PayPoint terminal

Calls made from a number that seemed to be genuine

Retailers are being scammed out of thousands of pounds by fraudsters posing as engineers, PayPoint has warned.

The payment service said it had received dozens of complaints that fraudsters are running fake ‘test purchases’ over the phone, from what appeared to be a genuine PayPoint telephone number.

“We’ve had a small number of reports of our contact centre number being shown, to add credibility to the caller’s claim to be from PayPoint,” said head of corporate affairs Peter Brooker, adding that the company would never ask a retailer to do a transaction over the phone. “Our concern is that these are big sums of money for retailers, which is why we’re trying to alert them.”

To raise awareness of the issue, PayPoint met with officials from Ofcom in December. It is lobbying for the closure of a loophole that enables criminals to fake phone numbers. “It’s something we’re really pushing for,” said Brooker. “They now understand that it is far more serious than just an issue with nuisance calls and leads to serious financial losses.”