We're 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).