If you have been scammed, report it immediately. Even if you do not get your money back, you’ll ensure others do not fall victim to the same scam. You might also be able to prevent a bigger loss.
There are several reporting options.
The National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre receives scam reports through their ActionFraud website. You can also call the number 0300 123 2040 to report your experience.
If you are deaf or can’t hear clearly, call the textphone number, 0300 123 2050.
You can report most cases of fraud including phishing (scammers trying to get your personal information), charity fraud and financial scams.
If your case is about a company or business misleading you, selling you dangerous products or treating you unfairly in any way, report to Trading Standards.
Use the Citizens Advice consumer helpline number, 03454 04 05 06. For those hard of hearing, use the textphone number, 18001 03454 04 05 06.
If you or anyone else is in danger, call the police immediately.
Recovering your money
Whether you recover your money or not depends on your particular situation.
If the scam involved you paying for something with a credit or debit card, you have higher chances of getting your money back.
If it is a credit card, you can make a claim under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act though the amount involved should be higher than £100 and less than £30,000. Most credit card providers also provide additional protection measures.
If you used a debit card, check if your bank participates in the chargeback scheme that would allow you to get your money back.
If it was a bank transfer, contact your bank immediately. They might be able to stop the transfer or reverse it.
Remember to also report the seller to Trading Standards. They won’t help you recover your money but they might take action against the business.
Preventing future scams
Experiencing one scam does not make you immune to others. Scammers keep coming up with new ways to defraud their targets.
You could still fall to another scam if you don’t know what to look out for. Here are some tips to stay safe:
- Do not give out your personal information like email, bank account and phone number to a person or company whose identity you are not 100% sure of. And even when interacting with verified individuals and organisations, there are certain details like passwords that you should never ever give out.
- Be careful when online. In addition to having up to date virus protection, avoid high-risk websites and don’t click on anything suspicious.
- A lot of online fraud cases happen via email. Do not open or click on any suspicious emails from unknown persons or businesses. If you are not sure an email from a certain company or person is authentic call them on their official number and verify.
- If an email asks for your personal and bank details, be cautious. No bank will ask for your personal information via email or ask that you click on a link to verify personal details.
- Regularly check your bank and credit card statements for any suspicious activity. If you notice items or services you did not pay for, report to the bank or credit card provider immediately. Your identity may have been stolen.
- Listen to your instincts especially when an offer or deal sounds too good to be true. These include offers made on a website, via phone calls, via email or in person.
- Look out for fraudsters who target fraud victims. Knowing you are vulnerable because of your recent experience, they promise to help you get your money back usually for a fee. If you want to recover your money, you should only deal with your financial institution, a government agency or law enforcement. None of them would ask for money in return for their services.