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Don’t Be Fooled By This Postcode Lottery Scam

Don’t Be Fooled By This Postcode Lottery Scam

A new scam is circulating in which fraudsters are attempting to pass themselves off as the People’s Postcode Lottery to extract personal information from their victims. Find out exactly what the scam entails and what you should do if you are targeted.

What Does The Scam Involve?

The scam begins by saying that ‘we are happy to let you know that your postcode has been chosen as the winner of today’s Drawing of People’s Postcode Lottery’. It goes on to say that your postcode has been selected at random by computer ballot system, and that it was picked from the electoral roll database.

You are told that you have won a ‘4th category prize’ of £1,000, and must provide two forms of identification in order to claim your prize - a scanned copy of your driving licence or passport and a selfie. You are instructed to hold your driving licence or passport near your face for your selfie, and to make sure all the text is clearly readable.

The scammers say that their ‘algorithm’ will compare your face to the document photo and provides further advice on how to help you ‘complete the verification’ smoothly, before stating that you will receive your prize within 30 days as a cheque.

Not How A Legitimate Lottery Works

It is all intended to look as official as possible, but in reality this is not how a legitimate lottery would work at all. The People’s Postcode Lottery, like any other lottery, requires you to enter and does not just select its winning postcodes at random from the electoral roll. You need to sign up and pay a subscription and you can check the results via an official source if you are not sure whether you have won.

The scammers here are not trying to verify your identity so they can pay out a prize; they are making you think you are a winner while finding out key details from your passport or driving licence, as well as what you look like. You are not going to receive a prize and may end up being conned out of money if you follow the fraudsters’ instructions.

You should contact the police or Action Fraud if you receive this scam or any other type of lottery scam, to help the authorities track down the criminals.

How To Spot Scams

Lottery scams have become increasingly widespread in recent years but there are a number of warning signs and there is no reason you should become a victim as long as you stay vigilant. Remember that you cannot win a prize if you have not entered the lottery,. Furthermore, you will not be approached to say you must claim your prize and will never be asked to pay a fee before you can receive your money.

Watch out for letters or emails which do not refer to you by name but which use vague salutations such as ‘Dear Winner’. The email may have been sent from a free webmail address rather than from an official company, while there may be a strict time limit or a demand that you keep news of the win confidential - ploys to put you under pressure or prevent you from sharing concerns with someone who might alert you to the scam.

Other scammers might pretend to be real lottery winners and say they are ready to share out their money, but they would not approach you at random and ask for your bank details. Fraudsters can make contact via email, post, telephone or even social media, so you should always be aware. Go to the Scams page for more information about what to do if you are targeted.

Published: Monday 3rd December 2018

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