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The price of sweets is going up. Long gone are the days when you could pick up a Freddo for 10p.
But one schoolgirl has set her sights on way more than an extra lollipop with an extremely precocious scam.
Elizabeth Kay-Devine, from Lancashire, UK, was only six when she first attempted the money-making scheme, sending her dad a phoney speeding fine complete with the location of the incident, the car's registration number and even the council logo...
And you thought you were pretty clever when you pioneered the old 'kick him in the nuts and look in his pocket' technique.
Elizabeth was apparently inspired after seeing a similar fine for one of the drivers at her dad's company. Step-mum Helen Boardman, 43, said she and Elizabeth's dad, Paul Kay, 46, were almost deceived by the original letter, which was addressed from Rossendale Borough Council.
She said: "It nearly worked. If she had put the bank details on, then we may well have paid it.
"But thankfully she didn't put anywhere to put your bank details in or any phone number or anything, so that gave it away."
To be fair, if Elizabeth had managed to set up her own fraudulent council bank account to complete the ruse then she would deserve more than £100.
Yet, unperturbed by being rumbled as a six-year-old, Elizabeth has persisted with the scam for the past five years, sending numerous supposed fines from various councils. Now 11-years-old, her most recent letter was addressed from Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council and was complete with a letterhead, demanding that £100 be paid within 10 days, otherwise the fee would rise to £150.
Helen said: "She keeps doing it, she must have done it about five times.
"She does it from different councils each time. They have got better as the years have gone on.
"It all depends on which council logo she gets and how good it looks.
"It is quite shocking that someone so young knows to get the right council logo and so on. There is a good level of detail.
"She's very computer-savvy. She good at doing stuff like that. She is very clever."
Paul and Helen run an office photocopier sales company and it is while she's there that Elizabeth creates the forgeries, before posting them in the company's letter box.
Luckily, they are now wise to the scam, but surely it is only a matter of time before they ignore a legitimate speeding ticket... or Elizabeth starts embezzling company funds.
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