I'm dealing with a fraudster

Internet Fraud: Here's How You Can Try to Get Your Money Back

The online prepayment fraud

In 2018, more than 50 billion euros were traded online in Germany. Ascending trend. The good news: Most of the business that is done on the Internet is serious. At the same time, the internet is a playground for fraudsters.

Even with the greatest caution - it is easy to become a victim of criminal attacks on the Internet. The trick is actually always the same: Goods are offered at very affordable prices and you are asked to pay in advance. The goods themselves never arrive.

Dubious offers lurk not only in questionable online shops, but also on sales platforms such as eBay or Amazon Marketplace and on classified ads portals. Particularly very cheap offers and providers who require payments abroad, great caution is required.

Overall, the following applies: Especially with previously unknown online retailers, you should be suspicious if prepayment is to be made. You can check providers and their reliability by entering the company name on the Internet. Also make sure that you are on the real website of a provider or on a fake copy (keywords phishing and fake shops).

How do I get my money back?

If, despite all your caution, you should have fallen for fraudsters, you do not have to give up your money immediately. There are ways to get at least part of it back.

Transfer, direct debit, credit card, payment services or cash transfer service - the options for reclaiming your money with the help of your financial service provider differ in detail:

  • A Transferthat you have made yourself cannot be reversed if your bank has already carried out the order. A quick phone call can help. Only a few banks offer a "stop function" - valid for a few minutes after sending - in online banking access.
  • The easiest way is to get one Sepa direct debit to get back. You can have an authorized or approved direct debit reversed within eight weeks from the time of the debit. In cases of fraud, this can even be done up to 13 months after the fact.
  • Also Credit card payments can be reversed. Payments can be canceled using the so-called charge-back procedure. This usually costs a processing fee.
  • With many Internet payment services Such as PayPal, for example, buyer protection steps in - but mostly only when goods are sold. But not in competitions. Always pay attention to the terms of use.
  • It is different with payment via Cash transfer service like Western Union or Moneygram. With these services, the money can be called back until the recipient picks up the money in person at the branch. If you discover a criminal offense, you have to be very quick: call the provider's fraud hotline immediately!