Hampshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is warning consumers to be wary of mail order companies who allege they have won a prize.
The consumer will receive a catalogue with a letter alleging they have won a large cash prize. In order to claim the prize, the consumer is invited to purchase items from the catalogue or pay an administration fee.
The letter will look very convincing, but in the small print it normally specifies that the consumer’s name has been entered into a sweepstake and they will not automatically receive the prize.
However, the consumer will continue to receive letters promising further cash prizes, should they purchase additional items. As an enticement, a cheque for a very small amount may be sent with a promise of more money to come. This results in the consumer purchasing many goods they do not need or want.
Real Life Case Study
Mr D who is an older man with memory loss, was ordering goods on a regular basis from various mail order companies in the hope he would win a cash prize. Over a two week period he spent £2,000 on medicinal products, expensive sweets and chocolates, jewellery and general household products. Although he did not need or want these items, he believed by placing orders his chance of winning a prize increased. Mr D’s family became aware of his situation and reported the matter to Trading Standards. An officer spoke with Mr D and whilst it was difficult to convince him that he was a victim of scammers, he agreed to have his mail redirected to a family member.
Anyone can be caught out by this type of scam, but it is normally more vulnerable adults who end up as victims. Hampshire County Council is warning consumers not to send money in order to receive a prize, and asks family and friends to look out for these scam letters.
If you are worried about scams please contact:
Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on
08454 04 05 06
Or online using the Online link
This message can be viewed at https://www.crimereports.co.uk.
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Members of the public are very welcome to attend Parish Council meetings. Please look out for our next agenda on the parish notice boards or on the website.
- Mon04Oct20217:30 pm
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