A TARRING woman said she was ‘appalled’ to find that she had been targeted in a ‘nasty’ postcode lottery scam that claimed she had won more than £800,000.
On Friday, Patricia Overstall of St Andrews Road, Tarring received a letter that claimed to be from the ‘People’s Postcode Lottery’ informing the 67-year-old that she had won £825,000, but immediately Mrs Overstall could tell it was not from a genuine source.
“I don’t even do the postcode lottery,” she said. “There are a lot of numbers and contacts on there to make it seem very official and real.
“I looked it up on the internet and found that this scam has been asking people to send a £2,000 processing fee, and people must think that’s not a lot when you’ve just won £825,000!”
Although the letter states it has come from the Award International Programs in Madrid, Spain the address provided is for The Shard in London.
It also states that a company, UK Security Solutions, will be processing the winnings, but upon further research Mrs Overstall found the company does exist, but the contact details do not match those provided on the letter.
Mrs Overstall said: “I think it’s appalling, I didn’t fall for it, but there are a lot of people who would.
“I have an aunt with Alzheimer’s and people like that are so vulnerable, and it upsets me that someone like that could take out their life savings and then end up with nothing.”
To try and combat the scam and prevent anyone else from being tricked into sending money to the bogus company, Mrs Overstall reported it to Sussex Police and Action Fraud.
A spokesman for Action Fraud said: “I can confirm that Action Fraud has received this report and it is currently being assessed by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) at the City of London Police.
“Action Fraud does not have investigation powers, the reports are sent to the NFIB who collate and analyse intelligence on fraud, and makes the decision to send crimes to law enforcement agencies for investigation, disruption and prevention purposes.”
Mrs Overstall said contacting Action Fraud is the only way residents can stamp out these scams before they circulate further.
She said: “Not everyone has the internet to look up what’s wrong with the letter.
“I just think it’s an evil nasty thing to do.”
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