Police urge residents to report any scam letters or emails they receive

People in North Devon have been urged not to fall for a 'Postcode Lotto' scam that is doing the rounds.

A Bideford reader contacted us with a letter they had received, which claimed they had won £825,000, but required a 'processing fee' and personal details to be sent.

Our reader wasn't fooled, but feared some vulnerable people might be taken in.

A police spokesman said if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

"They involve lotteries, prizes, awards, miracle cures, clairvoyants, romance and other promises of good fortune," they said.

"The recipient will reply, whether directly through telephone, by post or email and will be invited to send money, often to assist in the administration of the release of the winnings.

"Big winnings do not exist. Occasionally items of little value will be sent as prizes. As the winnings on offer are substantial, so too are the advance fees required to release the funds.

"The cruel part of the scam is that suspects build up a rapport with victims to continue the flow of money."

They said anyone who receives such letters or emails should contact Action Fraud on 0300 1232040 or visit www.actionfraud.police.uk