How to get your money back after an online scam | moneyfacts.co.uk

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Published: 11/01/2022

There’s nothing worse than realising you’ve been scammed, with your hard-earned cash now in the hands of unscrupulous con artists. If you’ve fallen victim, your thoughts will likely be turning to how to get your money back, and the answer will often depend on how you were conned out of it. So, here’s how to get your money back after an online scam if you…

… sent a bank transfer (also known as an authorised push payment/APP scam)

If you were conned into sending money via a bank transfer, the key is to act quickly. You should contact your bank immediately, letting them know how it happened, how much was sent and the details of the account you sent the money to, and they can try to recover the funds. They may be able to stop the transaction – which is why speed is paramount – or can try to recover your money from the fraudster’s account after it’s arrived.

 

You should also contact the bank where your money was sent – you can check which bank it is using the Faster Payments sort code checker – and they can try to get your money back from their side as well.

 

However, there’s no guarantee that either party will be successful, though you may have more of a chance of being reimbursed if your bank has signed up to the Authorised Push Payment Scam Code. This means the bank should take certain steps to protect its customers from this type of scam and reimburse them in situations where they weren’t to blame, though you’ll be expected to take reasonable care to prevent falling victim to such scams, too.

 

It’s a little different if you’ve sent money via a wire transfer service, in which case you’re highly unlikely to get it back. This is why it’s essential to be on your guard; read more about how to protect yourself from scams.

… bought something from a scammer

If you’ve bought something from a scammer and realised you’re not getting the item or service that you paid for, your method of recourse depends on how you paid for it.

 

  • Debit card. If you paid on your debit card, you may be able to use the chargeback scheme to get your money back. This allows card transactions to be reversed when there’s been a dispute, though there’s no guarantee. Find out more about how chargebacks work.
  • Credit card. You’ve got greater protection if you paid for the goods or service on a credit card, as Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act can be triggered. Provided the purchase was between £100 and £30,000 you’ll be able to claim the money back from your credit card provider, as they’re “jointly and severally liable” for any breach of contract.
  • If a scammer has taken payment through PayPal but the items never materialised, you should be covered under PayPal Buyer Protection.

 

Bear in mind that there’s no guarantee of success with any of these methods, but if you can prove that you’ve been scammed, you should be able to achieve some form of recourse.

… noticed unauthorised transactions on your account

If you notice an unauthorised transaction on your bank or credit card statement, you should report it immediately and make a claim for a refund. The Payment Services Regulations come into play in this scenario, with providers required to return your money if your account has been subject to unauthorised or fraudulent activity, though you’ll be expected to show that you’ve taken reasonable steps to protect your account and advise the payment provider as soon as possible.

 

Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.

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