Police warning over voucher call scam

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FRAUDSTERS are telephoning people in Derbyshire claiming to be from the Ministry of Justice and telling them they are due a large payment.

But they are advised that before they can claim their cash they have to go to their nearest PayPoint store and make a payment for the service using Ukash - an electronic payment method for people who wish to shop or pay money online without the need to use credit or debit cards.

Users can pay for vouchers at convenience stores or retailers which have PayPoint, Epay or Payzone facilities and then enter the code from the voucher online in order to pay for goods or services.

Ukash advise customers to treat their vouchers as they would cash, only giving the code to approved merchants and not to cold callers or over email.

Two reports about the scam were received from residents in Heath, near Chesterfield.

They received calls on the same day.

Sgt Aidan Stones, who leads the Safer Neighbourhood policing teams in the Clay Cross and North East Derbyshire area, said: “We are advising residents to be aware of scam and to avoid sharing any financial or personal details with a cold caller.

“Although they may sound convincing, the person on the other end of the phone may not be who they claim to be so we would always urge residents to be cautious.

“If you are unsure, take details of their company so you can make your own checks to see if they are reputable and call them back using a number from a telephone directory.

“If you feel pressured or uncomfortable don’t be afraid to hang up the phone and if you have any concerns about the caller contact the police.”

Anyone who thinks they may have been a victim should call Action Fraud on 0300 1232040 or Derbyshire Police on 101.