European health card scam stopped by Office of Fair Trading

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has taken action against four online traders who misleadingly sold consumers European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs).

An EHIC gives UK residents access to state-provided healthcare in European Union countries for reduced or zero cost and are especially in demand around this time of year as people head off on their summer holidays . The cards can be obtained free of charge from the official NHS website, however some online traders were charging consumers (typically around £10 per application) while not making it clear that they were not the official provider.

As a result of the investigations by the OFT, three online traders have signed formal undertakings not to engage in deceptive selling practices.

Heather Clayton, senior director of the OFT’s consumer group, said: “While it is not unlawful to charge money for a reviewing and forwarding service, traders must be clear about the product or service they are offering, and not trick consumers into parting with money for services they don’t want.”

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