Global online cash provider Ukash, founded in 2001 and with a presence in more than 50 countries across 6 continents, has warned users not to get scammed by a loan company con doing the rounds at the moment. Ukash works on a code basis, with the user buying a voucher in a shop or petrol station for example, and the unique 19 digit code it contains is used to pay for stuff anywhere online that accepts Ukash transactions (the codes can also load 'cash' into prepaid cards and e-wallets).
Reports are emerging that conmen claiming to represent 'The Start-ups Loan Company' amongst other loan providers, are scamming people out of their Ukash codes. "The official Start-Up Loans Company is a government backed organisation and is not associated with providing loans to individuals, but is one of the names criminals are using to conduct this scam," warns Miranda McLean, a director of Ukash. "The criminals have access to personal information provided to loan broker websites and claim to have approved a loan, but need a fee to be paid in advance."
The advice is, obviously, that Ukash voucher codes should never be given to a third-party by any method other than through an official Ukash partner site. "No genuine loan company will ask for a fee to be paid in advance" McLean advises, continuing "the simple message is to treat Ukash with the same security as you would physical cash. We continue to work closely with police and other fraud fighting organisations, and update our website with the latest scams, to help stop these criminals in their tracks and protect our customers."
Anyone who realises they have been scammed should contact Ukash immediately on 00800 247 85274, and the company will attempt to block the Ukash code before it is used. They should also report the crime, or attempted crime, to Action Fraud UK on 0300 123 2040.