Have you received a letter telling you that you’ve won £225,000 in the People’s Postcode Lottery?

If so, Hertfordshire County Council’s trading standards department is urging you to avoid ringing the number on the letter as it’s a scam.

Trading Standards officers are investigating after being made aware of a couple from Waltham Cross who recently lost money to this con. We have also had reports of the letters being received in Much Hadham, Puckeridge and Hoddesdon, as well as other areas of the country.

The addresses quoted at the top of the letter are Turners Hill, Cheshunt, and Madrid in Spain. The genuine People's Postcode Lottery is not based at either of these locations.

A letter is sent out of the blue advising of a win of £225,000 and to call a phone number to claim the winnings. On ringing, money is required upfront to release the winnings and then a very convincing letter from the HMRC is sent to explain that a further fee is required to release the big cheque.

Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Please ensure that you, your family and neighbours don't fall victim to these clever cons. If you haven't entered a lottery, you haven’t won anything. If anyone asks for a fee upfront to claim a prize, it's a con. If you're in any doubt about any similar item of post that comes through your door, please speak to family and friends or call trading standards.”

If you receive one of these letters, please keep it and the envelope so that we may track how it is coming into the country. Please send it to The Scams Team, Hertfordshire CC Trading Standards, Mundells, Welwyn Garden City AL7 1FT.

If you have responded to the letter and sent money, please contact Hertfordshire Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040506.