Press releases

Trading Standards Institute sponsor wins Inspirational Woman of the Year Award

Marilyn Baldwin, founder and campaigner of anti-scam mail charity Think Jessica, has won ITV Lorraine's Inspirational Woman of the Year Award. The award is a part of the Women of the Year Lunch Award, which seeks to celebrate the outstanding achievements of British women.

Baldwin started the Think Jessica campaign when her mother, Jessica, became inundated with scam mail after she replied to them and was put on a 'suckers list'. Jessica spent the last five years of her life paying out almost £50,000 to scammers posing as lotteries, clairvoyants and solicitors who promised to pay her large sums of cash if she paid up. After her mother's death, Baldwin found 30,000 scam letters at Jessica's home. Since then Baldwin has dedicated her efforts to preventing mail scams. 

Having already received a Trading Standards Institute (TSI) Hero Award in 2009, Think Jessica were the main sponsor of the TSI's Consumer Affairs and Trading Standards Conference and Exhibition 2013.

Trading standards have a particular interest in protecting elderly and vulnerable people from scam mail, with the National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) funding Scambusters teams to specifically crack down on scammers. In April the first prosecution of its kind in the country and the biggest investigation ever led to a fraudster from Bedford being jailed for orchestrating a series of international mail scams, preying on older people. TSI has supported Think Jessica since it was founded and continues to today. 

Leon Livermore, TSI's chief executive, said: "TSI congratulates Marilyn on her success. It is an inspiration to see Marilyn's grit and determination to fight scam-mail has been recognised, and it is for good reason: these insidious scammers target the most vulnerable members of society."

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact the TSI press office on 0845 608 9575 or pressoffice@tsi.org.uk

Trading Standards Institute (TSI)

TSI is a training and membership organisation that has represented the interests of the Trading Standards profession since 1881 nationally and internationally.  We aim to raise the profile of the profession while working towards fairer, better informed and safer consumer and business communities. TSI’s members are engaged in delivering frontline trading standards services in local authorities and in businesses. www.tradingstandards.gov.uk 

 DATE: 14 October 2013