Issued By
  Northumberland Trading
  Standards Service





Trading Standards Officers in Northumberland are continuing their ‘Don’t Get Stung’ campaign this week by warning about the bogus prize offers received through the post.

Such letters are often headed “Congratulations, you have won…..” or “Your name has been specially selected from thousands” or “A luxury holiday just for you”.  So, will you have won the big prize?  Unfortunately, the answer is probably no, so the advice is to be careful.

Executive Member for Community Services, Councillor Peter Hillman, said: “Our Trading Standards Department regularly receives enquiries from members of the public asking whether or not the offer they have received is genuine.  These offers are often simply an invitation to enter into a lottery type draw or, in the case of holiday offers, there will be invariably be hidden costs which will push the price up.  Our advice is to:

·     Always read the small print, and

·     Never send money off to a company you know nothing about.”

Mick King, County Trading Standards Officer, added: “Earlier this year we had numerous enquiries from people who had received a letter offering them a ‘free’ holiday with the only charge being the administrative cost.  The hidden costs in this case included insurance, airport duties and transfer costs.  The company in this case was eventually wound up and so many people will have ended up out of pocket.”

So, be wise and Don’t Get Stung.  If in doubt, chuck it out!


For further information contact:

Telephone 01670 534602


or visit

Note to the Editor:


The ‘Don’t Get Stung’ campaign is a joint initiative by the Trading Standards Departments of Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland.  Funded by the Department of Trade and Industry, it is the first campaign to concentrate region-wide on educating people on the ways to avoid bogus trading schemes.