Scots are being warned to check their mail carefully after being targeted by a fake 'postcode lottery' scam.

Letters have been sent out to unsuspecting residents across Scotland claiming they have won a share of £425,000.

The official-looking letter has a head office address in London in its heading, and are signed by 'Susan Blair', who is listed as the lottery's president.

They are claiming to be the People's Postcode Lottery, who pay out cash prizes to thousands of winners each week across the UK.

But scammers are telling recipients that a processing fee is required to release the winnings - which legitimate lotteries would never do.

HeraldScotland:

Players of the lottery are being urged to check any mailings they receive carefully.

Residents on the Isle of Skye and throughout the Highlands are said to be particularly affected.

Trading standards manager of Highland Council, David MacKenzie, said: “Scam mail can take the form of fake lotteries or imitate genuine lotteries. 

"Scam mail is sent with the sole intention of obtaining money through deception and/or fraud. 

"It is a common theme among lottery scams to ask for an upfront fee to release winnings.  

"We want to know about potentially fraudulent mail so that we can investigate illegal business activity and support those affected, particularly the more vulnerable members in our community.”

A spokeswoman for People’s Postcode Lottery, said: “In common with other high-profile organisations and businesses, criminals may seek to exploit our reputation by using our name in fraudulent communications.

“This is an issue which we take extremely seriously. We liaise closely with the relevant authorities, including the police.

“We encourage anyone who receives a potentially fraudulent communication to contact Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber-crime reporting centre.”

Here are the key points you need to know, according to Highland Council Trading Standards, if you receive the letter:

  • Legitimate lotteries will never ask you to pay anything to receive your winnings or to keep your winnings a secret.
  • If you haven’t bought a ticket, you can’t be a winner.
  • NEVER give out your personal or financial information.
  • If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

According to People's Postcode Lottery, if you are unsure about any communication you receive, contact them on 0808 109 8765 or email info@postcodelottery.co.uk.

Have you been affected by this scam in Scotland? We want to hear from you. Email eleanor.duffy@newsquest.co.uk