Action Fraud are warning people to watch out for fraudsters claiming to be from the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Fraudsters claiming to be from the Ombudsman are cold-calling victims and telling them they have a cheque for a large amount of money from a compensation claim. The victim is then told to buy an iTunes (or similar voucher) roughly to the value of £300 to ‘release’ the compensation. They then claim that a courier will collect it from their home address and that a cheque will be sent to them in the post.
The service, which deals with complaints from consumers about the financial services industry, is a free service for the public and it would never cold call households to ask for a fee in order to claim reimbursement.
If you think a call claiming to be from the Ombudsman is suspicious you can call them directly on 0300 123 9123.
Protect yourself from fake Ombudsman calls
- never buy iTunes or gift vouchers if instructed to by someone claiming to be from a government body or official.
- never provide personal details – such as your address, phone number etc – unless you’re absolutely sure a request is genuine;
- never hand over any payment to anyone claiming to work at the ombudsman – their service is free to all consumers and they would never ask you for money over the phone;
- never provide any of your banking or credit card details unless you know for certain that the request is genuine; and
- never give anyone your security information, such as your internet/telephone banking password or log-on details (no genuine banking firm ever asks you to provide this information).
If you have been affected by this, or any other scam, report it to Action Fraud by calling
0300 123 2040, or by using the online reporting tool at www.actionfraud.police.uk