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Weymouth man helping vulnerable customers in fight against scam callers
A WEYMOUTH store manager is taking action to help people remain vigilant against scam callers.
Dave Hiscutt has hit out against fraudsters who have been targeting vulnerable customers at the Londis store in Westham Road.
He has made a two-page document about the scam, which he has been giving out to customers attempting to buy high value Ukash vouchers.
The vouchers are safe and legitimate but victims are being asked to use them as payment in the scam.
Mr Hiscutt said people are persuaded to keep sending the caller money online, using a voucher purchased in a local store.
The 29-year-old decided to take action after one elderly couple, who did not wish to be named, were scammed out of £14,000.
Mr Hiscutt added: “These callers are targeting locals by phoning them with news they have money waiting to be claimed in a different country or something along those lines.
“The fraudster then tells the customer to go to a local store to buy high value Ukash vouchers in order to transfer their agents’ money using these vouchers online.
“People need to be aware of the mechanisms these people are using to convince and gain the trust of the consumer.
“For example, they give out a fake number for Ukash customer services which ends up going back to them, and using names of legitimate companies.”
Ukash vouchers provide a cash-free payment system where money is paid over the counter at certain shops in return for a code.
Mr Hiscutt added: “Ukash are a safe and legitimate company but scam callers are asking residents to use the vouchers so the money is untraceable.
“Once the first payment has been made they make promises that they are working to retrieve the victim’s money but more payment will be needed.
“It then just goes on and on until hundreds have been spent.”
He said: “I feel so angry that our store is being used as a middle-man for fraudulent action.
“I know of at least two cases of customers who have lost money and one elderly couple lost a huge total of £14,000.”
Mr Hiscutt is urging other retailers to question their customers in the same way by getting into conversation with them.
He added: “If they suspect that the customer may be being defrauded to advise them of the facts.”
For one of Mr Hiscutt’s scam warning guideline sheets email him at dave.hiscutt@ googlemail.com or pop into the store.
Safe use of the vouchers
ACTION Fraud urged residents to follow these useful tips on using Ukash safely:
- Keep your Ukash codes secure, just like you do with cash.
- Only use Ukash at genuine partner websites, if you are not sure check their list.
- Never reveal the voucher code or any part of it to anyone else including on the phone, email or letter, no matter how convincing they appear to be.
- Never give Ukash to individuals asking for payment up front.
- Only purchase Ukash from official Ukash issuing partners or the Ukash website, never from ‘exchange’ sites.
For more information visit actionfraud.police.uk/protect-yourself/inheritance-fraud
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