Warning issued over lottery scams

Photo Neil Cross Catherine Barker has been sent a letter, seemingly from the People's Postcode Lottery, to say she has won nearly half a million

Photo Neil Cross Catherine Barker has been sent a letter, seemingly from the People's Postcode Lottery, to say she has won nearly half a million

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A pensioner is warning others to be on their guard after she was sent a letter claiming she had won £425,000.

Catherine Barker, from Hoghton, received the notice purporting to be from the People’s Postcode Lottery - which she has never played.

It claimed she had won the money from a total cash prize of £45m, but lottery bosses have confirmed the letter was not sent by the organisation.

Catherine, who immediately thought the letter was a scam, said she was worried other people may believe they had won.

She said: “A lot of elderly people do, they will maybe want their bank details, so I was really annoyed about it.

“What if they pay into it and think they’ve won it?”

The letter asked Catherine to contact a number “for the processing and remittance” of the money.

When called by the Lancashire Evening Post, the person who answered denied any involvement.

Rachel Ruxton, head of communications at People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “People’s Postcode Lottery is aware that sometimes illegitimate individuals and organisations will attempt to use our lottery’s brand to gain access to information or details supplied by unsuspecting members of the public.

“People’s Postcode Lottery takes such matters very seriously.

“If you receive one of these letters, phone calls, SMS messages or emails, then we strongly advise the public to treat these communications as scams and they should be ignored.

“Legitimate lotteries, such as People’s Postcode Lottery, will not under any circumstances request a payment in order to receive a prize.

“If you are at all suspicious, then contact our customer service team on 0808 10 9 8 7 6 5.”

Anyone who has encountered a scam is asked to report it to the national fraud reporting centre www.actionfraud.police.uk/.