I could write about PayPoint and Ukash vouchers every issue - in fact, I think I might until everyone gets the message. This time I was prompted by PayPoint itself. Spokesman Peter Brooker says that, on top of the advice the company gives to agents via initial training and handbook, and through various newsletters, bulletins and mailshots, it has again sent a poster to them all which has been designed to help keep their business secure and safe. None of the advice is new he says, “but needs constant reinforcement”. This includes always taking the cash payment first before processing the transaction and never processing a PayPoint transaction over the phone. You should only process PayPoint transactions when the customer is present, and you should always lock the terminal at night.

On top of this, check the ID of anyone claiming to be from PayPoint or one of its suppliers - call the contact centre if in doubt a genuine visitor will have no objection to you doing this.

PayPoint has reinforced the above with an alert that there had been a very recent spate of bogus phone calls from people claiming to be from PayPoint and attempting to process high-value Ukash transactions.

The company is looking at introducing an extra stage to the Ukash purchase process, in which the retailer will be asked if the customer is present. A ‘no’ answer will terminate the transaction.

On a bright note, we have heard back from Robert Cole, featured in the last issue, who lost £2,000 via a Ukash scam. On my advice he contacted Steve Edwards (previously featured in the October 28 issue of C-Store), who was taking a personal stand on these sort of cons.

Robert writes: “He proved to be an absolute diamond and pointed me in the right direction with regards to sorting this mess out. The local police are still investigating the case, hopefully with some involvement with Mr Edwards. From my own point of view, the insurance company has settled my claim and we are able to carry on trading. We have, however, parted company with PayPoint, which I found to be less than helpful.”