October 25th, 2016

Warwick residents’ thirty bags of junk mail sparks advice

Warwick residents’ thirty bags of junk mail sparks advice Warwick residents’ thirty bags of junk mail sparks advice
Image: Judith E Bell (Creative Commons License)
Updated: 11:35 am, Jun 03, 2016

ENOUGH scam mail to fill 30 bin bags was found at the home of an elderly Warwick dementia sufferer.

The woman’s daughter-in-law Jenny got in touch with trading standards alarmed at the vast numbers of prize draws and competitions she was completing.

And she then found thousands of pounds had gone missing from her mother-in-law’s bank account, which Jenny believed was being paid to scammers contacting her mother-in-law pretending they had prizes for her to collect.

As she was suffering from dementia, the victim could not comprehend the competitions and prize draws were just a means of getting hold of her bank details and other personal information.

In total, Jenny filled 30 bin liners with the scam mail, which was all addressed to her mother-in-law’s first name.

The incident has prompted Warwickshire Trading Standards chiefs to warn people to be careful what they share.

They have launched a campaign to tell people about the dangers of giving personal and financial information in marketing related questionnaires, surveys and prize draws.

They say people often inadvertently consent to receive marketing by not noticing the small print about how their information will be shared.

This information is collected by marketing businesses, who can make it available for anyone to buy – whether they are legitimate businesses or fraudsters – and once consent has been given, there is no current way of withdrawing it.

Council community safety spokesman, John Horner, said: “Every week trading standards is bombarded with complaints from consumers who have received fraudulent phone calls, bogus emails and scam post.

“Officers are continuing to work with some of the county’s most vulnerable and elderly residents to stop these unwanted communications.”

As part of the ‘Danger comes in many forms’ campaign, Trading Standards has issued a list of ten tips to avoid unwanted scam. Visit news.warwickshire.gov.uk to view the list.