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Check if you can get your money back after a scam

This advice applies to England

You might be able to get your money back after you’ve been scammed.

What you should do, and whether you’ll get a refund, depends on what happened.

If you’re acting on someone else’s behalf

If you’re trying to help someone else get their money back, see our advice on managing affairs for someone else.

If there’s an unknown payment from your account

Contact your bank immediately if:

  • there’s a payment from your bank account you don’t recognise – this is known as an 'unauthorised transaction'
  • you’ve used your debit card and more money was taken than you expected

Explain what’s happened and ask if you can get a refund. If you’re not happy with how the bank deals with your claim, you can complain to them. Find out how to do this by checking their website.

If it's been 8 weeks since you complained and you haven't got your money back you can contact the Financial Ombudsman. If they decide you’ve been treated unfairly, they’ve got legal powers to put things right.

If you’ve bought something from a scammer

If you paid by card or PayPal

If you've paid for something you haven't received, you might be able to get your money back.

If the item cost up to £100, your card provider can ask the seller's bank to refund the money - this is known as the 'chargeback scheme'.

If the item cost more than £100 but less than £30,000, you might be able to claim under the Consumer Rights Act - this is known as a 'Section 75 claim'.

See our advice on getting your money back if you paid by card or PayPal.

If you paid by bank transfer

Contact your bank immediately to let them know what’s happened and ask if you can get a refund.

Most banks should reimburse you if you’ve transferred money to someone because of a scam. This type of scam is known as an ‘authorised push payment’.

If you can’t get your money back and you think this is unfair, you should follow the bank’s official complaints process. If your complaint isn’t sorted out in 8 weeks, or you get a final response letter, you can take your case to the Financial Ombudsman.

If you used a money transfer service

It’s unlikely you’ll be able to get your money back if you’ve paid through a wire service such as MoneyGram, PayPoint or Western Union.

Even if you can’t get your money back, there are other things you can do – like reporting the scam and getting financial or emotional support.

There are things you can do to protect yourself if you ever need to use a money transfer service again.

You should:

  • only send money to someone you know
  • choose a password that’s hard to guess and don’t share it with others

Report the scam

It's a good idea to report the scam – even if you haven’t got your money back yet. Find out how to report a scam.

Get more help

For more help dealing with scams, contact our consumer service.

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