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Essex: Woman, 90, warns others not to fall victim to prize scam

PUBLISHED: 17:05 27 May 2014 | UPDATED: 17:05 27 May 2014

Woman, 90, warns others against prize scam.

Woman, 90, warns others against prize scam.

A 90-old-year woman who nearly fell prey to a prize scam has warned others to be aware.

The Colchester woman, who has asked not to be named, received a letter claiming she had won one of 6,000 cash prizes, ranging from £25 to £20,000.

To claim the prize she had to ring a premium rate number, costing £1.53 per minute, and listen for her ID code to find out how much she had won and how to claim it.

Although she suspected the letter was a scam she rang the number, only to find her “winning” ID code was not listed.

She then rang Essex Trading Standards to report the scam, having fortunately only racked up a £9 phone bill having been cautious about the prize to begin with.

The victim said: “I knew it was a scam, but I wanted to sort it out for my peace of mind. The claim line went through a long rigmarole – and I was paying for their spiel – only to be told that I was unsuccessful.

“I rang Trading Standards to warn them about the scam. They were very helpful and said if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

“I want to warn other people not to fall victim to these scams. There are so many about and some people end up losing so much money. You’ve got to be so wary of everything.”

Since reporting the scam the woman has received another letter from the same company, but she tore it up and threw it away straightaway.

Trading Standards has warned it deals with similar scams all year round, including fraudsters trying to pass themselves off as the National Lottery. Roger Walters, county councillor for Trading Standards, said: “Residents should never respond to mailings relating to prize draws, lotteries, or other products or services which requests personal information, or money for administration fees.

“Unfortunately we have dealt with cases where elderly people have lost money by repeatedly replying to such scams. I would ask neighbours, friends and families to watch out for neighbours or relatives who are receiving large amounts of this scam mail.”

For advice from Trading Standards call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.

A 333 mile journey home for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation finished on Saturday when the Hike4Hopey charity walkers arrived at St James’ Park, Newcastle.

Several people were stuck for reportedly more than an hour on a ride at the Cymbeline Meadow fair, Colchester.

Family of a Suffolk man who died from a brain tumour have attended a ceremony to open a Quiet Room in his memory at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

A spring cleaning campaign across west Suffolk has seen volunteers litter pick and remove more than 460 bags of waste from public open spaces.

Seven suspected Ukrainian illegal immigrants have been arrested after their yacht ran aground on the Suffolk coast today.

Firefighters tackled a “needless” blaze at the former Manganese Bronze plant in Ipswich on Sunday night.

The fire in the top floor of the two-storey derelict building, behind houses on Hadleigh Road, was caused by trespassers.
 The fire was reported at around 5.30pm on April 30 and six crews, including an aerial appliance, were expected to battle the blaze for several hours last night.
 Station Commander Jon Southgate, of Princes Street station, said the fire was caused by someone deliberately or accidentally setting the fire.
 “There are numerous discarded needles around the site and from experience we know there will be needles inside as well,” he said. “We will not be entering the building because I want to ensure the safety of our firefighters. 
 “It is a shame that we are now going to have four crews fighting a completely needless and preventable fire.”

It may have been a forgettable season finish for Blues fans at Portman Road on Saturday – but one moment of magic should cheer even the most desolate of supporters.

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