A letter which is being delivered to some local residents is not the passport to riches it promises to be.
The Cumbernauld News and Kilsyth Chronicle has been shown a document, which is correctly addressed to an individual with a Melbourne postmark with a World Cup twist – as it claims to be from FIFA.
Among those who have received the letter was James Gemmell of MacTaggart Road in Seafar – who was told he had won £900,000 in so-called Mega Millions.
The letter has shamelessly name checked reputable organisations like Commonwealth Bank of Australia – and the famed lottery El Gordo or ‘the fat one’ which millions of Spaniards take part in every Christmas.
It states: “This was a tax-free draw and all participants were selected through a computer ballot system.”
However it urges the recipient not to broadcast news of their win, supposedly to stop what it terms “abuse of the program”
It then advises the winner- and to contact an address in London with their bank details, thus paving the way for a potentially devastating act of fraud.
And this often goes unreported because the victims are often too embarrassed to approach police once they realise they’ve been conned.
Mr Gemmell said: “I want to make people out there aware that this is just fraud because someone could be taken in.”
The letter is now in the hands of North Lanarkshire Council Trading Standards officer Peter Fergie who said: “This is a mass mailing scam and I have alerted my colleagues throughout Scotland.
“As ever, I’d say that if you haven’t bought or got a ticket, you cannot win any prize. Either throw the scam mail in bin or send it on to us and we’ll try to track it down or have our colleagues on the continent or the Antipodes do the same.”
Locals should also note that Cumbernauld’s Trading Standards office in Fleming House has ceased to operate as services have been ‘centralised’. It’s now based at Municipal Building in Coatbridge.