Chain letter pest hits Ipswich

BUSINESSES in Ipswich have been snared by a chain letter which is more than ten-years-old. Written on behalf of seven-year-old John Craggs, the letter asks businesses to send compliments' slips to an address in Surrey.

BUSINESSES in Ipswich have been snared by a chain letter which is more than ten-years-old.

Written on behalf of seven-year-old John Craggs, the letter asks businesses to send compliments' slips to an address in Surrey.

Although it does not ask for any money, Trading Standards officers have warned not to be sucked in by ones, especially if they ask you to send in cash.

With this particular letter, the child, who is also known as Craig Shergold, is said to have terminal cancer – the letter claims that he is collecting compliments' slips in a bid to get into the Guinness Book of Records.


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Sally Rayner of Anglian Self Drive said: "We received this letter first around 18 months ago but have received it four times in the last four months from various customers and inter companies.

"This is a scam it takes a lot of time and money to type and send the letters – what do the Royal Mail do with all the letters they receive as the address given doesn't actually exist?"

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And she urged other businesses not to forward the mail which appeals to people's good nature using the story of a sick child.

Numerous reports suggest that an address in Surrey has been inundated with mail because of the letter.

Compliments slips and get-well cards have been sent to the house since the eighties.

It wasn't always a hoax though, Craig Shergold did have cancer as a child – although how old he was at diagnosis is not known.

Friends collected get well cards and compliments slips on his behalf in order to get him into the Guinness Book of Records – the letter and variants of it have been in circulation since.

Although the cancer was diagnosed as terminal, Craig actually survived – he is now thought to be in his mid-twenties.

Today he is no longer collecting slips and mailing records have been eradicated by the Guinness Book of Records.

Though the letter is not that serious – trading standards have reminded people to ignore such mail.

David Baker, Assistant Director of Suffolk Trading Standards said: "Although this letter seems fairly benign chain letters that ask for money are little more than rubbish and should be treated as such.

"If you receive chain letters asking for money the only place they should be sent is the bin."

Anyone wanting further advice about chain letters should contact the Trading Standards advice line on 01473 584358.

n. Have you been caught out by a chain letter? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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