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A scam mail poster
People in Lichfield and Burntwood are being warned about the dangers of scam mail. Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team are urging residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious letters that are designed to trick victims into handing over large sums of their cash. According to research by the Office of Fair Trading around three million UK consumers lose a total of £3.5billion every year to scams that arrive through their door such as prize draw, foreign lottery and clairvoyant scams. County Councillor Ben Adams, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture is urging residents to be on the look out for any suspicious mail. He said:
“Scam mail can vary in its content, but tends to ask for money in return for a prize of some sort which never arrives. Unfortunately it is often the most vulnerable people in our communities who seem to be targeted and not being aware they are being tricked they fall victim to these unscrupulous scammers, paying out their money for no return. “I would ask people to be on the look out not only for themselves but for friends or relatives so that we can stop those responsible for these crimes.  Trading Standards has a vital role to play in working with our partners here but we need the public’s help.”
A national campaign was recently backed by the Trading Standards Institute which aims to highlight the issue on a wider scale.  This includes a hard hitting Scam Mail is Blackmail poster which will be displayed on billboards throughout the country as part of the Think Jessica campaign, set up by Campaigner Marilyn Baldwin whose mother Jessica fell victim to postal criminals receiving more than 30 scam letters a day, sending out most of her pension every week to criminals. People who are concerned about scam mails or who know or care for someone who is being targeted in this way can contact Trading Standards Confidential on 01785 330356 and leave a message.  If anyone would prefer to speak to someone direct they can call a member of staff from Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards on 01782 297094.


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.