Warning to beware of the scammers

SCAMMERS are persistently trying to trick Ipswich residents out of their hard-earned cash, prompting fresh warnings from trading standards watchdogs today.

SCAMMERS are persistently trying to trick Ipswich residents out of their hard-earned cash, prompting fresh warnings from trading standards watchdogs today.

Ann Ayers, of Culford Place, and Thornhill Road resident Margaret Stedman today revealed how they both received letters promising thousands of pounds as long as they first sent a cheque for 'handling'.

Pensioner Miss Ayers said: “When I first saw the letter from a company called CITCO saying I'd won £15,000 I thought I'd got an early birthday present, but then I saw that I had to pay £10 to collect it and realised it was a hoax.

“I think its disgusting because some people out there are so hard up that £10 would buy their groceries for the week.

“I would tell anyone who gets a similar letter to bin it.”

Mrs Stedman's letter claimed to be from a company called Carter, Hammond and Pierce and had a Canadian postmark, and asked for £20 with the promise of £683,650, but she refused to be taken in by the scam.

Most Read

Both Miss Ayers and Mrs Stedman trusted their instincts and refused to fall victim to the scammers.

But Sasha Watson, fair trading officer with Suffolk County Council, warned that many people were being duped into giving criminals their money.

She said: “If it looks too good to be true then it usually is. Always be suspicious and don't believe anything that asks you to buy anything or send money to collect your prize.

“There are lots of different scams out there - so many that we are not aware of all of them.

“It is very hard to stop this happening because even though it is illegal the companies are based abroad and so we can't prosecute them.

“But I would still encourage anyone who gets one of these letters to contact us. Often people don't because they either throw them away or are too embarrassed to admit that they have been taken in by the scam.”

She also warned people that companies were now using the internet as well as post in attempts to get customer's bank details.

For more information contact Consumer Direct on 08454040506 or visit www.consumerdirect.gov.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter