POLICE say Huddersfield people should be on their guard against lottery scams from Spain and Switzerland.

Letters and emails claiming to be from El Gordo de la Primitiva Lottery in Madrid and Ace Capital Lottery, Geneva, have been sent to people in our area telling them they are winners.

The ``winners" are asked to provide their bank details and told that 5% to 10% of the winnings will be retained for costs.

They are later contacted and asked to pay fees to get their prize - which they never receive.

In two recent cases victims in Huddersfield and Bradford had their bank accounts credited with a forged cheque for tens of thousands of pounds.

Before the fraud was recognised, the victims gave cash to the company, believing they were up-front fees.

Det Con David Parker, of West Yorkshire Police's economic crime unit, said one person lost up to £58,000.

He added: "I would advise people never to give their bank details out. These fraudulent letters are relatively sophisticated and there is other material to give the feeling of realism."

The El Gordo is the official Spanish lottery, but is only open to Spanish residents.

Similar scams are operating under the names International Lottery de la Primitiva, Euro Million International Promotion Programme, Spanish Sweepstake lottery, Highstake International Program and El-Mundo de la Primitiva.