Warning over FIFA World Cup football lottery scam

Beware fraudulent letters claiming you have won a big cash prize in the "International FIFA World Cup Online Lottery".

The letters are being sent out by scammers posing as affiliates of international football associations in an attempt to get hold of your personal details.

Suffolk Trading Standards has issued a warning about the scam after being sent a copy of the letter by a local resident. The letter suggests the recipient has won £500,000 in a lottery to promote the FIFA World Cup.

To get hold of the prize, the winner is then asked to "begin your claims" [sic] by contacting a Dr Chris Evans at Excel Security Company on what appears to be a London-based landline or fax number and a UK mobile.

Suffolk Trading Standards said that scam victims are then asked to make an upfront payment "to enable them to enter the tender process for a prize that does not exist".

FIFA has confirmed the letters are fraudulent and have nothing to do with FIFA or the 2014, 2018 or 2022 FIFA World Cup tournaments.

Suffolk Trading Standards urged individuals to remember that none of the official lotteries from other countries contact people to tell them of their win.

"Always remember if you haven't entered a lottery, then you can't have won it," it said.

Here are some top tips for spotting a scam:

1. Remember the old adage 'if it looks too good to be true, it probably is'.
2. Always be wary of any scheme that asks for money upfront. This is most likely a form of 'advance-fee' fraud.
3. Alarm bells should ring if you're pressurised into making a decision quickly. Giving the impression that consumers have to move fast to secure that 'special offer' or 'investment opportunity' is a classic scam tactic.
4. Look out for bad grammar and spelling in unsolicited correspondence – letters, emails or texts – as this is often an indication that they have originated for abroad. Legitimate organisations employ people to grips with spelling and grammar.

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