We're tackling clone firms and misleading ads, but more needs to be done
In January, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints about “clone firms” that pretend to be debt advice charities in order to deceive people. This is a huge win for us and whoever needs our help. Our own clients have raised awareness of this issue by letting us know about the clone firms that have contacted them.
While this is fantastic news, more needs to be done. Misleading adverts are still being seen online, making false promises about how to write off debts. Some clone firms are also calling people out of the blue, often pushing Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), as they can be profitable to these companies.
Have you been contacted by a clone firm? We want to hear from you!
We’re keen to talk to anyone who’s accidentally contacted a clone firm. This will help us prevent these firms from taking advantage of people who need debt advice. Please contact our Media team with any information you can provide.
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Steve was looking for debt advice when he encountered one of these clone firms.
He explained how stressful this experience was to Radio 4's "You & Yours" programme.
I put in StepChange and clicked on the first link that appeared. Unbeknownst to me, this link would have taken me to the organisation masquerading as StepChange."