PEOPLE in Stafford are being warned about a scam involving a system used to send money digitally.
Staffordshire Police issued the alert to users of MoneyGram and PayPoint after a rise in the number of incidents across the county.
They are both legitimate schemes which allow people to send money digitally without the use of a recipient bank account.
MoneyGram is a quick and secure service that allows users to send and receive money online.
PayPoint is a service based in many retail out- lets and is used predominantly to pay utility bills and top-up mobile phones.
However, fraudsters are cold-calling people falsely offering refunds for mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) on previous loans.
To release the funds, potential victims are asked to make payments to cover commission fees.
This involves them sending the money to the fraudsters, who are often based abroad.
Police recently received a report from a victim who was contacted by a cold caller who claimed the victim had been mis-sold PPI which they could recover.
They requested a commission fee of £315, which the victim sent to Nepal using MoneyGram.
The victim was then requested to make a second payment using PayPoint.
DC Tim Whiteley, from Staffordshire Police’s economic crime unit, said: “These companies are preying on people and reeling them into the scam by promising them money.
“They use various methods to get money from victims, including MoneyGram, Paypoint and Ukash.
“These allow them to receive the victim’s money without using a bank account. In many cases this makes the offender almost impossi- ble to trace.
“If you wish to see if you are eligible for a refund instruct a recognised firm that is registered with the Ministry of Justice.”