A WEARSIDE dementia sufferer has slammed “wicked” internet fraudsters targeting those who have the condition.
Ken Payne, 61, hit out at conmen after receiving a suspicious email from America offering to sell tips on tackling memory loss.
Now he and wife June want to alert others to ensure nobody falls victim to the scam.
Ken, from Penshaw, said: “It seems as if they are just trying to make money out of people that are having memory loss issues.
“I ended up getting an email, that seemed to originate from America, that was, from what I could see, full of bogus information about a cure for dementia and how to reverse memory problems.
“They said dementia is a caused by a ‘bacteria-like organism and that there is a type of document you can buy for about $40, that tells you about food you can eat that will actually reverse mental health problems.
“So I thought it would be better to share it with as many people as possible across the North East so they are alert to these people who just appear to be rip-off merchants.
Ken, who used to work as a social housing manager, added: “If there was some sort of miracle cure or a major breakthrough on Alzheimer’s I am absolutely certain that the Government would be shouting from the rooftops about it.
“Too many people with memory issues are too embarrassed to say anything. My advice would be the make sure that you treat these emails with utmost suspicion.”
Wife June, also 61, branded those sending the emails as “heartless”.
She said: “This heartless because they’re preying on people who are vulnerable and are prepared to clutch at straws and they need to be stopped in their tracks. It is really wicked because we know that there isn’t a breakthrough yet although you live in hope that a major leap forward will be made.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, almost 35,000 people are living with dementia across the North East.
A spokesman said: “More and more people across the North are affected by dementia and everyone should be extra vigilant because sadly there are callous tricksters out there who will exploit weaknesses.’
Anyone seeking further information about dementia can contact the Alzheimer’s Society on 298 3989.