A Spalding man knew he was being scammed when a letter arrived telling him he had won £725,000 in something called the Euromillions FIFA World Cup Super Lottery.
But Tim White (61) is concerned that people are falling for this and other scams after his bank told him they are being asked by customers to draw up cheques for known fraudsters.
The letter informing Tim of his win had FIFA and Investors in People logos and, to his amazement, a land-line number rather than the number of a readily disposable mobile phone.
“I rang the number and spoke to a West African sounding chap,” said Tim. “He asked did I want it paid into my bank account or by cheque. I said a cheque will do nicely and he said ‘it’s in the post’.”
The cheque arrived – this time with a United Nations heading across the covering letter – and a request that he should pay up a one per cent clearance charge, which in this case amounted to £7,250.
Tim is worried that sums like that could wipe out a major chunk of someone’s life savings if they pay up.
He said: “Please don’t fall for it and please don’t send them any money.”
Tim checked with his bank, which had a list of various companies who are known scammmers.
But he was told that some customers don’t believe the bank staff and still insist on a cheque being made out.
Tim said: “At the end of the day, it’s their money, it’s their account.
“The success rate for these scammers is probably higher than we think.
“The main point of this is that people are falling for it, they are sending them money and they believe what they are told (by the scammers).”
When Tim was given the option of having the win paid direct to his bank, he declined because he believes his account would have been emptied had he done so.