While it can be devastating to lose money to an online scam, Michael Brown explains how some victims can reclaim what was lost

Online scams are becoming increasingly common. This is due to an ever more digital world, where online banking has become a staple of modern life, according to UK Finance, a trade organisation.

In fact, its research found that Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams, a type of online fraud, cost Brits over £583 million in 2021 compared to the £420 million lost the previous year.

If you have fallen victim to an online scam you will likely be thinking of how to recuperate your losses. Listed below are some steps you can take to try to win back your hard-earned cash.

Sending money via mobile banking

If you have sent money via your mobile app, you will need to alert your bank urgently and with as much detail as possible. This is because there is a slight chance that they may be able to cancel the transaction before it is completed, thus returning your money.

Since there is no guarantee that your bank will be able to stop the transaction, it is worth making sure your bank has signed up to the Authorised Push Payment Scam Code. Most high street banks adhere to this code, which entitles you to a full reimbursement if you have fallen victim to an APP scam. However, it does require you to prove that you did not act negligently when making the payment.

Spending money via card

If you have bought something from a scammer on a card, it is important to identify which card was used. A credit card is protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, which means if your purchase was between £100 and £30,000 you will be able to claim the money back from your provider. Remember, you will only be able to claim under this section if the goods or services you bought did not turn up or were faulty.

Meanwhile, for debit card spending, you will not qualify for reimbursement under this law. Instead, you would have to try claim your money back through the chargeback scheme which, unlike Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, is not enshrined in law.

Unauthorised activity on your account

As mentioned above, the sooner you notify your bank the better your chance of reclaiming your funds. Therefore, if you notice any unauthorised purchases on your bank statements, it is important to notify your bank immediately. As long as you can prove that you did not make these purchases, and that you have taken the necessary steps to protect your account, then under Payment Services Regulations you will be refunded any lost money.

For more information on how to protect your bank account in an increasingly digital world, visit moneyfacts.co.uk.