Ukash

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Ukash
Subsidiary of Skrill Group
Industry Financial Services
Founded 2005 (2005)
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Products Ukash
Parent Smart Voucher Ltd.[1]
Website www.ukash.com

Ukash is a UK-based electronic money system that allows users to exchange their cash for a secure code to make payments online. The system is authorised and regulated by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority.

The system allows users to exchange their cash for a secure code. The code is then used to make payments online, to load cards or e-wallets or for money transfer. Codes are distributed around the world by participating retail locations, kiosks[1] and ATMs.

In June 2014 Ukash launched the Ukash Travel Money Prepaid MasterCard, a reloadable prepaid MasterCard for euros and U.S. dollars that can be used anywhere that accepts MasterCard.

Process[edit]

Ukash users are given a unique 19-digit code representing their prepaid money;[2] this is entered when making a transfer, payment or purchase online. If the purchase is less than the value of the code a new 19-digit code can be provided by merchants able to issue ukash, just like change in an offline cash transaction.

Online scams[edit]

The "bearer" of Ukash can spend it online anywhere it is accepted. Some scammers have been reported to be exploiting the Ukash system for black market use by extorting codes from victims. Fraudsters promise cheap loans or other services in exchange for a fee. Some offer items for sale on sites like Gumtree but these items do not exist. Others infect a computer with Ransomware and demand the payment using methods including Ukash.[3][4]

In 2012, the company issued advice to consumers on staying safe with Ukash. It said that "The best way for consumers to avoid becoming victims of fraud is to guard Ukash codes like cash. Each Ukash code is unique and like cash, must be kept safe and therefore never emailed or given to anyone else over the telephone."[5]

Ukash is designed solely for making payments online and at participating merchants. Most online scams reported obtain Ukash by asking the victim to email the code or give out over the telephone. [6]

In 2013, the company supported the launch of AvoidOnlineScams.net, which offers information about how to avoid online scams and ransomware.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lowe, Frederick (2 April 2010). "Ukash Signs Russia Deal; Expects To Announce MasterCard Agreement In April". Cardline  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Hernandez, Will (29 March 2011). "Ukash Looking to U.S. Market after New iPhone App". American Banker  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "To Unlock Android Phone, pay $300". Ars Technica. 
  4. ^ Arthur, Charles (13 February 2013). "Russian-led cybergang broken by police". Guardian. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Ukash Security Tips". Ukash Official. 
  6. ^ Frost, Maisha (10 October 2014). "PPI Call Conmen Given the Dial-Tone". Daily Express. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Avoid Online Scams". Ukash Official.