Ukash urges customers to take precautions

Treat Ukash the same way you would cash, company urges in security tips.

Editor: I am writing to respond to the story “Langley RCMP issue ‘ransomware’ warning to local computer users” (The Times, Sept. 20).

At Ukash, we are aware of scams of this nature but wanted the opportunity to explain the details of our product, educate our customers and the public to prevent further exposure to fraudulent activity of this kind.

Ukash is regulated by the U.K. Financial Services Authority (FSA) and enables consumers to use their cash online. Just like cash, if our customers are the only ones to have access to their unique 19-digit Ukash voucher code, only they can spend it.

From time to time, fraudulent activity occurs when individuals posing as any of a series of roles attack vulnerable consumers asking for Ukash as payment. We have seen a few instances of malware fraud, in which computer users are told they have a virus which can be removed after a Ukash payment is made.

We advise people to be vigilant about these scams; if you’re prompted to pay with Ukash to remove an alleged virus, avoid doing so and report the incident.

Ukash provides security tips on our website which includes information on the safest conduct and how to remove viruses (http://www.ukash.com/uk/en/security-tips.aspx?node=491329#id491329). We also post warnings of scams on our homepage and twitter feed @paywithukash as soon as we become aware of them.

We are appalled that scammers are targeting people to defraud them of their money and we are actively working with the authorities to close them down. Our advice is that Ukash voucher details should never be given away, particularly not to suspicious or unknown individuals online.

The simple message is to treat Ukash with the same security as you would physical cash. Ukash vouchers should only be used to shop online at websites that are listed on www.ukash.com.

Anyone who believes they have been targeted should report it to the police (and in the U.K., to Action Fraud UK on 0300 123 2040) in the first instance. If they realize that they have been scammed, they can also contact us directly via customer services and we will attempt to block the voucher code before it is used: http://www.ukash.com/uk/en/support/contact-customer-services.aspx.

I would be happy to talk to you in more detail about the steps we are taking to reduce the risk of fraudulent activity related to our product, and ways to raise awareness of Ukash in your area.

David Hunter,

CEO of Ukash,

London, United Kingdom