It was only a matter of time until professional scammers latched on to the Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) scandal, and recognised the potentially rich pickings to be had! You may have been ripped off once - but beware – there are those that want a share of your refunded money!
As a consequence, police are warning householders to be aware of the ‘sting’ that involves phone calls claiming money from refunded bank charges and PPI claims were now ready for release. The caller, the bearer of this ‘good news’ asks for an administration free to process the payment, but in reality, sadly, there is no such payment – you pay the fee – and wave goodbye to your money.
Often, the scammers will ask for online payment: either a direct cash bank transfer, or payment through an online voucher scheme whereby consumers exchange cash for a voucher. These vouchers can then used and cash accessed through the internet.
These unscrupulous thieves will ask you to purchase the vouchers on the internet, and then ask you call them back with the voucher numbers: saying they must check the ‘fee’ has been paid before processing and forwarding your refund (bogus) repayment.
In terms of scamming - although not as sophisticated as the scam perpetrated by the banks – its still catching some consumers out.
PPI is fairly simple to understand when it’s explained by competent advisers…advisers with integrity and a degree of honesty: people not motivated solely by commission and bonuses, not pressurised sales staff with set targets – it’s a scandal that should have never happened.
The high court ruling earlier this year means those high street banks involved will have to pay out up to an estimated £9bn in compensation. Millions of personal loans and mortgages were sold with either, unwanted PPI added, or sold to people who could have never claimed on it in times of hardship. Low earners, retired people, even armed service personnel were duped. Protection insurance was supposed to offer a safety net for borrowers…but that was rarely the case
Many people were told PPI was compulsory – it wasn’t, and isn’t - this is blatant mis-selling! Tens of thousands of self-employed, unemployed, retired, and people with certain medical conditions, have all been ripped off by unscrupulous sales staff. This highly lucrative and profitable little earner meant huge commissions and incentive bonuses to banks and the other providers. But as with most scams, there’s only so mileage in it…and don’t last forever, hence the “lets fill our boots, while we can” attitude.
In the long term, and to hopefully prevent a repeat of this scandal, the Competition Commission has introduced a new set of rules that will prevent banks and other lenders from selling PPI at the point of sale. Borrowers will now no longer be pressured and put ‘on the spot’ to sign up to something which is of no use to them, or is grossly overpriced. In the vast majority of cases, the PPI policies offered by banks were often unbelievably expensive; often three or four times the market rate.
If you find the prospect of checking or reclaiming PPI a stressful prospect, or fear having to complete lengthy questionnaires and dealing with indifferent providers, then don’t worry – contact one of our team - we can usually give a quick answer as to whether you can claim back PPI. Even if you can’t find your policy documentation, it is not necessarily a lost cause as somewhere along the paper/electronic trail there will money transfer records to help verify your claim.02-12-2011
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