Regulation  

Fos warns of scammers taking its name in vain

Fos warns of scammers taking its name in vain

The Financial Ombudsman Service has warned consumers of scammers falsely using its name to persuade people to reveal details about their personal and financial circumstances.

In a note on its website, the ombudsman revealed it has had reports of fraudulent emails or phone calls from scammers and reiterated it does not call or email out of the blue to ask for personal information.

“We would only contact you if you’ve already been in touch with us to register a complaint - and then we would only speak to you about that complaint,” the statement explained.

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“We will never ask you for money and we don’t pay compensation to you directly. If we’ve investigated your complaint and upheld it, we may tell the business you are unhappy with to pay compensation – but money won’t be paid out by the ombudsman.”

The Fos outlined how individuals should protect themselves generally from scam communications:

Never reveal any personal details - such as your address, phone number etc - unless you’re absolutely sure that the person you’re dealing with really is who they say they are;

Never give out 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).

Back in August 2010, the Fos warned that fraudulent emails claiming to be from itself were in circulation, followed by another announcement in November 2011, stating that fraudsters were making telephone calls asking people to log on to a scam Fos website designed to steal personal data.

peter.walker@ft.com