The scammers have often gained access to personal information that has been provided to loan broker websites. They claim to have approved a loan, but need a fee to be paid in advance before it can be processed.
Alternatively, the scammers call to advise you that you are owed a PPI refund cheque for several thousand pounds, but that you should pay an “administration fee” in advance to receive this.
The fraudsters then ask for the fee to be paid in advance with UKash vouchers. Ukash codes can be purchased with cash from shops, petrol stations and kiosks, or are issued online from their website. You must not hand over your Ukash codes to these scammers, as you will lose your money.
No genuine loan company will ask for a fee to be paid in advance. Similarly, genuine PPI claims companies will not ask for an advance fee to be paid. In fact you can claim mis-sold PPI yourself, for free.
In addition to these Advance Fee frauds, we have also received a number of other fraud reports from people who have used Ukash to pay for items purchased on auction sites which they have then not received.
Ukash should only be used at genuine partner websites, and should never be used for payments to unknown individuals. The simple message is to treat Ukash with the same security as you would physical cash.
Top tips on using Ukash safely:
- Only use Ukash at genuine partner websites, if you are not sure check their list.
- Keep your Ukash codes secure, just like you do with cash.
- Never give Ukash to individuals asking for payment up front.
- Only purchase Ukash from official issuing partners or the Ukash website, never from ‘exchange’ sites.
For more information, visit Ukash’s online payment security advice.
Online loans - warning
We have received a number of fraud reports from Hertfordshire residents who have visited loan websites and have applied for loan information by entering their bank details. Although the residents then decided not to go ahead with the loan, they have subsequently discovered that money has been taken from their account in the guise of a loan repayment.
Citizens Advice is urging consumers to put the phone down on these cold callers and go straight to their bank to make a PPI claim. Even genuine PPI claims companies take around 25% of a person’s successful PPI claim in charges. Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) data found people were spending, on average, over £1,000 in fees for something they can do themselves for free. One in five CAB clients had been lead to believe they could make a claim for PPI without ever having or being mis-sold a policy. Claiming for mis-sold PPI is a free, simple process you can do yourself. For more information about how to claim mis-sold PPI, visit the Financial Conduct Authority’s website.