Over the last week we’ve been sharing the story of a man who was a victim of extensive postal and telephone fraud.
Tonight, we’re sharing his story in full. After seeing and hearing of the positive comments received on the posts so far, he has decided to tell his story in even more detail, which you can read below.
The aim is to help others from becoming a victim and show that there is help, support and advice available.
The full audio clip is available on our YouTube channel.
Brian’s story is below.
If you have concerns about fraud, or for more information, please visit Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 1233040.
A Sheffield man, who was a victim of extensive postal and telephone fraud, has been presented with a new phone to help prevent further scam calls.
Brian Kelly, 80, contacted officers at Ecclesfield policing team last year after receiving extensive amounts of fraudulent post and scam calls. An officer spoke with Mr Kelly and then contacted Fraud Protect Officer Andy Foster, seeking advice on available call blocking devices. After speaking with the officer, Andy contacted Mr Kelly and arranged a meeting.
Entering Mr Kelly’s house, Andy noticed that there were hundreds of unopened letters all the way up the staircase, in the living room and filling the bathroom. While at his house for the first time, Andy also took a call from someone claiming to be from the Metropolitan Police. These scam calls continued on the four separate occasions Andy visited Mr Kelly.
Andy was so concerned that he volunteered his own time over the Easter weekend to go through Mr Kelly’s post. Andy and Mr Kelly filled a total of 18 bin bags of post; a third were fraudulent letters from around the world claiming Mr Kelly had won various competitions, some were from bogus clairvoyants and others prize draw scams. Mr Kelly had also sent cash to addresses in Staffordshire and London.
Contained within Mr Kelly’s post were bank statements going back five years, these clearly highlighted that Mr Kelly had been sending money to unknown individuals for many years. Cheques had been sent in sums from £20 - £9,000. Andy also discovered Mr Kelly was a victim of rogue traders spending over £13,000 of two lots of solar panels (his property does not have central heating).
Andy has helped Mr Kelly significantly, clearing out the letters, advising him of the most appropriate crime prevention advice and installing a call-blocking device. In January of this year, Andy received a call from Mr Kelly’s daughter who informed him that her father had suffered two strokes but was due to return home in the following weeks. Andy paid Mr Kelly a visit to check on his progress and after a long chat Mr Kelly informed Andy that he was willing to share his story to help others. Mr Kelly bravely gave his account of what had been taking place over a number of years and it was during these interviews that Mr Kelly confessed he was contemplating taking his own life as he did not know which way to turn. Had it not been for Andy, he said, he most likely would have done.
On Wednesday 17 April, he attended Carbrook HQ to be presented with a new phone, with caller ID and call blocking technology. This new phone, along with a TrueCall call blocking device, will hopefully go some way towards stopping him receiving scam calls. Mr Kelly said during his visit: “I want to thank everyone who have helped me over the last 12 months, I went into darkness but came out the other side.”
Thanks to Andy’s help and support, Mr Kelly now knows to open his post but to also bin any letters that could be scams or seem too good to be true. He is also confident now in putting the phone down straight away if he receives a scam call.
Andy said: “Through most of my career with SYP I have supported vulnerable adults. It was this that convinced me I wanted to do more to help and work with vulnerable communities. I am proud to represent SYP and always have been, however, I have made it a bit of a mission to do all I can to support vulnerable people.
“Brian is just one of many victims whose story will stay with me forever. It is people like Brian that drive me to do all I can to work with our communities raising awareness of the methods used by fraudsters to try and keep people safe. Personally speaking, Brian is an inspiration and shows despite how bad people feel, a problem shared is far less of a burden than carrying it alone.
“I would like to thank all the police and partners who supported Brian through his journey, without you Brian may not be here to tell of the journey he went on.”
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