AN 80-YEAR-OLD woman says she deserves an Oscar for her stunning performance tricking a “vile” scammer.

Dorothy Dearsley, from Queen’s Park in Brighton, was sent a letter claiming to be from a company called Health Lottery UK.

It said she had landed a £420,000 jackpot.

Mrs Dearsley was initially taken in – but says she “got her own back” on the scammer by reporting him to the police, then putting on a “little old lady’s voice” over the phone to him and telling him to “f*** off”.

The letter, from a company calling itself “Health Lottery UK”, told Mrs Dearsley she was among 200 other “lucky winners” sharing a £65 million prize in “the biggest ever non-ticket lottery played in the UK”.

It said she had 24 days to contact a man called Dr Ruben Sanders and claim her winnings.

Mrs Dearsley said the scam was “vile” for preying on vulnerable elderly people who have recently been in hospital.

But she said: “I must admit the letter was brilliant.

“I was chuckling to myself when I read it. I bet most people would have believed it.

“I was taken in at first. I thought it was absolutely genuine until the money part.

“I’ve seen this kind of thing on the telly and my daughter’s a journalist – nobody gives out money for no reason.

"That’s when I realised it was the biggest scam going,” she said.

"I went straight to the newspaper and the police station to let them know what was going on.

“The police officer said she hadn’t seen a scam like it, it was so good.”

When she returned home, Mrs Dearsley decided to call “Dr Sanders” and give him a taste of his own medicine.

She said: “I pretended to be a timid little old lady.

“I put on a croaky old dear’s voice and said I’d give him all the information he wanted.

“He was really chuffed. I gave him my name, my address, and my date of birth.

“When he worked out I was 80 I could tell he thought he was on to a winner.

“He congratulated me and I even told him the name of my bank.

“He said: “Do you want to keep your winnings a secret?’

“I said ‘Oh yes’. He asked if I could tell him my bank details and I said ‘Yes, of course’.

“Then I suddenly changed to my own voice. I said ‘I went the police station and the newspaper yesterday so f*** off’. Then I hung up. End of.

“He must have been so shocked. He was trying to sweet-talk me.

“By the end he was calling me ‘love’ and begging for my bank details”.

Mrs Dearsley was gleeful about her acting skills. She said: “I switched my voice a few octaves. I should have won an Oscar my performance was so good.

“He must have been so frightened and all the while I was tittering.

“I really got my own back”.

When The Argus called the number for Dr Ruben Sanders, he insisted he was not involved in a scam – before saying he didn’t want to speak about the matter and hanging up.

The scammers were impersonating a real organisation, The Health Lottery, which said it was aware of the letters doing the rounds.

A spokeswoman said: "We will never send letters to inform customers that they have won confirming the value of the prize. 

"Anyone who receives such a letter claiming to be from The Health Lottery should not attempt to contact the phone number or use any of the contact details supplied in the letter." 

If you suspect you are being scammed, you can call Action Fraud UK on 0300 123 2040.