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Junk mail and telephone calls

Have you ever opened a letter congratulating you on winning a huge cash prize or had a phone call out of the blue trying to sell you double glazing?

The Office of Fair Trading estimates that postal scams cost UK consumers over £1 billion each year.

If you send money in response to a scam letter is likely your name will be entered on a 'suckers list'. Other scammers use these lists to find potential targets and the amount of scam mail you get is likely to increase.

Scam letter and calls are almost impossible to stop, but you can cut down the amount you receive. There are various services, for example the Mail Preference Service, which aim to reduce the amount of unsolicited contact you receive and registering your details with them is free.

These services will not contact you once you are registered. If anyone calls claiming to be from any of the services do not give them any personal details.