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Email Lotto Scam Targeting Ulster Computer Users
15 Apr 2007

A NEW email lotto scam claiming to come from the Irish National Lottery is targeting computer users in Ulster.

People are being warned the email is fake and with absolutely no link to the Republic's official gaming organisation.

And the official Irish Lottery is urging recipients to bear in mind one simple fact - you can't win a prize in a lottery you haven't entered.

The bogus email was sent to a Belfast pensioner who was initially taken in by the promise she'd won 785,963.

It purported to come from a Mr Mark O Meara, National Co-ordinator, Irish National Lottery, 11G Lower Dorset Street, Dublin 1.

But, when checked further, it turned out to be a scam.

The genuine Irish Lottery has urged the public to be vigilant.

Said a spokesman: "These lottery scams are cleverly and convincingly written, but deceptive and completely fraudulent.

"Thousands of people have lost money paying 'commissions' and 'charges' to receive cash prizes they've been falsely told they've won.

"The opportunists behind these scams are stealing large amounts of money from gullible people and they tarnish the legitimate marketers of government lotteries."

When Sunday Life contacted Trading Standards, a spokesman said it had been unaware of this particular scam.

But after investigation he confirmed it was a fraud.

He said: "Treat them with caution, be wary and do not respond to such emails.

"No one should ever part with money or disclose banking details to anyone linked to these rip-offs."

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