A Wigan pensioner was scammed out of more than £30,000 by various fraudsters over a targeted 20-year campaign of harassment.
The 91-year-old from Shevington was unaware of many of the scams and willingly handed her hard-earned money to the criminals.
Her plight was revealed by trading standards officers after they intervened to stop the victim receiving junk mail at her family’s request.
They believe many of the dodgy schemes which lured her into handing over cash were peddled by letter.
Her family estimate she had lost more than £30k over two decades responding to various scams.
They eventually contacted Wigan Council’s trading standards for help.
The council team worked with the family to get the victim’s details removed from databases, which has now stopped the letters.
Scam mail can include fake lotteries, prize draws or investments. They may ask for your bank details or for you to ring a premium rate number to claim a prize.
Paul Barton, director for environment at Wigan Council, said: “This is a tragic case with a bittersweet ending. This vulnerable lady was unaware that she was being scammed and was voluntarily handing over her money to criminals.
“I am so glad we have been able to help her and her family and now the letters have stopped.
“It is so important to remain vigilant when anyone asks you to hand over your money, either via a letter, telephone or email. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
“If you are unsure about something our trading standards officers are on hand to help you so please get in touch with them.”
The victim’s daughter said: “Thank you to trading standards for the hard work involved to help people, like my mum, who are vulnerable and have been targeted by scam letters.
“I am sure since this intervention lots of the con letters have stopped. She was getting 20 to 30 a day and paying to many.
“For the first time in years she has money in her purse.
“We begged, pleaded and argued with her to stop but we all became upset and for no purpose.
“The work that you have done is brilliant so please carry on with it.”
To stop receiving junk mail you can report to Wigan Trading Standards via the Citizen’s Advice Consumer helping on 03454 040506.
You can also contact the Mail Preference Service: here