There’s a new PPI scam going around. Someone contacted us asking about an email they had received. The email included a letter (supposedly from a claims management company) saying they were due a refund of PPI. They had to sign an acceptance form and would need to pay a “solicitor’s fee” to release the payment.
This is relatively standard for the scammers. But in this case there were some things which could lead to even a cautious person getting caught out…
In this new PPI scam, the email and letter used the name of a real company. We won’t name them in full here as the scam could use any company name, but it contained the word “Equity”. The company details provided were genuine. These included the company address, their regulation number, company number and VAT number.
To the untrained eye the letter may seem convincing. It went into a lot of detail and included a copy of a set of terms and conditions. Since we’re much more familiar with the process, there were some obvious errors. Again, we won’t go into details as we’d only be helping the scammers to improve their scam.
You may ask why anyone would fall for something like this? If they had not dealt with the company involved why would they expect a payout? Well, we know that some people contact a few claims companies making enquiries. They may then think that, somehow, this “company” has managed to get them a refund. The size of the supposed refund (5 figures) is obviously intended to be tempting as well.
The company name involved was also used by IVA administrators previously. They attempted claims for PPI as part of IVAs. In these cases the customers did not choose the claims management company. So anyone who has had an IVA may be more vulnerable to this new PPI scam – even if they did some background checks first.
Our number one piece of advice – never make an up front payment for a PPI claim. Such payments have never been a good idea and are now banned. You’ll either be paid direct (usually) and then get an invoice from the claims management company. Or they will get paid by the lender and deduct their fee before paying you. If you follow this rule, you’ll be safe.
If you do want to check for PPI, you can either do it yourself, or contact a reputable claims management company. We will always answer your questions and provide information to reassure you without any obligation. You can find all our details on the Contact Us page.
You can also check a PPI claims management company’s registration by going to the official government site.
BUT, don’t let this lull you into a false sense of security. In this new PPI scam, the details are genuine but the email is not from the company. Also be aware that just because a company is regulated, it does not mean they are a good company. It may take time for complaints or other issues to lead to a company’s registration being removed. So do some searching and ask questions if needed until you’re happy.