MoneySavingExpert.com is warning users that we NEVER call anyone unsolicited, after we've been made aware of a new spate of imposters attempting to gain money from unsuspecting victims using our name.
Users have alerted us to phone conversations they've had with callers purporting to be from MoneySavingExpert.com telling them they're due thousands of pounds in reclaimed bank charges, but they'll need to pay to unlock the 'money'.
The callers have used both the MoneySavingExpert.com name and our previous company address in Shepherd's Bush to give themselves credibility when phoning. But it's not us.
We never cold call anyone – a message which we've stated on numerous occasions – let alone provide cheques to consumers for tax rebates or any other purposes. You can reclaim the cash yourself for free – see our Reclaiming Section for full, how-to guides.
We will be pursuing these imposters to the full extent of the law and our aim is for them to be prosecuted.
Guy Anker, managing editor of MoneySavingExpert.com says: "Make no mistake about it, we will take action against anyone that tries to deceive you into parting with your cash by using our trusted name.
"These fraudsters all too commonly try these outrageous tricks and it is vital you never ever give out your personal details to any unsolicited calls, texts or emails."
In 2011, a claims handling company that cold-called people under the name "Money Claiming Experts" lost a High Court Battle against us for infringing the "Money Saving Expert" trademark by describing itself as MoneySavingExpert (see the MoneySavingExpert.com wins battle over trademark MSE News story).
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What did the imposters do?
In a few cases we've been notified of, someone claimed to be called 'Annie Hook' said she was calling from "Money Saving Expert" with a cheque in the region of £4,000, which she said she had claimed on behalf of the caller in respect of bank charges incurred.
The victim was promised a cheque for the £4,681 'reclaim' if they bought a £200 Ukash voucher, which is a legitimate online credit people buy using cash then use to pay for goods online.
When the victim said they couldn't afford £200 they were asked by 'Annie' "what can you afford?" and were told they'd be called back later. But just to reiterate, MoneySavingExpert.com does not cold call our users.
Protect yourself from scams
- 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 the Action Fraud 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. However, this won't 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.