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Consumer Rights.

Updated: 4 Mar 2021

What to do if your bank won’t refund you after a scam

If your bank won't give you a refund after a scam, but you think you're entitled to one, there are steps you can take to appeal and get your money back.
Which?Editorial team

Make a formal complaint to your bank

Your bank or card provider has a responsibility to help recover any money you’ve lost to fraud.

In very few cases, this might not be possible, but you have a right to complain if you don’t think your case has been handled properly.

If your bank won't reimburse you for fraud, make a complaint in writing asking it to reconsider it's decision. Remind your bank that is has a duty to protect your money and should do everything it can to get back anything you've lost.

You can further support your argument depending on what happened.

I transferred money to another bank account

This is called an authorised push payment (APP). 

Check whether your bank has signed up to the voluntary APP code If it has, it has pledged to reimburse customers if they've been tricked into sending money to scammers via their bank account. 

If the bank is refusing to refund you, you should complain and ask it why it's not honouring the code.

You can use our template letter to help you make a complaint about authorised payment fraud if your bank has signed up for the code.

My order didn't turn up

If you paid using a debit, credit or prepaid card, you should be protected by chargeback or Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

If you've provided evidence but the bank or payment platform won't give you your money back, you have a right to complain and escalate your case to the Financial Ombudsman (FOS).

If you paid using a payment platform like Paypal, you should be covered for fraud by their buyer protection policies. Ask them why it why it is not honouring its policies if it refuses to reimburse you.

A payment was made without my permission

This is called an 'unauthorised payment'.

If fraudsters have got access to your bank account or credit card and have spent your money, you're protected under the Payment Services Regulations. But if your bank won't refund you, you can challenge its decision.

You might find our letter template useful.for making your complaint.

A direct debit was set up without my permission

If your bank details have been used to set up a direct debit without your knowledge, you're protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee.

Your bank should refund you for any money taken from your account and you can complain if it won't.

iI your bnak can show that you hadn't taken reasonable steps to protect the security of your card (i.e. your PIN or online security details) you could be liable for the first £35 of any loss you incur.

Still being refused? Go to the Financial Ombudsman Service

If you’re disappointed with the way your bank has dealt with your case, and it doesn’t change its decision after you’ve complained, you can then complain about your bank to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

It's straightforward, all you need to do is complete a short online form on the FOS website. Include as much evidence as you can.

FOS investigators will weigh up the facts of your case and decide whether your bank or card provider has acted properly. 

Your bank could be asked to reimburse you, and even pay compensation, if the FOS finds it hasn't followed the rules. It can take few months to get a response from the FOS.