by Steve Beasant on September 12, 2012
Police are asking residents to be vigilant after reports of fraudsters conducting door to door enquiries regarding bogus Payment Protection Insurance claims.
Bogus PPI companies have been contacting people under the pretence of assisting with a PPI claim they are entitled to. They are obtaining personal information off residents claiming to investigate whether money is owed.
These fraudsters then get victims to pay fees up front for services that are never delivered.
A police spokesperson explained “The team will then contact residents back stating that they are entitled to a large sum of money, however in order for the resident to receive this money they request that an upfront payment is paid for the paperwork.
“They ask for this payment to be made with UKASH vouchers (a system where cash is converted into vouchers of the same value, which have a unique code to make payments electronically on the internet. However, if the code becomes known to anyone else – then the money can be stolen.) Once this money has been taken by the scam team no money is received by the victim.”
Police are advising residents to refuse to make payments upfront to secure a promise of a much larger lump sum at some future date following a number of reports of such scams.
There are many reputable companies that can assist people with valid PPI claims or those looking for loans, and customers should seek relevant professional financial advice.
PPI complaints on the rise
In the first half of this year the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) received 135,170 new complaints, up 27% on the previous six months.
PPI was originally sold alongside loans, mortgages and credit cards, wrongly in many cases, to cover repayments if people became ill or lost their jobs.
Policies often have exclusions and in 2011 the high court ruled that companies should refund anyone who had been mis-sold cover they could never claim on.
The big five UK high street banks have already set aside £9bn for compensation payments, more than half of which has already been handed out to customers
Read more about the scam on the Cheshire Police website.
To report a fraud, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use their online fraud reporting tool.