Don’t take the gamble with lottery fraud
South Gloucestershire Trading Standards - 22nd September 2015
South Gloucestershire Council Trading Standards would like to remind residents to stay vigilant when receiving letters indicating they have won a lottery, whether it is from the UK or abroad.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau is warning people about two new Lottery Fraud letters and emails using the 2016 Rio Olympics as a theme.
The scams try to trick people into believing they have won hundreds of thousands of pounds or a trip to Brazil to watch the Olympics or the Rio Carnival. The letters and emails go on to ask the recipient for a fee to process their winnings.
Another fake lottery recently reported to Trading Standards is one purporting to be the People’s Postcode Lottery. Every letter says the recipient has won £825,000 and asks for an upfront fee of hundreds of pounds to process their winnings.
The advice being offered to protect yourself from lottery fraud is:
- Never respond to any such communication. If you have not entered a lottery then you cannot have won it.
- Official lotteries in other countries operate in much the same way as the UK’s National Lotto.
- Official lotteries are unlikely to contact people to tell them of their win.
- Lottery operators who ask for fees to collect winnings are a good indication that it is not a genuine competition.
- Never disclose your bank details or pay fees in advance.
- Genuine lotteries thrive on publicity. If they ask you to keep your win a secret, it is likely to be a fraud.
- Many fraudulent lotteries have bad spelling and grammar – see this as a warning that fraudsters are at work.
If you believe that you have been a victim of fraud you can report it online http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.
For advice on this or any other consumer matter, please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 (Mon-Fri, 9am – 5pm).