Suffolk: Hundreds in county found on scam firms’ ‘hit list’
- Credit: PA
Hundreds of people from Suffolk have been identified on a ‘hit list’ passed between scammers using mail and telephone cons to extract money.
The list, secured as part of a national trading standards project, reveals the names and addresses of 1,600 Suffolk residents – some who have already sent money to bogus prize draw companies.
Suffolk Trading Standards said that a variety of scams were being used by the scammers, including fake lottery and prize draw wins, bogus psychic predictions, get-rich-quick investment cons and ‘miracle’ health cures.
It said an initial scammers list had been identified with over 100,000 names nationally, and that victims were likely to be “silent” and unaware they had been defrauded.
Officers are working with adult and community service professionals and other organisations to assist the victims.
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Those who did send prize draw forms with cheques and cash will have them returned as part of the project.
Anyone whose details have been found on the hit lists will be contacted by post and offered advice from an officer either over the phone or with a home visit.
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Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “Research has found that many victims are socially isolated or their families are unaware of the problem.
“Through our trading standards team, working closely with colleagues from adult social care, we are aiming to collectively prevent the most vulnerable adults from falling victim to mass marketing scams and suffering financial detriment in the future.
“I encourage those receiving a letter from trading standards to read it and get in contact. This will allow us to provide valuable and effective advice to prepare you for any future traps.
“We welcome being a part of this national project and would advise people not to respond to scam mail as the only winners are the scammers themselves.”
Anyone concerned that they have been involved in a scam should call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.