Warning of Olympic scam letters

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A WARNING has been issued to residents about a bogus Olympic lottery letter that has been sent to households around the country.

The scam letter is the first of many Olympic-related scams that North Tyneside Council’s trading standards team is expecting this year.

The letter illegally uses the London 2012 and Olympic rings logos, claiming the recipient has won a prize of £205,000.

All he recipient has to do is return by fax a payment processing form with their personal details to receive the money, but in reality the letters are being sent to criminal gangs operating abroad.

Coun George Westwater, cabinet member for regulatory services, said: “This is unlikely to be the last Olympic-related scam.

“Consumers should never respond to letters like these, they can only lose out. People should simply bin them straight away.”

The letter uses bogus names and addresses and a 0207 telephone and fax number – 0207 numbers can be ‘virtual’ numbers, purchased by businesses to give the impression they are based in London.

How to spot a scam Olympic lottery offer:

• it is unlikely that London 2012 will be asking individuals to pay for goods or services, other than ticket sales and official merchandise;

• bogus Olympic information will typically use poor quality reproductions of the Olympic logos;

• if you haven’t entered a lottery, then you cannot have won it;

• official lottery operators will not ask for fees to collect winnings;

• never respond to these lottery letters.

To report a scam, call Action Fraud on 0300 1232040.