Warning over scam letters claiming huge lottery wins
A Midsomer Norton man is warning people not to be duped by scammers after receiving six different letters trying to get him to part with his cash in a fortnight.
Paul Harris, 53, who lives with his wife Linda in Welton, was told he had won up to £3 million in a lottery in the letters addressed to him claiming to be from destinations across the globe including Las Vegas, Zimbabwe, Budapest, Amsterdam and Canada.
Mr Harris, who works as a shop assistant at hardware store Casswells, said: "I just want people, especially the elderly and vulnerable, to be fully aware of these false letters that promise you first prizes in money that is anything from £30,000 to millions of pounds.
"You begin by receiving a letter stating your win and asking you to send back your claim number.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"After a short time you receive another letter asking for a fee of £10 or sometimes up to £30 as payment for them to cover the costs of releasing a cheque which never comes."
Mr Harris had been ripping the letters up and throwing them away but decided to contact the police after subsequent letters encouraged him to fill out his bank details on an attached form.
He added: "Some of the letters my wife and I have received show a marked area for you to put your bank details in so that they trick you into thinking your prize money will automatically go into your account. I worry that if someone does fill it in it will mean the money they have in the account can be targeted."
Police have thanked Mr Harris for making them aware of the latest scams and encouraged anyone who receives similar letters through the post, or by email, to report them through a specialist website that helps crack down on fraud.
PCSO Kate Honey said: "We are obviously very concerned about people receiving these types of letters. What we want to avoid is people reading such a letter then sending off money.
"There is a website called Action Fraud which is the UK's national fraud and internet crime reporting centre. Through the website anyone who has been scammed or defrauded, or has received an email or letter they think is trying to do that, can report it."
For more information visit www.actionfraud.police.uk.