Derbyshire detectives are issuing advice to help protect Clowne, Creswell and Whitwell residents from falling victim to lottery and prize draw scams.
The scam begins when fraudsters contact a victim through email or letter to inform them that they have won a large amount of money in an online or overseas lottery draw. However, this prize does not exist.
Detective Constable Julie Wheeldon from the East Midlands Fraud and Financial Investigation Unit said: “Lottery or prize draw scams can see victims losing a large amount of money by paying out to the fraudster to claim their prize.”
“Thankfully there are simple steps which can be taken to protect yourself from becoming a victim to this fraud.”
“Official lotteries will not contact you to tell you of your win so please remember, if you haven’t entered a lottery or prize draw then you couldn’t have won it. Also, genuine lotteries encourage publicity so if they ask you to keep your big win a secret then it’s likely to be a fraud.”
The victim is asked to keep their winnings a secret and to contact the fraudster who claims to be an official at a lottery company.
They then use this lottery scam to gain personal information, banking details and copies of official documents from the victim such as a passport, for proof of identity. This information can also be used to steal the victim’s identity and to empty their bank account.