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Scam mail losses total £13 million


Victims of scams via post lose more than £1,000 each year and have an average age of 74, according to an investigation from National Trading Standards (NTS).

In the year to April there have been 10,843 victims of scam mail. The total loss discovered equalled a massive £13 million, but investigating officers believes many people are apprehensive to report a scam, so the hidden total is much higher.

The investigation also discovered a “suckers list” with the details of 200,000 people who were identified as “easy targets”. It was common for this list to be passed on or sold between criminals. A higher percentage of people on the list were older and more vulnerable.

The NTS estimates that their investigations prevent £252 million worth of losses to consumers and businesses in a year, prevented more than 2.5 million unsafe or non-compliant goods from entering the supply chain, and convicted 100 criminals who are serving a total of 118 years of prison time.

Chairman of the NTS, Lord Toby Harris, said:
"It is not just money they take from innocent people. Many victims feel they have lost their dignity, their self-confidence, their sense of security. For small businesses, entire livelihoods may be lost and this, in turn, damages the economy.

"We have limited resources and I am all too aware that in many areas we may only be skimming the surface of the problem, particularly when it comes to the internet which is notoriously difficult to police."

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