A PENSIONER has urged people not to fall foul of a postal scam which promises thousands of pounds in return for a cash registration fee.
Leonard Mowbray, 73, of Waverley Terrace, Hartlepool, received a card through the post which claimed he had been selected for a prize worth £735,000.
To claim the cash prize winners had to write a cheque for £10 and post it to a PO Box address in Kansas City, in the United States.
Mr Mowbray was also asked to sign the postcard-shaped note and post that back as well.
Luckily the quick-thinking pensioner realised it was a scam and contacted the Hartlepool Mail to warn others.
Trading standards officers at Hartlepool Borough Council have also urged people to be on their guard.
They say if it looks to good to be true, then it probably is.
Part-time driver Mr Mowbray, a dad of three, said: “It was just posted through my door and I immediately became suspicious when I saw what it was asking for.
“I have no idea how many other people have had them but there is always a danger that someone will fall for it.
“I would just tell people to throw them away,” added Mr Mowbray, who is married to Lorraine.
Winners are asked to sign and post the card back within five days. But council officers have urged people to just shred the card and notify a website set up to collect intelligence on scams.
Daniel Briggs, a senior trading standards officer at the council, said: “If something sounds too good to be true, then it usually is.
“If it comes totally out of the blue, if you haven’t entered a competition, if it asks you to call a premium rate number or to pay an advance fee then just stop and think.
“It is probably a scam.”
Mr Briggs added they advise people to shred it or to contact Action Fraud.
Action Fraud is run by the police and the site builds up an intelligence picture which is then used for enforcement action.
To report a fraud, internet crime or scam either visit www.actionfraud.org.uk or call (0300) 1232040.