Warning after ‘excellently put together’ scam

Christine Allen was targeted in a Health Lottery scam Picture: Habibur Rahman
Christine Allen was targeted in a Health Lottery scam Picture: Habibur Rahman
Christmas shopping nights can attract criminals

How to stay safe from crime while Christmas shopping

0
Have your say

A PENSIONER has spoken out after scammers tried to con her out of more than £1,000.

Christine Allen says she is lucky not to have fallen prey to a postal dupe after she received a letter saying she had won the Health Lottery.

Ms Allen, 68 from West Leigh, was told via post she had won a whopping £350,000.

But there was one catch – she would have to pay £1,220 to insure the cheque on which it would be delivered.

At first, Christine says, the prospect appeared real.

She said: ‘Upon the first reading I thought “wow!” – I had already started spending the money in my head.

‘The grandchildren had houses and the whole family was together. I could just picture it.

‘The letter seemed excellently put together.’

But after further inspection, the unfortunate reality began to slot into place.

Christine said: ‘I picked the letter up for a second read and I saw it was a photocopy.

‘There were subtle spelling mistakes which you probably wouldn’t pick up initially and it all seemed illegitimate.’

Advised by the letter to contact barrister ‘Ashley Jenkins’ to begin processing her reward, Christine knew for sure the dream was over after a short phone call.

‘There was no way he was a real barrister. He was getting quite pushy with me over the phone – trying to bully me into sending this money.

‘In a way I was quite disappointed but what can you do.

‘Back to saving the pennies I suppose.’

The News’ consumer champion and author of Streetwise, Richard Thomson, deals with incidents like this on a daily basis.

He said: ‘Spoofs like this are just absolutely despicable.

‘The first thing people should ask themselves is “why should anyone have to pay for a prize they have already won?”.

‘These scammers often pick on the most vulnerable in society.’

For information on how to avoid lottery postal scams, visit lottery.co.uk/scams.