North Wales police has issued a warning about free lottery frauds.
A message on the force's Neighbourhood Alerts system says: "Action Fraud have reported a dramatic increase in Advance Fee Lottery Frauds over recent months.
"Over £925,000 has been lost by victims over the last six months.
"Victims have reported losing an average of just over £1,500 with 70% of victims aged 50 or over."
Lottery fraud occurs when criminals use fake messages and calls to convince a person that they have won a lottery or a prize draw.
The victim is then informed that they will need to pay an advance “fee” in order to receive the winnings.
Police advice is:
STOP: Unsolicited offers of large sums of money in return for a small upfront payment should always raise a red flag. Taking a moment to stop and think before parting with your money or information could keep you safe.
CHALLENGE: Could it be fake? After all, you can’t win a prize in a competition you didn’t enter. Remember, it’s ok to reject, refuse or ignore any requests. Only criminals will try to rush or panic you.
PROTECT: Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve fallen for a scam and report it to Action Fraud.