Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service

MORE JUNK MAIL HITS THE DOORMAT

West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service has recently had an influx of calls concerning prize draws and similar schemes. One such scheme is that operated by “International Payout Services”, who despite a London P O Box Number, appear to be based in the U.S.A.

International Payout are currently doing a mail drop in the West Yorkshire area entitled “Official Notification £100m Government Payout.” They request a fee of £10.00 in order for the consumer to be eligible for their share of the alleged payout.

If a company is legitimately offering a free prize or award consumers should not have to pay towards this. If a consumer does send the £10.00 to International Payout this will be followed by a request for a further £75.00. Anyone who does respond as well as losing money, is likely have their name and address added to future mailing lists and will undoubtedly receive similar “pie in the sky” opportunities. West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service would like to remind consumers that if something sounds too good to be true it usually is.

Further problems are faced when the company offering the payout or prize is based abroad. Although UK legislation protects consumer rights, it is very difficult to legislate against companies based abroad. It would be impossible for a consumer to get any redress if they send money in response to such schemes.

Councillor Graham Clarke, Chairman of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Committee said:

“It is important that West Yorkshire consumers are aware of the problems with such mailshots. These “chance of a lifetime” scams will continue until we all get wise and everyone bins them immediately. If a consumer is unsure of their rights they should contact our advisors on the Consumer Helpline, on 01133 848 848 between 8:30 am and 6:30 pm Monday to Friday and between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm on Saturday.

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