Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
More Action to Stop Mail Fraudsters Needed
An undercover newspaper investigation on scammers using the Royal Mail to target vulnerable victims highlights the serious damage caused by fraudsters, according to the Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

David Lloyd, who’s put fraud against elderly and vulnerable people as a key pillar of his forthcoming Community Safety and Criminal Justice Plan [Police and Crime Plan], says this is kind of crime has long-lasting impacts on families and individuals.

The investigation by the Daily Mail alleges highly sophisticated fraudsters have shared the names of thousands of vulnerable people and send out hundreds of thousands of letters each year. The names, on so-called “sucker lists”, are shared among the criminals and are often disguised as sweepstake or prize draw offers.

The paper alleges that the Royal Mail could do more to remove the letters from the system as many are branded up as coming from clairvoyants, lotteries or similarly recognisable markings.

David Lloyd says this mail must be stopped: “We’re all used to seeing junk mail, but when it’s delivered by the postman it feels like it has a degree of legitimacy. It must not be tolerated as it is facilitating the work of criminal gangs.”

“I said in my manifesto that multiple letters which clearly look to be spam should ring alarm bells with those who deliver them. Whilst I continue to advocate better education at spotting these kinds of letters, the onus must also be on those who make this possible to stamp this problem out.”

“The people who fall victim to this certainly are not ‘suckers’. They’re often people who are trusting and vulnerable and they must be protected from these damaging crimes.”

If you think you may have been a victim of fraud in this – or any other – way, then please contact Action Fraud. They’re a dedicated national police team who can help and you can reach them by calling 0300 123 2040 (textphone 0300 123 2050) Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm. You can also visit the website at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

(Pic: Howard Lake via Creative Commons)