In a brass-necked request, the sender actually claims to be Bishop Joseph Toal and then asks that the recipient purchase Amazon voucher by stating that this is a way of paying back a favour – the details of which are not specified. A Diocesan spokesperson said: “The Diocese has advised its email contacts to ignore the message. It appears to originate from outside the UK and underscores the need for caution when responding to emails that are unexpected or look suspicious.” This type of offence thrives as it frequently goes unreported -because victims are often too embarrassed to come forward and say they have purchased vouchers.
They realise all to late that they have made sizeable financial losses at the hands of conmen as they have done so.
Other examples of vouchers that potential victims are asked to buy are for iTunes, Argos and for supermarket chains like Asda.
Both police and trading standards officers agree that these should never be engaged with.