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Concern at junk mail con

PUBLISHED: 14:21 17 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 March 2010

HOAXERS attempting to dupe honest Suffolk people out of cash by falsely informing them they have won top prizes are plaguing the county.

Today more victims, including one elderly lady who has sent off nearly £1,000, have come forward after they were swamped with mail from companies telling them they have won huge cash sums.

HOAXERS attempting to dupe honest Suffolk people out of cash by falsely informing them they have won top prizes are plaguing the county.

Today more victims, including one elderly lady who has sent off nearly £1,000, have come forward after they were swamped with mail from companies telling them they have won huge cash sums.

In last Wednesday's Evening Star it was revealed how Ipswich pensioner Charles Dear had been conned out of £285 by heartless crooks.

A Canadian company explained he had "won" £10,000 but he had to release £3,495 tax first. He had already sent about £300 to various companies for handling fees.

Fortunately Mr Dear's daughter Maureen Wiseman spotted the scam before Mr Dear lost out on any more money.

Other people have today spoken out about the problems they have encountered with this type of mail arriving on their doorstep.

A 72-year-old pensioner, who does not want her name printed, has lost out on nearly £1,000 after falling for a typical scam.

The woman sent £998 to a company in America after being told she would receive £200,000 in return as a top prize winner.

So far the woman has yet to receive any of the cash she was promised by the company.

Her brother said: "She decided to go for it because she said if she didn't she would regret it for the rest of her life. I couldn't get through to her she just went ahead and did it."

Another Ipswich woman contacted The Evening Star and said she had been receiving two or three letters of a similar nature most days for the last two years.

Margaret Deeks, who lives off Felixstowe Road, said: "I get these letters regularly. The other day I got one that said if I paid £10 I would win a trip to Australia.

"I just usually send them straight back to the company concerned and let them pay the postage."

The daughter of a disabled 83-year-old Martlesham Heath woman said her mother had been receiving letters promising cash for four months.

The daughter said: "She hasn't replied to any on my advice but they keep asking her for money and she will get more in return.

"The latest one says to pay £1,497 and receive £4,897 in return."

Yet another similar letter arrived on the doorstep of pensioner Patricia Clark's Fressingfield home.

It said if she sent £15 she would receive £1,400 in return.

Her husband, Terry Clark, said: "You can take it from me we won't be sending off for the money. To me this is a con and these people have got to be stopped."

He added it was the first time either he or his 77-year-old wife had received such a letter.

Earlier this week Trading Standards warned people to be suspicious of any letter that asked for cash up front.

Viv Wilkinson, from Trading Standards, said preventing junk mail arriving from other countries is difficult but it can be reported to the Advertising Standards Authority which liaises with counterparts abroad.

You can also write to the ASA at 2 Torrington Place, London, WC1I 7HW or call 0207 703 580 5555.

You can put a stop to junk mail post in Britain by registering with the Mailing Preference Service. You can contact them on 0845 703 4599, calls are charged at local rates and the service is free.

n Have you been targeted by bogus mail drops? If so write to Evening Star Newsdesk, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, telephone 01473 282257 or e-mail us at: starnews@ecng.co.uk


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