Don't be an idiot and get caught out giving £200k to scam letters
A local council has issued a warning to everyone because some people are really quite dim and have been sending money to scam mail fraudsters. As a public service, we feel we should at least share this news in case you or a loved one is that stupid.
One lady, in Surrey, paid out over £200,000 over more than 50 years in fees without receiving any winnings because, as we all know, scams don't tend to pay out.
Sylvia Kneller from Farnham got addicted to replying to letters in the post which said she had won cash prizes and eventually, Trading Standards persuaded her to tell her story in a bid to warn other gullible people.
Now in her 70s, she first replied to the letters when she was 20, every time sending money for imaginary processing fees. Ms Kneller said: "It does get you all excited and they shouldn't do that to old people. It's not right. The amount of money, £200,000, is what I have spent out thinking I was going to win, but I never got a penny."
"But in your mind you believe it. Other people start on at you and you know they are right but you still believe, you still want to do it, it becomes like an addiction really. My first husband, we parted company over it because he was fed up with it and he ended up with my best friend. I do not send money out now because I can't afford it. If I had kept my money in my purse I would have been rich."
Trading Standards are investigating numerous 80 cases involving people falling for scam competitions. Gillian Guy, chief executive of the Citizens Advice, said: "In the last 50 years, scammers have been quick to embrace new ways to rip people off, including the internet and mobile phones. Our evidence from the last few years shows that scammers are exploiting difficult economic times and targeting people with fake job offers, training scams and phoney help with debt. Scams are crimes so it is vital they are reported."
So there you have it. You might be too clever-clever for these scams, but keen an eye on those who might not be.