A scam artist who sent 136,000 misleading letters on behalf of UK Incentives & Promotions Ltd has been given a 12-month order not to send further scam letters.
The man was taken to court by East Sussex Trading Standards after Consumer Direct had received over 700 complaints about the company. The action was taken using the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.
The judge ruled that recipients of the sweepstake mailings had been given the false impression that they had won £625,000, and that they were in fact only being sold a low quality watch for £20. Because UK Incentives & Promotions went into liquidation earlier this year Trading Standards decided to take action against the former marketing manager of the company.
Although the defendant only received a suspended sentence, Trading Standards today claimed to have won the court case. The defence barrister also claimed victory, saying that his client is still convinced that he did not breach any legislation, but that challenging the judge's decision would be futile as his client is no longer involved in sweepstake mailings.
The Office of Fair Trading estimates 3.2 million adults in the UK fall victim to a scam every year. The Consumer Protection Regulations were introduced in May 2008 to make it easier for the Office of Fair Trading and Trading Standards to prosecute scammers.