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Halton Borough Council issue warning over bank refund phone scam

Halton Borough Council have issued a warning that residents have been targeted by a scammer who has phoned consumers and claimed to be from a solicitors’ office, representing the consumers bank. The scammer says that the consumer has made an overpayment to the bank of £3,400 and that as a result of this they are due a refund. The scammer then says that a solicitor will call to deliver a cheque in person that afternoon.

The consumer is then told by the scammer, that the solicitor will need to be paid in £340 of UKash Vouchers before they can hand over the cheque. The scammer then provides the consumer with information of where UKash vouchers can be bought close to the consumer’s home.

The consumer is then advised by the scammer to make sure that they tell the shop assistant that they want the vouchers for personal use, otherwise they will have to pay an extra £50 admin fee and that they need to purchase 2 x £170 vouchers, the upper limit is £180.

The scammer will then ask how long it will take for the consumer to purchase and collect the vouchers, advising that the solicitor will be visiting in the next couple of hours. Later that day the consumer is phoned again by the scammer, who requests confirmation of the UKash voucher numbers which they have purchased, advising that they are unable to send the solicitor around until they have verified that the consumer has purchased the vouchers.

The scam works in this way: UKash vouchers can be redeemed for cash from one of the 420,000 outlets worldwide, it is only the voucher code which is required and not the actual voucher. Consumers could be tempted into giving out the voucher numbers to the scammers believing that they are still in possession of the actual vouchers, but when they give the voucher numbers they lose that money.

UKash vouchers should only be spent online and at genuine merchants which are listed on their site. Vouchers should never be emailed or the codes given, even in part, as you are likely to lose your money. The simple message is that you should treat UKash with the same security that you would treat your physical money.

If you think you are a victim of Ukash voucher fraud, contact Ukash immediately on 0808 234 6244, if the voucher code has not been re-used UKash may be able to put a block on it.

You can report scams to Action Fraud or Crimestoppers

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