Over the past couple of days, Lincolnshire Trading Standards has received complaints from people in Lincolnshire who have received unsolicited telephone calls from someone falsely claiming to be from the Ministry of Justice.
Scammers trick members of the public by suggesting to the person they’re calling that they could be owed money - often for repayment of bank charges, payment protection insurance (PPI), or a court settlement - but first ask for an upfront payment from the consumer in order to enable them to receive the money.
In this case, both members of the public were asked to send £100 by UKash vouchers in order to receive £4,500 repayment of bank charges.
The Ministry of Justice released a statement last month, highlighting that these callers have no connection with the Ministry of Justice, HM Courts & Tribunals Service, or other genuine organisations. The Ministry of Justice never contacts consumers asking them for personal bank details, or request an upfront payment by money transfer.
Angela Kane, senior trading standards officer, said: “These fraudsters often target people who they believe are vulnerable to scams, often those who are already struggling with debt.
“I would urge the public to be on their guard and not to hand over any personal details or money until completely confident a company is legitimate, and to contact the authorities immediately if you are concerned.
“If you have already transferred money, contact your bank immediately to stop and check any unauthorised transactions.”
If you believe you have been a victim of this scam report the matter to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.