St Albans lottery scam warning
PUBLISHED: 18:03 09 June 2013
WHEN a councillor received a letter claiming she had won over one million Euros she knew it was a hoax as she has never bought a lottery ticket in her life.
St Albans district Cllr Dreda Gordon contacted Action Fraud, the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, and has spoken to the Herts Advertiser to warn fellow St Albans residents of the lottery scam after recently being sent the dodgy letter.
She explained: “I got this letter sent from Málaga. There was a stamp on the envelope saying it was from European Union Lottery promotions.
“It told me my ticket had been drawn and that I had won over €1.5 million. But in order to claim it I had to phone a bank – Banco La Caixa – by June 28 or the money would be returned to the European Union.”
Cllr Gordon said that, worryingly, the letter claimed 10 per cent of the winnings would be donated to children’s charity The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
She added: “But I’ve never bought a lottery ticket in my life let alone a European one, so I knew it was a scam.
“It has various ‘endorsements’ so it would look legitimate to some people. It’s despicable to use UNICEF’S name like that – it’s emotional blackmail. People should be made aware of it, and if they receive something similar, they should report it to the fraud line.”
Action Fraud is a service run by the National Fraud Authority, the government agency that helps coordinate the fight against fraud in this country.
Those who report scams, fraud and internet crime to the centre are given a police crime reference number.
Last year the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau issued a warning about a suspected lottery fraud that was being used to secure a victim’s personal details. The individually addressed letters told recipients they had won either Euro Millions or FIFA Euro 2012 lotteries.
To report a scam call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or go to www.actionfraud.police.co.uk
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