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Australian National Lottery Scam 11 September 2003

Members of the public, particularly the elderly are being asked by the Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading and the Financial Crime Unit of the Police, to be wary of anyone contacting them to say that they have won a prize on national lotteries around the world.

A local person in their eighties recently received a telephone call from a person stating they had won 600,000 on the Australian National Lottery. The person used the name Ray/Michael JONES. In order to release the funds the elderly victim was asked to send a cheque for 85.00 to a person living in Middlesex.

The person receiving the cheques - the Isle of Man resident was only one amongst many targeted by the scam - has been identified as an elderly person also in their eighties. The cheques are paid into their account before being forwarded by money transfer services to third parties in Europe.

The Isle of Man victim was then asked to send a cheque for several thousand pounds to pay income tax on the winnings, fortunately the Isle of Man Police were able to have this cheque stopped.

The Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading Mr John Houghton MHK is very concerned about this case "I am very angry that an elderly person should be targeted in this way. I am just glad that the Police were able to stop the cheque for such a substantial amount. I would advise anyone who receives such contact whether by telephone, letter, e-mail or fax not to respond to it. Don't fall victim to this scam."

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