An Armagh woman has warned people to be on their guard after an elderly relative received a convincing scam letter purporting to come from Health Lottery UK.
The woman, who did not wish to be named, said her relative – who was over 80 years of age – was not taken in.
But she added: “Luckily they were astute enough to spot it – others may not be so fortunate.”
She has forwarded the correspondence to Armagh I in the hope of raising awareness of the latest of these scams, which mainly target the elderly.
There have been a number of reports of this letter circulating in the Armagh area and it does come across as looking very official, with an address at Laybourne House at Canary Wharf in London.
There are, however, a number of signs and discrepancies in the spelling – including the use of both program and programme – which give a hint that it may not be what it is cracked up to be. Upper and lower case letters are also used randomly – the sender, a ‘Dr D Jackson’, says they are delighted to announce the result of the “national health Lottery Bid award International program held in London”.
The sender is informed that a ticket number and serial number – a sequence of digits – assigned to them has “won the lottery award in the 3rd category”.
They are promised £350,000 of a total cash prize for having been stthe first 200 lucky winners in this category.
It claims “participants in this programme were randomly selected by computer from the database of the National Health Service”.
Two phone numbers – including a mobile – for a Barr. Phillip Van Buren, Foreign Service Manager of Hexagon Financial Group, are provided to claim the prize.
If not claimed by September 30, the sender is told the money will be returned to the Board of Internal Revenue UK.
The clincher, of course, as always is that an upfront “processing fee” is paid before you receive “your winnings in the form of a certified cheque or, if you request, by bank transfer directly into your account”.
The usual advice stands – if it seems too good to be true it probably is.
In this case – it definitely is!
Unfortunately there are those out there who will always go to any length to try and take and make money through any means and this is just one of those ploys.
Please be aware and warn others to be alert to this ruse.