Police warn of scam involving UKASH vouchers
Also, please see update below this article
Police in Surrey are warning members of the public to be on their guard against a recent scam which is circulating throughout Guildford, Surrey Heath and Woking. Since April 2011 officers have received sixteen complaints about loan companies cold calling members of the public offering them loans.
As part of the scam, the victims are requested to purchase UKASH vouchers before the loan is authorised and the money put into the victims’ bank accounts. However, the loan never materialises but the UKASH vouchers are used by the loan company. In the cases that Surrey Police have been investigating, the amount of money handed over to the loan companies has ranged from £85 to £1,800.
DC Stuart Pittaway who is investigating these crimes said: “We want to raise awareness of this, and similar, scams to prevent anyone else being conned out of handing over large sums of money. The victims are usually contacted by phone and a variety of excuses are used to get the victims to part with more and more money. We have also been informed of similar scams where the victims have been told they are eligible for either PPI claim backs or tax refunds. No reputable company would require you to pay up front for these services, especially the tax office.”
UKASH is a legitimate company that lets you use cash to pay online by exchanging notes/coins for a voucher. Members of the public can hand over cash at any outlet that sells UKASH in exchange for a voucher. They can then use that voucher at any number of websites that accept UKASH. People use the vouchers as a way of controlling their spending as you can only use up to the value of your voucher. It is also a way of staying private when using your money online.
Giving UKASH vouchers to someone you don’t know or a merchant that is not approved by UKASH puts you at risk of losing your money. The best way to protect yourself from being a victim of fraud is to be aware of these scams and to treat your UKASH vouchers as cash. Transactions cannot be reversed so only give the voucher code to approved UKASH merchants.
11th Oct 2012 Kerry-Rose O’Donnell of INGMedia has been in touch on behalf of UKASH –
I wanted to get in touch on behalf of Ukash after the “Police warn of scam involving UKASH vouchers” article that was published on 4 October, 2012: http://knaphill.org/2012/10/ukash-vouchers-scam/#.
Firstly, I would like to thank you for clarifying Ukash as a legitimate company and outlining some of the key benefits of our e-payment system. At Ukash we are aware that scammers are targeting people to defraud their money and we are actively working with the authorities to close them down.
In this case, we would like to offer some additional advice to consumers:
- Anyone who believes they have been targeted should report it to the police and to action fraud UK in the first instance. If they realise that they have been scammed they can also contact us directly via customer services and we will attempt to block the voucher code before it is used: http://www.ukash.com/uk/en/support/contact-customer-services.aspx.
- We provide tips on our website http://www.ukash.com/uk/en/alerts/security-tips.aspx and post warnings of scams on our homepage and twitter feed @paywithukash as soon as we become aware of them.
Do let me know if you would like any more information or to speak with a representative of Ukash directly.