“Scam Post Defrauds Elderly”

I have written a lot about the postal service over the years because of the virtue it has for keeping older people in touch with friends and relatives.   For this reason, I am a great supporter of the Royal Mail service in spite of the quantity of junk mail I get through my front door.   (You can see all my earlier posts by clicking on “GRUMBLESMILES POST” in the TAG CLOUD).

For many people the postal service is still their preferred option as opposed to using the new technology options of email, Facebook, twitter, Instagram and even Facetime or Skype.  For the majority of older  people these are still incomprehensible words, but for younger generations, they are often the only way they communicate.

There is a downside to the snail mail service, which is the huge volumes of junk mail that everybody receives through their door everyday.   But more importantly, there is a pernicious aspect of some junk mail which is targeted at older people with the intention of conning them out of thousands of pounds.    Scam mail starts off innocently enough with an inducement to reply to a competition, or a free gift.  Then it draws you in to making small payments  to take you to the next stage.   Before you know where you are, you can be sucked into a world of scams — of hopeless dreams and unfulfilled promises.

They prey on the elderly because of their trusting nature and their vulnerability.  The excellent website “Think Jessica” gives much more information about how an older lady was conned out of thousands of pounds.  All out of innocently responding to junk mail which she thought to be genuine.  How many more older people are going to be drawn into these junk mail cons before the Government does something about this ?

But what has this got to do with our trusted postal service and it’s trusted brand “The Royal Mail” ?      Well they deliver 15 billion letters a year and by their own admission they have stopped 22 million scam letters in the last two years.   Junk mail itself is not necessarily a problem, but it is when it contains fraudulent inducements.  Many of these scams hide behind a licence obtained from the Royal Mail which appears to give credibility to its origin.  The postal says that they have no legal authority to check the content of mail that is sent.  So how did they intercept 22 million scam letters in the first place ?


This conning junk mail is sent out to thousands of old people and is delivered by the Royal Mail.  They must make millions in revenue from providing this service but they know it’s at the expense of older people in the end.

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6 Responses to “Scam Post Defrauds Elderly”

  1. Enlightening information. Here, in France there is at most a piece or. two of publicity mail delivered by the post office to my mailbox, though there is significantly more junk tossed into the box by people who circulate around distributing flyers etc. so, I guess I should consider myself quite lucky. On the other hand, so much as digital at this point that is generally not worth checking my mailbox more than a. couple times a week to see if there is some real mail.

  2. Mo Graham says:

    What I find frightening is an article I read recently about the findings of an undercover investigation team from Which? magazine. This team found that personal and highly sensitive information is being sold “on a huge scale” – sometimes for as little as 4p a name – to anyone who’s willing to pay the fee. Of the 14 companies Which? approached, 10 failed to carry out checks to establish that they were calling from proper Registered companies, which is in breach of the guidelines laid down by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

    The information that Which? was able to buy on over half a million people aged 50 plus included their names, addresses, telephone numbers and annual salary/pension income. Just imagine how useful this data is to anyone intent on conning the elderly out of pension savings and money from bank accounts using either telephone or mailing scams….

    A step in the right direction is that the Government announced in their Autumn budget that they were bringing in new laws – with Fines up to £500,000 levied on perpetrators – banning telephone cold calling. Hooray. No more cold marketing calls from double glazing, energy, security and loft installation companies (or any other company ringing you up just when you’re about to sit down for dinner wanting to sell you something you don’t want and didn’t ask for!) Let’s hope this ban will eventually extend to “cold call” mail shots in the future as well.

  3. Alex Robinson says:

    You say “So how did they intercept 22 million scam letters in the first place ?” According to the Royal Mail, if the National Trading Standards Scams Team informs them that a company is guilty of sending fraudulent mail the Royal Mail will refuse to post their mail in future. This is how they achieve their “22 million blocked” – NOT by reading the contents. In all aspects of life – not just mail – there will be those who try to take advantage of an opportunity. Crooks will try to con us in the street and at our front doors. They will drive along our streets and call us on the telephone. You cannot blame the providers, such as the Royal Mail, for the fact that people use their facilities in a way not intended.

    Surely the answer is education and, ultimately, experience – which older people have in abundance.

    • Careful, we can all be a little vunerable? Something for nothing all ways looks good! However as we age our faculties are or becoming a little dimmer, and the trust we have in human behavoir, is not all ways repaid? We must rely on our younger generation to deliver us from temptation, and govern us all in an honarable fashion. The Web is international, and rouges and vagabonds come from all corners of the globe; besides our own front door: For Instance have you guided our younger generation through acts and by example, and through the ballot box, How to behave and react in a civilised society? I am elderly, a little stupid at times, but I need to trust someone? Is that You??

  4. davidwfreeman237 says:

    Good morning John, Mo! I note that on this occasion your blog has no mention of Walt and Georges book “Seven ways to kick the bucket”. I must now bring you to task?
    You have metaphorically cast all your clutter to the bucket, with rationale, and comments, as per the first four —-ITS! Lists of the book? I now wonder what your next move is. With respect to the next three items within the book, when, as I may interpret, how you look back on life as well as forward.
    The items are ‘Placket’ what you may wish to keep, and why? ‘Trucket’ this I have defined as determination in life for those of 3 score years and 10 or more! How does one pass ones ‘golden years’, and keep body, soul and mind active? And then the Tucket List what cherished, sweet and maybe bitter, or humours moments does one keep, to bring a smile to ones countenance or ‘fizzog’?
    It is all in life rich pattern. The Book by Walt and George has brought me many a quiet moment, and a reflective one? But always a memory of life, and lots of enjoyment. ‘What Next? How now Brown Owl’?
    I have enjoyed the reference book tome by Walt and George, and the gift of the book by John to me: I just wish to add a simple thank you, with respect for the time and patience you have shown me John.
    Please continue writing/blogging as John, in my case Dear John, as I sail the seven seas of life in my golden years. Regards David.

  5. davidwfreeman237 says:

    with respect to today’s blog, I prefer the personal touch! Twitter,facebook and other social sights leave me cold! I do like skpe-one to one, or friends connected for those who are remote, but to me the written word, with the thought and time taken to walk down to the post box and the friendly ‘Postie’ delivering the mail, has that personal and human touch, which i miss in my growing years. Gone is that hunger to deliver that decision to management before my competitor? At the end of the day one was always fired/ dismissed but some unfortunate under manager, who was given the unenviable task of giving one the ‘BOOT’!
    In this modern age the Order of The ‘BOOT’ may be by mobile phone, or a tweet on social networks, no face to face discussion, or career report on what one has done wrong?

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