Trading Standards officers in Bristol are warning people to look out for scam letters which use the Olympic and London 2012 logos, and tell recipients they have won a prize of £525,000.
The letters claim that all recipients have to do is return a payment processing form, by fax, with their personal details to receive the full sum of money. However, these personal details are being forwarded to criminal gangs operating abroad.
“They use the information residents send to claim their non-existent prize to carry out identification theft,” said Phil Parkyn, Principal Trading Standards Officer.
“The letters use false names and addresses, usually of large office blocks, and they have bought ‘0207’ telephone numbers to give the impression they are based in London when they are probably somewhere in Africa.”
Mr Parkyn’s team said any Olympic-branded lottery letters are “almost certainly going to be bogus” and urge people not to respond if they receive them.
Cllr Guy Poultney, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods said: “People should be aware that it is very likely that Olympic related scams will be on the increase. So it is vital that people remain extra vigilant around this time.
“It is important to trust your instincts as if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”