Royston man warns others who could fall victim to scammers after he is sent bogus lottery letter

PUBLISHED: 12:05 11 September 2016

Charles Hazlewood holding a fraudulent letter stating he had won £900,000 in the International FIFA World Cup Online Lottery despite never entering.

Charles Hazlewood holding a fraudulent letter stating he had won £900,000 in the International FIFA World Cup Online Lottery despite never entering.

Danny Loo Photography 2016

A man from Royston who received a letter in the post on Monday telling him he had won a lottery he had never entered wants to warn others who could potentially fall victim to the scam.

When Charles Hazlewood opened the letter saying he had won £900,000, alarm bells immediately rang.

“The letter looked authentic, but I knew I hadn’t entered this lottery,” he said.

“I felt angry – anybody who may have played the lottery might’ve thought it was genuine.”

The letter said that after a mix up of names and numbers in the International FIFA World Cup Online Lottery Programme, the results were released early and he had been ‘approved’ as the winner.

Charles, 58, noted the sender of the letter, Westpac Equity Holdings Ltd, didn’t have a website, and was asking the recipient to call a number instead to begin the claim.

Charles, who has lived in Royston for 36 years, went to the library to conduct his own research.

“I went online and what I read confirmed it was a scam,” he said.

“I was disgusted.”

Charles is a day services organiser for adults with learning difficulties and was saddened to be on the receiving end of something like this, fearing others could fall victim.

“I don’t know if I was especially targeted or it was random, but I never bought any tickets,” he told the Crow.

“If you receive one of these letters be prepared to tear it up. You need to be wary and research it on the internet before you do anything.”

Police advice for people who receive an email or letter like this is to report it, if you have responded to the email or letter, break off all contact with the fraudsters at once and to alert your bank immediately if you have given out your bank details.

You also need to be aware that you could be a target for other frauds, as scammers often share details about people they’ve successfully targeted or approached, using different identities to commit further frauds.

People who have already fallen victim to fraudsters are particularly vulnerable to the fraud recovery fraud. This is when fraudsters contact people who have already lost money through fraud and claim to be law enforcement officers or lawyers. They advise the victim that they can help them recover their lost money – but request a fee.

To report a fraud, contact ActionFraud, the UK’s national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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