Police are advising the public to be on their guard following a recent scam involving a Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claim.
Police are investigating a fraud in Kendal on 1st March 2012 in which a vulnerable female has parted with her savings after falling victim to a telephone scam relating to PPI . The scam consisted of a company contacting her purporting to be working for a Government Department dealing with PPI compensation.
The victim was contacted by phone and advised that she was entitled to around £8,000 in compensation in relation to the use of her bank debit card. Money was requested from her for insurance and tax purposes before the compensation could be paid. The victim then made a series of UKASH purchases from her savings account, which she then used to provide the caller with serial numbers for the money to be transferred. When this was successful, the victim was told the compensation she was entitled to had been miscalculated and was in fact £18,000. More money was then requested for tax and insurance which the victim paid. When the compensation cheque failed to arrive, she realised she had been the subject of a fraud.
UKASH is a genuine service that works as an internet money transfer scheme and it is the voucher serial number which is needed to claim the money. Police are advising that people only give the serial number to people they trust and to whom they want the money to go, and to treat the vouchers as they would cash.
Police wish to advise people to first check with their bank if they are informed they are entitled to compensation and to remind people of the risks of agreeing to pay cold callers upfront for something they are told they are entitled to and will later receive.
Please pass this warning onto elderly or vulnerable friends, relatives and neighbours. If anyone has any doubts about the validity of someone's identification, please call Cumbria Constabulary for advice on telephone number 101.
For further information about protection from Financial Crime contact the Action Fraud Hotline on 0300123 2040 or visit www.actionfraud.org.uk.