/ 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?

Vicki Kerruish says:
25 February 2020

Received one this morning from International postcode online lottery! Have won £900000! I don’t think!!! Will they just send the cheque please.

Alan Sheppard says:
13 August 2020

Me too 900,000 just pay me please would like to know where they got all my details from

Patrick McGirr says:
25 February 2020

Me too! Would you like to share now that I’m an almost-millionare? I mean ”Please to help us proceed with your claims” – that’s even worse English than what I’ve got!

Sam says:
7 March 2020

I’ve also won £900,000 according to the same letter received through the post this morning dated 04-03-2020.

Justin Boneham says:
6 April 2020

I had one of the above letters today 6th of April 2020. The letter is dated 19th March 2020. I have never seen £900,000.00 being presented at any door 😂. Just hope people use commonsense and destroy the letter of file that bad boy in the fire.

paul scot sheldon says:
13 May 2020

Received a letter today called the number spoke to a man who said do you want bank transfer or cheque so we said cheque not willing to give any details other than they already have. Hmmmmmm im guessing we wont receive a cheque lol 13.05.2020

Harold Mercer says:
20 May 2020

I also received a letter today 20.05.2020

I received the same letter as other so called lottery winners, surely the law should be able to track these
fraudsters and put them away.
I did not reply to letter or try to contact Mr Bernard Adams to claim my £900,000 .
Regards, Mrs. Edith Andrews.

Judi Waters says:
1 June 2020

It’s 1 June 2020 and I’ve just received a letter informing me that I have won £900,000! Yippee 🤔😂🤣 I won’t hold my breath! However, it worries me that some people might be taken in by this obvious scam.

Gabriel Gidlow says:
2 June 2020

My Facebook account was hacked & several friends got false messages from supposedly from me Some friends got messages saying they had won £50,000The name of the person is Gary Hudson & the email address is

Lindsey Mcgovern says:
2 June 2020

Received a letter on the 1st June 2020 from the international postcode lottery, I’ve won £900,000! It mentions Tokyo 2020 Olympic games and Qatar 2022 Fifa world cup. I love the part which states to keep the information to myself to help proceed with my claim 🙄

Marcee says:
4 June 2020

My elderly parents received a letter today saying they had won £900,000.00. Mom promised me a Porsche before I convinced her it was a scam. Good job I kept hold of my bus pass lol. Jokes aside something needs to be done to stop this happening

James Lamont says:
23 June 2020

I received the letter today regarding the postcode online lottery. Immediately I suspected it was a scam, which was confirmed by your site. Thank you for drawing attention to the facts.

Lorna Richardson says:
2 July 2020

Received the same letter today telling me I had won £900,000. I also had to contact Mr Bernard Adams.
I feel sorry for people that are taken in by this.

David Tidy says:
17 July 2020

I just had the letter too. Sadly I only won £825,000. I’ve been short changed!

Janet Blower says:
20 July 2020

I re
J received one of these letters this morning 20/07/20. It is now in file 13 (Shredder)

Paul Horton says:
20 July 2020

my wife received the same letter, with the same ticket number and serial number and lucky numbers and bonus ball.
I hope we don’t have to share I will be very disappointed

Mary McAuley says:
21 July 2020

Got one of these letters today. Know its a scam but very worried about where they got my full name and address from. I was asked to contact Mr Bernard Adams on 02070606473

Hi Mary, two easy sources would be the electoral register and the telephone directory.

The notion that every single parcel deliverer, postal worker, meter reader, tradesperson, shop worker taking an order for delivery, council tax administrator, school staff member, doctors’ receptionist, solicitors’ assistant, dry cleaning shop worker, on-line retailer’s dispatch clerk, and so on, is scrupulously honest is unsustainable. We have to trust that everyone is as good as gold, and generally that is true, but just one unauthorised disclosure in criminal hands can get traded around the networks indiscriminately and it is almost impossible to trace the source.

Does anyone actually know how many other people have access to their name and address? It must run into the hundreds and it only takes one person with improper motives to breach our security and trade our data for money. Every employer will deny that they have any security leaks, but that’s about as improbable as there being no forms of life anywhere else in the universe.

Anyone who has signed a petition, or objected to a planning application, or joined a community group has at some point put their personal details in the public domain. We cannot stop that, but we surely must be able to find ways of preventing the information from being misused against us.

John Little says:
12 August 2020

I got one on 10.8.20 with the same 0207 number. Needless to say Bernard will be waiting a very long time on my phone call.Hopefully the post office are making some delivery money out of this scam.

Paul says:
23 July 2020

Mother just received this in post she’s another winner
I can buy a villa in Spain now

Jack Morrow says:
31 July 2020

I received the letter today. I am to contact Charles frost, probably a brother of Jack Frost.

Libby Moore says:
1 August 2020

My letter also says Charles Frost Foreign Services Manager of Standard Chartered Financial Consultants of 22 Hannover Sq London. I wonder if I have to share with you.

Elizabeth Devine says:
11 August 2020

I have received an award notification scam letter today, asking me to contact Bernard Adams to claim my £900,000. Standard Financial consultants. How do they get our names and addresses.

The authorities should be following this up…..