East Sussex Trading Standards appeals for scam mail

RESIDENTS and businesses in East Sussex are being asked to hand in scam mail to their local library during February.

For the fifth time East Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards team is running a ‘Scamnesty’ campaign across East Sussex in a bid to identify scams and the scammers.

Cllr Carl Maynard, lead member for economy, transport and environment said: “Misleading mailings make false promises of huge bogus lottery wins or other high value prizes, but they always insist on payment to the sender before any winnings can be claimed.

“Targets of these scams – often the elderly or vulnerable - can find themselves on the receiving end of wave after wave of letters, with some being sent up to 600 misleading letters a month from across the world.

“Those that fall victim to the mailings can send off hundreds of pounds a month over many years and despite the riches promised in each letter, they never win a penny.”

In recent campaigns residents and businesses have given the council thousands of examples of scam mail which helped showhow big the problem was, identify scams doing the rounds and the scammers behind them.

Following the council’s scamnesty campaign last year warrants were executed in January by the Metropolitan Police at five London “virtual office” addresses and scam mail was intercepted at a large UK mail sorting office in a major crackdown on mail scammers.

The targets were identified with the assistance of intelligence gained from scam victims.