By Tim Richardson
14th December 2005
BT is investigating allegations that one of its workers is at the
centre of a betting scam that made thousands of pounds from TV shows
such as the X Factor.
These shows - including Celebrity Fame Academy, Hell's Kitchen, and
Strictly Come Dancing - involve viewers voting by phone, text or
online for their favourite contestants.
The Mirror reports that a BT insider who had access to the shows'
voting database fed the results to a betting syndicate before they
were made public to viewers on the live TV shows. The gang then placed
bets at betting exchange Betfair.com on the outcome of the voting
netting a fortune.
Since the scammers - thought to be "well educated" men - already knew
the result, their bets were a dead cert and raked in some =A3105,000
from the betting scams. However, staff at Betfair became suspicious
and called in police.
One "friend of the mob" told the paper: "The guys knew they could not
lose. It is corrupt. At first it was small amounts but they were
caught out when they got greedier."
A spokesman for BT told us: "We have launched an urgent investigation
into the allegations in today's Daily Mirror, but we cannot say more
at this stage.
"However, one thing we would like to make clear is that this does not
affect the integrity of the result. It is impossible to tamper with
the results to affect the outcome in anyway - the viewers? choice will
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