Highland Council Trading Standards warns of hoax lottery scam mailings

Highland residents are being warned that letters claiming they have won a share of £425,000 in a ‘postcode lottery’ is a scam. 

The letters appear to be targeting the Skye area but are likely to be sent to various addresses across the Highland area.

Scam letterhead

Scam letterhead

The letter heading (shown above) has a head office address in London.  Recipients are told that a processing fee is required to release the winnings, something which legitimate lotteries would never do.  The letters are signed by someone called ‘Susan Blair’ who is listed as the lottery’s President.

Players of the real People’s Postcode Lottery are being urged to check any mailings they receive carefully. 

Trading Standards Manager, David MacKenzie, said: “Scam mail can take the form of fake lotteries or imitate genuine lotteries.  Scam mail is sent with the sole intention of obtaining money through deception and/or fraud.  It is a common theme among lottery scams to ask for an upfront fee to release winnings.  We want to know about potentially fraudulent mail so that we can investigate illegal business activity and support those affected, particularly the more vulnerable members in our community.”

Mr MacKenzie adds, “This matter has come to our attention through our Adult Support and Protection network where we proactively engage with those directly involved in Adult Care.”

The real People’s Postcode Lottery says it will never ask you to pay anything to receive your winnings.

A spokesperson for People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “In common with other high-profile organisations and businesses, criminals may seek to exploit our reputation by using our name in fraudulent communications.

“This is an issue which we take extremely seriously. We liaise closely with the relevant authorities, including the police and Trading Standards.

Highland Council Trading Standards would like to remind recipients of this scam letter to remember:

  • Legitimate lotteries will never ask you to pay anything to receive your winnings or to keep your winnings a secret
  • If you haven’t bought a ticket, you can’t be a winner
  • NEVER give out your personal or financial information
  • If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is

Highland Council Trading Standards work in partnership with Advice Direct Scotland (ADS) to provide advice on scams.  Freephone 0808 164 6000 or email through their website address at:www.consumeradvice.scot.

14 Sep 2020