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A Dunkirk veteran’s family has been left devastated after discovering direct mail scammers had conned him out of £70,000 before he died.
Former Royal Engineer Bernard Bannon was targeted by firms who sent him scam mail for seven years.
Letters - Thousands - Pounds - Prizes - Cheque
Many of the brightly coloured letters claimed he had won thousands of pounds in prizes and promised to send a cheque if he paid a fee or bought something from a catalogue. In reality, the winnings did not exist and any money sent was never seen again.
Mr Bannon’s son Lenny, 73, suspected his father was being targeted by scammers, and for the last 18 months of his life, visited his home in Bootle, Liverpool, daily to intercept the post. While there he would field dozens of cold calls from nuisance firms.
Father - Age - Lenny - Scale - Damage
But it was not until his father died in 2016 at the age of 98, that Lenny learned the full scale of the damage caused by the letters.
Despite regularly visiting the house, the family found enough scam mail to fill three wheelie bins. There were also cupboards full of unopened packets of biscuits, hand creams and perfume. And when they went through Mr Bannon’s bank statements, they made a devastating discovery. Over the course of seven years, Mr Bannon – who was evacuated from Dunkirk in a hospital ship and lived alone after his wife Rosaleen died in 1989 – paid out about £70,000 to companies the family didn’t recognise.
Period - October - March - £7 - Firms
In one six-month period between October 2012 and March 2013, he paid £7,610 to 30 different firms. He made 31 payments totalling £1,420 to a French company called Phyderma which claimed he could win a £129,052 prize draw.
Fourteen payments totalling £748 went to another firm called Vitamail, the trading name for French firm Promondo, which told him he had won a ‘1st Prize Cheque’...
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