A high-profile campaign to protect elderly residents from scammers will be backed by councillors.

Jessica’s Campaign was set up after a 78-year-old widow responded to a fraudulent letter, which said she had won a large sum of money.

After she sent a sum of money as an administration fee to claim her non-existent winnings, scammers continued to bombard her with requests.

When Jessica died, her daughter found 30,000 letters from fraudsters in her house and discovered she had parted with thousands of pounds.

West Sussex County Council agreed to support the campaign at its meeting last week.

Liberal Democrat councillor Morwen Millson, who presented the notice of motion, said: “I nearly cried when I first read Jessica’s story. It was so sad to read of how badly affected she was by these criminal fraudsters.

“West Sussex has a large population of older people, and although we all like to think that we would see through such letters, it is surprising how many people respond to them.”

In 2008 a survey conducted by Help the Aged and Barclays revealed that seven out of ten older people in Britain – more than 6.6 million people – are targeted by scams every month, by either telephone or letter.

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