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Fake lotteries cost the UK

Last Updated: Thursday 17th June 2010, 17:00

Lottery Scam We have all received those supposed National Lottery emails telling us we have won life changing amounts of money in lotteries we have never entered and the majority of us just delete those emails as the junk that they are. It would appear however that there are a lot number of people out there that actually fall for these cons and end up losing a whole heap of money, in fact it has being announced today that fake lotteries cost the UK £260 million each year.

The Office of Fair Trading estimate that around 140,000 adults fall for such scams every year in the UK and this equates to around £260 million which we are sure you agree is a scary amount of money. What makes it even scarier is that fact that less then 6% of people who fall for such scams actually report is to the authorities so this number could be much higher.

Heather Clayton who is the senior director of the Office of Fair Trading's Consumer Markets Group, "wants people to recognise the warning signs. Remember if a win looks too good to be true, then it probably is. The lottery scams often start with a promise of cash winnings and visions of a millionaire lifestyle in a letter, email or telephone call".

Paul Jay who represents the National Lottery also reminds people that "never advise players they have won a prize this way and we never ask for up-front fees or personal information".

At the end of the day we all have to be sensible, if you receive an email telling you that you won huge amounts of money but need to pay a fee to claim it or send in personal details then it is probably a fake and should not only be deleted but reported. If you have fallen for such a scam do not feel embarrassed as you are not the only one, report the scam to the police because in the long run you will helping to stop these people from conning someone else in the future.

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