The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has issued a warning to consumers not to reply to fraudulent emails purporting to be from the FOS and asking for personal details.
Scam emails are falsely using the FOS name to try to persuade people to reveal details about their personal and financial circumstances.
The FOS said it does not "cold-call' consumers and never emails or phones people out of the blue to ask for personal information.
It said it would only contact people if they had already got in touch with the FOS to register a complaint - and then would only ask about that complaint.
Consumers who have received an unexpected email from someone who says they work at the ombudsman service and it seems suspicious are being advised to phone the FOS directly on 0300 123 9 123.
FOS said consumers should never reveal any personal details unless they are absolutely sure that the person they are dealing with really is who they say they are.
This includes never giving out any of banking or credit card details unless certain that the request is genuine.
The FOS also warned consumers to never give anyone their security information, such as internet and telephone banking passwords or log-on details, as no genuine banking firm ever asks for this information.
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