Northern Ireland news

Around 100,000 people fail high street voucher scheme verification process

Around 100,000 people in Northern Ireland fail High Street Voucher Scheme verification process. Pictured is Economy Minister Gordon Lyons with the £100 card. Picture Department for the Economy/PA Wire
Marie Louise McConville

AROUND 100,000 people in Northern Ireland have failed the verification process for the £100 high street voucher scheme.

Those whose details did not match up against checks carried out by the team behind the scheme were contacted this week by email, with many of those receiving the correspondence left concerned it was a scam.

However, the Department for the Economy confirmed that the email sent was legitimate and asked people to follow the link to complete their applications.

Those contacted were asked to upload pictures of documents, including passport, driving licence and bank statements to confirm various details including date of birth and home address.

Those who were contacted were told they had just seven days for the evidence to be provided "or your application will be closed".

However, some of those who received the email then reported technical issues with uploading documents.

A spokesman for the Department for the Economy said it had had to "contact around 100,000 people in this way in order to complete their applications".

"The email may arrive into your junk folder. If this has happened, please move the email into your inbox folder before you access the link to upload your documents.

"The email will ask recipients to upload further information to verify their identity. Please follow the instructions in the email carefully."

The spokesman said that while some people "may have had difficulties uploading their documents due to the file format" this issue had "now been resolved".

"If you are continuing to have issues uploading your documents, please try a different file format," he said.

The department also asked anyone who received the verification email not to send their documents to the Spend Local or @Economy_NI email mailboxes or social media accounts as they will "not be processed".

To date, more than 1.3 million applications for the voucher have been received with more than 1.2m verified.

The existing deadline for new applications is midnight on Monday, October 25 for online applications and 6pm the same day for telephone applications.

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