In today’s digital age, online fraud has become a prevalent issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Whether it’s a phishing scam, identity theft, or unauthorized transactions, falling victim to online fraud can be a distressing experience.
Whether it’s a fraudulent purchase, identity theft, or a scam, victims often find themselves in a frustrating situation, seeking ways to recover their lost funds.
There are steps you can take to get a refund and minimize the impact of the fraud.
In this post, we will discuss various approaches to getting your money back after online fraud.
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Ways to Get Money Back After Online Fraud?
With the right approach and proactive steps, it is possible to obtain a refund after online fraud.
Here are some most common online scams and a guide on how to get a refund from a scam.
1. Beware of Recovery Scams
It is common for criminals to contact their victims after stealing money, pretending to be their bank, the police, or money recovery experts.
These recovery scams aim to steal more money by asking you to move funds into a “safe” account or tricking you into sharing information that enables further crimes.
To protect yourself, never trust any communications by phone, email, or text. Instead, call the organization directly and verify if they tried to contact you.
2. Report to the Cyber Cell
The first step in dealing with online fraud is to report the incident to the Cyber Crime Police. It is important to do this as soon as possible to obtain a crime number, which will be required when working with your bank and other organizations.
In most cases, you can report online scams and cybercrimes to organizations like Action Fraud.
3. Contact your Bank
After reporting the fraud to the police, it is essential to contact the financial organizations involved in making the payments. If the fraudulent activity occurred in your bank account, reach out to your bank and explain the situation.
If you know which bank the money was sent to, contact them as well. Acting quickly can help freeze the money if it is still in transit and initiate a fraud investigation.
Additionally, tools like Cybera allow you to make a global report to freeze the money as soon as possible.
The process of getting your money back after online fraud depends on how the money was stolen. Here, we will focus on these different approaches:
4. For Authorized payments (Tricked to Make Payment)
If you were tricked into making a payment, most banks have signed up to a voluntary code on how to handle payments made to scammers.
This code ensures that banks cannot dismiss victims’ claims but must investigate and determine if they adequately protected you from making such payments.
The process involves reporting the scam to your bank’s fraud team, which will initiate an investigation. The bank has 15 days to investigate and provide an outcome.
The possible outcomes are full reimbursement, no reimbursement, or 50% reimbursement, depending on the bank’s duty to protect you. If you do not receive full reimbursement, you can make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Services.
5. For Unauthorized Payments (Criminal Carried Out Payment)
If a criminal carried out a payment using your accounts without your authorization, the Financial Conduct Authority has rules on how banks must handle such situations.
You should be able to get your money back if the payment was made within the last 13 months, the bank cannot prove your authorization, and you did not act with gross negligence.
The process is similar to the authorized payments approach, involving reporting the fraud to your bank’s fraud team and initiating an investigation.
6. Impersonation with the Financial Organization
In cases where a criminal has used your personal data to impersonate you with a financial organization, such as taking out a loan or credit card in your name, it is crucial to seek help from resources specializing in identity theft.
They can guide you through the process of resolving the issue and recovering any financial losses.
7. Credit/Debit Card Fraud
If you made a payment using a credit or debit card, there are specific protections in place. Credit card purchases between £100.01 and £30,000 are protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
This means that if you were tricked into spending on your credit card, you can make a Section 75 claim to request a refund. It may also be possible to dispute a payment worth less than £100, depending on your credit card provider.
To get a refund, contact the company or bank that issued the credit card or debit card and explain that it was a fraudulent charge. Ask them to reverse the transaction and refund your money.
8. Unknown Payment from Account
If there is an unknown payment from your account or if you’ve bought something from a scammer, contact your bank immediately and explain the situation.
They may be able to reverse the transaction and refund your money. If you’re not satisfied with how the bank handles your claim, you can file a complaint with them and, if necessary, escalate it to the Financial Ombudsman.
9. E-commerce Scam
If you paid by card or PayPal and haven’t received the goods or services you purchased, you can request a refund through the chargeback scheme. If you paid by credit card and the item cost more than £100 but less than £30,000, you may be eligible for a Section 75 claim.
For payments made with cryptocurrency or cash, the options for refunds may be limited, but it’s still worth contacting the relevant companies or authorities to report fraudulent transactions.
To detect an e-commerce scam, you can check the website’s trust score on the Safety Checker Tool.
Remember to stay awake, monitor your accounts, and seek assistance when needed. By taking these steps, you can regain control over your finances and protect yourself from future online fraud.
Read the following guide to detect and avoid online scams in the future.