Letter Scams still Coming After 10 Years
by Megan Cunneen
ALFRED Shepherd is always "winning" money - and he is sick of it.
The Bundaberg resident is targeted on a daily basis by letter scams, claiming he is the winner of as much as $1 million.
"I get at least five or six letters a day, sometimes up to 15," Mr Shepherd said.
"All the letters tell me I have won money, but they are all asking for money too."
Master of Magic's 'Karma Credit', The Act of God Awards Sweepstakes Prize and Extraordinary Legacy of Gabriel d?ngelo's 7 Great Powers are just some of the letters he has received.
Mr Shepherd and his wife Ethel have been getting these letters for the past 10 years, but it has been getting worse recently.
"Ethel goes mad on me for opening them up but I have to find out what they are," Mr Shepherd said.
"They all ask you for money, at least $50, but sometimes as much as $145."
Mr Shepherd has never replied to any of the letters and does not understand why he is being targeted.
"Why does no one else get these letters?" he said.
"I have never replied to any of them."
The letters are all personally addressed and some even have Mr Shepherd's age and star sign.
Fair Trading Minister Margaret Keech said seniors were particularly vulnerable and needed to be vigilant against predatory con men.
"Scammers tend to target older people and international research shows that up to 60% of all people targeted by scams are over 60 years of age," Mrs Keech said.
"The Office of Fair Trading call centre receives thousands of complaints each year and the vast majority of complaints regarding scams come from seniors. These crooks consider the elderly as easy targets and victims of mail scams can be targeted a number of times within a short period."