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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Residents warned over World Cup lottery scam

Trading Standards teams across North Wales are aware that some residents have received a letter claiming they have won a large sum of money e.g. £750,000 from ‘Euro Millions FIFA World Cup Super Lottery.’

They are warning people that if they receive a letter like this, not to respond and instead to report it to Action Fraud immediately.

Kevin Jones, Wrexham's Principal Manager for Trading Standards and Chair of the North Wales Heads of Trading Standards group, said: “This type of scam isn’t new, there have been many similar examples. However, when someone receives a letter through the door which claims to be linked to the World Cup it can be very convincing.

"The letter includes many logos which attempt to give the letter some validity and asks the recipient to make contact with the Foreign Service Manager.  It is likely that people who do ring the number will be asked to provide personal and banking details.  I would advise very strongly that residents do not provide this information because of the danger of their bank accounts being emptied of cash.”

Emlyn Jones, Denbighshire’s Public Protection Manager and part of the North Wales' Heads of Public Protection Group, said: “We have a duty to protect our residents from such scams and we will take all necessary action to warn the community and liaise with various other enforcement agencies because this type of scam is often based abroad." P

People should remember these points to protect themselves against lottery fraud:

·        Never respond to any such communication.  If you haven’t entered a lottery then you can’t have won it.

·        Official lotteries in other countries operate in much the same way as the UK’s National Lotto.  No official lotteries that we know of contact people to tell them of their win.

·        We 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 the contact details include  email addresses such as @hotmail.com or @yahoo.com, or numbers beginning with 07, then be very suspicious 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.

·        Do some research – if you have access to the internet then use search engines to check other people’s experiences.  Check with friends and family.

* Residents wanting advice and guidance on any consumer issue should contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06 or 08454 04 05 05 for the Welsh language service (www.adviceguide.org.uk ). Potential scams should be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 (www.actionfraud.police.uk)

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