Olympic lottery scammers are impersonating the Church of England's London 2012 chief to swindle personal details out of unsuspecting victims.
In a bogus letter, emblazoned with an imitation London 2012 logo and Olympic rings, potential victims are told they have won more than £500,000.
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The letter requests personal details which would likely be handed to criminal gangs abroad, Surrey trading standards said.
The letter has the false signature of the Rev Canon Duncan Green, who is the Church of England's Olympics co-ordinator and responsible for the Church's response to London 2012.
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So far reports of similar phoney letters, entitled 2012 Summer Olympic Lottery, have been made in Surrey, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Merthyr Tydfil.
Consumer experts fear crooks could be targeting people throughout the UK and asked for everyone to be on their guard.
A Surrey trading standards spokeswoman said: "All manner of criminals will be looking to use the Olympics as a chance to make money through various cons and swindles.
"Impersonating the Church of England and using the Olympics to swindle people out of money is beyond contempt.
"Trust your instincts. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
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<p>Prices are rising by a median of 81p a month and 70% of consumers are completely unaware off this sneaky move, according to Tesco Mobile, so be sure to check any new contracts before you sign the dotted line.</p>
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The companies involved soon disappear with investors' money and as the firms are not protected by the Financial Services Authority, their funds are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme</p>
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Fraudsters recruit unknowing accomplices through email under the guise of offering employment, seeking a personal favour, or through internet shopping sites. The recruits are persuaded into receiving what are essentially fraudulent payments and then passing funds on.</p>
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A flashy brochure or website tells of a reliable 'government-backed' scheme which provides reliable returns for investors. Such a scheme doesn't exist however – a reality investors only discovered when they have parted with their cash and the company is untraceable. As with land banking, fraudulent companies are not covered by the FSA so victims have no course for recompense</p>
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