Fraudsters using bogus postcode lottery letters target people in Stevenage and North Herts
- Credit: Archant
Police have issued a scam alert after worried householders reported receiving letters telling them they’d hit a £825,000 postcode lottery jackpot.
In the past week at least two people in Stevenage and North Herts have received letters on notepaper headed itself the People’s Postcode Lottery – telling them that despite never entering they’d won a Europe-wide ballot.
Delia Campbell, who lives in Stevenage and received a letter last week, rang the number on the letter and a man told her she would have to pay him £1,900 to receive her winnings. He said: “You can pay via online banking or a bank transfer. We are the security company that processes the fee and that’s what you are paying for. We are the business that sends out the cheque and we need to cover our costs.”
When Delia, 72, asked when she needed to make the payment the man responded: “The whole thing’s all on you, when are you going to make the claim?”
Delia, a retired director of an electronic component sales and marketing company, admitted she knew the whole thing was a scam and contacted the Comet to warn others.
“There was never any danger that I was going to fall for it but I worry about people who are a bit more naive,” she said.
“Especially elderly people who might have mental health problems or suffer from diseases like Alzheimer’s. People like that might be taken in and end up losing a lot of money.”
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A police spokesman said: “If you haven’t entered a lottery, you haven’t won, so it’s not true if you’re told you’ve won a lottery you didn’t know you had entered.
“Beware of anyone asking for money in advance, genuine firms do not ask for this.
“Never send money to anyone you don’t know, including paying fees, however small, to claim prizes or lottery winnings.”
For more visit www.herts.police.uk and search for crime prevention.
A spokesman for Herts County Council said that if you receive one of these letters send it to Scams Team, Trading Standards, Mundells, Welwyn Garden City, AL7 1FT.
For more call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.