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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Cumbria police warn community of scam

CUMBRIA police are warning the community of a scam in which people are conned out of money under the promise they will receive a large prize.

The hoax involves people being asked to purchase items under the promise they will receive a guaranteed cheque prize.

However, the ‘prize’ is never received and the victims are continually encouraged to purchase more items.

A letter is usually received from what appears to be a genuine mail order company, telling the recipient they have won a large prize.

To claim the winnings, they have to purchase items from the catalogue or send an administration fee.

The small print says they will discover they have simply been given the opportunity to enter a sweepstake and only have a very small chance of winning.

PCSO Paul Booth said: “I have seen the impact this type of scam can have on victims and their families.

"We want people to be aware that these scams do exist and not to believe them - usually if it is too good to be true, then it is.

“It is the more vulnerable people in our communities who can fall fowl of these people and we ask that friends and families take an interest in their loved ones lives and encourage them not to become involved in anything of this nature.”

Angela Jones, Cumbria County Council Trading Standards manager, said: "These types of scams usually offer something that sounds attractive, but in reality doesn't exist.

"The letters are often accompanied by mail order catalogues, can look plausible - and usually come from overseas.

"The claims they make are completely bogus and this is just a dishonest attempt to trap vulnerable consumers into parting with their money.

"Anybody can be conned by the scammers.

"It is usually the vulnerable who end up suffering the most from these types of scams.”

Anyone who is concerned about this or believes that a family member is a victim, can contact www.actionfraud.org.uk or call 0300 123 2040.

To reduce unwanted mail, register for free with the Mailing Preference Service at mpsonline.org.uk or call 0845 703 4599.

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