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Opt-in scam

This isn’t the first time we’ve mentioned this issue, but it’s now serious enough for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to want to ban it.

The FCA has suggested that ‘opt-out’ selling, where a customer has to untick a box to avoid buying something, is earning £108million a year. Almost a fifth of those falling for the scam are completely unaware of having done so.


The ploy is mainly used to sell ‘add-ons’ that tie in to other products. So, for example, a customer may be offered the chance to ‘opt-out’ of ‘protection cover’ when applying for a credit card.

Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA said: “This is about ensuring consumers can make the right decision on what add-on insurance they do or don’t need. Forgetting to untick a box at the end of a purchase is not making an informed choice.”

We hope the proposed ban on such deceptive money-making is brought in soon. Consumers forced to act to avoid buying something is much more serious than aggressive marketing. The choice to ‘opt in’ rather than ‘opt out’ should always be available.

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