Let’s talk about fraud
There are a variety of different methods that scammers can use, one of them being ‘Authorised Push Payment Fraud’. The goal of this scam is to get someone to voluntarily send a payment to the scammers by posing as a legitimate business, such as a holiday provider, building company or new housing development.
This particular scam often occurs online. The most common method used by scammers involves them posing as a reputable online seller and offering a competitive price on an item you might be interested in. If you decided to purchase the item, rather than offering a secure method of payment like PayPal or debit or credit cards, they will ask for a direct transfer to be sent to their bank. The scammer will often appear friendly and will try to put your mind at ease and reassure you that everything is legitimate, but as soon as you have sent the money to them, you won’t hear from them again. Unfortunately, you will have been scammed and you will be out of pocket and without the item you wanted to purchase.
This can be quite disheartening as most people believe that they would be able to identify that they are being scammed, but that isn’t the case. Scammers are becoming better at what they do and in the first 6 months of 2021, more than 36 million people in the UK were targeted by online scammers.
A few things to ask yourself before buying:
- Are they requesting payment up front by bank transfer?
- Why is it so cheap?
- Can you trust this seller or website?
- Are they refusing to provide additional photos or information?
Your answers can help you determine whether this is a reputable seller.
- If you think it’s too good to be true and you can’t find much information on the seller, it’s probably best not to purchase
- Always pay through a reputable website or app and use retailers you trust or authorised sellers
- Avoid paying by bank transfer
- Where possible use credit cards for purchases over £100 and up to £30,000 as you receive protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act
- Do your research and look at reviews from reputable websites before buying
- If you’re purchasing a holiday, look for independent reviews and check the provider is registered with ABTA or ATOL – the travel protection agencies
- For more expensive items, like cars, take the time to view the item in person and check all relevant documentation before parting with your money
- Don’t share one-time codes that you are sent when shopping online. These codes are used to confirm that it’s you and not someone else making the purchase.
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