Beware of the upfront stunt

Compensation, Con artists


What to look out for: Calls or texts asking for upfront payment in return for big money compensation

Criminals call or text to say the customer is owed thousands of pounds in compensation or refunds from their bank for taking out Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). Some fraudsters have said they are from Trading Standards to gain trust.

These cheats will then ask for upfront fees of around £250 to “process” the compensation. Would-be victims may also be asked to give their bank details or supply a serial number from a prepaid voucher or card (like UKASH), which is effectively the same as handing over cash.

Emma, aged 35,  Cumbria. Mature student.

Fraudsters called Emma to say she was entitled to around £8,000 in compensation, but would have to give some cash upfront to cover tax and insurance costs. She followed their instructions and made a series of payments from her savings account. She was then told that there had been a mistake and the amount of compensation had been miscalculated. She was actually owed £18,000, they said. Once again she was asked to provide cash upfront to cover transfer costs.

Emma never received her compensation.