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Warning as scam letter claims 'lottery' cash win

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A woman has warned people not to fall for a lottery scam after she was sent a letter saying she had won £700,000.

In the letter, Christine Watts, of the Narborough Road area of Leicester, was told her numbers had come up on the "Euromillions Commonwealth of Nations online lottery programme".

The document – which featured the official Olympics and Euromillions logos – asked Mrs Watts for her bank details and a variety of personal information.

It told her to not make public her "win" to "avoid unwarranted abuse of the programme or fraudulent acts from criminal-minded and unauthorised persons".

"I knew it was a scam and that was obvious to me when I read the letter," said Mrs Watts, a 60-year-old receptionist.

"But they are crafty devils and I know people can be taken in by these things.

"It has the Euromillions lottery logo on and the rest, so I think people could be taken in by it if they didn't know any better."

The letter, purportedly sent by a Chris Phillips, stated: "This is a tax-free draw and all participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 40,000,000 individuals worldwide."

It stated that to claim the money, Mrs Watts had to contact a named person on a given number at a named "government-licensed lottery payment claim agency".

When the Leicester Mercury called the number, a man answered the phone and said he was from the agency named on the letter.

However, when we identified ourselves as calling from a newspaper and questioned the validity of the letter, the man said he was not from the agency.

Before hanging up, he said: "This is my home number. I have had a few calls like this in the past few days."

Leicester City Council said it had received reports of similar scam letters.

Roman Leszczyszyn, head of business regulation at the council, said: "People are bombarded every day by scams. We know of four recent scam attempts in Leicester in which the Euromillions brand was misused. There would have been more but most are unreported.

"We want to remind people that advice is available if they do receive a suspicious letter of this nature."

Anybody who thinks they might have received a scam contact of this nature can report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at:

www.actionfraud.police.uk

Anyone who has fallen victim to a scam can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040 506.

Warning as scam letter claims 'lottery' cash win


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