TRADING standards officers are urging residents to throw fake lottery letters straight in the bin.
Bogus ‘Health Lottery UK’ letters are again dropping through the letterboxes of Warwickshire residents, Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards Service is warning.
Trading standards officers have received complaints from concerned residents about a scam ‘health’ related lottery letter, falsely claiming that the recipient has won £420,000. The letter claims that the recipient has been randomly chosen by computer from an NHS database and asks the recipient to phone a ‘Dr Ruben Sanders’ to claim their prize. The letter is addressed ‘Bank St. Canary Wharf London’ and is signed ‘Dr D. Hoff’.
Warwickshire County Councillor Andy Crump, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said:
“Fraudsters use scam lottery letters to draw people in to revealing their personal and financial data, information that could be used to steal their money. They may also ask you to send money to receive your non-existent prize. Remember, you can’t win a lottery you never entered. Don’t respond to scam letters, throw them in the bin!”
Action Fraud has issued some useful advice on protecting yourself against lottery fraud:
- Never respond to any such communication. If you haven’t entered a lottery then you can’t have won it.
- Action Fraud don’t know of any official lottery operators who ask for fees to collect winnings. Any request for a fee payment is a good indication that someone is trying to defraud you.
- Never, ever disclose your bank details or pay fees in advance.
- If they’ve provided an email address to respond to, be very suspicious of addresses such as @hotmail.com or @yahoo.com or numbers beginning with 07 because these are free to get hold of.
- Genuine lotteries thrive on publicity. If they ask you to keep your win a secret it’s likely to be a fraud.
- Many fraudulent lotteries have bad spelling and grammar – see this as a warning that fraudsters are at work.
The genuine Health Lottery (https://www.healthlottery.co.uk/) is aware of these scam letters and has alerted Action Fraud.
For more help and advice, or to report a fraud, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/