Have you heard of the International Postcode Online Lottery? If so, you’re lucky. The so-called International Postcode Online Lottery program is just another scam targeting people who want to change their luck by winning big.
Through the years, scammers have used some creative strategies to fool people into giving them money or revealing sensitive personal information. The International Postcode Online Lottery scam isn’t that innovative, but it made headlines after affecting several vulnerable individuals.
What Is the International Postcode Online Lottery Scam?
The International Postcode Online Lottery scam has been around in the UK for some time already. What’s most surprising is that people are still falling for it in 2019.
In 2017, a brave lady aged 85 warned society about the scam after receiving a letter claiming that she’d won 900,000 pounds. The letter features an International Postcode Online Lottery header, and it states that the name of the recipient is attached to a winning ticket. Nobody knows exactly how this works, keeping in mind the fact that the recipient has never bought a ticket for a non-existent lottery.
According to the letter, this online lottery was created to promote the FIFA World Cup and the Tokyo Olympic Games.
And now we’re getting to the real deal. To claim the 900K prize, the “player” is asked to contact a specific financial consultant via phone. The letter also states a pretty tight deadline for making the prize claim. That’s a widespread tactic used in the world of lottery scams. When people feel pressed for time, they’re not that likely to do a bit of research and find out that the respective lottery entity doesn’t exist.
The International Postcode Online Lottery scam resurfaced once again in 2018, and it has made a comeback in 2019, as well.
In 2018, the letter was upgraded to ask the recipient for bank account details. A small admin fee was also quoted as essential for the processing of the prize.
In 2019, recipients were told that they’ve won a World Cup 2022 jackpot. As you can see, the nature of the events being promoted by the so-called lottery changes but the specifics of the scam are still the same.
The police have already issued a warning about the International Postcode Online Lottery scam. Anyone who receives a suspicious letter can report it at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or call 0800-555-111.
A Fake Letter, A Cruel Scam
The International Postcode Online Lottery letter often targets vulnerable members of society – older people or those who are pressed financially. Such individuals are less likely to be critical and to analyze the situation before attempting to cash out 900,000 pounds.
Jeff Prestridge, a The Mail on Sunday, personal finance editor, went on a quest to find out more about the entity behind the scam. He was highly motivated by the fact that the scammers prey on the vulnerable. His mother, aged 83, received the letter and felt overly excited about her fortune. Being told that the letter was a scam felt gut-wrenching.
For a start, Prestridge tried to locate the International Postcode Online Lottery office. Going to the address specified in the letter, he discovered that such premises didn’t exist. The buildings standing at the address happened to be demolished two years before Prestridge’s investigation.
The dedicated report next decided to call the contact individual listed in the letter. After several calls and using a friend to do the talking, Prestridge eventually managed to go through. The name, number, and postcode of the winning letter have to be confirmed before the communication continues.
After some more back and forth, Prestridge’s friend is told that a 900K cheque will be sent out in the coming few days. Upon the receipt of the cheque, a second phone call has to occur to ensure the privacy of the recipient?!?
Had they called again in a few days, they would have been told that a fee has to be paid for the cheque to be processed. The fee amount has differed from one person to another. Some people have been asked to pay up to 900 pounds before they could receive anything. No cheque has ever come through even after the payment of the fee.
Prestridge did a lot more investigative work to verify the fact that the International Postcode Online Lottery is not a legitimate entity registered with any authority. Furthermore, it has nothing to do with FIFA or the other sports events mentioned in some of the earlier versions of the letter.
To sum it up – is the International Postcode Online Lottery genuine? The short answer is no. It’s 100 percent a scam that should be reported to the police.
Protecting Yourself from Lottery Scams
While you may feel excited about getting the news that you’ve won a massive amount of cash, it’s essential to exercise caution and refrain from acting impulsively.
You cannot win a prize from the lottery if you have never bought a ticket. This principle applies to nearly all lottery scams, including the International Postcode Online Lottery program.
Also, you are the entity responsible for contacting the lottery in the event of winning. No reputable lottery operator will get in touch with people, prompting them to make a prize claim in one way or another. Processing fees do not exist in the case of legitimate lotteries.
It’s essential to refrain from responding and providing personal information. Even if you’re not asked to pay a fee, giving details about your bank account or credit card can be used against you by experienced fraudsters.