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Scam watch: PPI refund scam

A cold-calling scam that involves you buying Ukash vouchers is catching people unawares. Here’s how one Which? member was unfortunately caught out.

Caller to the Which? Money Helpline: I was called by a company claiming to be the OFT, saying that I was owed a PPI refund plus other monies. The caller said that there were cheques ready for dispatch.

I was never asked for bank details, but the caller told me I was entitled to a total of ¬£5,000 ‚Äď including compensation from the government because of the time it had taken to resolve the issue.

I was asked to purchase Ukash ‚Äėvouchers‚Äô to cover the cost of the cheques, so I bought two at ¬£500 each, which the caller said I could keep until the cheques had cleared.

I was asked to give both Ukash code numbers to the caller, which I did, but no cheques have arrived.

What we say on PPI refund scam

The Which? Money Helpline has received a few calls about this scam. Unfortunately, your cheques will never appear, as the Office of Fair Trading has now been closed, and did not award compensation for mis-sold PPI or any other financial matter when it did exist.

Cash transfers made through electronic vouchers are impossible to trace or recover. Ukash payments are processed when you hand over your unique code to a third party, so giving this to a cold-caller is the same as giving away the money.

Be aware that Ukash payments don’t have a credit element to them either, so unfortunately there’s no scope to reclaim the money using protection schemes such as Section 75 or chargeback.

Have you been a victim of this scam or a similar one? Do you have any tips for spotting a scam call offering a PPI refund?

Loretta Tarpey says:
22 July 2019

Hamilton Fox has scam me out of ¬£32,000.00.It all started in October 2018 saying that I had been awarded ¬£6,600.00 from a PPI claim & that I had to pay ¬£600.00 for the charges which I paid & now it just going on and on. Every time I make a payment for one charge or another then told that that would be the last one, then again another charge comes up so I don’t get any money back. So please don’t deal with this company. Also I was able to contact my phone but now none of the numbers work.