A WOMAN who says she fell prey to a £400,000 scam is appealing for help to set up a charity for victims of fraud.

Maggie Tuttle, 67, of Carlingford Drive, Westcliff, wants people with backgrounds in accounts or finance to come forward as trustees for the charity which would be registered with the Charity Commission.

Southend West Tory MP David Amess has written to Mrs Tuttle expressing interest in becoming a patron of the charity which would be called the Victims of Fraud Helpline.

Mrs Tuttle said since reporting an alleged fraud she has received little or no support from the authorities.

She said: “There is just no support out there, either financially or in terms of advice. There is also no compensation for victims of fraud.

“People could contact me through the helpline and I would give them advice and support. I have already spoken to an old lady who lost £19,000 while she was in a care home.”

Police arrested a 76-year-old Southend man on suspicion of fraud last August following Mrs Tuttle’s allegations that she has been unable to retrieve around £400,000 she invested with a businessman, in early 2009, He is currently on police bail until the end of November.

If you are interested, call Mrs Tuttle on 07767 710756.