Big win is actually a big loss
South Gloucestershire Council Trading Standards would like to remind residents to be wary of scam letters they receive advising them they have won a prize or lottery.
Trading Standards officers have received reports of a local resident who believes they have won a foreign lottery and has continued to make payments over a number of years to ‘release’ their winnings. They have yet to receive their payout.
This is not an unusual tactic used by the scammers – they advise that the recipient has won a lottery in another country and request payments or personal details. This could be under the guise of an admin fee, taxes or legal fees to get the money transferred.
Once the recipient of a letter makes a payment, they will be inundated with further requests for money as the scammers realise the con has been successful. The resident will also receive many more scam letters from other prize draws or lotteries since it is likely their details will have been sold on to other scammers.
The advice being offered by Trading Standards and the Senior Citizen Liaison Team is do not respond! Simply remove your name and address and dispose of the mail in your recycling bin. We would also encourage family and friends to look out for signs that a relative may have fallen for the con. This could include an increase in the amount of mail that person receives, particularly prize draw notifications, foreign lottery letters and even clairvoyant or psychic letters.
If you think you may have fallen for such a scam or believe someone you know may have, you can seek advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).