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Consumer Rights.

4 March 2021

I've been defrauded from a standing order or direct debit

If you think you’ve been defrauded, you need to act as soon as you spot the problem. Follow the guidelines below on how to get your money back.
W
Which?Editorial team

Fraud

If you see a fraudulent direct debit or standing order on your account, you should write to your bank as soon as possible. 

Legally, you will get a full refund if you are an innocent victim of fraud – for instance, if a fraudster made a standing order payment from your account.

Your claim needs be made within 13 months of the fraudulent transactions leaving your account.

Standing order payments require your authorisation in advance, and your bank must tell you what information they need to process the payment – such as an account number and sort code.

If you give the correct information and your payment goes astray, your bank must make immediate efforts to trace the transaction, and notify you of the outcome. 

In this case, the transaction will be refunded to you.

Incorrect information

If, however, you give incorrect information and the payment goes astray your bank must still make ‘reasonable efforts’ to track the transaction. 

But your bank may charge you for doing so.

Your bank is under no obligation to get the funds back for you but,  if your money does go astray and is paid into a wrong bank account, then your bank should be able to recover the sum for you. 

It can do this on the basis that money paid by mistake can be recovered, as it would be unjust to allow the recipient to retain the money.

Claims must be made within 13 months of the incorrect payment being made.

If you think you have given a fraudster your bank details, follow our guide for what you should do next.