David Whiteley investigates the scale of the scamming problem in the east. And celebrating the 50th anniversary of Milton Keynes.
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The scams costing our elderly billions every year.
Pensioners are being targeted by devious scams and
Criminals refer to these people as suckers,
people they can go to and target to take money off.
After the threat of a massive storm surge, what is the
way forward for our coastal communities?
And Milton Keynes was a vision for the future,
Revealing the stories that matter closer to home,
Just over a week ago, the coast here was being
First, our elderly are being conned out of
their money and we discovered the problem is getting worse.
What I'm working on at the moment is a scams
We are visiting consumers in their homes to give them advice
It is prevalent as we have so many older consumers in Suffolk.
Leslie has come to see 67 your old John Pearce.
He has spent thousands of pounds responding to scam mail.
These plastic bags contain just a few weeks' worth.
Catalogues, letters, an important reminder.
If they tell you you have won a lot of money...
This is a sort of thing we're talking about.
It is designed to make you excited about receiving the letter.
The only thing you have to do is order a significant amount of
product from our little catalogue that you can't live without.
Then you will get entered into the prize
So what are the chances of winning big money
Well, according to Leslie pretty much non-existent.
Trading Standards say they are struggling to cope
Research shows the typical victim is aged around 74,
lives alone and is losing an average of four and a half thousand pounds
Scam victims like John often end up buying products they don t need just
so they can be entered into the prize draw.
John has bought loads of medicinal creams and supplements that
Lesley is worried they may even be unsafe.
You have a stash of these in the garage?
If you do not know what is in it, especially with your health
Do you even know if you can take it with your medical condition?
The fear is that scams are now reaching epidemic proportions
and the cost is estimated at a staggering ?3.5 billion a year.
This conference in Ipswich is trying to raise awareness of scamming
and to see what can be done to stop it.
If you have lists of people's names, you can sell those and if you have
lists of vulnerable people, that is worth more.
People trade on the dark Internet what we call suckers list.
It is how criminals refer to these people.
They are referred to as suckers, people they
I get the impression that it is something that is almost
a crime that is going on behind closed
We do not know just how widespread it is.
For all sorts of reasons, people are the targets of
So embarrassed that they were conned that we do not tell anybody.
I think we would begin to realise that there
is a whole other group of people out there who are very lonely elderly
people who are so isolated from the community that some of us
To try to combat the problem of scams a national scam
Using information from the sucker list they tell local trading
standards teams who s at risk of being conned.
But Inside Out has discovered that while the names of more than 80
thousand people have been passed on, only a fraction of that number
have received visits from trading standards officers.
Suffolk Trading Standards have been working with
Suffolk Trading Standards have had 1,507 scam victims referred to them
but just 132 of those have been visited by a trading
It might not be very impressive, but the work
We contacted every single person in writing.
We followed up with phone calls where there was a phone number
The 132 visits where were we made definite contact and the individual
wanted or gave permission for us to visit.
We also did nearly 200 telephone referrals where we spoke
Unfortunately, a lot of people had died,
a lot of people had moved away
and a large proportion had moved into care.
We could do far more if we had resourcing.
Our department is very effective at what it does.
I see us as being very small but very impactful.
But with every else these days budgets rule the roost.
Our research has revealed Suffolk is not alone is having
Do you have any post? J McKenzie had been the victim of scam may several
years. ?15,500 ready and waiting. It years. ?15,500 ready and waiting. It
is not. What is your take on it? They told me it was waiting and
never heard another word. Does it never heard another word. Does it
occur to you that there is a serious organised crime who are gangs
setting up? It would worry me very much. I am a fairly trusting person
and I always thought when people see, we are offering you this, and
it comes, I think it is genuine. I thought this was another company
trying to make its money. Then you came along and told me it is a lot
of rubbish and since then, I have been telling them up. Well Jill has
stopped responding to scam mail, stopped responding to scam mail,
Leslie is hoping that John Pearce Leslie is hoping that John Pearce
will also stop wasting his money. As far as consumers are concerned, we
are saying do not be silly. You have been taken in by conmen who write
material is intended to make you material is intended to make you
part with your are in a full stop it happens to all people, rich people
good cash for that. Because you have good cash for that. Because you have
definitely one? What is that. John's home is full of boxes of things he
paid for hoping to win a prize. Most of these boxes have never been
opened. Do you need all this? You don't, do you? Leslie will be
sure he does not lose any more of sure he does not lose any more of
his money. I'm angry on his behalf. He has been taken in by companies
selling overpriced, potentially unsafe products to somebody who
thinks they are in with a chance of winning a significant prize. I
believe you cannot have people in business who say you are going to
win but you're not likely to win because there is no draw or nothing.
It is just one big con. I wish they would tell me that because it could
have saved me a lot of money. If there is something you think
we should be looking in to on the You're watching
Inside Out for the east We look back at
the history of Milton In my view, the city has been
an outstanding success. So many of my friends
take the mickey out of I have great parks,
great everything. It was a huge relief just over a one
week ago when the storm surge on Friday the 13th was not as bad
as some Powerful waves crashed
onto the coast. While east escaped
serious damage this time, we are asking
for how much longer? I really wish I could convey
to you just how powerful this swell is appearing here at the beach
at Hemsby, with these waves crash onto the beach with the winds
blowing down the north sea. Now you might find this hard
to believe but where I m standing, three years ago,
there was a house here. It was the home of Jackie
and Steve Connolly and on the night of the storm surge, December 2013,
their house along with a number of others houses in Hemsby
were lost to the sea. It was one of the most dramatic
incidents seen along the east coast coast in recent years -
six homes were washed into the sea, Now, three years on from that
fateful night there s a real concern it could happen all over again
and not too far from here down on the Marrams the remaining houses
are being evacuated. But not everyone here is taking
the advice to leave their homes. I'm spending the day with local
resident Paul Ray who's decided to stay put,
despite his home being just Are you worried living here? A
little but not a lot. I am not going to leave my home. I will stay here.
The wife will stay here too. I want to make sure everything is OK and if
everything is OK, I will stay here. If things are dodgy and it starts
ticking the sand and dunes away, I have somewhere to go to. Are you
ensured? Yes, I am insured. I do not want to lose the place. Obviously
what happened three years ago with people who lost their homes here,
that must be firmly in your mind when you get storms like this. I
will never forget it. I was part of the crew who made some materials
from one of the bungalows down here. It will stick with me all the time.
We're it is a one off and a piece of land is taken away, I will just keep
my fingers crossed and keep my eye on it. You cannot believe how cold
it is right now but if you live in a place like this, the three things
you are going to worry about are things like this. You have a spring
tide, so lots of the water coming down the north sea and if you have a
high tide that converges with strong winds, you are really going to worry
because the wind behind all this water coming down the north sea
creates a surge and then crashes into where people live. Hemsby was
not alone for feeling the worse. Along the east coast, people were
anxiously awaiting the tidal surge. At the ferry they were doing what
they could to prepare for flooding. Along the coast at J Wicken Essex,
people were being advised to leave their homes and get shelter. In
Great Yarmouth, the council were providing sandbags and emergency
services warned 5000 homes and it to be evacuated. 17th severe flood
warnings were in place. The highest alert, meaning danger to life.
Cromer was one of the first places to feel the full brunt of the surge?
on shore winds worsened the effect of the high tide.
Twenty five miles away at Hemsby residents were anxiously
waiting their turn to be hit by the tidal surge.
I'm back with Paul to check on the state
The winds not inshore here, things might be OK.
That is a long way up there now. You can see the concrete box that they
put into thousand and 13. which is helping tonight,
but is not efficient really, but if we didn t have those
what happen, it would take another Did you think you would be spending
evenings like this checking the sea? No, never. Why did you miss here in
It is a lovely place to live and I It is a lovely place to live and I
like it. Like many places up and down our coast today, it has been
dramatic at times. A lot of fear and apprehension with what could happen
with this storm surge. Thankfully, looks like it is coming to an end.
Hemsby has dodged a bullet this time.
The tidal surge might not have been as bad as people feared, but even
Cromer in Norfolk took a real hammering.
The pier and dozens of beach huts were damaged.
The cost of repairs is estimated at hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Two days later a man was killed in Thorpeness in Suffolk,
when a cliff collapsed on top of him.
A tragic reminder of just how dangerous erosion can be.
In Hemsby, this time around, no homes were lost,
but some sea defences were dislodged and had to be replaced.
But what does the future hold for places like Hemsby,
is there long term solution to protect our coastal communities?
The coast is very low lying. A lot of it is below sea level. As you can
see here, it is a very soft coast line and it erodes very fast when
the waves hit on it. The fastest the waves hit on it. The fastest
eroding coastline in Europe, Norfolk and Suffolk. How quickly is the
landscape changing? Very fast. 6000 landscape changing? Very fast. 6000
years ago we could have walked over to Holland here. The north sea was
not here. The coast has been eroding back and back to where we are today.
I think the challenge for the future is with the volatility with the
weather we are seeing an increased surge is coming down the coast, that
erosion will accelerate. What can be done to protect this coastline? We
are already spending hundreds of millions of pounds on this coastline
to maintain it and build new defences. We will continue to do
that in the future. We cannot protect everyone everywhere all the
time from these big surges. That is why it is so important that we do
our warning and informing people when we think there is a big surge
appropriate measures to protect appropriate measures to
themselves. Every time there is a themselves. Every time there is a
storm surges have to evacuate homes and get the emergency services
involved, is it more cost-effective to build sea defences as Maggie
would have to build a concrete wall which would build millions of
pounds. It would be very ugly and not the sort of thing people with
life. We have makeshift sea defences here. We have managed to sink some
concrete here. This is the kind of thing you could help them with?
Could you add my sea defences here as the Environment Agency? This is
something the committee has done as something the committee has done as
a pilot and the local authority is monitoring this and see whether it
will work and last into the future. If you think it will put a proposal
for funding and we will look at that for funding and we will look at that
positively and work with them and the queue minuted to see what we can
do to help. -- the community. Look at this today. A contrast to what it
was like during the storm surge. It was not as bad as people thought it
could have been but lots of sand has lost from the sand dunes, which
means the houses are more at risk than ever. When a storm surge is
forecast, you are always going to fear the worst.
On this very day in 1967, the new town of Milton Keynes
It was designed to relieve the pressure
on housing in London and to
give Buckinghamshire a commercial centre.
Sean Peel has been to meet some of the people involved in the
Milton Keynes, famous for its concrete cows
That is just headline fodder, there is much more to Milton Keynes.
I have come here to meet the people who shaped
the place, the people who
Also the people who think the original plans
At the moment, most of it is still farmland.
The last harvest before a new town was sown.
This 1973 film shows the lie of the land
It is home to a quarter of a million people,
with plans to add another 100,000 in the next ten years.
The plan here shows a gridiron of roads.
Master planner Fred Roach designed the town
Wide roads and borders, pathways and cycle
routes, car friendly, people friendly.
American Lee Shostak was one of the original
On Milton Keynes in 1971 and ended up
working for the development corporation.
What more can a planner ask them to be involved in building a
In my view, the city has been an outstanding success.
There were a few things we could have done better.
Some of the housing could have been built to
We still do not have a good public transport system.
Something that defines Milton Keynes is the number
of trees, intended to give it a feeling of being
Fred Roach told his team, we cannot afford to build Venice,
40% is green space, perfect for this walking club who have plenty to say
about what works and what does not. Like the buses. It is very hard on a
grid to run the bus system that is efficient. I think in London they
buses on. I do not think anybody can buses on. I do not think anybody can
afford to do that here. I like the openness of the grid squares, that
is one of the defining features. There is a nice walk you can do from
is near your front door is. We met is near your front door is. We met
the planners in 79 and it was winter and quite stark. We said, I want to
be here in 20 years' time and we're here 35 years later and it is
looking gorgeous. What about the people who live here? Former world
Badminton champion Gail arrived in Milton Keynes 15 years ago because
the National badminton headquarters is based here. When she stopped
playing to start a family, she stayed. Milton Keynes is one of the
best places for families. I am spoilt for choice and so many of my
friends take the Mickey out of me for being in Milton Keynes.
Actually, I have this. Fantastic schools around the corner from my
house, great parks, great everything. It really is so family
centred now. Why would I want to leave? My kids are going to grow up
and Milton Keynes and be proud to be from Milton Keynes. It is about what
they need and what they would like. Fred Roach, the father of Milton
about buildings or design, it would about buildings or design, it would
be about the people and the people who live here by and large really
love it. There are some who feel the plans have been ruined. Where we are
standing now is the site for the new Central area. The sinner that people
forget we existed, we are only an agency, the sinner it will mean the
people who live in Milton Keynes have adopted their own city. We have
been forgotten to soon according to feel. He is a fierce defender of the
original plans. He feels it might become like any other city. The
principles of the original masterplan were brilliant. However,
sadly, the people of Milton Keynes have been betrayed. The people who
are now in charge and have been in charge for the last 20 years or so,
bit by bit, death by 1000 cuts, destroyed the very thing that made
Milton Keynes extremely special and a very user friendly city. He at the
hub, really narrowed the Boulevard from 75 to 40 metres, filled in
underpasses sort that pedestrians are forced to cross the road at risk
and hold up all the traffic, you lot of the time now there are traffic
jams. It is much harder. There has been a lot of pretending. We are
doing the same thing. No, you are doing the same thing. No, you are
not. We are not fooled. Unlike Gail, a newcomer, Simon moved
here in 1978 when he was just four years old. Simon loved growing up
here and now links with his wife Hannah and two children, close to
where he used to play. Milton Keynes was great as a kid because it was
all open. I remember most summer all open. I remember most summer
holidays we would be outside and my dad to me fishing for the first
time. That was it, really, I spent most of my summer 's fishing. There
is more sea front here than in Brighton with all the different
lakes and canals. Yes, it was fantastic. I think there are a lot
of things we've had to wait for. The snow dome is only 12 years old. That
was a new development. We did not get a decent sized cinema until the
1980s. The football stadium was only ten years old. No professional
sport, apart from the ice hockey. We wait but when things come, they tend
than they would have been somewhere than they would have been somewhere
else. Is there to early for there to be a Milton Keynes type? A
character. I think people in their character. I think people in their
30s and 40s and people we grew up with, they would say yes, I am from
Milton Keynes. We are adaptable. Everything changes. We could drive
out to the edge of the city one weekend and it is not a road
junction there and then there is a roundabout. OK, that is new. That is
made Milton Keynes part of the made Milton Keynes part of the
landscape. A garden city in all but name. Compared to the lack of
Colchester, Cambridge built on centuries old foundations. It is a
mere toddler. A 50-year-old toddler, just finding their feet. My children
are going to say, I am from Milton Keynes and I am really proud. Have a
real voice of what they want. I feel a bit wanted when I read development
plans and expansion plans, the huge. I think it is in danger of growing a
bit too quickly. 200 years from now when you come back to Milton Keynes,
what will you find? You will find the landscaping, the city 's trees
and parks will be even better, more luxurious. Our city's landscaping is
the gift that keeps on giving. I love that. I never knew people from
Milton Keynes were called milk and beans. Next week, the incredible
story of the work of art found behind another. It is like something
out of a movie. You can get in touch with me... That is it from
Lowestoft. I will see you next week. Goodbye. Also next week, the women
who face abuse because they were Islamic dress. It should not give
people the chance to define new like you are worthless. What it is like
when you take over the care of relatives and loved ones.
Hello, I'm Riz Lateef with your 90 second update.
Thousands of people in the East fall for scams every year, the most common come through the post, letters are sent which make false promises to try to con the victim out of money. Many elderly people have lost thousands of pounds, many more have been identified as being on a 'suckers list' which is circulated among scammers giving them details of those most vulnerable to their letters. David Whiteley investigates the scale of the problem and why people at risk are not being protected.
On Friday the 13th, residents along the East coast breathed a huge sigh of relief as fears of widespread flooding failed to materialise. But while the East dodged a bullet this time, the programme asks for how much longer. Erosion along the coast is common, many homes are threatened and yet dozens of seaside resorts and villages along the coast have little or no protection from the seas. Inside Out finds out why not more is being done.
Plus the 50th anniversary of Milton Keynes. The new town was built to help alleviate London's chronic housing problem and to provide a commercial centre for Buckinghamshire. Did it work?