If you have been a victim of fraud, don’t panic or feel ashamed – there are things you could do.
If you feel threatened, call the police immediately on 999. If you have paid money in the last 24 hours or the scammer is nearby you should use 101.
If you think your card or bank details or PIN number have been stolen you should contact your bank immediately. If you are concerned about a pension transfer, contact your pension provider immediately and then the Pension Advisory Service on 0800 011 3797.
If you gave a scammer access to your computer reset your passwords, update your anti-virus software and let your bank know your financial information may have been stolen. You could also get an IT professional to check your computer.
If the scammer comes to your door, calls you, or sends you a message, ignore them, but keep a record of what’s happened so you can report it.
Check if you can get your money back
Contact your bank immediately if either you’ve used your debit card and more money was taken than you expected, or there’s a payment from your bank account you don’t recognise. Ask if you can get a refund. If you’re not happy, you can complain through the bank and the Ombudsman.
If you paid between £100 and £30,000 with a credit card but a scammer has delivered fake or damaged goods or nothing at all, then you can request a refund from the credit card company under a regulation called “Section 75”. Whatever payment card you use you can ask for a “chargeback” from the card issuer instead, but this is a voluntary scheme.
If you have paid by Direct Debit, you should be able to get a refund from your bank via the Direct Debit Guarantee. If you paid a scammer with a bank transfer, most banks will refund your money. If however you used a money transfer service such as MoneyGram, PayPoint or Western Union then it is unlikely you will get your money back.
If you have been cheated by a seller of goods via eBay or Amazon, use eBay Buyer Protection or Amazon A-to-z Guarantee Protection.
If you can’t get your money back you can get free, confidential support from these organisations: Victim Support 08 08 16 89 111, The Samaritans 116 123 and Age UK 0800 678 1602.
Report the scam
Report the fraud at actionfraud.police.uk or on 0300 123 2040 and search Citizens Advice “report a scam” for further advice.
For online scams you can call one of our Scams Action advisers on 0808 250 5050. Citizens Advice offices are currently closed for face to face appointments, but you can find more information at citizensadvice.org,uk, where you can also get advice by webchat and email. For general advice, you can phone our Adviceline 0800 144 8848 (Mon-Fri 10-5) or if you’re in Surrey Heath you can email firstname.lastname@example.org