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Scam letter warning after pensioner gets seven in a week

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 20, 2012

WARNING:  Pensioner Pat Scannel.

WARNING: Pensioner Pat Scannel.

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PENSIONERS in Gloucester are being warned to be on their guard after one man received seven scam letters in just a few days.

Pat Scannel, chairman of Tredworth Residents' Association, experienced a deluge of letters all claiming he had won money.

Most of the letters encouraged Mr Scannel to send amounts between £10 and £20, and in return he would collect lottery money in the region of £180,000.

Recognising they were merely attempts to con him out of his cash, Mr Scannel, who lives in Parry Road, is now warning other pensioners to be careful.

He said: "I have never seen anything like it before, it is absolutely ridiculous.

"I'm sure some people might think they are genuine and they would send these conmen their money – but they most definitely shouldn't. I have spoken to my neighbours here about it, some of them received letters too."

The letters were sent from a variety of places including Kansas City and India and asked for a cheque or a postal order.

Meanwhile, police have urged people not to send any money out should they receive a letter they are unsure about.

A police spokesman said: "There are a variety of scams like this lottery one that basically share the same conceit – they all ask for money from the recipient before any award can be paid out.

"The fraudsters behind it send out hundreds and thousands of these messages in a scattergun style hoping someone will reply and it only takes one for it to be worthwhile to them.

"Our advice is never to reply to anything that asks for money, whether it be cash, cheque or electronic cash voucher before you get anything in return."

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  • gilloR  |  November 20 2012, 10:23AM

    Also you can opt out of appearing on the Edited Register (which anyone can buy ) when you fill out the Electrol Register form every year.

    Rate   4
  • SandraPee  |  November 20 2012, 10:19AM

    I accept the point of the other comments, but, people need to establish it's junk mail in the first place .......... for a small minority , that's the problem ! A lot of these items are obvious to Royal Mail that they are scam , so, surely there should be something in place to divert them from the system before they are delivered ?

    Rate   4
  • Dr_Hfrrrrr  |  November 20 2012, 9:43AM

    The best thing to do is to pop it in an C5 envelope with their address on with no stamp as Lecorche says, but fill the bag with bags of gravel or old nuts and bolts. That way it weighs more and costs them more in excess postage and by using a C5 envelope you can put it in a postbox. Some years ago you could drop things in to post office with no stamps on and they would accept them with no questions and just pass on the payment to the addressee but you can't do that any more. Every time I got an unsolicited junk mail I used to wrap it neatly around a brick and put that in the post to them - they soon got the message.

    Rate   5
  • NibNobs  |  November 20 2012, 9:42AM

    Shred the lot, don't put anything in the kitchen bin or recycling bin with your name & address on - it'll probably end up in a rubbish tip in India where someone might be looking for anything with a name & address on!

    Rate   4
  • Lecorche  |  November 20 2012, 8:48AM

    Just put junk mail into a fresh envelope addressed to the sender and pop it into a postbox without putting a stamp on it.

    Rate   8
  • SandraPee  |  November 20 2012, 8:20AM

    This coincides with an expensive time of the year for most people and these letters are being sent to prey on vulnerable householders . It's a shame that Royal Mail aren't able to remove such items from the postal system before delivery. Before comments of ''here we go again, why don't people learn'' get posted here , please don't forget that a lot of elderly people, especially those with Dementia etc , don't understand the concept of ''scams'' . They were brought up in an era of honesty and integrity .

    Rate   7