Financial ombudsman warns of bank refund phone scam

The Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO) has alerted consumers of an attempted phone scam linked to the group that has come to its attention in recent days.

The organisation has received reports of phone calls being made from a seemingly Dublin-based landline by individuals who claim to be calling from the “Financial Ombudsman”.

The person making the calls claims that they are arranging refunds of €3,000 for consumers from their bank. These calls also claim that the refunds are a result of “bank overcharging”.

The FSPO has stated that this is a scam and the individual has no connection with the organisation.

Scams are unfortunately a regular occurrence and attempts by these fraudsters to connect themselves to my office could lead some consumers to believe that this is genuine.

The FSPO has said it “immediately reported this scam activity to An Garda Síochána” and advises that “anyone who receives a call of this nature should not engage with the call and should report this activity to their local Garda Station.”

Ombudsman Ger Deering said: “Scams are unfortunately a regular occurrence and attempts by these fraudsters to connect themselves to my office could lead some consumers to believe that this is genuine.”

“Consumers may be aware that I can direct a financial service provider to pay compensation to a consumer following the investigation of a complaint. However, in such circumstances, compensation is paid by the provider in question directly to the consumer and not through the FSPO.”

He thanked those who had alerted the organisation to the scam, adding: “Early warnings are important in disrupting scams. We have published a warning on our website and we are raising awareness about this activity. We will continue to keep our website updated.”