and that a small fee is required to cover administration costs before the winnings can be paid.

The daughter said: “Every time I visited her there were piles of this tat mail, which I removed, but I’m not there all the time.

“I explained it was a scam but she kept saying ‘it’s my money, it’s up to me and I know I’m going to win something’.

“She’s just a trusting person - if someone posts her something saying she’s a winner, she believes it.”

“And when I asked her why she kept wasting her money chasing these prizes, she said ‘I want to win it for you or the grandchildren’. It was heartbreaking really.”

After half a decade of sending money to fraudsters from all over the globe, she agreed to let her daughter take control of some of her finances.

“I think she has now stopped but she still can’t believe that these people are not going to send her a fat winning cheque,” the daughter added. “It is really terrible the way that these elderly people are targeted and there seems to be no way to stop it.”

The national ‘Think Jessica’ campaign aims to raise awareness about scam mail to help protect elderly and vulnerable people from fraudsters.

Its founder, Marilyn Baldwin OBE, set up the campaign after her mother lost thousands of pounds to scammers. She said that last year in the UK £3.5billion was reported lost to mass marketing fraud - but the actual figure was likely much higher than that because many people do not report it.

“If people don’t report it, less can be done about it,” added Mrs Baldwin. “And if we can raise more awareness of these scams, the less people are likely to fall foul of them.”

“And if people contact Think Jessica, we can put them in touch with their local trading standards officer.”

Anyone who receives scam mail can report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sidmouth Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sidmouth Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sidmouth Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

Manor Road Car Park

Residents who have been blighted by nuisance boy racers hope they are close to a permanent solution after they received the backing of Sidmouth’s police sergeant.

Read more
Sidmouth In Bloom's Toad of Toad Hall was pulled out of its boat and damaged by vandals.

A town centre park is to close during the evenings in a bid to reduce vandalism.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:43
Sidmouth team set for Crufts

An unwanted puppy proved pedigree isn’t everything as his ‘superstar’ quality earned him a place competing in a prestigious international show.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:32
Sidmouth's beach huts. Ref shs 0839-03-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Controversial plans to auction Sidmouth’s beach huts to the highest bidder - and build 10 more in a contentious spot - have been scrapped.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:52

A spate of thefts and break-ins has added to a slight rise in crime for Ottery in September.

Read more
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Kingsley Squire with some of the supporters at his big fundraiser. Ref shs 4450-41-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Do you tolerate all that chemo can throw at you for an extended life-span, or a shorter prognosis off it with more good days than bad?

Read more
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Maisy Faulkner and Mary Rich taking part in a spin session to raise funds for an International trip to Borneo. Ref shs 4397-41-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Charitable shoppers have helped a pair of teenagers kick-start their fundraising campaign to go on a month-long working adventure to Borneo.

Read more
Saturday, October 10, 2015
A service to dedicate the new Sidbury and Sidford Royal British Legion standard was held at St Giles church in Sidbury on Sunday afternoon. Ref shs 6500-39-14SH Picture: Simon Horn

Poppy Appeal volunteers are hoping for another successful season of collecting - after raising a record £13,000 last year.

Read more
Friday, October 9, 2015
Fire in derelict Ottery building

An arson attack that destroyed a derelict building in Ottery has prompted its owner to install tougher security measures.

Read more
Friday, October 9, 2015
Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club take on the River Dart Struggle

A group from Sidmouth Surf Life Saving Club (SSLSC) negotiated a ramshackle craft through rapids and weirs to a third-place finish in one of the toughest raft races in the country.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Find a job in Sidmouth

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications