Financial Conduct Authority
Scams offering to 'write off debts' targeting UK consumers
The unauthorised claims management services say they can write off debts but often charge fees to do so, even when the scheme fails.
We believe there are firms offering unauthorised claims management services to people in the UK.
These firms offer to 'write off' debts, mainly mortgages, and get compensation for consumers from their lenders. This might include reclaiming past payments of capital and interest.
The firms often charge a fee to do this and might add more fees even when the scheme fails. This can lead to significant losses for those involved.
The firms might try to convince individuals by pointing to ideas such as 'Strawman', 'Freeman of the Land' and 'Sovereign Citizen'. These ideas promote the belief that the government and laws of a country have no powers over people.
Fraudsters use these ideas to appeal to people facing financial difficulties who may be looking for a way out of their debt.
Individuals should be cautious of any firms offering to write-off debt. These scams often increase in times of economic hardship and can involve vulnerable victims who are already struggling with money.
What this means for you
Almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling claims management services in the UK must be authorised or registered by us.
The firms offering the services above are unlikely to be authorised by us and are targeting people in the UK. This is against the law.
If you use an unauthorised firm, you will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you have a complaint. You also will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) if things go wrong. This means it’s unlikely you would get your money back if the firm fails.
If you stop making repayments on your debts, you could also face action from your lender. This could include debt recovery and repossession of your home.
How to protect yourself
If a financial firm is authorised or registered it gives you greater protection if things go wrong. Check the Financial Services Register to make sure the firm is authorised and has permission for the service it’s offering you.
If you’ve been contacted unexpectedly by a business or individual, make sure you call them back using the contact details on the FS Register.
Find out more about how to protect yourself from scams.
Report an unauthorised firm
If you think you’ve been approached by an unauthorised firm, get in touch with our Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768 or find other ways to get in touch.
Latest News from
Financial Conduct Authority
Financial watchdog warns insurers to protect customers’ wellbeing during cost of living squeeze30/09/2022 10:25:00
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is concerned that as pressure mounts on household budgets some customers may cut-back on the insurance they need, leaving them without protection.
FCA sets out potential interventions to reform multi-occupancy buildings insurance market21/09/2022 13:15:00
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today set out a range of recommendations and other potential remedies designed to give leaseholders greater protections from high prices and ensure the buildings insurance market operates better for leaseholders.
FCA decides to impose conditions on takeover of Link Group13/09/2022 09:20:00
Following announcements made on Monday 12 September by Link Group to the Australian Securities Exchange and Dye and Durham (D&D) to the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Financial Conduct Authority is providing a short update on its involvement in the proposed takeover of the Link Group by D&D.
PRA and FCA conclude investigations into senior managers in relation to the 2008 failure of HBOS plc01/09/2022 12:25:00
The PRA and FCA (together, the 'Authorities') joint investigations into certain former senior managers at HBOS plc have now concluded with a decision by each of the Authorities’ independent decision-makers to take no further action.
FCA warns Buy Now Pay Later firms about misleading adverts22/08/2022 14:10:00
The FCA has warned firms that offer Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) products that although some agreements are unregulated the financial promotions of all BNPL products must comply with the financial promotion rules.
FCA fines Citigroup’s international broker-dealer £12.6m for failures relating to the detection of market abuse22/08/2022 10:25:00
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has fined Citigroup Global Markets Limited (Citigroup Global Markets) £12,553,800 for failing to properly implement the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) trade surveillance requirements relating to the detection of market abuse.
FCA calls on victims of Richard Faithfull to come forward ahead of confiscation hearing19/08/2022 14:10:00
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has called on victims of Richard Faithfull to come forward by 12 September 2022 in order to ensure they be part of any claim for compensation.
FCA fines Sir Christopher Gent for disclosing inside information08/08/2022 10:25:00
The Financial Conduct Authority has fined Sir Christopher Gent, former non-executive Chairman of ConvaTec Group Plc, £80,000 for unlawfully disclosing inside information.