Caerphilly County Borough Council has put its backing to a national poster campaign warning people to beware of scam letters.
The Think Jessica campaign has been set up to tackle the problem of the estimated £3.5 billion a year that is sent to criminal gangs.
The Think Jessica campaign was set up following the death of campaigner Marilyn Baldwin’s mother Jessica in 2007.
Jessica was receiving more than 30 scam letters every day, and was sending most of her pension money every week to the criminals operating the scams.
The situation quickly spiralled out of control to a point where Jessica became distrustful of her own family, while remaining convinced she would soon win a large sum of money. When the money started running out she became anxious and her health started deteriorating.
Her daughter Marilyn is convinced that the torment from the scam mail was partly to blame for her mother’s death.
She said: “Straight after my mother died I knew I had to do something. I set up Think Jessica to raise awareness about this awful fraud whose many victims are suffering in silence, and to hopefully bring about change so that they can be reached and helped.”
Councillor Lyn Ackerman, cabinet member for the environment, said: “Scams such as this often target some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, many of whom often don’t tell family members or friends that they are replying to these letters.
“I’m pleased that this very important issue is being publicised through the ‘Think Jessica’ campaign, and would encourage anyone that is worried about themselves or a friend or relative falling prey to scams such as this to get in touch with Trading Standards or call the new free advice line.”