Press Release Issued By
Durham County Council Consumer Services





Durham County Council Consumer Services warn of a fresh wave of Prize award mailshots being sent to County Durham consumers. The latest letters include one from Canada under the name National Consumer Centre and another from Holland headed Advantage Awards.

The letters notify consumers they have won prizes or cash awards of up to 10,000. However in order to claim your prize they ask for a processing fee of around 20.00. Deadlines are imposed for claimants encouraging immediate replies.

At present the Council is unaware of anyone who has replied to these letters but past experience has shown such letters are little more than a ruse for the organisers to rake in the application money.

Phillip Holman, Head of Durham County Councils Consumer Services said " It is disappointing to find that these mailshots are still being sent out bearing in mind the amount of adverse publicity they receive. Once again we are advising people not to part with their money and put the letters in the bin where they belong."

A similar scheme has come to light which also invites people to send money to take part in the Canadian National Lottery. The letters are sent in the name of Interpost Payment Services and once more it would appear that the claims made are of a dubious nature.

Often the letters are worded in such away that it is easy to believe that the top award or prize has been won when the opposite is in fact the case.

Council Cabinet Member Don Ross said "These letters are invariably sent from abroad which means that if anything goes wrong it is almost impossible to gain any redress. People who organise these schemes often prey on the vulnerable and elderly. Hopefully by naming the companies involved we can stop people being conned."


Notes to Editors

Further Information from Phillip Holman, Head of Consumer Services on 0191 3833391, or Peter Fleming, Divisional Manager on 0191 3833584.