News item

More than two hundred potential postal scam victims identified in Kingston

Picture of Kingston Council scam letters

Eleven bin liners worth of letters that turned out to be postal scams have been removed from the victim’s home by the trading standards team at Kingston Council, enforcement officers have revealed.

A Kingston resident had become the target of multiple postal scams after responding to letters he received. Kingston trading standards have been assisting the victim and were shocked to find thousands of letters at his address. 

In total, the team took eleven heavy duty bin liners worth of scam mail that the resident had kept in his house after being bombarded with around five scam letters a day. The victim had kept them believing them to be genuine competitions or offers. 

In fact, by responding, he was inadvertently encouraging other scam mailers to target him. Fortunately, as a result of the intervention by trading standards, the resident is no longer receiving the same volume of scam mailings and is able to bin them, recognising them as the rip-off that they are. 

The Lead Member for Trading Standards, Councillor David Glasspool, said:

“Postal scams, especially the prize draw ones, are a pernicious way of conning people into paying money to fraudsters. Most of these fraudsters are based abroad, and are therefore very difficult to track down. Our main efforts, therefore, are preventative and focused on making people aware of what postal scams are like and putting measures in place to prevent victims from responding.” 

Millions of pounds are defrauded from people annually through postal scams. Kingston Council has been part of a national initiative for the past year, the Scams Hub, funded by the National Trading Standards Board and has been visiting potential victims of scam mailings in our borough. 

Over 200 potential postal scam victims were identified in the borough by the Scams Hub and the Kingston Council trading standards team has visited around 100 of them to ensure that they are not defrauded by these scams. 

To report a postal scam, residents can either contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report it to trading standards by phoning the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06. 

If residents know a victim of scam mailings, they can report the matter to trading standards on the same number. For further information about postal scams, please visit www.thinkjessica.com.

DATE: 23 March 2015