Pensioner tells of losing money to mail scams

NOT HAPPY Phyllis Knox with some of the junk mail she received.
NOT HAPPY Phyllis Knox with some of the junk mail she received.

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A PENSIONER who gave away money to bogus companies is warning others not to fall into the same trap.

Phyllis Knox, of Seafield Road, Copnor, fell victim to postal scams and in the past five years has lost almost £1,000.

The mail retrieved from the home of Phyllis Knox who was a victim of scam mail.

The mail retrieved from the home of Phyllis Knox who was a victim of scam mail.

Over five years her letterbox had been inundated with more than 5,000 letters – around 40 a day – telling her she had won money.

Mrs Knox, 77, said: ‘I kept getting the letters every day and I had boxes and boxes of them in the passage.

‘I was being told I had won money for this and that, and at first I was writing back.

‘Over the years I think I sent them small cheques of £20 to £30, and it has amounted to around £1,000.

‘Even when I told them to stop they would just carry on. I was getting letters from Italy, Australia, Netherlands, Canada, America and the UK.

‘And it was also from companies that I had been dealing with and thought were honest.

‘I would say to other people who get the letters to just ignore them and the best place for them is in the bin.’

The letters finally slowed down after Trading Standards got involved and registered Mrs Knox to the Mail Preference Service, a company that helps cut back on scam mail received.

This month they have launched Scamnesty, which runs throughout February, and warns people about scam mail.

Laura Small, trading standards officer, said: ‘If you send money to one place, your details are then sold on to other companies and you get put onto a ‘suckers list’.

‘It’s difficult to prosecute these companies as they usually have PO Box addresses, making it difficult to track them down.

‘Our advice is if you get letters, ignore them and don’t respond.

‘Take your address off and put them in the bin.

‘You can also bring them into our civic offices, in Guildhall Square.’

If you are concerned about scam mail call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.