Shoppers making on-line purchases are being warned not to fall victim to fraudsters demanding electronic money vouchers as payment.
Electronic money vouchers, such as those from Ukash, are widely used by those who do not have, or want to use, bank or credit cards, but who wish to make purchases on-line.
A number on the voucher must be given to a vendor when making a purchase in order for the funds to be transferred – but fraudsters are conning shoppers into handing over this information and then failing to send out goods.
DC Tony McClements, of Lancashire Constabulary’s economic crime unit, said: “Over the last 12 months we have seen an increase in the number of frauds where victims have intended using Ukash vouchers to purchase goods and services online.
“Ukash is a reputable company and the voucher is as good as cash, but it needs to be looked after in the same way. The voucher code should only be given to legitimate vendors and Ukash vouchers should only be used on websites that are listed on the company’s website.”
The Ukash website - www.ukash.com - contains a list of recognised vendors, along with tips on how to avoid scams.
Anyone who believes they have been targeted by on-line fraudsters should report it to www.actionfraud.police.uk in the first instance. If they realise that they have been scammed they can also contact Ukash directly via their customer services and an attempt can be made to block the voucher code before it is used.