Widower, 87, 'lost £35,000 due to charity data selling'

Charities to Face Investigation
Charities to Face Investigation



Regulators have vowed to take action after it emerged an elderly man was conned out of thousands of pounds as a result of charities buying and selling his personal details.

Widower Samuel Rae's details were passed on hundreds of times after he forgot to tick a box on a lifestyle survey 21 years ago.

Chris Rae, from St Buryan, Cornwall whose father Samuel Rae, is a postal scam victim. His father has severe dementia and he has lost �35,000 because of the scams. 01/09/2015 See SWNS story SWSCAM; A retired Army colonel and dementia sufferer was targeted by fraudsters who conned him out of �35,000 � after he failed to tick one box when filling out a survey. Samuel Rae, 87, was targeted by the fraudsters after he filled out a survey for a charity he supported, but failed to tick a box stating that he did not want his details shared. He was contacted over 700 times by 12 different firms, some of which tried to convince him he has won vast sums of money in prizes. In total Mr Rae was conned out of �35,000, and the scam only came to an end when his son, Chris Rae, visited him to find his home filled with hundreds of scam letters.
Chris Rae, from St Buryan, Cornwall whose father Samuel Rae, is a postal scam victim. His father has severe dementia and he has lost �35,000 because of the scams. 01/09/2015 See SWNS story SWSCAM; A retired Army colonel and dementia sufferer was targeted by fraudsters who conned him out of �35,000 � after he failed to tick one box when filling out a survey. Samuel Rae, 87, was targeted by the fraudsters after he filled out a survey for a charity he supported, but failed to tick a box stating that he did not want his details shared. He was contacted over 700 times by 12 different firms, some of which tried to convince him he has won vast sums of money in prizes. In total Mr Rae was conned out of �35,000, and the scam only came to an end when his son, Chris Rae, visited him to find his home filled with hundreds of scam letters.

The 87-year-old former army colonel's data has since been given to charities, and even some companies associated with scams with the result that he has lost almost £35,000, an investigation by the Daily Mail found.

Mr Rae's son Chris said his father, who lives in St Buryan in Cornwall and suffers from dementia, had been treated in an "absolutely disgraceful" way by charities.

It comes just months after the Government commissioned a review into the way charities carry out their fundraising following the suicide of Britain's longest-serving poppy seller Olive Cooke.

Mrs Cooke, 92, from Fishponds in Bristol, had told how she was receiving up to 267 letters in a month and regular phone calls from charities asking her for donations.

Chris Rae, from St Buryan, Cornwall, with some of the  items his father has brought through postal scams. His father Samuel has severe dementia and he has lost �35,000 because of the scams. 01/09/2015 See SWNS story SWSCAM; A retired Army colonel and dementia sufferer was targeted by fraudsters who conned him out of �35,000 � after he failed to tick one box when filling out a survey. Samuel Rae, 87, was targeted by the fraudsters after he filled out a survey for a charity he supported, but failed to tick a box stating that he did not want his details shared. He was contacted over 700 times by 12 different firms, some of which tried to convince him he has won vast sums of money in prizes. In total Mr Rae was conned out of �35,000, and the scam only came to an end when his son, Chris Rae, visited him to find his home filled with hundreds of scam letters.
Chris Rae, from St Buryan, Cornwall, with some of the items his father has brought through postal scams. His father Samuel has severe dementia and he has lost �35,000 because of the scams. 01/09/2015 See SWNS story SWSCAM; A retired Army colonel and dementia sufferer was targeted by fraudsters who conned him out of �35,000 � after he failed to tick one box when filling out a survey. Samuel Rae, 87, was targeted by the fraudsters after he filled out a survey for a charity he supported, but failed to tick a box stating that he did not want his details shared. He was contacted over 700 times by 12 different firms, some of which tried to convince him he has won vast sums of money in prizes. In total Mr Rae was conned out of �35,000, and the scam only came to an end when his son, Chris Rae, visited him to find his home filled with hundreds of scam letters.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham told BBC Radio 4's Today programme his office would be investigating and said: "If the law has been broken, we will take action.

"Whether or not Samuel Rae ticked the box in 1994 and is still being plagued with unwanted mail and unwanted approaches is beside the point. The Data Protection Act is very clear - the very first principle is that your data is only processed fairly and lawfully. What's described in the papers this morning doesn't look like that."

A failure to tick a box "isn't consent and it doesn't give you the right to trade in people's personal information years after the event", he said.

A collection of letters which have been sent to Samuel Rae from St Buryan, Cornwall. He is a postal scam victim, and has severe dementia. He has lost �35,000 because of the scams. 01/09/2015 See SWNS story SWSCAM; A retired Army colonel and dementia sufferer was targeted by fraudsters who conned him out of �35,000 � after he failed to tick one box when filling out a survey. Samuel Rae, 87, was targeted by the fraudsters after he filled out a survey for a charity he supported, but failed to tick a box stating that he did not want his details shared. He was contacted over 700 times by 12 different firms, some of which tried to convince him he has won vast sums of money in prizes. In total Mr Rae was conned out of �35,000, and the scam only came to an end when his son, Chris Rae, visited him to find his home filled with hundreds of scam letters.
A collection of letters which have been sent to Samuel Rae from St Buryan, Cornwall. He is a postal scam victim, and has severe dementia. He has lost �35,000 because of the scams. 01/09/2015 See SWNS story SWSCAM; A retired Army colonel and dementia sufferer was targeted by fraudsters who conned him out of �35,000 � after he failed to tick one box when filling out a survey. Samuel Rae, 87, was targeted by the fraudsters after he filled out a survey for a charity he supported, but failed to tick a box stating that he did not want his details shared. He was contacted over 700 times by 12 different firms, some of which tried to convince him he has won vast sums of money in prizes. In total Mr Rae was conned out of �35,000, and the scam only came to an end when his son, Chris Rae, visited him to find his home filled with hundreds of scam letters.

Mr Graham said: "If there's any connection between the good work that charities do and the scam merchants, that's very concerning and we've got to get to the bottom of how this information was passed on".

But he warned: "There's a danger here of blackening a whole sector. Charities seem to be becoming the new dirty word, and that clearly isn't fair. We've got to look at the specifics of the case and work out exactly what has happened and if the law has been broken, we will act."

The Information Commissioner's Office's (ICO) head of enforcement, Steve Eckersley, added: "We have been presented with some clearly concerning findings about data sharing and sale in the charity sector, and we will be investigating them further.

"The law applies to charities as it does to any other company. We already have an ongoing investigation into marketing practices in the charity sector, and where we find companies have broken the law we will take action."

More on AOL Money:

'Britain's oldest scam victim': 103-year-old in £60,000 scam

How to avoid getting scammed this summer​

Victims of card fraud: will your bank treat you fairly?​

Scam or No Scam? LinkedIn Email Offers Cash from Settlement
Scam or No Scam? LinkedIn Email Offers Cash from Settlement