Who Gets To Be A Millionaire? No-one

A contestant who won £125,000 on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? has yet to receive their payment, despite sending several cheques to cover bank processing charges.

Peter Ian, who appeared on the quiz show earlier this year, was emailed by 2Waytraffic (who produce the series for ITV) soon after his windfall to advise him that he needed to send an “administration charge” of £500 and that payment would be made into his bank account as soon as this charge was received.

A fortnight later he checked his account and there was still no sign of payment, so he emailed 2Waytraffic back to find out what was going on. “I was slightly worried at this point, but I still had faith that they would be true to their word and send the money – they never gave me any reason to doubt them”, said Mr. Ian

A few days later 2Waytraffic emailed a reply thanking him for his payment, but the bank would only release the prize money upon receipt of a “processing fee” of £1500. Mr. Ian was slightly suspicious at this point, but sent the fee accordingly. “I thought that, although they had a bit of a cheek asking for this much money upfront, the prize money was so high that in the end it wouldn’t matter.”

Two more weeks passed and Mr. Ian still had yet to receive payment. He emailed 2Waytraffic again to ask where the money was and after another week they replied saying that everything was in hand and that they now had the money ready, but before releasing it to his bank account he would need to pay a “bank release charge” of £2000. Mr. Ian was aghast, but agreed to send them the money and took out another loan in order to cover the cost of this.

However, when Peter went to his bank on Wednesday it was still not there. He told a reporter: “There was nothing in my account. I wonder if the other winners had to pay all these fees. I’m starting to think if there was ever any prize money at all.”

A spokesperson for Trading Standards yesterday said “Scams like this have been in operation for many years and can often go to elaborate lengths to look genuine, like setting up a television studio and cameras in order to look like a proper TV quiz show. In reality, the cameras aren’t running and the ‘shows’ never see the light of day. The follow-up emails are a classical sign of this type of scam, often demanding increasing sums of money in order to secure the ‘prize money’ – by this point the victim is so caught up in the scam that they willingly pay, figuring that the money on offer far outweighs the ‘bank charges’ they are being asked for. We always try and stress to people that if it looks too good to be true, it often is.”




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