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

Archant

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.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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

19 minutes ago
The 50 Shades of Grey premiere benefited Sidmouth Hospiscare and Hospiscare Exeter

An evening of glitz and glamour netted nearly £1,200 for charity when the silver screen adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey made its dazzling debut in Sidmouth.

Read more
53 minutes ago
Felicity Jones stars in The Theory of Everything

The buzz surrounding an Oscar- winning film has helped a loving husband to raise more than £1,000 in the fight against motor neurone disease in memory of his late wife.

Read more
57 minutes ago

Emergency services from across East Devon are tackling a major blaze in Honiton.

Read more
12:09
NHS logo

Campaigners fighting to ‘save the NHS’ from cuts and privatisation will take to the streets in Sidmouth tomorrow (Saturday).

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 6°C

Most Read News

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition today E-edition



Devon's trusted business finder