Warning over Olympic lottery tickets scam

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BOGUS Olympic lottery letters are being sent to unsuspecting Suffolk residents.

Suffolk Trading Standards is warning people to look out for the scam letters which illegally use the Olympic and London 2012 logos and tell recipients they have won a prize of £525,000.

The letters claim that all recipients have to do is return a payment processing form, by fax, with their personal details to receive the full sum of money. However, these personal details are actually being forwarded to criminal gangs operating abroad.

Any information residents send to claim their non-existent prize is used to carry out identification theft. The letters use false names and addresses, usually of large office blocks, and ‘0207’ telephone numbers purchased to give the impression they are based in London.

Suffolk Trading Standards is issuing the following advice and guidance:

- It is unlikely that London 2012 will be asking individuals to pay for goods or services, whether directly to it or through agents, other than ticket sales and official London 2012 merchandise. Therefore such lottery letters are almost certainly going to be bogus.

- Bogus Olympic information will typically use poor quality reproductions of the Olympic logos.

- Trading Standards do not know of any official lottery operators who ask for fees to collect winnings - any request for a fee payment is a good indication that someone is a fraud.

- Never respond to these lottery letters – this will only lead to further contact.

Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s portfolio holder for public protection said: “Sadly, in the next few months, it is very likely that Olympic related scams will be on the increase. With this in mind, it is vital that people remain extra vigilant around this time.

“Residents should not be afraid to discard any suspicious letters. It is important to trust your instincts as if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”

Scams can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or Consumer Direct on 08454 040506.