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Lottery scam claims local victims

GATESVILLE – Gates County citizens are urged to take heed to a foreign lottery scam.

Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb confirmed that several local citizens have been contacted by mail in regards to winnings earned from the European Lottery Guild.

“The key thing to remember in something like this is that if you haven’t entered a lottery, you can’t be a winner, no matter if that lottery is legitimate or not,” Webb said.

The Sheriff said the scam has worked in Gates County.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had a few of our county citizens to fall victim to this scam,” Webb noted. “We hate that honest, hard-working people are being illegally bilked out of their money. Please don’t become the next victim. If it looks too good to be true, then it is too good to be true.”

Sheriff Webb said the victims have received an “official-looking” letter from the desk of the Prize Director for an international lottery sweepstakes. He added that the letter appears to be based out of England.

“The recipient of the letter is informed they are a prize winner of $50,000 paid out as a quarterly award,” Webb said. “They are instructed to respond within 14 days with a credit card number in order to claim their prize.”

The Sheriff added that the instructions are to send the credit card info to an address in Los Angles, California.

“If you do receive such a notice, please don’t respond…it’s a scam,” Webb stressed. “But I do urge you to contact my office (357-0210) so we can document these mailings and report them to the (North Carolina) Attorney General’s Office.”

Those wishing to directly contact the AG’s Consumer Protective Division’s office can do so by calling, toll-free, 1-877NOSCAM.