More than 6,000 people have had money returned to them as a result of a new crackdown by Trading Standards on prize draw mail scams.
The initiative – which sees the National Trading Standards Scams Team working with the Royal Mail – seizes responses to mail scams before the money reaches the hands of the scammers.
As part of the operation – launched in June this year – people are receiving their money back, alongside a letter or visit from a local trading standards officer.
The letters explain why the individual is getting their money back and explains that they had responded to a prize draw scam.
It is hoped this approach will deter people from responding to scam mail in the future.
So far, more than £108,000 has been returned to victims and an additional 4,000 replies to suspected scam mail are being assessed with a view to returning the money contained within them.
If you’ve been targeted a scam, it can be difficult to know who to report it to. Our guide on how to report a scam tells you which organisations to report it to, depending on the scam.
Scams to be aware of
Prize draw scams are notorious for targeting the elderly and other vulnerable people who may be less likely to realise the mail is a scam. The initiative has identified people affected by these scams across the UK.
The Which? Consumer Rights team has recently teamed up with the National Trading Standards eCrime team to keep consumers up to date with the top three scams to be aware of at the moment.
Our Scam Watch guide tells you everything you need to know about premium rate number scams, free trial scams for slimming products and restaurant scams along with top tips on how to avoid them.
For example, you should always be wary of 090 numbers when calling government advice lines.
The Which? Consumer Rights website also has information on what to do if you have been scammed and how to get your money back.
You may be able to make a claim to your bank, depending on the type of scam.
Our guide on getting your money back tells you how.