ELDERLY Horsham residents are being targeted in cold-calling lottery scams, warn Sussex Police.
Victims located in the north of the county have received calls from individuals claiming to be from foreign lotteries.
Fraudsters concoct a story that requires people to send them money in order to release their ‘winnings’.
Money orders are transferred via Western Union, leaving little hope of tracing the recipient.
The scammers often use bullying tactics and are forceful and impatient, even suggesting the victim take out a bank loan to pay the release fee, say Sussex Police
The calls are usually made from telephone numbers beginning with 0028 which are impossible to trace.
This is a worldwide fraud and not confined to north Sussex or even the UK.
PC Kate Buckler said: “We know of only one case in our area in which someone has actually parted with money. Last November an East Grinstead man parted with a total of £1783 after he was approached in exactly this way by a man who told him he had won on the ‘Euro World Lotto Corporation’ - which does not exist.”
“However there might have been other victims. If you are contacted in this way about an alleged lottery win, please remember - if it sounds to good to be true it probably is. Keep your personal details and finances safe and never agree to any financial transaction over the phone with someone you don’t know.”