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Kingstown Associates fined GBP150,000 for postal scam on elderly

12 Feb 2020, 15:28 ... m-elderly/

A COMPANY that conned elderly people with a "healthy living" mailshot has been ordered to pay more than £150,000.

Kingstown Associates Ltd posted leaflets to its victims which claimed that they were guaranteed a share in a prize of tens of thousands of pounds.

But to get the prize, consumers had to first buy products from the company.

More than 11,000 people did so and "won" a prize which amounted to 91p per person. In total the company handed out £10,024.56

Kingstown Associates, of Driffield, denied two charges of unfair trading by creating a false impression, but was convicted at trial at York Magistrates Court.

It was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay £10,763.84 costs to the Yorkshire and Humberside trading standards regional investigation team, which prosecuted the case, and a £170 statutory surcharge.

The team's chair, Lord Toby Harris said: “Kingstown Associates Limited deliberately targeted and misled elderly consumers with scam promotional mailings for financial gain. The company engaged in commercial practices that are banned under the Unfair Trading Regulations and will now, quite rightly, pay the price for their actions.

“Cases of postal scams are widespread but notoriously difficult to measure given low reporting rates.

"Anyone who suspects that they or someone they know is receiving scam mail should report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline by calling 03454 04 05 06.

"We’d also urge people to join our Friends Against Scams initiative to help empower people to identify scams and prevent neighbours, family and friends from falling victim to mail scams.”

Cllr Andrew Waller, economy portfolio holder for City of York Council, said: "I applaud our investigators for unveiling and successfully prosecuting a mail scam that preyed upon vulnerable members of the community for financial gain.

“As this prosecution shows, when companies deliberately give misleading or false information, we will investigate and bring them to justice.

“We encourage residents to keep an eye out for vulnerable neighbours and if you think someone you know is being targeted, contact Citizens Advice."

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