A Low Hauxley resident is warning people to be on their guard after receiving a scam letter, which claimed she had won a £825,000 prize from the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Pat Jopling contacted the Gazette after speaking to Action Fraud as she was concerned that elderly or other vulnerable residents may fall victim to the con.
The 67-year-old said: “As soon as I got it, I was suspicious about it.
“The letter came from an address in London Bridge Street and when I went on the internet, South Tyneside Council had a copy of a letter which was exactly the same, down to the amount of prize money.”
There are reports online of similar scam letters going out all over the country since around 2009.
It appears that the fraudulent letters are sent out a month or so after there is a genuine winner of the People’s Postcode Lottery in the area.
A Montrose resident who received a similar letter rang the number quoted on the letter and was asked for a processing fee of £4,300 before getting the prize.
The letter states the winning ticket was drawn as part of its international programme held in Madrid, Spain.
Written in poor English, it was signed by a ‘Baron Wheels’, who is named as the president.
The ‘winner’ is asked to contact Dr Frank Osborne, the foreign service manager of UK Security Solutions, with an 0203 telephone number.
Action Fraud UK has asked that people contact them on 0300 123 2040 if they receive this letter.
Residents can also contact Trading Standards at Northumberland County Council on 01670 534585.