PPI Claims Scams
It’s 3 p.m. You’re thinking of setting out tea or checking the clock to see when a favourite TV show starts when the phone rings and a perfectly charming man promises to do anything it takes to help you get your hands on proceeds of a PPI policy. You hang up on him after informing him that you have no such claim in works. Of course, clever criminals don’t care if you have one or not; you qualify to be scammed either way.
An hour later, a compelling TV advert features a chipper woman making the same claim—but she promises a faster resolution to your claim dilemma. Too bad these characters are part of the nationwide epidemic of PPI scammers eager to charge an upfront fee of about 30-percent to do what, in the words of the nation’s Financial Ombudsman Service, you can handle on your own with no fees attached.
The PPI claims scam situation has grown exponentially throughout UK, so if you have avoided falling victim, jolly good for you. On the other hand, we’ll wager that you know somebody who was taken in. In either case, the following information offers tips on how to circumvent being victimized. Share this information with others, since these clever criminals don’t discriminate when they troll for victims.
What’s a PPI Claim?
In a nutshell, PPI scams are highly-evolved illegal schemes perpetrated by clever criminals willing to take risks to swindle people out of anything from a few pounds to their life’s savings via an offer to help recover proceeds of insurance claims. Scammers develop fanciful, believable stories appealing to the hearts and minds of vulnerable, naïve and trusting people. At the heart of PPI scams is human nature: It’s hard to resist an offer of help—even if that offer to assist you in settling a PPI claim for a policy you had no idea you owned seems too good to be true.
How are People Targeted?
PPI specialists haven’t the time or interest in targeting people in ways used by typical scam artists of the past. They run adverts featuring compelling calls to action that make vulnerable people want to call immediately. Some dial or text their way through random lists of phone numbers until victims bite. It could take hundreds of phone calls to unearth one willing participant, but scammers have patience and are willing to invest time cultivating prime scam candidates.
Will You Recognize a PPI Scammer?
It makes perfectly good sense to eschew a phone call from a stranger, but these people are cunning, persistent and convincing. University degrees? Probably not, but they are experts on the topic of human behavior, skilled at mining information and data in so stealth a manner, victims have no idea they’re sharing vital personal information that a PPI scammer can use to reel them in. Not only can you identify a PPI scammer by the unknown number popping up on your phone but if you can’t get rid of the caller, that’s another sign that you may be targeted.
A Typical PPI Scenario
You’ve managed to avoid acting on offers by actors on smarmy TV adverts, but you answer your phone or receive a sms text that provides intriguing details about a PPI claim guaranteed to make you the recipient of insurance largesse. Details about your impending good fortune are piled on until you are curious and eager. Because PPI experts don’t usually ask for money at the onset, claims can often feel legitimate. Keep the dialog going and typically, a web address is provided to you so you can complete the forms necessary to process your claim.
Expect More Than One Contact
Once you’ve been reeled in by a PPI scammer masquerading as a banker, barrister, insurance claims official or member of the legal or financial community, anticipate additional communications from your contact if you don’t immediately hand over the information they seek. Some may give up but many are persistent and willing to go the distance to charm gullible people eager to hasten receipt of that PPI claim settlement. Think of this as theater without King Lear on the festival program.
How to Stop the Cycle
Short of keeping the TV turned off, disconnecting your home telephone, abandoning your smart phone or declaring a moratorium on texting (all obvious, if inconvenient, solutions), there are other actions you can take to thwart PPI scams and scammers. If you don’t recognize a number or a text origin, don’t pick up or hung up immediately after realising that they try to scam you. You can also register your number with TPS, a service that exists to help block PPI scammers among other things, but it's really common that scammers will ignore the law and still call you.
Be Cautious About Insurers
At first blush, it would seem a practical move to buy insurance that indemnifies one against loss if a PPI scam takes you to the cleaner, but buying insurance can also initiate a “who’s watching the hen house?” dilemma. Some insurers offering to indemnify policy holders against funds stolen by PPI crooks are equally toxic. Consider the case of CPP Group Plc. They sold scam protection insurance to 4.4 million British credit card holders, but dramatic numbers of claims were rejected outright.
Insurers as Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing?
Further to the aforementioned point, insurance companies are as aware of human emotion as are skillful PPI perpetrators. It has been no easy process to reveal, publicize and clamp down on insurers walking fine lines of legalities. England’s Financial Services Authority has moved to reprimand and limit legal schemes to sell PPI insurance and, for example, penalized CPP £10.5 million dollars for their actions. Accordingly, CPP is paying that fine over time—a luxury the victimized would like to enjoy.
Keep Tabs on U.K. Mobile phone numbers
Our website is a go-to resource for Brits wishing to stay on top of the latest combination of phone numbers being targeted and the creative shenanigans invented by said scammers. Use the site to unearth details about schemes du jour. Our users submit information that can fill you in on myriad schemes that are invented daily. In sum, never underestimate the innovative thinking behind the compelling promises made by people eager to make a good living without holding down real jobs.