/ Money

Scam letter: the ‘International Postcode Lottery’

A scam ‘International Postcode Online Lottery’ letter is turning up in people’s post. We’ve obtained a copy so you know what to watch out for.

Thanks to regular reports from a number of Which? Conversation readers, we know that the ‘International Postcode Online Lottery’ scam letter isn’t going away.

It appears to have been given a refresh as fraudsters attempt to catch more people out. Previous versions of this letter mentioned the 2018 football World Cup, which has now been updated to Qatar 2022.

We were grateful to receive the below copy from a reader who wanted to help warn as many people as possible. Here’s what you need to watch out for in your post:

Postal scams like this are sent with the sole intention of obtaining money through deception or fraud.

Guide: how to avoid postal scams

If you’ve received this one, please do join us here in spreading the word to warn others, and report it to Action Fraud.

Have you been sent a similar letter referencing letters and/or high-profile sporting events? If so, we’d like to see it. Please get in touch in the comments below.

Original Convo 15/12/2017

A member told us:

‘I received an elaborate letter purporting to be from an international postcode lottery, claiming I had won £900,000. The letter was correctly addressed to me and contained logos for the 2018 Fifa World Cup and Tokyo 2020 Olympics – two events it claimed to promote.

It asked me to collect my winnings by phoning a UK number and cited a prestigious London address. I have no knowledge of this lottery and have never entered it.’

Our say on fake postcode lottery letters

Similar ‘Fifa lottery’ letters have recently been the subject of warnings by Action Fraud and Trading Standards. The likely aim is to dupe you into giving away your bank details, or to get you to make a cash payment in order to ‘release’ fictional winnings.

In our member’s case, the details given in the letter didn’t stack up. The London address listed is currently a building site, and the developers of this site told us that they have no knowledge of an international lottery operating from it.

The firm that the letter comes from isn’t even registered on Companies House, but bears the same name as a legitimate bank in Australia.

When we called the claim line on the letter and said that we worked for Which?, the call handler said we had the ‘wrong number’ and subsequently became aggressive.

It’s best to ignore letters such as this altogether, and not even phone the number, as you may be charged.

Have you received a ‘Fifa’ lottery or similar letter claiming you’ve won a large cash prize? Did you part with any of your personal information in a bid to claim it? What happened?

J Pearson says:
25 October 2019

Just received this letter today, originally tempted to write to the address listed, but decided to check online first. I must say it looks genuine.

Stephen Moran says:
26 October 2019

My wife presented her £900,000 winning letter to me over lunch this afternoon which was as fake as a photo copied £50 note! It was printed on the lowest budget paper one could purchase using low quality ink which is of course what you would expect from a W1 based company who are awarding you with the best part of a million pounds LOL!
Had to google it just to see other peoples response hence came across the Which conversation which rings true in every way with other comments posted.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish in advance a very merry Christmas to Rose Murray & Mr Charles Frost who gave me something to laugh about today, I HOPE IT’S BEHIND BARS !!!

Dave Frost says:
1 December 2019

Rec’d the same today, and was devastated when I wasn’t in line for a windfall just before Christmas from these nice people in Australia, still it has given entertainment to my friends.

Colin says:
28 October 2019

Just received a scam letter today it’s the IPOL international Post Code Lottery letter i checked the head office online and it was different from the one on the letter so i googled the IPCOL and got this site i knew that i had not won as i had never entered this lottery be careful there out there wanting your details they haven’t got yet as they have name address already.

Phil Owen says:
28 October 2019

I received the same letter today and i am totally ignoring it , thanks

Margaret Swan-Cox says:
28 October 2019

Mum received one today, put it straight into the shredder

Carole says:
1 November 2019

Have received one of the scam letters today, 1/11/19, glad that I thought to look on website as I really didnt know who it should be reported to, thank you

1 November 2019


Rachael says:
5 November 2019

Just received a letter same as above thought I best google it – scam scam scam!

Carol Mccluskey says:
6 November 2019

I received one of these letters today and was very tempted just to write asking them to send my check, I wouldn’t have rung anyway. But came on line to check first, good job I did.
Must admit it looked very authentic.

Martin Fox says:
6 November 2019

I have received one of these letters today and was pretty sure it was a scam as i don’t buy lottery tickets. I checked on line and came here first and as suspected i have the same letter asking me to contact “Mr Charles Frost the foreign service manager of Standard Chartered Financial Consultants on Tel 02070603669 Direct line 07766966364. Address 22 Hanover Square London W1S 1HD United Kingdom”
Glad i checked online to clarify my suspicions but i would not have made any contact anyway.
So sad we all have to be so vigilant to look out for the works of these scammers.
Be aware people and trust nothing.

Peter Wash says:
7 November 2019

I received the same letter yesterday 6th November 2019. I knew immediately it was a scam but would not be surprised if others thought it was real. Don’t know how to go about reporting it to any relevant authority though – where would I start?

Lee C says:
7 November 2019

Receiver one today will make a good addition to my fire lighters.

OSSY says:
8 November 2019

It doesent take much to realise its fake . In the letter it states there are
390,000,000 people available to enter the draw so if every one has a ticket it would need a large liner to store them. Yet the declared wining ticket number
Only has six digits. Brill maths

[Moderator’s note: this comment has been converted to sentence case. Please refrain from typing in all caps as this reads as though you are shouting. For more information, please see the Community guidelines]

peter says:
12 November 2019

just received this very authentic looking document through the post and this is nothing but a scam

Angela Sutcliffe says:
12 November 2019

My elderly mother received this letter today. Thankfully she is quite switched on for an old lady and guessed it was a scam. I don’t know what would have happened if she had rung the number. Does anyone know?

mandy green says:
14 November 2019

Click on the link now and message the agent that a beneficiary told you about their program that you’ll like to claim your winning money.

i received this today via Facebook. Scam?

colin says:
18 November 2019

just received my scam letter, exact copy of the one on the front page, apart from the dates.

Jac Hicks says:
20 November 2019

19th November 2019
I have received this letter! As a believer of ‘if it looks too good to be true it probably is’ and knowing i hadnt entered in a draw or bought a ticket I looked here to check – just in case – thanks everyone for posting about this SCAM. Folks dont be drawn into this.

Stephen Dent says:
27 November 2019

I got the scam letter this morning addressed to a previous address. It is talking about the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. I checked on line to confirm it was a scam. They have wasted postage on me.

11 December 2019

I would be most grateful Rose Murray if you could send me just the cheque in the in the post ASAP before Christmas.

I am intrigued Maureen which Rose Murray would that be the well publicised wine expert ?

Thank you George .