Falling victim to a scam, having your identity stolen or your bank card cloned can be incredibly traumatising. Criminals can run up huge debts in your name, which can affect things like your credit score.
If you fail to take the appropriate precautions to prevent identity fraud, it could have a long-lasting impact on your ability to be accepted for all types of credit, including a mortgage, a loan, a new credit card and even a new mobile phone contract.
But, don’t fret! If you’ve had your personal information stolen and money taken from your account, there are things you can do! To ensure you’re reimbursed when you fall victim to fraud, it’s essential that you take the right steps.
In this guide, we’ll talk you through how to get your money back from a scammer or fraudster. We’ll answer all your questions when it comes to what to do when scammed out of money. Here’s everything you need to know…
Let’s find out what to do when scammed out of money or when someone is using your name and address fraudulently.
You might be able to get your money back after you’ve been scammed or had your identity stolen. If money has been taken from your bank account without permission, there are a number of steps you should take. This is whether your identity has been stolen, your card cloned, or you’ve been a victim of a scam.
However, what you should do, and how successful you’re likely to be, will depend on how the money has been paid.
If someone has used your debit card without your permission, you may be able to ask your bank to get your money back through the Chargeback Scheme.
Banks do not have to offer chargeback by law, but it is part of Scheme Rules, which participating banks do subscribe to.
The Scheme applies to all debit card transactions, including goods costing less than £100, although exact rules may vary between banks.
However, there is no guarantee that your bank will be able to recover the money from the scammer or fraudster through chargeback.
If someone uses your credit card to make a transaction, you have greater protection under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act or by using chargeback.
Credit cards offer more protection than debit cards because you can make a claim against your card provider under section 75. Under this clause, the credit card company is jointly liable for any breach of contract or misrepresentation by the company.
For section 75 to apply, the transaction must be more than £100 and less than £30,000.
A bank transfer scam, also known as an authorised push payment (APP) scam, occurs when you – knowingly or unknowingly – transfer money from your own bank account to one belonging to a scammer.
If you’ve been caught out by a complex and convincing scam, which has resulted in your transferring money into another bank account, then you should contact your bank account immediately.
Tell your bank exactly what happened, and let them know the bank account number that your money was sent to.
Once notified, the bank can attempt to recover the funds. If your bank is signed up to the voluntary Authorised Push Payment Scam Code, which launched in 2019, it has to take certain steps to protect its customers and reimburse those who aren’t to blame.
If there is a transaction on your card that you don’t recognise, then you can make a claim from your bank as an unauthorised transaction.
The Payment Services Regulations and the Banking Conduct of Business rules place obligations on banks and building societies to provide a refund in these circumstances.
To increase the chance of getting your money back, you should report the identity theft as soon as you become aware of it.
If your identity has been stolen, they might try to open bank accounts, or apply for credit cards and loans in your name.
If this happens, you might start receiving letters from banks you don’t have accounts with, credit cards you haven’t applied for, or even debt collectors you know nothing about.
In this case, you should contact your bank straight away and tell them you think you’ve been a victim of identity fraud. Make sure you keep all correspondence for future reference.
It’s also a good idea to contact credit reference agencies if someone has applied for a loan or credit card in your name. The main three you should contact are:
One of the most common ways criminals steal your identity is by getting your personal details from lost mail. That’s why it is so important for you to complete your change of address when moving house.
So, ultimately, if you haven’t done anything to compromise the security of your bank account, they should refund you if you get scammed or have your identity stolen. But this isn’t guaranteed.
Scam or fraud refunds can be delayed if the bank has reasonable grounds to think you’ve been grossly negligent with the security of your account.
Banks can also refuse to refund the money if you tell them about an unauthorised payment 13 months or more after it left your account.
If the bank’s fraud investigation process proves you were negligent, you could be liable for the total of the losses. However, if the process proves you had no part to play, they should refund any money as soon as possible – ideally by the end of the next working day after you report the problem.
If the bank won’t refund your money, you’ll only be able to get your money back by taking the thief to court.
If your bank does reject your claim for a refund because they think you have been grossly negligent or acted fraudulently, it doesn’t have to be the end of your quest to get your money back.
If you’re not happy with the way your complaint has been dealt with, you can then take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
So, if you’ve been a victim of a scam or identity theft, there is a chance you will be able to get your money back.
However, how you go about getting your money back will largely depend on the type of scam or fraud you’ve experienced.
The most important thing when you’ve had money or your identity stolen is to call your bank and inform then immediately.
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