Issued By
Durham County Council

BEWARE FORTUNE-TELLER'S FALSE PROMISES

A Dutch fortune-teller is trying to con County Durham people with promises of protection from enemies and the key to lottery success.

Letters originating in Amsterdam have been sent to people in the County claiming to know that someone wants to harm them.

Durham County Council Consumer Services has alerted the Office of Fair Trading International Division in London to the con trick so that it can liaise with its counterpart in the Netherlands.

The letter claims the writer knows there is "someone who hates you and wishes you harm" and asks for 7 to reveal how to shield yourself from "hidden traps being set by your enemy."

Philip Holman, the County Council's Head of Consumer Services, said:  "The letter also ask you to choose three random numbers and send them off with the 7 and the 'clairvoyant' will give you information on how to win as much as 175,000 on the lottery.

"The majority of people are now well aware of the false promises of prize draws and get rich quick schemes.

"Unfortunately, a number of people do still get caught which means that these schemes continue to do the rounds.

"This is one of the most unpleasant I have come across," he said.

Councillor Don Ross, Deputy Leader of the County Council, said:  "We urge people to ignore these claims to see into the future.

"Because the fee is much lower than the usual scams, some people might be tempted - but please, just put the letter in the bin where it belongs," he said.

Note to News Editor:  For further information contact Peter Fleming, Assistant Head of Consumer Services on 0191 383 3584, or Craig Hudson, divisional manager, on 0191 383 3707.