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Avoiding insurance and warranty scams - mobile phones and satellite TV

This advice applies to Scotland

When you buy a mobile phone or satellite television equipment you may want to take out insurance to cover the expense of replacements or repairs. You can often buy this insurance though your phone or television provider or you can choose to buy insurance from a different company.

While there are legitimate companies offering this kind of insurance there are also lots of companies operating scams around insurance for mobile phones or satellite television equipment.

This page explains how you can avoid being ripped off by insurance and warranty scams.

Before you buy insurance

Make sure the company is registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

You can check the FCA register online, or phone their Consumer Helpline - 0845 606 1234

How insurance and warranty scams work

After you’ve bought a mobile phone or signed up for satellite TV, you may get a phone call from a company offering you insurance. If you're an existing customer, you may be told that your insurance or warranty has run out and you need to renew it.

The company may claim it’s linked to your phone or TV provider or the shop where you bought your phone. The caller may have information about your account. However, the company is not connected to your provider and the insurance they’re selling could leave you with little or no protection.

Protecting yourself

When you buy insurance, check that the company is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). If they’re not registered, you won’t be protected by the Financial Ombudsman Service if you have a problem with the insurance.

To check if a company is authorised, look at the register on the FCA website or contact their Consumer Helpline. You can also search a list of unauthorised UK companies and individuals to avoid doing business with, although the names on the list change regularly.

If an insurance company says they're linked to your provider

If an insurance company says they are linked to your phone or television provider ask for details like:

  • for your account number
  • how long you’ve been a customer
  • the date your contract started
  • the type of phone or television equipment you use.

If you’re in doubt phone the customer services number of your phone or television provider and ask them which insurance company they endorse. For example there are lots of companies who claim to have links with Sky but they only endorse their official product Sky Protect.

What can you do if you think you’ve been scammed?

If you think you've been scammed or contacted by an unauthorised firm, stop sending money to them straight away.

Report unauthorised insurance companies to the FCA by contacting their Consumer Helpline.

Next steps

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