If you've had money taken from your bank account or credit card without your permission, or have been a victim of a fraudulent purchase, there are a few protections in place to enable to reclaim your lost money.
If you've had money stolen from your bank account or someone has borrowed in your name, your bank or lender will usually refund that money.
Though, in both cases the size and speed of any refund will depend on the circumstances around the fraud.
If money is stolen from your bank account, or your debit card has been used without your permission, you are due an immediate refund from your bank under the Payment Services Regulations.
In most cases your bank should freeze your card if they see suspicious transactions and unusual spending taking place, this should stop any fraud stealing large sums of cash.
But, you should always notify your bank immediately if you notice any purchases or withdrawals you didn't authorise, as you will be liable for any unauthorised withdrawals up to a maximum of £50 made before you inform them.
If your bank can prove you authorised the transaction (however, use of your password, card and PIN is not proof enough of your authorisation)
If you have been acting fraudulently yourself
If you deliberately (or with "gross negligence" for example telling someone else your PIN and other bank details) failed to protect the details of your card, PIN or passwords
If it took you longer than 13 months after the money left your account to inform your bank about an unauthorised payment
If someone fraudulently borrows in your name or makes unauthorised purchases with your credit card, these debts should be waived under the Consumer Credit Act.
However, you may be held liable for the first £50 if your card is lost or stolen, but most banks and lenders tend to waive this too.
You should make sure to report any lost cards or unauthorised payments to your bank or card provider as soon as you notice them.
Again, if your bank can prove that you are at fault of gross negligence or fraud, you will be held liable for the money.
If you've made a purchase between £100 and £30,000 on a credit card for a product or service that was fraudulent, you should be able to claim this money back through Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
Section 75 holds suppliers and credit card providers jointly liable for any refunds to cardholders, so if your seller disappears or refuses to refund you for a falsely advertised product, you should be able to reclaim this money from your card provider.
If you bought something with your debit card (in essence, if you've spent cash from your bank account) that was fraudulent you don't enjoy the same protections as you do with a credit card.
Your only way to get your money back is to immediately contact your bank.
Your bank may offer a Chargeback scheme which will allow to claim back your money after investigating it. If you spot the scam soon enough and report it to your bank immediately they may be able to halt the payment.
If this doesn't work may be able to pursue other avenues to reclaim your money, if you bought through a website such as Amazon or eBay they should offer some scam protection.
Your last recourse can be the relevant regulator for your purchase or the small claims court. If the sum money is large enough to warrant the costs, you may have to seek legal advice and open formal court proceedings.