HUNDREDS of “suckers” in north Essex are being targeted by con artists.

They are among almost 3,000 in Essex on a list which Trading Standards has been made aware of.

The list is made up of vulnerable people who have either been conned in the past or who may be susceptible to spammers and scammers.

Details are then passed around fraudsters who continue to target them.

Along with the list Essex Trading Standards discovered about 200 completed forms with cheques, cash, postal orders, stamps and credit card details – complete with security codes.

Scams included prize draws and special offers for sweets.

Roger Walters, cabinet member for Trading Standards at County Hall, said: "Unfortunately we know this list is just the tip of the iceberg.

"Residents who respond to scams often will not tell family, friends or neighbours.

“It is difficult to persuade someone who has been responding for years the prize draw or whatever else is not real.

“Residents should never respond to mailings which request personal information, or money for administration fees.”

The money is being returned and people on the "suckers" list will be informed and given specific advice