More than 50 victims of ‘prize draw’ mail scams in Lancashire have got their money back after a Trading Standards crackdown.
The refunds come after the initiative was launched by the National Trading Standards Scam Team and Royal Mail to seize responses to mail scams before the cash reaches the fraudsters behind them.
In total there have been more than 6,000 items of mail intercepted across the UK with more than £108,000 returned to victims.
A further 4,000 replies to suspected scam mail are currently being examined by Trading Standards.
Repeat victims identified
The victims received their money back from a Trading Standards officer in Lancashire who visited their homes to help them understand they have been scammed.
A list of 160,000 people across the UK who have been identified by scammers as repeat victims has also been created by the Scams Team.
The list of potential victims is being passed to local Trading Standards officers who can then contact people to make them aware they are being targeted.
Lancashire County Councillor Janice Hanson, cabinet member for public protection services, said: “It can be very difficult to persuade vulnerable, often elderly, people that letters telling them they have won large sums of money are scams.
“The fact that we are able to contact them directly with the money they sent, along with very clear advice, should really help to break the cycle in many cases. Every cheque or money returned is another person helped and another blow to the criminals”
“Often those targeted by scammers are some of the most vulnerable people in Lancashire, and this information means we’re able to check that they’re receiving the support they need in terms of social care and other services.”
People who want to report a potential postal scam can write to Royal Mail at Freepost Scam Mail, phone 03456 113 413, or email [email protected].
Read more on the Lancashire Telegraph website.
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If you are a victim of fraud you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool and receive a police crime reference number.