PPI refund scams

Be extremely cautious if anyone contacts you claiming that you’re owed a PPI refund, it could be a scam. Find out more about how these scams work.

First published: 30/08/2019 Last updated: 20/03/2023 See all updates

You should be very cautious if you’re contacted unexpectedly about mis-sold PPI.

You may be told that your refund is worth several thousand pounds, but you’ll often be asked to make a payment so the money can be 'released'.

In almost all cases, this is a scam, also known as advance fee fraud.

PPI complaints deadline

For most people, the deadline to complain to firms and the Financial Ombudsman Service about PPI passed in August 2019.

However, it’s still possible to take claims about PPI to court, where this deadline doesn’t apply. So you may be approached by claims management companies (CMCs) or law firms offering to do this for you.

Before agreeing to anything, make sure you check our Financial Services Register to make sure the CMC is authorised.

You should also check law firms with the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Find out more about PPI and making a claim.

How PPI refund scams work

You may be called without warning, or you may be contacted after filling out an online form. The scammers may claim to be from the FCA, the Financial Ombudsman or the Ministry of Justice. And they’ll sometimes send fake documents to make themselves appear genuine.

They may also say they work for an authorised claims management company (CMC), and they may use a real company’s name or contact details to deceive you.

The scammers will tell you that you’re owed a refund for the mis-selling of PPI. You’ll then be asked to make a payment, so the refund can be ‘approved’ or the money ‘released’. This is often around 10% of the refund value.

To avoid this upfront payment, you may instead be asked to take out a life insurance policy.

Scammers will often ask you to make the payment by buying a voucher, such as an iTunes gift card or a Paysafecard. Doing this means the money can’t be traced.

They might also ask you to make the payment directly into a bank account, or to use a money transfer company like Western Union or the MoneyGram service.

If you make a payment, the scammers will often contact you again to ask for more payments before they can release the refund. But you could end up losing a lot of money and will never get the refund you’re promised. 

How to protect yourself

The FCA, Financial Ombudsman and Ministry of Justice would never contact you and ask for your money or bank account details.

If you’re called or contacted by someone who says you’re due a refund for mis-sold PPI, it’s likely to be a scam. The safest thing you can do is hang up.

Be especially cautious if you’re asked to buy a voucher, pay directly into a bank account or use a money transfer company.

Never share your bank account or credit card details unless you’re certain who you’re dealing with. If you’ve already given fraudsters this information, tell your bank immediately using the contact details on the FS Register.  Find out more about how to protect yourself from scams.

Report a PPI scam

If you’re worried about a potential scam or you think you may have been contacted by a fraudster, report it to us.

Call us on 0800 111 6768 or use our contact form to get in touch.

Page updates

: Editorial amendment Page update as part of the website refresh
: Information changed Money Advice Service to MoneyHelper