POLICE in North East Derbyshire are asking residents to be on their guard after recent reports of a telephone scam involving people claiming to be from the Ministry of Justice.
Concerns have arisen after two residents in Heath reported the suspicious phone calls to police on Tuesday, September 11.
The caller had spoken to both residents and said they were due a large payment but in order to receive the money they would have to go to their nearest PayPoint store and make a payment for the service using Ukash.
Ukash is 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 like you would cash, to only give the code to approved merchants and not to cold callers or over email.
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 this 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.”
Sgt Stones added: “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.”
If you think you may have been a victim of fraud through an online scam call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040. Action Fraud is the UK’s national fraud reporting centre where you should report fraud if you have been scammed or defrauded.
You can also report if you have been a victim of fraud and find out how to protect yourself online at www.actionfraud.police.uk.
To contact Derbyshire police call 101, the non-emergency number. For more information on Ukash visit www.ukash.com for details.