Scams cost the UK economy between £5-10 Billion a year.
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.
53% of people aged 65 plus have been targeted by scammers.
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.
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.
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”
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.
It was sent by criminals from all over the world including; The Netherlands, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Switzerland, USA, Singapore, Canada and Australia.