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Halton residents warned about voucher fraud
HALTON residents are being alerted about a voucher fraud offering bogus loans.
Halton Trading Standards is warning consumers that scam loan companies are asking for payment by Ukash vouchers.
The loan is never provided and the consumer loses their money.
Trading Standards advises consumers to only spend Ukash vouchers online and at genuine merchants listed at https://www.ukash.com/en-GB/partners/ - never e-mail vouchers or give their codes, even in part, by e-mail or over the telephone as you are likely to lose your money.
If you need to borrow money then follow this advice:
• Shop around to get the best deal available
• Make sure the deal is the right one for you - consider the amount that you are borrowing, the amount of interest that is being charged and at what rate, the total number of payments, the amount of each payment and their frequency. This information must be given to you before you sign the agreement. If it isn't, walk away
• Don't provide any bank details or make any payments until you have signed a regulated consumer credit agreement
• Credit brokers will often charge a fee for trying to find you a loan - this is a payment for their services. You are not obliged to accept any deal that they come up with and if after six months they haven’t found you a loan, or you've told them that you don't want to go ahead, (whichever is the sooner) you are entitled to a refund of the brokerage fee less £5
• Before you enter into an agreement with a company online, ensure that their address details are displayed. Check if the website is registered in the UK - go to http://www.whois.sc/ - it will give you basic information on who the site is registered to and where the company is based. If there are no details or they are from outside the UK, do not provide them with your details
• Credit brokers and loan companies (which provide loans directly) should hold a consumer credit licence. The website addresses of the companies should be registered on the licence too. You can check whether a company holds a consumer credit licence by searching the public register at: http://www2.crw.gov.uk/pr/Default.aspx or calling the Office of Fair Trading on 0845 7 22 44 99.
If you think you are a victim of a Ukash voucher fraud, contact Ukash immediately on 0808 234 6244. If the voucher code has not been reused Ukash may be able to put a block on it. Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud. If you need advice on a credit agreement please contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service Helpline on 08454 04 05 06 or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk
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