WEST Midlands Police is warning against lottery scammers after residents were duped of more than £60,000 in the last three months.
Con-artists have been tricking people into believing they’ve won money − but are instead fleecing them of thousands of pounds.
The sinister scammers contact the victim over the phone claiming they have won either a UK or international lottery.
They use their powers of persuasion to make their target believe the story even if they haven’t knowingly entered a lottery.
They typically ask the ‘winner’ to keep their success secret, but need money to cover taxes or to ensure the ’winner’ is authorised to collect their cashpot.
They sometimes ask for bank details in another way to obtain money from accounts.
The police is aware of at least 10 ’fake lottery winners’ across the West Midlands since August, who’ve been conned of over £63,000 between them.
Kloe Burrows, from the economic crime unit, said: “These fraudsters are manipulative and can be very convincing.
“They are capable of exploiting anyone with their powers of persuasion; even to the point of getting people to believe they could be a winner even without doing a regular lottery.
“In these difficult times, the thought of winning a lot of money is even more appealing. But it’s imperative you stop and think; if it sounds too good to be true it often is.”
The police have offered the following advice:
Do not respond to such communication. If you haven’t entered a lottery then you can’t have won it.
No official lottery operators will ask for fees to collect winnings.
Never disclose your bank details or pay fees in advance.
Genuine lotteries thrive on publicity. If they ask you to keep your win a secret it’s likely to be a fraud.
If you believe you are a victim you should:
Report it to Action Fraud.
If you have responded to a scam email/phone call break off all contact with the fraudsters at once.
If you have given the fraudsters your bank account details or sent over any money, alert your bank immediately.
Be aware that you’re now likely to be a target for other fraudsters, as they often share details about people they have successfully targeted or approached.
If you believe you’re a victim message us via Live Chat on our website or go to the Action Fraud website at www.actionfraud.police.uk