Scams: What payment methods are you less likely to get money back from?

Financial scams have long been a problem for many people with the modern world making the issue even worse. New digital innovations have made life a lot easier for consumers but it has also provided scammers with new routes to target. Emails, online banking and digital payment systems have all brought new elements for concern.


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Scammers will often target victims by selling dubious good and services, or by failing to deliver these items when payment has gone through.

Digital payments can be processed and moved around very quickly, making it hard to track and recoup lost cash.

However, as these areas have expanded certain reactive elements have been put in place.

Fortunately, many digital payment routes have procedures in place which will replace money lost in scams but not all of them will beast to navigate.

Citizens Advice, the network of independent charities, has a list of some of the most popular forms of payment with details on how money can be reclaimed from them in the event of a scam.

The first one includes payments by card or PayPal. With these two they detail that it may be possible to get money back relatively easily. They detail that card providers can ask the seller’s bank to refund the money under the “chargeback” scheme.

For a consumer who needs to reclaim lost money because they’ve been scammed, they can use the chargeback scheme to receive all of the money they paid so long as it was done by debit card.

There is a different procedure in place for credit cards, if the amount lost is between £100 and £30,000 the consumer can get their money back through a “section 75 claim”. It is detailed that PayPal also operate under a chargeback scheme.

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Scams that occur via a bank transfer or direct debt are usually focused around a “authorised push payment”.

If a person has fallen victim to an authorised push payment scam they should be able to get a full reimbursement from a bank.

They will likely get a full refund from a bank if the payment was done via a direct debit but there may be some difficulty in other payment areas.

Citizens Advice detail that if a victim struggles to get money back from a bank and they feel it is unfair they should follow the banks complaints procedure.


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Beyond this, it may be possible to take a case to the Financial Ombudsman.

Citizens Advice detail that the final two payment methods are, unfortunately, unlikely to get money repaid for scam victims.

It will be unlikely that people using money transfer services will get their money back in the event of being scammed.

This can include wire services such as MoneyGram, PayPoint or Western Union.

They detail that there are things people can do to protect themselves if they use these type of money transfer services which include only sending money to people they know and choosing passwords that are particularly hard to guess.

The final payment method detailed is vouchers or gift cards and Citizens Advice detail that it will be unlikely that money can be reclaimed here.

Any money given to a scammer from these cards will likely be lost forever and as such, they detail that the numbers on the back of gift cards or vouchers should never be shared.

Victims of scams have many options for reporting what has happened. They can contact Citizens Advice themselves, the police or Action Fraud online.

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