This week: why banks won’t help you out if you’re a victim of the no hang-up scam; how to stop those Big energy companies from ripping you off; and a
Your bank won’t bail you out if you’re the victim of a no hang-up scam
The number being caught by so-called “no hang-up” fraud is on the rise. The scam involves criminals cold-calling victims and pretending to be from a bank or the police. They tell the targets their bank account is at risk and say they need to move or withdraw their money urgently, adding that they should call them back to add – to the plausibility of the scam. However, the crooks stay on the line to fool people into thinking that they’ve actually called their bank or the police.
The Financial Ombudsman Service reported on cases in which it has been involved in the past year, where people lost £4.3m. One in five were cheated out of savings of between £20,000 and £49,999, while some unfortunate people lost more than £100,000.
The ombudsman gets involved when the victim thinks their bank hasn’t done enough to help them. But most end up disappointed. While in two out of five cases, it ruled in favour of the victim, in the majority of cases it did not. That’s because banks have a duty to act on their customer’s instructions, so if a consumer transfers or withdraws money themselves during a scam, they are unlikely to get it back.
Energy giants overcharge us by almost £2bn as 70% of customers are on the wrong tariff
The Big Six energy companies face fresh accusations of profiteering after a damning investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority concluded they had overcharged domestic customers by 5 per cent and small businesses by 14 per cent.
It meant the gas and electricity giants trousered around £1.2bn extra from domestic customers between 2009 and 2013 plus an extra £0.5bn from small firms.
"There are millions of customers paying too much for their energy bills, but they don’t have to," says Roger Witcomb, Chairman of the CMA’s energy market investigation.
Deal of the week: House or pet sit for budget trip abroad
House or pet sitting can be a way to secure a budget trip abroad. Homeowners all over the world need trusted people to provide reassurance about security and their pets’ welfare when they go away themselves. A website that matches sitters with homeowners has a deal where you can get up to four months’ free subscription if you sign up for a year. At £5.99 a month, Trustedhousesitters.com has members in 133 countries. If you’re a pet or homeowner, use the code SUMMERPET12 when signing up as a member to get four free months. If you’re a potential sitter, use the code SUMMERSIT12.