A COMMUNITY-minded Andover couple are warning people about the dangers of postal scams after receiving a phoney lottery winner letter in the post.

Mary and Barry Notley, opened their post recently to find a letter purporting to be from the People’s Postcode Lottery telling them that they had won £825,000.

The letter states that their postcode was attached to a ticket number drawn during the People’s Postcode Lottery 2015 Award International programmes held in Madrid in Spain.

It then goes on to say that the funds will be released via an agent in London who it asks them to contact to pay a processing fee upon which they will receive their winnings.

Preying on vulnerable people, the letter then says: “For security reasons, you are advised to keep your winning information confidential till your claims are processed and your money paid by bank transfer or cheque.”

It is then supposedly signed by the president of the lottery, Baron Wheels.

Now the concerned couple want to warn people that these letters are being circulated.

“I just want to get a warning out there to be aware of them,” said Mr Notley, who is a landscape maintenance contractor. “We are not the only people who are going to be getting them.

“My first thought was to take it to the police, I went to Andover Police Station that afternoon and they gave me a telephone number to report it,” the 64-year-old added. “Since then I have been speaking to a single mother who said she was glad I had shown her the letter and told her because she might have been tempted to ring that number.

Mrs Notley who is a carer for her elderly mother said: “I also want to bring it to the attention of the families of vulnerable people so that they can make sure they are safe. My mother is elderly and has a touch of dementia and if she had that letter she could possibly have rang the number thinking she could help her family with the money.”

“It makes me feel sick that they send these letters out and people could lose a lot of money or even their life savings,” the 62-year-old concluded.

A copy of the letter has been sent to the People’s Postcode Lottery and they have issued the following guidance.

A spokesperson said: “People’s Postcode Lottery is aware that sometimes illegitimate individuals and organisations will attempt to use our lottery’s brand to gain access to information or details supplied by unsuspecting members of the public. People’s Postcode Lottery takes such matters very seriously. If you receive one of these letters, phone calls, SMS messages or emails, then we strongly advise the public to treat these communications as scams and they should be ignored. Legitimate lotteries, such as People’s Postcode Lottery, will not under any circumstances request a payment in order to receive your ‘winnings’. If you are at all suspicious, then contact our customer service team on 0808 10 9 8 7 6 5.

“To be clear - you cannot win a Lottery you haven’t entered. Also, if you are a winner, People’s Postcode Lottery would never ask for payment to claim a prize.”

The couple have reported the letter to Action Fraud following the advice of Andover Police.