Grieving Cheltenham son hits out at "parasite" fake lottery scams
"PARASITE" scam companies should face a massive crackdown, claims a grieving son who saw his mother's life spiral away at their hands.
An inquest held this week heard Joy Kiely, 62, spent up to £20,000 responding to scams, which often requested a fee to be paid in order for the non-existent cash prize to be released.
Her son Paul Kiely, 44, of Andover Road in the Suffolks, has now called on the Government to introduce legislation against fake companies who fool elderly and vulnerable victims with pretend cash prizes.
Joy, a retired graphic designer, became convinced she would win millions if she responded to the mountains of scam mail coming through her door.
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It was only after her death that Paul, who works night shifts and was out or asleep when she responded to the letters, uncovered the true extent of her problem.
"I was going through all the paperwork after she had gone and was finding postal orders that were being sent out, often coming to about £200 a day," he said.
"It was really difficult but she completely believed she was going to win."
Paul said when he began to realise there was a problem he managed to hide some letters on his days off but was powerless most of the time.
He recently destroyed an estimated 2,500 letters, and said more were being sent.
"I still get three or four a day addressed to her," he said. "She was being bombarded."
"The people who do this are parasites.
"Something has to be done, there has to be some sort of legislation that can be brought in to stop it. My advice to anyone in this situation would just simply be bin it. Don't get sucked in, it's not real and you won't win."
He said his mum had been ill for about seven years but that the fake lottery scams had only taken a grip in her last years.
"You can speculate that she might still be here now if it wasn't for all this," he said. "I doubt it, but she was very ill and this certainly didn't help."
The inquest heard the stress of the scams might have caused her to drink to excess, causing the pancreatitis which eventually claimed her life.
Mrs Kiely's GP Dr Alexander Owen said she had type two diabetes and had been diagnosed with a number of problems in 2005 caused by a high alcohol intake.
Her son found her lying on the living room floor after returning from work in January.
Gloucestershire's deputy coroner David Dooley recorded a verdict of natural causes.