Top 5 PPI scams and how to avoid them.

ppi scam sign

Stay safe with these tips to avoid getting caught by a PPI scam.  We offer a reputable (5 star Facebook and Google rating ) at a low fee of 15% + VAT (18% total). You can get a pack using the simple form on the right – there’s no obligation and we don’t pester.

Scammers like to create scams linked to anything which has a lot of publicity. They especially like dangling the temptation of a lot of money. Don’t get caught by a PPI scam. Stay safe by being wise to five of the top PPI scams in use.

1. The “official” call or email scam

Scammers have targeted unsuspecting consumers by pretending to be from official organisations such as the Ministry of Justice or the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary. They claim that the person can get PPI compensation (or other payments), but then of course ask for money in advance. In addition, they may know some of your information already so could sound credible. They may ask for payment in one of the following ways:

  • Money Transfer: e.g. Western Union or MoneyGram® (the Post Office).
  • Paysafecard: Similar to Ukash, you could be asked to buy a Paysafe card from a local shop and to then send payment by email or over the telephone. If you have been a victim and paid money via Paysafecard, contact the company immediately on 0845 021 3059 (open 24 hours) to see if the payment can be blocked. For further information see the Paysafecard website.
  • Bank Transfer or Debit and Credit Cards: Scammers sometimes ask consumers for their bank or card details. If this happens to you, contact your bank or card provider straightaway to stop or check any unauthorised transactions.
How to avoid this PPI scam.
Never pay anything or give payment details up front. You could claim yourself if you are able (find out more). If you decide you want help, reputable PPI claims companies will invoice you after you have received your compensation.

2. iTunes scam

A Gloucestershire local news service has reported a bizarre PPI fraud where the con artists wanted payment paid in iTunes vouchers. In one case the calls appeared to come from a woman with a Canadian accent.  Scammers have conned consumers out of large sums of iTunes vouchers.  This scam is still active December 2016/January 2017.  We’ve heard recently of people who are called by someone who say they are from a PPI claims company and they are going to courier a cheque, but there will be a fee to pay in iTunes vouchers.

It doesn’t work like this – no claims company can just send you a cheque.

How to avoid this PPI scam.
Never pay anything or give payment details up front – no matter if it’s iTunes vouchers, cash or anything else! You could claim yourself if you are able (find out more). If you decide you want help, reputable PPI claims companies will invoice you after you have received your compensation.

3. The Pay and “Refund” claims management company

In this one, a company says they will investigate your PPI claim. You need to pay up front, but they’ll refund you if they don’t manage to re-claim anything for you.  Unfortunately, it seems these are often a PPI scam. Getting that refund is then often very hard.  One case involved a Swansea-based firm reported by the Mirror.  That company called in the liquidator shortly afterwards, but watch out – they are still advertising on the Internet (as of August 2016).

How to avoid this PPI scam.
There’s no need to go with any company that needs you to pay something up front. There are plenty of claims management companies who will work on a strictly no win, no fee basis.

4. The premium rate phone number PPI scam

It’s those unwanted cold calls again.  This time the calls are not merely annoying but could end up costing you hundreds.  The scammers make an automated call claiming you are due a windfall of some sort (often to do with PPI these days).  They leave a number for you to call, but it’s a premium rate number.  Not only that, but in some cases the premium rate call stays connected long after you hang up.

How to avoid this PPI scam.
Our advice would be to avoid any company that cold calls you.  You can read more about why here.  If you do decide you want to call a company that has cold-called (or you’ve seen advertised elsewhere), check what the call will cost.  Any decent company will offer two options: an 0800 freephone number which is free to call from landlines and mobiles (free since July 2015).  They may also offer a normal national rate phone number (e.g. 01xxx).  This is mainly for historic reasons because some people don’t realise that 0800 is now free from mobiles.  If you want the simple version just stick to one of these.
Some other numbers are also OK.  You can get further information from this government website, but ultimately you will need to check your phone provider’s charges (if it’s not a freephone or national rate number).  Avoid numbers beginning 09 as these are premium rates.  Numbers such as 0843 and 0844 could also have higher charges or not be included in your bundled phone call minutes.

5. The doorstep PPI scam

Some scammers have been known to go door to door.  They will offer to investigate a PPI claim for you.  They may ask for payment at the time or later on.  This will be by one of the methods described above in 1. and 2.

How to avoid these PPI scam.
Never pay anything or give payment details up front. Reputable PPI claims companies will invoice you after you have received your compensation or take their fee off compensation from the lender before sending it to you.  We would also recommend against doing business on the doorstep. You’re at a disadvantage as you don’t have time to shop around or check facts. You may also feel pressured into giving personal information or signing up to something. If you’re interested in what someone is selling, ask for a card or other contact details.  That way, you can look into it in your own time.
How to avoid this PPI scam.
Be polite but firm and tell them you never buy on the doorstep and ask them to leave. Then if they persist close the door. Above all, never let a doorstep called into your home.
Please also see our recent post about a new scam

What to do if you think you’ve been contacted by a scammer

Follow the tips above. Above all, don’t make any payments up front for PPI (or any similar claims of getting you money back for something).

Report it

What to do if you think you’ve been scammed

Scams are fraud – it’s a crime. Remember that anyone could get caught out. Scammers are often very convincing. Don’t let embarrassment or anything else put you off taking action.

Take action.
  1. If the fraud is happening right now or you feel you are in danger, call 999 and ask for the police.
  2. If you’ve given banking or other payment details, contact your bank or the relevant company to see if you can stop payments.
  3. Contact Action Fraud

If you decide you’d like to get help with a PPI claim or just want to check if you had PPI, we can help. Please fill in the form on the right (scroll up) or use the Contact Us page to get in touch.

More Information

You can also find information about PPI scams at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA):

Action Fraud: