THE details of more than 100 Brentwood residents have been discovered on a "suckers list" used by scammers.
The cruel compilation of names is passed around by conmen and features the names and addresses of people who respond to scams such as prize draws and special offers.
Essex Trading Standards were handed the list, which contains 2,700 names and addresses of potentially vulnerable Essex residents, by another county.
The list had the names and addresses of 106 Brentwood residents on it.
Trading Standards was also given about 200 completed forms with cheques, cash, postal orders, stamps and credit card details – including security codes - attached to prize draw applications and orders for confectionery special offers. The forms were found in a PO Box used by known scammers.
Cllr Roger Walters, Essex County Council cabinet member for Trading Standards, said: "Unfortunately we know that this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Residents who respond to scams often will not tell family, friends or neighbours. This is partly because it almost becomes an obsession.
"It is difficult to persuade someone who has been responding for years that the prize draw, the scam lottery, the 'today-only' offer, the vouchers, the promise of a holiday or whatever else is not real.
"Residents should never respond to mailings relating to prize draws, lotteries, or other products or services which requests personal information, or money for administration fees."
Essex Trading Standards will now return all the money to the people who sent it, with advice about how to avoid scams.
They will also contact people on the “suckers list” to warn them about scams and give advice about how to avoid them.