Warning to be vigilant against scam

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People living in the Western Isles are being warned about a scam letter which claims to be from the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Some island residents have received letters stating they have won £825,000 in the national charity draw - the only catch is that they need to pay a £200 processing fee in order to claim the prize.

One resident who received the letter said she knew straight away it was a scam as it was so badly written and claimed to be from an international programme. While the recipient didn’t provide any personal details or part with any money, she warned others to be careful.

The real People’s Postcode Lottery says it will not under any circumstances request a payment to receive any prize.

A statement on their website said: “Periodically, fraudsters will run lottery scams. Sometimes, these scams can involve an individual posing as People’s Postcode Lottery. The scammers contact members of the public by letter, email, phonecall or SMS message. The scammers will then claim that their target is a winner of a special lottery award. The fraudsters will often then ask for payment or your bank details before they will transfer any ‘winnings’.

“People’s Postcode Lottery warns the public that these communications are scams and should be ignored: “We encourage anyone who has encountered a scam to report it to Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre. For more information visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.

“People’s Postcode Lottery takes such matters very seriously and urge the public to be vigilant and look out for key warning signs in any communication telling them they have won any lottery. You cannot win a lottery unless you have entered.

“Legitimate lotteries don’t ask you to pay taxes, custom fees, insurance shipping or handling or any other fee before receiving your ‘winnings’.

“You will often be asked to send money upfront to the perpetrators by money transfer.

“If you are unsure about a communication, call the Customer Services team on 0808-1098765 or email: info@postcodelottery.co.uk and staff will be happy to advise.”