‘You’ve won £225,000!’ No you haven’t, warning over Postcode Lottery scam

Richard Thake has issued a stark warning about 'clever con' and what the scam letters (without the address cut out) look like
Richard Thake has issued a stark warning about 'clever con' and what the scam letters (without the address cut out) look like

Have you received a letter telling you that you’ve won £225,000 in the People’s Postcode Lottery? Well Trading Standards is warning it is a scam.

Hertfordshire County Council’s trading standards department is urging people to avoid ringing the number on the letter. Officers are investigating after being made aware of a couple from Waltham Cross who recently lost money to the con.

The council also says it has had reports of the letters being received across the country.

The addresses quoted at the top of the letter are Turners Hill, Cheshunt, and Madrid in Spain. The genuine People’s Postcode Lottery is not based at either of these locations.

In the scam a letter is sent out of the blue advising of a win of £225,000 and to call a phone number to claim the winnings. On ringing, money is required up front to release the winnings and then a very convincing letter from the HMRC is sent to explain that a further fee is required to release the big cheque.

Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, is urging people to make sure family and neighbours don’t fall victim to what he described as a ‘clever con’.

He said: “If you haven’t entered a lottery, you haven’t won anything. If anyone asks for a fee upfront to claim a prize, it’s a con. If you’re in any doubt about any similar item of post that comes through your door, please speak to family and friends or call trading standards.”

If you receive one of these letters, the council is asking you to keep it and the envelope so officers can try to track how it is coming into the country.

Forward it on to The Scams Team, Hertfordshire CC Trading Standards, Mundells, Welwyn Garden City AL7 1FT.

If you have responded to the letter and sent money, contact Hertfordshire Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.