Older people on a South Tyneside estate have been warned to be wary of a scam letter which claims they have won £825,000 on the People’s Postcode Lottery.
The letter states the winning ticket was drawn as part of its international programme held in Madrid, Spain, and they have to pay £200 to receive their award.
Contact trading standards if you receive a scam letterLee Hughes
Written in poor English, it is signed by someone called ‘Baron Wheels’, who is listed as the president of the company.
The scam came to the attention of independent councillor Lee Hughes, who represents the Bede ward in Jarrow and who runs the Red Hackle pub on the ward’s Scotch estate, after one of his constituents was contacted by a letter sent from a London postcode address.
He said: “A recently retired man who lives on the Lakes Estate gets in to the pub and he told me that his mother, a woman in her nineties, had received one of these letters and then he was sent one too.
“I did a bit of Googling and found out that last year 31 people in Grimsby were targeted. On that occasion a processing fee of £4,500 was requested.
“The same thing happened in March this year in both Hampshire and the Isle of White, when processing fees of £200 were asked for.
“People need to be aware that you need to enter this lottery, if you haven’t you can’t have won and people should contact trading standards if they receive one of these scam letters.”
A spokesman for the People’s Postcode Lottery said “under no circumstances” would a request for a processing fee be made before paying out on a win.
How the People’s Postcode Lottery works
Tickets for the People’s Postcode Lottery are based on people’s postcode.
They cost £2 per draw, with five draws every month.
Payment is made in advance by monthly direct debit or credit card.
When someone wins, the company transfers the money straight into the winner’s bank account.
In the Street Prize, every ticket in one postcode wins £25,000.
By playing, people support charities and deserving community projects with 55p from every £2 ticket goes to good causes.
A spokeswoman for the People’s Postcode Lottery said: “We are aware that sometimes illegitimate individuals and organisations will attempt to use our lottery’s brand to gain access to information or details supplied by unsuspecting members of the public. People’s Postcode Lottery takes such matters very seriously.
“If you receive one of these letters, phone calls, SMS messages or emails, then we strongly advise the public to treat these communications as scams and they should be ignored.”