Lincolnshire residents pay £500 per month on average to criminals’ scams

Telephone scam alert.
Telephone scam alert.

Residents in Lincolnshire pay £500 a month to scam mail criminals

As part of an ongoing project between Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police, officers have, so far, visited 40 county residents to find out why they are responding to scam mail and to share information about current scams.

Mrs Jean Gibbons, 76, from Lincoln, was visited after her mail was intercepted. She said: “I had no idea that these prize draws and lotteries were scams until Trading Standards visited and told me they were. They showed me examples of similar scams which had conned others out of thousands of pounds. I was shocked!

“I am so relieved they found me and have been able to give me good advice for the future. They have helped open my eyes and I now feel confident that I can identify scam mail and dispose of it safely.”

Eve Wrighton, trading standards officer with Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Criminals do their best to come up with deceptive means of conning people out of their money. Scam mail is cleverly crafted to look enticing, genuine and authentic. This could not be further from the truth. All these scammers aim to do is to take as much money from people as possible and run.”

Kirsty Toyne, principal trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, added: “Scam Mail is a significant and serious issue across Lincolnshire. We need to help people from falling foul of this scam mail.

“There are a lot of isolated people who do not have a support network, and because they are lonely they are more vulnerable.

“As a local authority, we have a responsibility to ensure our vulnerable people are protected from financial abuse, and as such we will do what we can to help them. We will work with victims, carers, the police and other agencies to reduce the risk and harm to Lincolnshire residents.”

5 ways to spot the signs that someone you know is responding to scam mail:

- Has huge amounts of post everyday

- Phone calls promising cheques will be delivered

- Lots of trinkets and low value items in the house eg. candles, vitamins, shampoos

- Lots of letters waiting to go out

- Check book stubs and empty check books