Beware of fraudsters pretending to be the Financial Ombudsman Service
Published 28 August 2015 by Kyri Levendi
Don’t be fooled by this latest scam, get clued up with our guide.
Most of us are aware that if we have a claim to make over unfair treatment at the hands of a financial company, we should go to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Knowing this, fraudsters have started to scam people into giving their personal details out by ringing up and claiming to be from the service. To stop you from getting duped by this, we’re going to walk you through everything you need to know about the scam.
What is the scam?
Let’s set the scene for you: you’ve just come home from work when you receive a telephone call. The gentleman on the other end of the line says that he’s from the Financial Ombudsman Service and that the reason he’s calling you is to discuss details of your insurance claims. You, knowing that the Financial Ombudsman Service is a reliable and trusted service, start to divulge your personal details to him. However, you’re actually providing a fraudster with the sensitive information that they need to engage in criminal activity.
Not the first time
This is not the first time that fraudsters have used the reputation of the Financial Ombudsman Service for their own personal gain. Last year, people were warned against another growing scam, which saw fraudsters pretending to be from the Financial Ombudsman Service and telling victims that they need to pay £150 to release the compensation they’re entitled to.
How to know a call is legit
The Financial Ombudsman will never phone (or email) you out of the blue to ask you for personal information. They will only ever contact you in relation to a complaint that you’ve registered with them. Even then they will only ever speak to you about that specific complaint and would never ask you to divulge sensitive information.
The service that the Financial Ombudsman provides is free, so you should never be asked to pay for anything. They advise that if you do receive a phone call, text or email from someone claiming to work at the ombudsman service that seems suspicious, that you call them directly on 0300 123 9 123.
When it comes to scam phone calls there are a few things that you should always remember…
• Never give your personal details over the phone. If someone ask you for sensitive information such as your passwords, PIN or account number alarm bells should start to ring.
• The same goes for your bank or credit card information, as well as your password or login details.
• Be aware of anyone calling out of the blue, if you don’t know who they are or where they’re calling from – hang up.
• If someone tries to pressure you on the phone, don’t be lured in by this. This is just a ploy to try to get you to give your sensitive information out over the phone – so don’t be intimidated!