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Refund scammers take thousands

Police are warning residents to be on their guard against fraudsters after two elderly residents lost more than £4,000.

Elderly Woman And Child

In this version of an advance fee fraud, fraudsters phone residents and tell them that they are owed money from refunded bank charges or from a payment protection insurance claim.

The caller goes on to ask for an administration fee in order to process the payment. In reality, there is no payment and victims lose the admin fee they pay.

Ukash vouchers

In these recent cases, victims have been asked to pay this fee using Ukash vouchers. Ukash is an e-commerce cash payment method that lets consumers exchange their banknotes and coins for a voucher code which represents electronic money of the same value. They can then use this money on the internet

Fraudsters use the service to their advantage by asking residents to purchase the vouchers and phone them back with the voucher numbers. They do this on the pretence of checking the money is present before processing the bogus repayment.

In fact, as soon as the fraudsters receive the Ukash voucher numbers, they can access the funds and steal the money from the victim.

Protect yourself from fraud

If you receive unexpected phone calls such as these, be suspicious and never give out personal information or pay a fee. Remember that if the caller is legitimate you will be able to call them back on an officially listed phone number at a later date. Always hang up the phone if you are at all unsure. If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is.

Read more about this refund scam on the Cumbria Police website.

Please note: Action Fraud is not responsible for the content on external websites.

To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

See also:
Advance fee fraud
Do not send Ukash for bank charge reclaims
Fake company calls unsuspecting residents

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