Shocking Facts

(Supplied by the National Trading Standards Scams Team)

Scams cost the UK economy between £5-10 Billion a year.

Victim’s details are perpetually shared and sold to other criminals.

The stress and pain of victimisation often results in depression, withdrawal and isolation from family and friends and the deterioration of physical and mental health.

People defrauded in their own homes are 2.5 times more likely to either die or go into residential care within a year.

53% of people aged 65 plus have been targeted by scammers.

One victim was found to have been receiving 30 pieces of scam mail and 10 phone calls per day.
Only 5% of scam victims make a report.
In some cases victims have considered, attempted or committed suicide.
The average age of a scam victim is 75, showing that criminals tend to prey on older and often more vulnerable members of society.
Victims are often lonely and the criminal is the only ‘friend’ they have.
Scammers intimidate and bully victims into parting with their life savings.

Jessica’s scribbled this note out of fear. It was found by her daughter after her death

Criminals would ring her late at night when they knew she would be alone. Chronic victims become trapped in a delusional world created by scam mail. They refuse to co-operate and give the impression that they are in control of their own thoughts and actions. The form of “brainwashing” that scam mail creates has not been recognised thus meaning relatives are powerless to intervene, redirect the mail or gain power of attorney. The the psychology scammers use “knits” all the various scam letters together; to the victim, they appear to be talking about the same thing.

A sample of the kind of mental cruelty scammers inflict on their prey

This is an extract from a scam letter sent by a criminal using the name “Samantha” & claiming to be a clairvoyant. Millions of clairvoyant scam letters are being sent into the UK from all over the world, the vast majority have pre-addressed envelopes inside sending the victim’s cash to mailing addresses in the Netherlands (it can be forwarded from there by distributors to another part of the world) Scammers glean telephone numbers and then make threatening predictions over the phone. The caller swears the victims to secrecy.

This photograph was sent to us by the son of a lady in her nineties

He tells us “this is some of the criminal mail my mother has received; for years I have been trying to gain power of attorney and redirect her mail, my mother has refused to co-operate… the family has been torn apart!”

Lieselotte Gerrard (84) commited suicide after ending up almost penniless chasing an international lottery scam

She was found dead at her flat in Bedford on January 15th 2010 after taking an overdose of pills. Mrs Gerrards stepson, Barry, tried to persuade her to give up the scams, but the pair fell out in June last year and did not speak again after that. Det Sgt Baron said “Lieselotte wasted a huge amount of money chasing the lottery wins, that were never going to happen”

This ad is placed in magazines including “Chat” & “Yours” it does not ask for cash.

Anyone responding will get spin-off letters from a so called world famous physic “Karina Natalia” who claims she is going to Lourdes to pray.Victims are then asked for all their personal details including names of grandchildren and pets.These details go on “suckers” lists and are sold to criminals worldwide. This scam has been reported to the ASA as far back as 2003. It continues to thrive and still uses the same mailing address on the Kings Road. The mail is forwarded to the scammers who are based abroad.

The daughter of the victim who lives here is called Kathy; you can read her story on the “Your Stories” page

Her mother has sold her home and sent the proceeds to scams. She is now living in sheltered accommodation. After years of constant arguments with her mother and unable to find any agency, organization or age related charity who will help. Kathy has decided that she can do no more.

For years this pensioner has been responding to scam mail and buying goods from criminals who tricked her into believing she was one order away from her “guaranteed” prize

Criminals claiming to be clairvoyants “blackmailed” her into sending them “protection” money. She has no family.

scams-over-world

This is just some of the scam mail removed from Jessica’s home.

It was sent by criminals from all over the world including; The Netherlands, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Switzerland, USA, Singapore, Canada and Australia.