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Highland Council Trading Standards officers warned Highlanders about hoax lottery scam mailings after bogus letters reported in the region

By Philip Murray

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The letterhead on the scam mailing.
The letterhead on the scam mailing.

SCAMMERS are targetting Highlanders with bogus letters claiming they have won a postcode lottery cash windfall.

Highland Council's trading standards officers have urged people in the region to beware after reports of numerous residents receiving the fake letters, which claim the recipient has won a share of £425,000.

They added that the letters appear to be targetting the Skye area but are likely to have been sent to various addresses across the Highlands.

The letter heading has a head office address in London. Recipients are told that a processing fee is required to release the winnings, but trading standards officers have warned that this is something which legitimate lotteries would never do. The letters are signed by someone called ‘Susan Blair’ who is listed as the lottery’s President.

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

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.”

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.”

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

Highland Council trading standards has issued a number of tips for people to remember if they receive a scam letter:

  • 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

Highland Council Trading Standards work in partnership with Advice Direct Scotland (ADS) to provide advice on scams. CallFreephone 0808 164 6000 or email through their website address at www.consumeradvice.scot .

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