A Lydiate Labour councillor is warning residents to be extra vigilant after one householder was targeted by a postal scam that impersonates a well-known national lottery.
Teresa Yeardsley received the letter this week but immediately smelled a rat realising it was a scam.
The letter from a Baron Wheels, has a People's Postcode Lottery letterhead and informs the recipient that they have won £825,000.
The Baron goes on to explain that the winner was "selected from over 3,000,000 people in Europe", despite 'lucky' Mrs Yeardsley having never entered the lottery.
The letter goes on: "For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claims are processes and your money paid to you by bank transfer or certified cheque dispatched to your address. This is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program [sic] by some unscrupulous elements."
"Please note that immediately your processing fee is paid, you will receive your winnings in the form of a certified cheque or if you request, by bank transfer directly to your account."
Lydiate mother and grandmother, 62-year-old Mrs Yeardsley immediately contacted Park Ward Labour councillor June Burns to raise her concerns.
Mrs Yeardsley said: "I saw this was a scam straight away. Although the letter looks official, the quality of the paper isn't great. And I don't even do that lottery, so there was no way it could be me.
"But what really worried me was that other people could be targeted by this scam. Other people who may be older and who may fall for it.
"So my first thought was to contact Cllr Burns so she could warn other residents not to fall victim to this scam.
"My husband and I know someone in another part of the country who was targeted by scammer and it cost them a small fortune. This person is elderly. It must have been devastating for them and their family to know they have been fooled into something by these unscrupulous criminals and they are paying a very high price because of it.
"We don't want to see people around here falling for something similar."
This is the second time in less than a year that the Labour Action Team has been made aware residents receiving these letters.
Cllr June Burns said residents need to be aware of the scam and the families of elderly residents should make sure that their relatives aren't being scammed.
Cllr Burns said: "Mrs Yeardsley received this letter and thankfully immediately suspected it was a scam.
"Investigating the information on the letter, it turns out the address this supposed lottery company is connected to is an obsolete address at the site of what is now the Shard building in London and Baron Wheels, the 'president' of the lottery, doesn't exist.
"What recipients of this letter are told when they call the number to claim their prize is that they have to pay a processing fee of £1,900 to collect their £825k winnings. It's a scam. Don't fall for it.
"Sadly there are a lot of scams of this kind going around. I received a similar correspondence recently. These scammer are trying to hoodwink the most vulnerable, those people who don't see through the scam. And concerningly, this letter does look reasonably authentic.
"I can't emphasise this enough, if you receive this letter, or one like it, put it in the bin."