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
Mohammed Zina sentenced to 22 months in prison for insider dealing and fraud16/02/2024 16:20:00
Following a sentencing hearing at Southwark Crown Court, Mohammed Zina, 35, was today sentenced to 22 months in prison for insider dealing and fraud.
Convicted illegal money lender imprisoned for failing to pay confiscation order16/02/2024 15:25:00
Illegal money lender, Dharam Prakash Gopee (70), has been sentenced to almost 8 years in prison for failing to pay a confiscation order.
Mohammed Zina found guilty of insider dealing and fraud15/02/2024 16:15:00
Mr Mohammed Zina was today found guilty of six offences of insider dealing and three offences of fraud following a 12-week trial at Southwark Crown Court brought by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Financial watchdog stops thousands of misleading ads and promotions14/02/2024 15:05:00
Over 10,000 financial adverts and other promotions were withdrawn or changed in 2023 following intervention from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), an increase of 17%, year-on-year.
Four men under investigation on suspicion of multiple offences14/02/2024 14:05:00
The FCA and National Crime Agency (NCA) conducted a major operation to arrest 3 London based individuals.
FCA bans and fines Floris Jakobus Huisamen over London Capital & Finance plc financial promotions13/02/2024 11:10:00
The FCA has fined a former director of London Capital & Finance plc (LCF) £31,800 and banned him from working in financial services.
GAP insurers agree to suspend sales following FCA concerns over fair value09/02/2024 16:10:00
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has today announced that multiple insurance firms have agreed to pause sales of Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) insurance, following a request from the FCA.
Individual charged with fraud over unauthorised investment scheme23/01/2024 14:15:00
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched criminal proceedings against Guy Flintham for committing fraud by false representation and for carrying out regulated activity without authorisation.
Duty calls: Future-proofing finance for everyone03/01/2024 13:20:00
Now into the second year of its 3-year strategy, the FCA has outlined some key achievements and milestones from the last 12 months, including the game changing introduction of the Consumer Duty, which came into force on 31 July 2023.