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Friday, 25 April 2014

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Pensioners warned over cash prize scam letters

PENSIONERS in Barrow are being warned to be on the look-out for scam letters offering “guaranteed” cash prizes.

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WARNING: Brenda Hall, who is upset by a scam letter sent to her by a company claiming she has won £10,000

Brenda Hall, of Helmsley Drive, Barrow, came in to see the Action Desk after receiving a number of letters advising her she was the winner of a £10,000 cheque from Star Shopping mail order catalogue.

Mrs Hall, 71, said: “I thought it was something to do with Afibel, another mail order company who I sometimes buy things from.”

Action Desk advised Mrs Hall not to reply to any of the letters and to ignore any future correspondence.

We attempted to locate the company trading as Star Shopping but could not find any record or contact numbers.

In a second twist to Mrs Hall’s story, she had ordered some clothes from her regular mail order company Afibel in July but after returning the items she did not receive a refund.

Both Action Desk and Mrs Hall made phone calls to Afibel which apologised for the delay and Mrs Hall has now received her refund and a voucher for money off her next order.

Mrs Hall said: “I’ve got my money back now so I’m really pleased about that but people need to be warned to look very carefully at anything they get through the post.”

Help The Aged has recently launched its Avoiding Scams campaign, after a survey worryingly found that 70 per cent of older people were being targeted.

The study also revealed that older people are likely to lose twice as much money, an average of £1,261 per scam, and 38 per cent would not know how to spot a dodgy deal.

Rachel Corry, programme manager at Help the Aged, said: “Scammers can have a devastating impact on the lives of their older victims and we know from our work that older people can feel embarrassed in reporting a scam.”

Action Desk has a number of copies of Help The Aged’s Avoiding Scams guide, which can be collected from the Evening Mail’s office on Abbey Road, Barrow.

If you want to opt out of receiving unwanted junk mail through the post, you can register for free with the Mailing Preference Service by calling 0845 7034599 or visiting their website at www.mpsonline.org.uk

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