As part of the Scam Mail Campaign, Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP, Angus is asking any constituents who are concerned about scam mails to contact him.
Scam mail is not about the perfectly legal mail shots that legitimate companies send out to advertise lawful services or the sale of genuine goods. It is mail shots, which are sent for the sole intention of obtaining money through deception.
The scams have many different guises such as threats of curses put on recipients if people do not send back money to the originators; fake lotteries; fake lawyers promising transfers of large sums of cash; this ends up with vulnerable people parting with their cash.
The scale of this largely unreported problem is vast, costing some £3.5 billion a year and growing (UK). Some 50% of the population will be targeted, and nearly 7% will be duped by scam mail, which is carefully crafted to maximise the potential of deceiving the victim.
Once the scam comes to light, the victim or, in many cases, the victim’s family, experience a large range of emotions, including anger, shame and upset.
Mr MacNeil said:
“We have all received those annoying letters through the post declaring that we have won millions, most people throw them away, however, there are some people who respond.
“Whenever someone responds to one of these scams not only are they losing money but their details are being sold on to other unscrupulous scammers. The problem often escalates.
“This is upsetting not only for the person who has lost money but also for family members and I want to raise awareness of the problem and help to protect people in Na h-Eileanan an Iar from these scams.
“If you are concerned about a friend or family member who has a problem with scam postal mail, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly on 01851 702272 or send me examples of scam mailing to my Parliamentary Office at 31 Bayhead Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS2 0NB. This information can then be put together with other samples from other constituencies.”