ALLIANCE Assembly Member, Cllr Naomi Long MLA, is warning the public to be vigilant about phone prize scams after she was contacted by two companies today.
Cllr Long MLA was informed that she had entered a competition (she hadn’t) and won a major prize. However, the recorded message told her that she needed to claim the prize by the end of October, meaning that it was too late to write in, but she was told that she could phone to claim instead – to a premium rate line.
Cllr Long MLA said:
“I wish to warn people not to respond to any message informing them that they have won a prize.
“These messages are merely a scam to generate money for unscrupulous companies that charge premium phone rates. Claiming a prize by phone can be very expensive and I would strongly advise anyone against doing this.
“I received two recorded messages today offering me a prize, one of which claimed to be from BT. However, I checked with BT and they said that they had not left any such message.
“I would advise people to phone BT’s official customer service line if they receive any similar message purporting to be from them, to ensure that they are not exploited. I strongly condemn the fraudulent use of the BT company name to assure people of legitimacy and lure them into phoning these lines.
“I have taken up the issue with BT and the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Telephone Information Services and am working towards preventing this underhand practice.”