A CONSUMER watchdog chief is warning people to be on their guard against a lottery scam.

A number of the letters, claiming to be from an organisation called Euromillions Fifa World Cup Online Lottery, have gone out to people in Wrexham.

The scam tries to extract money from people by informing them they have scooped a lottery windfall.

The family of one recipient passed it on to their local councillor who in turn showed it to the Leader.

Bearing a spoof logo of the 2010 South Africa Fifa World Cup, it claims to have been sent from ‘Fifa House’ in Zurich, Switzerland.

The letter informs the recipient that his ticket has won a fifth category prize of £800,000 in the ‘Fifa Online Lottery Program’ at the end of August.

It invites the recipient to fill in a payment processing form.

The man who received the bogus letter passed it on to Whitegate councillor Marc Jones, who said: “It’s not a very clever fraud attempt and the family quickly saw it was a fake, but you hear of vulnerable people who fall for these kinds of scams from time to time.

“I’ve passed on the details of the fake firm to the local trading standards and just want to make sure that others know it’s a fake and not to pass on their bank account details to anyone.”

Pete Brown, Wrexham’s senior trading standards officer, said: “We can confirm that it is a scam and that some people have been caught out. In one reported case a woman was conned out of £47,000 before realising that it was a scam.

“This case is extreme but not unique. There are many cases where people have lost thousands of pounds.

“When victims respond to the letter they are asked for a processing fee.

“They are then told the winnings have been increased and further fees are requested.”

He added: “In Wrexham we regularly receive enquiries from recipients of these letters, asking whether they should send off the processing fee, which is initially up to £50.

“We always advise them that it is a scam but we suspect that some are tempted to send off the fee ‘just in case’.

“Nobody has ever come back to us to tell us we were wrong.”