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Thread: Brown envelope scam warning.

  1. #1
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Brown envelope scam warning.

    I know that many have a fear of the 'official' brown envelope landing on their doormat.

    But today I came across a new low in advertising.

    The post came this morning, 2 letters.
    One was a new HC2 certificate which I applied for last week, the other was an official looking brown envelope.

    It looks exactly like a DWP envelope, transparent window, etc.
    Over the transparent window was printed "FCA DEADLINE INFORMATION ENCLOSED".
    (Attempt at confusion with WCA?).
    On the back the return address was NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE; many DWP letters have a Newcastle Upon Tyne return address.

    However on opening it I found it was from "CONSUMER REFUND SERVICE" and it's all about PPI.

    A quick check found that this is a private help-you-make-a-claim company that charges a hefty commission of 30% on any PPI claim that you do win.
    (And if you get a reduction in debt, ie. no actual money, they will still charge you 30% of that. So you could end up owing them).

    It appears that this advertising mailshot is a deliberate attempt to mimic a DWP envelope.
    Nowhere on the envelope or the enclosed letter/form does it say that this is advertising.
    (There is one small line that says 'you can do this yourself').

    It seems to me that this has been deliberately targeted at benefit claimants, and could be very confusing to those with mental health issues.
    They could be hoping that some benefit claimants will think they have to fill it in or risk losing their benefits.

    If you get one of these do not fill in or return the enclosed form, put it in the bin.

    If in doubt about any form then ask someone to look at it before sending it off.

    EDIT
    I've sent a complaint about this company using this envelope to the Claims Management Regulator.
    https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-claims-company
    Last edited by nukecad; 02-23-2018 at 12:47 PM.
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  2. #2
    Thanks for the heads up Nukecad

  3. #3
    The only address I've seen on the back of a DWP envelope is Belfast.

  4. #4
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbhxu View Post
    The only address I've seen on the back of a DWP envelope is Belfast.
    Yes quite a few do have Belfast as the return address, but Newcastle is also used as a return address for some.
    (And was the main return address before they started changing things).

    It now depends on just what the letter is about.

    If you get or have already had one of these advertising letters you will see why it got my back up.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  5. #5
    Think I had one a couple of weeks ago, opened it and saw what it was so straight in the bin after removing and shredding the name and address.

  6. #6
    Senior Member TheFlyingKidney's Avatar
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    Virgin did the same when analogue went off. Very very convincing official looking documents with virgin only in tiny print..

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I've had a look at the company filings history, and a bit more.

    Started in a bungalow in 2014 as a one-man-band.

    Changed company address 5 times since.

    Now has 4 shareholders, the names are interesting.

    Make your own mind up.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  8. #8
    I wonder if DWP are selling client details or how else would they get names and addresses of people on benefits?

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Doubt it - that would be a major breach of DPA.

    Address details are probably taken from electoral data available to everyone.

    After that it's just fishing.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  10. #10
    FCA is the Financial Conduct Authority - the organisation that regulates banks, and they have indeed set a deadline by which all PPI claims must be made to banks.

    I really don't think this is any attempt to imitate the DWP, and equally unlikely that they are targeting benefits recipients as this is a demographic that is less likely to have had large value loans so the payouts will be lower.

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