SUR

Guardia Civil warns of scam letter you should ignore if it arrives at your door

"Don't take the bait. Look carefully and you will see that it is a scam," said the Spanish police force

ALMUDENA NOGUÉS

Spain's Guardia Civil police force has once again used its official Twitter account to warn the public about a new scam. Potential victims receive an official-looking letter, with Spain's National Lottery stamp, informing them that they have won a lottery prize even though they have not participated in the corresponding draw. "You open your letterbox and you find a letter. You read it and ... what a surprise! It says that you have won the lottery. And without playing... What luck? [It] is a scam. Take a good look and you'll see for yourself", the Guardia Civil said on the social media network.

According to the Consumers' Union of Extremadura, the reasoning put forward in the letter is that the person has been selected at random by means of their email, or from among those who have visited certain websites, as the winner of a big prize. The letter shown by the Guardia Civil is dated 2018, but the scammers are now using this method again.

Even if the recipient of the letter has not played any lottery, many victims fall into the trap and end up filling in the attached form, which the "lucky" person has to send by fax to a foreign number. In addition, logos of prestigious insurance and banking companies are inserted in the letter to persuade the victim in case they have any doubts.

The criminals ask the victim for a sum of money to cover the claimed costs of fees, taxes, bank charges and insurance, telling them they will receive the prize afterwards.