It’s coming up to Christmas and there may be lots of exciting post – but one thing we don’t want to receive through the letterbox is a scam.
Every day thousands of unsolicited, junk or scam mail letters are delivered to households and these can result in people losing thousands of pounds.
To help raise awareness of the issue, the council has signed up to be a Friends Against Scams (FAS) organisation.
We’re currently supporting the FAS national Scamnesty campaign – a scam mailing amnesty which aims to protect and prevent people from becoming victims of scams.
Scamnesty is asking everyone in the UK to have a chat with friends and family about potential risks and send any scam or unwanted mail to the campaign to investigate free of charge.
Figures show that scams cost the UK economy £5-£10 billion a year, but only 5 per cent of them are reported. More than 50 per cent of people over 65 have been targeted by scams with the average scam victim losing more the £3,000.
Suzanne Hill and Heather Dunn from our public protection scams team have a few tips on how to avoid being the victim of a postal or mailing scam:
- Never send money, cheques or vouchers to claim a prize or winnings.
- If something sounds too good to be true it probably is.
- Don’t respond to letters which ask you to reply to a PO Box or an address based outside of the UK.
- Don’t disclose personal information such as your date of birth, name, address or banking details.
- Read the small print to ensure that your data isn’t sold or passed on to third parties without your consent.
- Consider registering for free with the Mailing Preference Service
If you think that you have received scam mail and you are a UK resident you can find out how to send it for investigation, free of charge, by visiting www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk/Scamnesty