PPI scammers request Amazon vouchers to release bogus claims

PUBLISHED: 16:05 20 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:27 20 February 2020

Scammers claiming to be from PPI claims companies have been trying to target Suffolk residents  Picture: GETTY/ISTOCKPHOTO

Scammers claiming to be from PPI claims companies have been trying to target Suffolk residents Picture: GETTY/ISTOCKPHOTO

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Cautious Suffolk residents were quick to report scammers claiming to be from a payment protection insurance (PPI) claims company.

One target was contacted by 'Emma', who said they were entitled to £2,900 and that a courier called John Wilson would visit to collect £175 in Amazon vouchers to release the claim.

The resident spoke to his health worker, who advised it was a scam.

A second resident received a call and spoke to two individuals claiming they were entitled to £3,750 of PPI from the Financial Conduct Authority, and that a courier would be visiting to collect £375 of Amazon vouchers.

As the resident had previously claimed PPI, they were suspicious and contacted Citizens Advice Consumer Service for advice.

The call was transferred to Suffolk Trading Standards, which confirmed it was a scam, and reiterated that no vouchers should be purchased.

Trading Standards has issued the following advice to help protect yourself against scams:

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Step 1: Be suspicious of unexpected calls, especially if you're asked to make an up-front payment or to give your bank account details. The safest thing to do is hang up.

Step 2: Avoid making a payment to a company or person that contacts you out of the blue, especially if you're asked to purchase a voucher, pay directly into a bank account or use a money transfer company.

Step 3: Check if a claims company is authorised on the Authorised Business Register from the Claims Management Regulator (which is part of the Ministry of Justice). But be aware that scammers sometimes pretend to be from authorised claims companies, and give out the details that a genuine company has on the Authorised Business Register.

Step 4: Look for signs that a phone call, text message or email may not be genuine, such as a mobile or overseas phone number, or an email address from a hotmail or gmail account. Scam emails and letters often contain spelling mistakes and poor grammar.

Step 5: Keep in mind that the FCA, Claims Management Regulator and Ministry of Justice would never contact members of the public asking for money or bank account details.

If you think you have been approached by scammers, including about a PPI refund, you should report it to us via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133.

If you think you might have been scammed, stop sending money to the company and individuals involved straight away.

If you have given them your bank account details, tell your bank immediately.

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