FOS Warns Public as Fraudsters Impersonate

WarningThe Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has issued its third warning in five years over scammers pretending to be from the service in a bid to trick consumers into handing over their financial and personal details.

fos_logoScammers targeted the ombudsman in 2011, impersonating the service and tricking consumers into logging onto a fake website which stole their personal data.

In 2014, the FOS warned again against fraudsters posing as the scheme to push consumers to pay £150 to ‘release’ their redress.

In its latest warning, the FOS said that fraudsters were still cold-calling people to try and trick them into handing over data.

‘We’ve heard that people are getting fraudulent emails or phone calls from scammers claiming to be from the FOS,’ the note on the FOS website said. ‘The scammers are falsely using our name to try to persuade people to reveal details about their personal and financial circumstances.’

‘The Financial Ombudsman Service doesn’t “cold-call’ consumers, and we never email or phone people 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 latest warning also cautions consumers over ‘number spoofers’ who use technology to make it look like an ombudsman number is calling the consumer.

A FOS spokeswoman said the service was not currently investigating any particular scammers, but was monitoring the situation through its security team.

‘We have decided through our security team it is something we should monitor,’ the spokeswoman said. ‘If it needs to get a bit more serious we will see what we can do.’