Beware of unsolicited letters from claims firms
MAY I recommend that readers be aware of no-win no-fee companies who send out unsolicited letters inviting people to mount a claim for mis-sold PPI through them.
Beware of those that use box numbers and do not provide a full postal address.
There are some companies whose fees for a successful claw-back will exceed by a large margin the money recovered by them on your mis-sold policy.
And watch out for the scam. This usually starts with the signing of an "agreement" with the claims company and a letter of authority, instructing the bank involved that the company is acting on your behalf.
Now follows a period of calm when you believe that your claim is proceeding nicely.
A letter then arrives after a few weeks, informing you that the bank or financial organisation originally involved has no record of your transaction and you are requested to provide further personal information – bank statement, recent gas or electricity bills, credit card account details etc – in order to proceed.
A request for this kind of information is often the domain of fraudsters intent on identity theft.
Finally, if any delay occurs or inaccurate information is given accidentally, this is treated as sufficient reason for the claims company to consider that you have defaulted and therefore cancelled the agreement with them.
This invokes a penalty clause and an invoice follows for "administration fees" set at £180 to £250.
If there is a delay in settling this invoice, it is followed by a final demand threatening further charges and costs calculated on a daily basis and a threat to place the matter in the hands of a debt recovery company.
Most people usually pay up, netting the outfit a nice little earner for very little effort.