#Privacy: Beware of Thomas Cook refund scams

Individuals have been receiving unsolicited messages and calls from scammers posing as refund agents from the failed company. 

On Monday, Thomas Cook collapsed leaving hundreds and thousands of holidaymakers stranded abroad and a £3.1 billion black hole in its balance sheet. 

Fraudsters have used this to scam holidaymakers by offering refunds to those who lost money due to cancelled flights and holidays. 

Reports started emerging that customers had been receiving calls and messages from the alleged refund agent asking for their bank or card details in order for them to be reimbursed. Additionally UK banks have also been sending unsolicited messages about the bankruptcy, confusing customers even more. 

Interestingly, those who were not Thomas Cook customers also received the unsolicited messages and calls.

Which? Consumer Rights Expert Adam French said: “We’ve heard worrying stories of criminals trying to scam people affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook, so while the messages being sent by some banks might be well-meaning, this flawed approach will only be adding to the confusion customers are facing.

“Our advice is to ignore unsolicited calls and texts, and avoid sharing your card or bank details. Anyone looking to claim back the cost of their flight through their debit or credit card provider should contact their bank directly themselves.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps stated that the fraudulent activity was “absolutely disgusting”, and that the Government have been putting out messages to inform people of the scams. 

People are urged to stay vigilant of any unsolicited calls or messages asking for personal or financial details.

The UK’s national fraud reporting centre commented: “Legitimate organisations will never contact you out of the blue and ask for your PIN, card details, or full banking passwords. If you get a call or message asking for these, it’s a scam.”


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