Sidmouth police expose jackpot letter scam
PUBLISHED: 06:30 16 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:55 16 June 2017
A scam letter which claims people have won a share of a £45million jackpot has prompted a police warning after an 80-year-old pensioner was targeted.
The fraudulent letter, purportedly from the People’s Postcode Lottery, hit homes around Sidmouth just months after residents shared a £3million payout from the real scheme.
The elderly woman – unsure if her £350,000 ‘winning notification’ was real – contacted her son, who discovered it was hoax. He contacted the Herald in a bid to warn other residents.
Sergeant Andy Squires said the letter was attempted fraud, adding: “If someone you do not know is asking you to send them money, double and triple check and then be very reluctant.
“A genuine company would not ask for bank details over the phone or in a letter.”
A spokesman for Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service said there would likely be a hefty ‘processing fee’ to claim any prize.
He said people should watch out for elderly relatives and vulnerable people, adding: “Our best advice for readers is to remember that if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is and put unsolicited prize draw and lottery mailings straight into the recycle bin.”
A People’s Postcode Lottery spokeswoman “We take such matters very seriously. Legitimate lotteries will not under any circumstances request a payment in order to receive your ‘winnings’.”
For advice on scams, call Citizen’s Advice on 03454 04 05 06 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud.