Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service




West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service has warned that international criminals may be targeting the elderly in West Yorkshire in a scam involving a Canadian Lottery.

The victims initially receive a telephone call stating that they have won a substantial amount of money in a Canadian Lottery, but need to send an “administrative fee” to an address in Canada to release the winnings.  They may be told that they have won as much as £250,000 and need to send up to £1,000 to secure release of the money.  These winnings do not exist and the victims will lose any money, which they have sent.  The Service is aware of two elderly people who have recently received such calls, but there are likely to be many more.  It is likely that the callers get the names of their targets through previous involvement with lotteries and prize draw competitions, which result in their names being placed on a list which is bought and sold by telemarketers across America.

Trading Standards Officers are also urging people who receive any ‘Notification of Prize Award’ letter from abroad to treat the contents with extreme caution.  Despite what the reader may think, they offer no more than a chance to pay to enter a prize draw and every chance of losing the administration fee.  It is also likely that anyone who responds to one of these letters will be inundated with many similar letters, which are impossible to stop.

Martin Wood, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Joint Services said:

“If you are contacted in this way under no circumstances should you release your bank or credit card details or agree to send any money.  If you do, there will only be one winner and it won’t be you”.

Councillor Graham Clarke, Chairman of West Yorkshire Joint Services added:

“No one gives money away for no reason at all, and any phone call or letter you get will have also gone out to hundreds of other people.  My advice is to keep your money in your pocket, cut short any such phone call and throw any prize letters away”.


For further information please contact:

Graham Hebblethwaite, Divisional Manager/General Media Contact   0113 2898218

Paul Cooper, Divisional Manager   0113 2898240