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91-year-old fights back against scam mail con

PUBLISHED: 17:16 19 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:16 19 February 2018

Over 50pc of over 65s have been targeted by scams. Picture: PA Images/David Jones

Over 50pc of over 65s have been targeted by scams. Picture: PA Images/David Jones

PA Archive/PA Images

A 91-year-old Bexley resident, who previously fell victim to scam mail, is now so clued up on how to spot a con that she is finally able to save her money for much needed work around the house, as well as advise others.

The council’s Trading Standards team work with victims of scam mail which regularly encourages its victims to send money for fake prize draws, clairvoyance readings and other cons.

A few years ago, Lilian believed clairvoyance mail messages, which predicted huge wins for her.

She began sending off money to prize draws, as well as money to claim prizes, believing she would win.

She was also responding to scams where she thought she was helping those worse off than herself.

With the support of family and Bexley Trading Standards, mail re-direction was arranged for a year, Crossroads Care provided a volunteer befriender and her bank account was changed.

Unfortunately, Lilian began responding to scam mail again a few months ago – some of these were of a religious context and seemed credible to her.

Lilian is now writing on the envelopes that they are a scam, and Bexley Trading Standards have been collecting the mail on a regular basis.

Lilian said: “I am glad the mail is being collected, I have now managed to put away £1,000.”

Lilian has also agreed to be a ‘Mail Marshal’ for the National Trading Standards scams team and will be collecting, recording and sending her mail to them for investigation.

Over 50pc of over 65s have been targeted by scams, and each year scams cost consumers between £5bn and £10bn, as well as leaving a severe emotional and psychological impact on victims.

The team supports the Friends Against Scams campaign, a national initiative that aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims.

Cllr Peter Craske, cabinet member for community safety, environment and leisure, said: “I am delighted that Lilian is fighting back against scammers and that her money is going on things which genuinely benefit her instead of lining the pockets of con artists.”

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