A pensioner has told ITV Meridian how she spent more than two hundred thousands pounds on postal scams - one of the worst cases Trading Standards has ever seen.
Seventy-six year-old Sylvia Kneller, from Farnham in Surrey was bombarded by letters promising prizes. She responded because they were written directly to her - and she thought they were genuine. But the only intention was to rip her off. Andrew Pate reports.
Sylvia Kneller started responding to fraudsters when she was 20-years-old. She then became convinced that she would one day win a fortune.Read the full story ›
Police in Southampton, Eastleigh and the New Forest area are warning people about a bank card cam after a number of incidents.
The scammers tried at least 5 times on Monday to carry out their con and on one occasion they were successful.
In each case a person received a call from someone pretending to be from the police saying they had been victims of fraud.
They then tried to get personal information out of them including bank details.
In one case a woman from Shirley did as instructed and a man came to pick up the cards which were later used to withdraw £100 before the woman cancelled her cards.
Police are advising people to hang up if someone asks for their bank details or pin numbers.
Hampshire Police are investigating a number of incidents where shoppers have been distracted in supermarket car parks so bank cards and personal items can be stolen from their cars.
The offender and an accomplice use different methods to distract the victim, including asking for directions, telling the victim they have a nail in their tyre and asking if people have dropped money.
The stolen cards are then used to withdraw money or buy items, often before the victim realises.
Crime prevention advisor Graeme Barbour said, "These people are knowingly preying on people's goodwill and helpful nature and are intentionally targeting lone shoppers at supermarkets, causing a distraction which allows another member of the group to commit the theft."
Tips to keep your items safe:
- Never leave your bag on the trolley unattended and always ensure your bag is zipped up
- When putting your shopping in the boot of your vehicle, always ensure your bag/wallet is with you
- If asked for directions or to look at maps/items etc, ensure you lock personal items in the vehicle first
- When filling up with fuel, lock your vehicle when re-fuelling and when you go to pay
- If you are approached by anyone suspicious, report it to the Police as soon as possible.
Kent County Council Trading Standards have been made aware of a business telephoning residents in the Ashford area offering the householder a free burglar alarm.
Officers say the caller seems to know a lot of information about the people they call and ask questions about their security arrangements. The business also claims that their product is endorsed by the Police. It is not usual practice for the Police to give such products their endorsement.
Kent Trading Standards does not recommend agreeing to any work following a cold call. Few jobs are so urgent that they need immediate action. Previous experience is that burglar alarms that are offered for free or at a low price often have a maintenance and monitoring contract attached to them which is not free and can, in some instances, be both expensive and last several years
A click of a few buttons and she had lost £1,500. But Camilla Jackson is not alone. The scam - known as phishing - saw bank customers lose £40 million in the last year.
Camilla, from Wiltshire, has been telling ITV Meridian how she unwittingly sent con artists her password details for an online finance site. Within hours, the money was gone from her bank.
In a statement, Paypal told us: "Like many other online banks, shops and services, PayPal can be targeted by criminals who use fraudulent emails.
"If you have any doubts about an email claiming to be from PayPal, don't click any links in it. Instead, log into your account normally. You will have a secure message waiting if PayPal does need you to take any action."
Robert Murphy reports.