A spate of new imposters have been using MoneySavingExpert.com's name in attempts to obtain personal details and money from members of the public.
It is crucial to be alert and watch out for these cold callers. If anyone ever phones you, claiming to be from "Money Saving Expert", and trying to sell something or get information, it is NOT us.
If this happens to you, do not give any information out. If you have time, please also let us know all the details by emailing email@example.com, so that we can try to take action to stop it happening in the future.
A few weeks ago we reported about a company illegally referring to itself as "Money Saving Expert", in a bid to get money from consumers in the Suffolk area through a tax rebate scam (see the Tax scammers who pretend to be from MSE news story).
Since then, more MoneySavers have contacted us warning of a new bout of fraudsters using our name to try and illegally obtain information, including bank account details.
MoneySavingExpert.com never calls anyone unsolicited.
What type of scams are they?
The most recent scam we have been notified of is someone claiming to be from "Money Saving Expert" phoning people and telling them they can reclaim bank charges in exchange for handing over their bank account details.
The cold-callers have referred to themselves as being from "Money Saving Expert", the "Department of Money Saving Expert", as well as saying that they were working for "Fair Trade" on behalf of the UK Government.
In one particular case, the fraudster repeatedly made attempts to confirm personal details and to gain a bank account number, saying these details were needed in order to send money the victim was supposedly owed by their bank.
Bizarrely, this particular scammer also referred to Osama Bin Laden, claiming the former terrorist leader would personally return the money.
Another MoneySaver has warned of cold callers claiming to be us and referring to PPI reclaiming websites - reclaimyourmoney.com and reclaimyourmoney.net - in a bid to give their story authenticity.
According to Action Fraud, fraudsters often use the names of well-known companies to commit crimes, as it makes their communication with consumers seem more legitimate.
What should you do?
- Never give out your personal details over the phone and if you suspect fraud you should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040, or via its website.
If you have been a victim of fraud and have had money taken from you, you should contact your local police station straight away, as well as report it to Action Fraud.
Please let MoneySavingExpert.com know all the details of any calls you get from companies claiming to be "Money Saving Expert" by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can try and stop it happening in the future.
The best way to stop junk calls is to join the telephone preference service register. It is illegal for UK companies to call any individual who has indicated they don't want the calls.
This won't however stop all calls, so if you still get them, write down the number of any unwanted callers and then submit a complaint to the regulator PhonepayPlus to get it blocked.