Fraud Action are prolific cold callers that were first brought to our attention last year when consumers started reporting cold calls from the Contract Resolution Centre.
It quickly became apparent that these cold callers from the Contract Resolution Centre were operating under a number of different names, including
Of these names, Fraud Action appears to be the most widely used alternative to the original Contract Resolution Centre name, and KwikChex still regularly receives reports from consumers about cold calls from Fraud Action agents.
The usual narrative is that Fraud Action has been set up by the government and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to investigate fraudulent timeshare claims and banks that mis-sold timeshare finance.
When consumers have requested more information about Fraud Action / Contract Resolution Centre, the callers have become defensive and refused to provide any further details other than a spurious claim about being a government body. Are consumers to believe that a government and law enforcement backed body cannot provide any regulatory information or links to official websites and press releases?
Far from being a government supported task force, this business is an unregulated lead generator spreading misinformation and false claims about court cases and mis-sold timeshares. They contact consumers out of the blue with the sole intent of persuading them to hand over monies for non-existent claims and exit services.
Once initial contact has been made Fraud Action will request further timeshare and finance details, after which they will recommend that the consumer speak to their legal team. These ‘legal teams’ are often newly registered companies, none of which seem to be regulated by the FCA, instead they claim to specialise in independent contract analysis. This means that these businesses are not regulated in terms of acting on behalf of consumers in regulated activities, such as making claims under the Consumer Credit Act or legal representation in court.
It is our strong recommendation that consumers do not pay upfront fees for timeshare-related legal services without first having had a detailed viability report from a qualified lawyer which can then be evaluated and decisions made.
Consumers should also be wary of making any payments where the beneficiary of the payment differs from the contracted company. Having a different beneficiary may result in difficulties if you later need to make a claim to recover monies for undelivered services.
Our recommendation for seeking clarification and legal advice is as follows
• Do not engage with any cold callers – they are almost certainly breaching your data protection rights and are not qualified to advise you.
• Do not engage with unregulated ‘intermediaries’ or salespeople – make it clear you will only accept advice from a regulated, qualified person.
The STOP! & Check initiative helps owners deal with cold-callers and their cunning deceptions – Click here to read more about STOP! & Check
Ask for everything in writing – no matter who you are dealing with
Ask the people you are in contact with to provide the following in writing. Ensure you do this prior to signing any contract or paying any monies.
• Proof of their identity (many use false names).
• Links to their regulatory authority and professional qualifications.
• A comprehensive description of what services they will provide, and precisely who will provide them.
• An initial written viability report for your case specifically that states the legal basis of any action, the processes involved, the likely time it will take, the likelihood of success, the risks involved and of course, full disclosure of fees.
• Ask what effect the insolvency of the business you are claiming against may have?
• Ask them to advise you of any possible alternative options you may take – for example, direct exit options from your timeshare company or direct assistance on UK financial claims from the Financial Ombudsman Service.
If in any doubt
If in doubt, there are official, free services that are available, such as
The European Consumer Centre Network for EU countries (Please note that this organisation is commonly known as ‘ECC’ but should not be confused with a claims business calling itself ECC)
The UK Financial Ombudsman Service (For advice on claims related to loans and payments that were made by credit card)
Our Fast Track Assistance contains advice on what steps consumers can take if they have paid monies or entered into a contract with a business, and are concerned that they may be dishonest, fraudulent or that there has been a breach of contract or failure to carry out work as promised.