X Factor 2010 has been rocked by a phone voting scam which kept Wagner Carrilho the contest for weeks.
The Daily Mirror has revealed that Wagner’s hotline number was placed in fake adverts on listings website Gumtree for items such as Xboxes, concert tickets and flats to rent.
One reportedly read: “small but cozy 1 bedroom flat in Notting Hill…Contact Cheryl on 0901 6161 101,” the number viewers to vote for Wagner to stay in the competition.
When the eccentric Brazillian was finally voted off on Sunday, show boss Simon Cowell mentioned that a minority had attempted to ‘derail’ the show by keeping Wagner in. It is unclear whether he was referring to the voting scam.
An ITV spokesperson said: “We have made Gumtree aware and they are looking in to this matter.”
The website added: “We take false advertising very seriously and we have blocked these users from our site.
“The ads were removed as soon as we were alerted to them.”
It is the latest chapter is a campaign which saw Wagner, 51, stay in the live shows for seven weeks. Last week text messages were circulated reading: “Give me a call. I’m at hospital with low battery,” giving Wagner’s voting number.
Several Facebook groups urging viewers to vote Wagner attracted thousands of fans.