Pensioner conned in lotto scam

PUBLISHED: 15:39 09 November 2007 | UPDATED: 23:08 28 May 2010

A FENLAND pensioner was duped into paying out thousands of pounds after being told she had won £750,000 on the Irish lottery. The woman, who was on pension credit, borrowed the money after being told she needed to pay out varying amounts in fees so she co

A FENLAND pensioner was duped into paying out thousands of pounds after being told she had won £750,000 on the Irish lottery.

The woman, who was on pension credit, borrowed the money after being told she needed to pay out varying amounts in fees so she could collect her winnings.

Fenland Citizens Advice Bureau is becoming increasingly concerned at the number of 'scams' currently operating in the area, many of them targeted at the elderly and vulnerable.

Social policy co-ordinator for Fenland CAB Mike Kelly, says: "These scams are getting increasingly sophisticated but the general rule is if it seems too good to be true then it probably is.

"The first question people should ask themselves is have they actually entered these things and if not, throw it in the bin."

Other clients have received letters from Australia telling them they have won money prizes. They have sent off claiming fees and given bank account details.

Mr Kelly says people have reported being chased by companies for non-existent debts. He said: "They are being chased by companies they know nothing about and are being threatened with court action and a bad credit rating so they cough up the money."

He said when people are already in debt it is easy to be sucked into a system where they pay off money they don't actually owe.

Other scams for people to be aware of include winning a prize and signing up for gym membership which costs them hundreds of pounds, callers who say they will transfer people from one supplier of energy to another, and 08700 numbers where callers are shunted around in a system for long periods of time.

Mr Kelly said: "It is crucial that people never give their bank details to anyone unless they know it is absolutely safe. People need to be vigilant all the time.

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