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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 January 2008, 15:27 GMT
Warning over lottery scam issued
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UK residents lose 320m every year by responding to mailing scams
Fraud officers have issued a warning for locals to be on their guard after several people were conned out of thousands of pounds in a lottery scam.

Central Scotland Police said people in Alloa, Grangemouth and Stirling had fallen victim to the con.

The scam works using a letter or e-mails to inform someone that they have won a substantial sum of money.

"Winners" are then asked for bank details or payment to cover customs duty or tax costs.

A police spokeswoman said each victim of the scam had been duped into handing over a four or five-figure sum of money.

She added: "These lotteries often involve the victim receiving an letter or e-mail which indicates they have won a substantial sum.

"You may also receive a telephone call from a representative of the 'lottery' whose job it is to build up a level of trust with you and then induce you to part with more money.

"This process often takes place over a period of time and you may be asked to part with money on more than one occasion."

The spokeswoman urged locals to think carefully before entering into such competitions and if they were in doubt to contact the Office of Fair Trading.

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