A new scam is circulating in Dundee claiming locals have won six-figure sums in an Australian lottery – but in reality it aims to dupe them out of bank details.
Letters are being posted out to local residents purporting to be from the “International Postcode Online Lottery” based in Melbourne and claiming they have won a £900,000 cash prize.
In order to appear legitimate the letters claim a draw took place on a recent date, and feature an ink-stamped datemark as well.
But in the poorly written mailing, the fraudsters tell victims not to tell others about their big win – in order to avoid drawing attention to their illicit activities.
The letter reads: “Please help us proceed with your claims, this information must be kept away from public to avoid unwarranted abuse of the program or fraudulent acts from criminal minded and unauthorized person(s)”.
However, the lottery – which claims to be associated with football body FIFA, the organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia – is fictional.
Fraud experts believe calling the phone line mentioned on the letter will connect locals to fraudsters keen to access their bank details, claiming they are necessary to deposit the cash.
The scammers may also ask for an “administration fee” to be paid to cover the costs of the money transfer – in reality, a ploy to deprive Dundonians of their cash.
Local resident Jim Kerr is among those who received such a letter.
Immediately suspicious of its contents, he brought it to the Tele’s attention.
“I play the National Lottery but I’ve never heard of this,” he said.
“I was suspicious because I just think it looked too good to be true – and people need to be warned.
“Some people might think it is real and get caught out.”
Mr Kerr says there might be a happy ending for him: “I might put the numbers they’ve given me on the real lottery tonight – just in case.”
The Tele attempted to contact the lottery’s London-based “claims line” and was connected to a man calling himself Michael Fallow.
However, when we identified ourselves as a newspaper and asked how the organisation had obtained the addresses of local residents, the line went dead.
Action Fraud, Police Scotland and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia have all been contacted for comment.