A local Trading Standards is warning about an email scam that claims to be associated with the UK National Lottery and the International Olympic Committee.
The email scam features the logos of both organisations and tries to trick people into believing they have won an online lottery prize of £1 million, out of a total lottery prize fund of £18 million.
It says the prize is being held by the ‘UK Treasury Dept’ and the email recipient is asked to call a mobile phone number or pass on personal details such as bank account and passport information by email. These details can be used by criminals to commit fraud.
Protect yourself from lottery fraud
- Never respond to any such communication. If you haven’t entered a lottery then you can’t have won it.
- Official lotteries in other countries operate in much the same way as the UK’s National Lotto. No official lotteries that we know of contact people to tell them of their win.
- We don’t know of any official lottery operators who ask for fees to collect winnings. Any request for a fee payment is a good indication that someone is trying to defraud you.
- Never, ever disclose your bank details or pay fees in advance.
- If they’ve provided an email address to respond to, be very suspicious of addresses such as @hotmail.com or @yahoo.com or numbers beginning with 07 because these are free to get hold of.
- Genuine lotteries thrive on publicity. If they ask you to keep your win a secret it’s likely to be a fraud.
- Many fraudulent lotteries have bad spelling and grammar – see this as a warning that fraudsters are at work.
If you have been the victim of a fraud like this, report it to Action Fraud.
Read more about the Olympics Lottery scam on Middlesbrough Council’s website.
Please note that Action Fraud is not responsible for the content of external websites.
To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online reporting tool.