The Department for the Economy has begun issuing emails to applicants for the Spend Local scheme whose details could not be automatically verified.
The email from firstname.lastname@example.org is legitimate and not a scam.
The Department needs 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.
Some people may have had difficulties uploading their documents due to the file format. This issue has now been resolved. If you are continuing to have issues uploading your documents, please try a different file format.
Please do not send the requested verification information to the Spend Local or @Economy_NI email mailboxes or social media accounts – any documents sent to these mailboxes will not be processed.
You have seven days from receipt of the email to complete the verification required. This applies only to those people who have received the email.
The existing deadline for new applications for a Spend Local card remains midnight on Monday 25 October for online applications and 6pm the same day for telephone applications.
If you have not yet made your application, please do so without delay. Please also consider if you have friends or family members who may need help with applying.
To date we have received more than 1.3million applications. Over 1.2million have been verified and we continue to process applications as quickly as possible.
Cards will continue to be issued to successful applicants over the coming weeks.
More information about the scheme and details on how to apply are available on nidirect.
Notes to editors:
1. For verification purposes in order to reduce the risk of fraud and error, each applicant will be asked to provide:
- disability status;
- National Insurance number;
- email address; and
- telephone number.
2. Applicants will also have the option of including a driving licence number to enable verification. Once the applicant has completed the registration process their information will be checked against a number of government databases to verify their identity.
3. The Department is required under Section 75 to monitor the implementation of its policies which includes collecting data on age, sex and disability.
4.When an applicant receives their card, they will need to verify the card through a computer-operated phone system or text message and make the first payment using a pin, before they can start to use it for contactless payments.
5. The cards can be used in all participating businesses in Northern Ireland. They cannot be used online or for gambling or some financial and legal services.
6. The telephone support service opened on 11 October. The later opening of the telephone service has been implemented to encourage more people to apply online when the portal opened on 27 September and avoid using the phone line leaving it available for those who do not have access to, or are not able to use, the internet.
7. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI
8. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at email@example.com
9. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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