In the week before Christmas, a conman contacted a local man in his 70s by telephone, claiming he was due £3,800 after being mis-sold an endowment.
The conman promised the victim he would claim the money back on his behalf and he would have to pay an administration fee of £750 for the service.
He was advised to go and purchase a UKASH voucher to the value of £750 and he would then be re-contacted for the voucher number in order to check that the funds were paid into UKASH and he would then receive the money owed to him.
Unfortunately, the victim followed the conman’s instructions before realising that it was as scam and contacting the police. In effect, the victim’s money was lost as soon as he handed over the voucher number.
UKASH is a genuine service that operates as an internet money transfer scheme, and works using a voucher number which is needed to claim the money.
Police enquiries have established that the victim’s money was used on a betting firm’s website.
PC Wayne Hutchinson, of Ripon Police, said:
We want people to be wary of people or companies offering to claim back payments or for a fee. If anyone believes they are due to be refunded money, then they should contact their own bank or an established law firm.
If anyone is using the UKASH voucher scheme, then they should only give the voucher number to people who they trust and who they want the money to go to. They should treat the vouchers as they would cash.
Please pass this warning on to any elderly or vulnerable friends, neighbours and relatives, so they don’t fall foul of these scams.
If you have any doubts to the validity of anyone’s identity please call North Yorkshire Police and an officer will be more than willing to give advice on the issue.
If you are contacted by anyone you believe to be fraudulent contact North Yorkshire Police as soon as possible on 101.
Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.