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Home-working scam cons Witney mum

The Oxford Mail is reporting the story of Grace Dale of Witney who fell victim to a home-working scam after trying to earn extra money for Christmas.

Grace answered an advert in the Oxford Mail asking for people to type and mail envelopes. She sent off a cheque for 15 registration but after she heard nothing she phoned the company. The person who answered the phone claimed that some cheques had gone missing and asked whether she could pay the registration fee by card instead.

The day after the phonecall Grace was contacted by Barclays who asked if either her or her husband had withdrawn 1200 pounds for their account.

It would appear that the company had taken the money without consent.

It is reported that Barclays will refund the money once it is sure the transaction was fraudulent.

Oxfordshire Trading Standards issued a warning after receiving a number of similar complaints.

A press release reads:
Oxfordshire County Council's Trading Standards Service is warning of a new homeworking scam, being advertised as an 'excellent opportunity to earn income of 900 to 3,000 per month'.

Advertisements have appeared in local papers offering the opportunity to earn money working from home. Anyone interested is asked to text their name and address to a number in the advertisement. If you do this you receive some further information and are instructed to send 15 to a PO Box in London.

Oxfordshire Trading Standards has received calls from people who sent money to the London address, and were then called by a man who claimed that the 15 had not been received.

Payment over the phone was requested. In one case, bank details were given and a large sum of money was then deducted from the bank account.

Trading Standards is warning people not to send money as advance payment for a work opportunity. Advice from the National Group on Homeworking is that you should never have to pay to get homework.

Nigel Strick, Head of Trading Standards and Registration Services said: "Taking money from bank accounts is a new variation on the old homeworking scam. You should always be concerned if you are asked to send money to a person or company that you don't know much about and only have a PO Box address for."

"Anyone sending money to schemes like this is unlikely to get a real work opportunity in return and in all likelihood will never see their money again. Giving out your bank details like this is no better than giving your cash card to a stranger on the street."

Councillor Ray Jelf, Cabinet Member for Community Safety said: "These scams usually aim to exploit those least able to afford to lose money. They are aimed at people who would like to work or earn more money, but who are restricted in the work they can take on. Trading Standards officers will be looking to ensure the people behind this scam are identified and investigated."

For advice on homeworking opportunities and scams, see the National Group on Homeworking website at or contact Oxfordshire Trading Standards on 0845 051 0845.

Posted : 18/10/2006 16:24:29

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