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Don’t be caught out by Scammers – Foyle MLA warns

14 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has appealed for people not to get caught out by scammers, after it was revealed by Trading Standards that bogus lotteries and large prize draw scams are costing people in the North £100million a year.

Martina Anderson also went on to call for tighter controls on 'Junk Mail'.

Ms Anderson said:

"The news from Trading Standards that people across the North have been caught out by scammers to amount of £100million a year is very worrying indeed .Its shows that there is an urgent and pressing need for a look at the whole area of lotteries ,prizes draws via mail or web site competitions. Most of these scams come in the form of unsolicited "Junk" mail, emails, and cunningly look very convincing as they are accompanied with large amounts of glossy literature and associated web sites.

"People are being bombarded on a daily basis with junk mail from companies offering a wide range of competitions and many times most are left unsure as to what exactly they have signed up to.

"It's also no accident that many of these offers come in the months of January and February when most people are trying to get over the expense of Christmas and plays on vulnerable people hoping to win extra money to pay off bills.

"I am calling for tighter controls around the issue of "Junk" mail and companies being able to either sell or share an individual's personal details. This comes against a backdrop of millions of people's personal details being lost on a seemingly a weekly basis"

"I would echo the calls from Trading Standards for relatives and carers of vulnerable people, particularly the elderly, to be alert for warning signs of them being caught up in these scams and to ensure they seek help and advice straight away if they are worried about any of this." ENDS

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