Online scam: What should I do?

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Published: 18/12/2019 | Update: 29/03/2021

Online scam: What should I do?

Everyone with a computer can be a victim of online criminals. Marktplaats, Facebook, and rogue webshops are full of fake advertisements created by scammers trying to sell products that don’t exist, never arrive or are broken. If you’ve been scammed you, of course, want your money back as soon as possible. That’s why in this article we explain what to do if you’ve been scammed online.

Scammed online

Nowadays, online shopping is second nature: Just order a piece of clothing and it will be at your doorstep the next day. In most cases anyways…

Online scams are very common these days: sometimes you won’t receive your product at all or you’ll get a broken or counterfeit product. There are multiple ways you can get your money back, but first you need to make sure you’ve been scammed.

How do I know I’ve been scammed?

If the products haven’t been delivered within the noted delivery time, it is important to first contact the delivery company. If they refer you to the seller, you should contact the seller. If you can’t seem to reach them, but you do have the contact details of the seller, send them a ‘notice of default’ letter. In this letter you write a final call to the seller asking if the supplier can still deliver the product within a delivery time set by you.

If the seller refuses to agree to this, or if they don’t respond, there’s a good chance you’ve been scammed. Contrary to what was promised, the seller did not supply you with a product, or supplied you with a broken or counterfeit product.

File a report about internet fraud

If the seller still doesn’t deliver after receiving the notice of default letter, you can report them to the police. To get the police to help you properly, it’s important that you have stored as much information as possible about your purchase.

For example, save the contact history between you and the seller, the bank statement showing your purchase, the advertisement and all of the sellers contact details.

Report the scammer or website to Consuwijzer’s internet fraud hotline

Reporting internet fraud is important to ensure that other people don’t make the same mistake. Report the scammer to Consuwijzer. The Consuwijzer is the consumer counter of the Consumer & Market Authority (ACM), which protects the interests of consumers and draws up a list of internet scammers.

Online webshop scam

Do I get my money back after internet fraud?

If you immediately get in contact with your bank and the police after your transaction, there is a chance that your bank can get your money back from the receiving bank.

Unfortunately, with online shopping, you won’t know right away if you’ve been scammed. Are you suspicious? Immediately get in contact with your bank.

File your complaint with the European Consumer Centre (ECC).

If you’ve been scammed by a European webshop then you can file your complaint to the ECC. They can give you free legal advice if the seller is situated in Europe. Have you been scammed by a webshop outside of Europe? Then there is a slim chance that you’ll get your money back.

How do you recognise scammers on the internet?

Prevention is, of course, better than cure. That’s why we have written an article about how you can ensure that you won’t be scammed on the internet. Read the 10 tips to prevent internet scams here.

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