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Warning of hoax lottery letters


By David G Scott

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HIGHLAND Council warns Caithness residents that letters claiming they have won a share of £425,000 in a "postcode lottery" are part a scam operation.

Though the letters appear to be targeting the Skye area, said a council spokesperson, they are likely to be sent to various addresses across the Highland region.

The letter heading from the scam mailing.
The letter heading from the scam mailing.

The letter heading has a head office address in London and recipients are told that a processing fee is required to release the winnings – something which legitimate lotteries never do. The letters are signed by a person called Susan Blair – listed as the lottery’s president.

Players of the real People’s Postcode Lottery are being urged to carefully check any mailings they receive.

The council's trading standards manager, David MacKenzie, said: “Scam mail can take the form of fake lotteries or imitate genuine lotteries.

"Scam mail is sent with the sole intention of obtaining money through deception and/or fraud. It is a common theme among lottery scams to ask for an upfront fee to release winnings.

"We want to know about potentially fraudulent mail so that we can investigate illegal business activity and support those affected, particularly the more vulnerable members in our community.”

Highland Council warns that scammers are operating in the area a fake postcode lottery mailing is doing the rounds.
Highland Council warns that scammers are operating in the area a fake postcode lottery mailing is doing the rounds.

The real People’s Postcode Lottery says it will never ask you to pay anything to receive your winnings.

Trading Standards reminds recipients of the scam letter that:

  • Legitimate lotteries will never ask you to pay anything to receive your winnings or to keep your winnings a secret.
  • If you haven’t bought a ticket, you can’t be a winner.
  • Never give out your personal or financial information.
  • If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Mr MacKenzie added: “This matter has come to our attention through our Adult Support and Protection network, where we proactively engage with those directly involved in Adult Care.”

Highland Council Trading Standards works in partnership with Advice Direct Scotland to provide advice on scams.

For more information Freephone 0808 164 6000 or visit www.consumeradvice.scot

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