West Yorkshire Trading Standards launch campaign to collect unwanted circular letters

David Lodge from West Yorkshire Trading Standards

David Lodge from West Yorkshire Trading Standards

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

Residents in the Bradford district are being encouraged to take a stand over junk mail scams which can leave victims facing financial ruin.
West Yorkshire Trading Standards Unit has started a campaign against scam mail, which is designed to lure victims into handing over money in the hope they will receive a massive windfall as a result.
The promised payments never materialise, however.
The ‘Spot it? Bin it!’ campaign involves moving large yellow bins around community locations in the Bradford area, so residents can easily get rid of junk mail.
The post will be analysed for information which may be of use in Trading Standards investigations but all items will be destroyed so any personal information on unsolicited mail will not be open to misuse.
The campaign will see bins at Clayton Village Hall, Bradford, and at North Dean House, an Incommunities sheltered housing unit in North Dean Avenue, Keighley, until June 10.
David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said “Junk mail and bogus charity collections can be a real detriment to the lives of older people, causing worry and financial harm.
“This campaign is intended to relieve the burden of the nuisance post people receive and to encourage residents to ‘spot it’ and ‘bin it’! If know older people who are being pestered by junk mail and bogus charity collections, please advise them not to respond, and please tell them of this service.”
The campaign is part of the Safer Project which has already addressed many older people through a series of community workshops.
Staff involved have found victims have received up to 100 pieces of scam mail each week, in some cases leading to severe financial problems and also affecting the health of those who have fallen victim.
One of the most obvious forms of scam mail is bogus lottery wins, where potential victims are duped with the lure of an easy payout, but others include rogue charity bags, fake holidays and ‘miracle’ health cures.
The campaign will continue until August.
Residents can also register with the Mail Preference Service to help reduce unsolicited mail. Telephone 0845 7034599.
e-mail: paul.whitehouse
@telegraphandargus.co.uk

Comments (1)

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8:55pm Mon 19 May 14

mrs walker says...

So-called 'reputable' companies are also running 'competitions' which, in my opinion, are barely legal. I am horrified - HORRIFIED - by the amount of junk mail that Damart have sent my elderly mother.

I've recently sent more than six bin bags of their marketing junk to the tip after going through my mum's paperwork. 'YOU HAVE DEFINITELY WON £433,000' emblazoned across a letter - far more prominently than the text that says it's a 'sample letter'. And all you have to do is buy more stuff, and they'll enter you in yet another 'life-changing' grand draw that 'you've definitely won'. Except you haven't, because all they really mean is that this is what will be written on the letter if by some fluke you do.

Damart, my mother is old. She isn't media-savvy. Until a recent operation, like many elderly people her eyesight wasn't too good. If your staff are reading this, I implore them to feed this back and ask you to rethink your marketing strategy. My sister tried to contact you about this issue but couldn't get past your sales people.

To be fair, you are not the only company to target my mother in this way, but that doesn't make your strategy acceptable.

As a result of your communications, which I believe are misleading at best, I will never buy, nor recommend your products to anyone ever again. I used to think you were a solid and trustworthy company. I hope that someone in your organisation reads this, and shows some moral fibre and rethinks your marketing strategy right now. A quick search on the internet suggests that we are not the only people to be disgusted by your ploy, especially considering the demographic of your customer base.
So-called 'reputable' companies are also running 'competitions' which, in my opinion, are barely legal. I am horrified - HORRIFIED - by the amount of junk mail that Damart have sent my elderly mother. I've recently sent more than six bin bags of their marketing junk to the tip after going through my mum's paperwork. 'YOU HAVE DEFINITELY WON £433,000' emblazoned across a letter - far more prominently than the text that says it's a 'sample letter'. And all you have to do is buy more stuff, and they'll enter you in yet another 'life-changing' grand draw that 'you've definitely won'. Except you haven't, because all they really mean is that this is what will be written on the letter if by some fluke you do. Damart, my mother is old. She isn't media-savvy. Until a recent operation, like many elderly people her eyesight wasn't too good. If your staff are reading this, I implore them to feed this back and ask you to rethink your marketing strategy. My sister tried to contact you about this issue but couldn't get past your sales people. To be fair, you are not the only company to target my mother in this way, but that doesn't make your strategy acceptable. As a result of your communications, which I believe are misleading at best, I will never buy, nor recommend your products to anyone ever again. I used to think you were a solid and trustworthy company. I hope that someone in your organisation reads this, and shows some moral fibre and rethinks your marketing strategy right now. A quick search on the internet suggests that we are not the only people to be disgusted by your ploy, especially considering the demographic of your customer base. mrs walker
  • Score: 2

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