CONSUMERS are being warned to steer clear of firms offering 'no win, no fee' services to claim back unfair bank charges.
Halton Council's consumer protection officers say some firms are cashing in on the back of publicity highlighting the rights of customers to demand repayment when they have been overcharged by banks.
In April, the Office of Fair Trading is due to publish the findings of its investigation into whether customers are being conned.
But some companies are assuring customers their bank charges will be returned.
The council says there is no guarantee every case will win, nor that a claimant will receive the full amount if they use a third party.
Consumer protection officers fear financially vulnerable people could end up paying hefty fees if claims prove successful.
A spokesman said: 'If you decide to take up the services of such firms, it is important to be sure of what exactly will be involved, what you will be getting and, most import-antly, how much this will cost you.
'It is important to read all documentation, including terms and conditions, and any small print to be sure that you agree with what you are signing up for.'
Experts are urging claimants to take up the matter themselves rather than pay someone else to make the claim on their behalf.
Cllr Marie Wright (community) said: 'Instructing a third party to make claims on your behalf could mean that you are faced with a hefty bill from the firm if you win.'
For further information, call 0845 404 0506.