If you are the unfortunate victim of a financial scam, you might be looking at ways to recover your lost money. Ultimately, any chance of success will depend largely on the type of transaction and interaction you had with the scammer.
Read on to explore the possible scenarios which might have cost you your money. Moreover, learn valuable strategies for pursuing fraudsters and regaining your money.
YOU PAID VIA BANK TRANSFER
If you have transferred your money into the scammer’s bank account, you must contact your bank immediately. A quick message to the bank is the first crucial step to get the process moving. You must also contact the bank where the money was received. They might be able to take steps to halt the fraudulent transaction.
If you find that the bank is not supportive enough, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service or other local regulatory agencies for further support.
YOU PAID VIA DEBIT CARD
If you were defrauded of money via a debit transaction, you can issue a chargeback via the card provider. It is a part of Scheme Rules and banks subscribe to it, ensuring that at least partial compensation will be possible. Even if your transaction was of less than £100, you can recover the sums, although the rules will generally vary with different debit card issuers.
The scheme also applies to credit card transactions and will be very effective if the transaction was for less than £100.
YOU PAID VIA CREDIT CARD
Just like debit cards, you can try to recover your funds through a chargeback or under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. However, the type of scam will determine whether you can make a claim or not. If the seller has disappeared or the goods or services were never delivered, you can make an eligible claim.
Section 75 offers great protection, but your goods or services transaction must be between $100-$30,000.
YOU PAID VIA MONEY TRANSFER WIRE SERVICE
This is one of the worst-case scenarios where the chances of recovery are unfortunately very bleak. If you transferred or handed over cash via service providers like Western Union or MoneyGram, your money could be gone forever.
These service providers give a lot of tips to avoid such scams. You should closely follow those tips to avoid any scams in the future.
YOU PAID VIA PAYPAL
There are multiple different fraud scenarios that occur when transacting via online payment providers like PayPal.
Fake Payment Message
Scammers using this technique might employ PayPal branding to make fraudulent transactions look legitimate.
No Order Delivery
You might be covered through PayPal Buyer Protection if there is no delivery for the service that you were charged for through the platform. However, there are limitations and exceptions to this protection scheme.
No Service Receipt Claim
In some cases, scammers might pay and take the delivery but claim that they did not receive the service. They might use section 75 or the PayPal Buyer Protection mechanism. You should make a counterclaim under PayPal Seller Protection to protect your interests.
There will be limitations related to the delivery address and proof of service being delivered by the seller. Still, if you have met the eligible criteria, your interests are likely to remain protected.
YOU DID NOT AUTHORIZE THE PAYMENT
In the event of unauthorized transactions, you must immediately get in touch with your bank or credit card issuer. If you have used your debit card to make a payment and realize that a larger amount was debited, you can make a claim.
Thanks to the Banking Conduct of Business and the Payment Services Regulations 2009, you can readily recover funds that were sent but not authorized.
POST-SCAM EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
Scams can affect your mental health and overall wellbeing. In some cases, it can even push you into depression. You must immediately talk to your family or friends about the scam. Apart from suggesting ways you can overcome the pain, they might also be able to provide support during this difficult period.
If you prefer confidentiality, you can even contact helpline centers that can refer you to additional resources for recovery and support.
In most cases, the best offense is a good defense, and this is especially true for preventing scams. Never disclose sensitive details like bank accounts, credit and debit cards, or transfer money to someone who claims that they are recovering money or offering you some prize.
Additionally, be very wary of individuals who claim they can recover funds lost in a scam. Before getting into any agreement with a company that claims to recover your money, do thorough research about it. Check its website and ask for service costs upfront.
If you come across suspicious people that make promises that seem too good to be true, the best move is to always evaluate claims carefully to ensure they are absolutely genuine and not going to cause you any financial harm.