Citizens Advice: Scams and how to get your money back
By Kirklees Citizens Advice & Law Centre chief executive Nick Whittingham
I chased the seller and they said they’d speak to the delivery company, but now my call goes straight to voicemail.
I’ve had no response to emails either.
The website I bought it through looked legitimate but now I’ve seen people posting on review sites about products that never arrived.
Have I been scammed and if so, what can I do?
This sounds like a very frustrating situation, and scammers are always finding more sophisticated ways to trick shoppers, including very legitimate-looking websites.
There are signs it could be a scam.
As you’ve already parted with your money, the first step is to contact your bank immediately to let them know you think you’ve been scammed.
In terms of getting your money back, a lot depends on how you paid.
If you paid by debit card, your card provider can ask the seller’s bank to refund the money, known as the ‘chargeback scheme’.
If you paid by credit card and the item cost more than £100 but less than £30,000 you might be able to claim under the Consumer Credit Act, known as a ‘Section 75 claim’.
Under £100 on credit card, you can’t use Section 75, but you can use chargeback.
It’s also worth knowing your rights in case the seller does get back in contact and turns out not to be a scammer.
If something you ordered hasn’t arrived, it’s the seller’s responsibility to get the item to you.
So, if they say they don’t know where the pram is, you can ask for a redelivery or, depending on how long you’ve waited for delivery, you may be able to get a refund.
It’s also worth knowing that if a trader, having taken your money, refuses to deliver an item, Trading Standards may be able to investigate them.
For more advice on dealing with suspected scams or problems with traders, call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline 0808 223 1133, talk to an adviser online through the Citizens Advice website, or get some self-help information at http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer.
Many people may need emotional support after falling victim to a scam, and we have advice about how to get this too.
Citizens Advice runs Scams Awareness campaigns aiming to give people skills to identify scams; encourage people to share experiences with scams; help people gain the confidence to report scams.
If you would like to speak to Kirklees Citizens Advice and Law Centre, call us on 0808 278 7896 (Freephone).
You may be coming to us for the first time, but we can help with housing, employment, asylum, debt, benefits and more. See our website at http://www.kcalc.org.uk for more information.
KCALC are holding their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Monday, July 17, 4.30pm, Units 11-12 Empire House, Wakefield Old Road, Dewsbury, WF12 8DJ.
All are welcome – please contact [email protected] to find out more information.