Shopper urges Britons to ‘pay by credit card’ after being hit by fraudsters

Experts discuss how to spot and stop online shopping scams in this week’s Scam Watch with James Walker from Rightly and Louise Baxter from the National Trading Standards Scams Team.

What you think may be the real deal can be fake and you can be scammed without realising it. Perhaps the designer goods you’ve bought are more dodgy than designer, and remember there is a scam out there for everyone and it can happen to us all.

My daughter recently wanted an expensive pair of jeans and as usual I expected her to understand that she needed to earn money for expensive things and money does not grow on trees, especially at the moment.

Therefore I offered to pay for a fair-priced pair and if she wanted the more expensive pair then she would need to do some jobs to earn them.

She did all the jobs, but like all good teenagers managed to minimise the amount of work by finding a cheaper pair of jeans from a discount store.

READ MORE: Retiree ‘broke down’ after losing £80,000 to fraudsters while dad was dying

I bought them with a credit card. This is really important because if anything goes wrong, the credit card is jointly liable under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

This means if they don’t arrive or they aren’t quite what you thought you were buying and the item cost over £100. You can get your money back from the credit card provider as well as the business you bought the item from.

The jeans arrived a few weeks later in a plastic parcel. Inside were the jeans. The jeans were at first glance the real deal. There were some issues though.

The first thing I noticed was that the packaging was thinner than normal, and on closer inspection, the barcode on the outside was not real.

I found a service where you can scan a barcode to find the product’s details and rather than being wrapped in a single piece of tissue paper the jeans were in a plastic bag inside the parcel.

As for the jeans, the seams were coming apart and the material was not very good quality and the brand logos did not look like the quality you’d expect.

It would be easy not to notice these issues and accept the jeans, I’m sure my daughter would have though. When I realised the issue, I raised the case with the website from where they were bought and got no response.

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After 48 hours with no reply, I escalated the issue to the credit card company. They are now allowing the business time to reply, but have not yet heard back from them.

The credit card has temporarily refunded me. The online store, I suspect, will not and this will mean the money will be permanently refunded to me through the credit card. So what should you do?

  • Always pay by credit card and if the item is more than £100 and something goes wrong you will be entitled to a full refund.

  • Look up the company on check a website which rates how trusted websites are

  • Read the terms and conditions and if you can, ensure they are based in the UK or Europe.

Scambusters Mail bag – answering your scam questions

Question: Is it possible to block calls?

Calls to home phones can be blocked by services such as Truecall, a service that prevents calls coming through unless it’s a number you’ve authorised. They are introducing a service for mobile phones as well, which is worth looking out for.

Are scams increasing?

The number of scams is increasing. There is work being done by banks and telecoms firms to try and reduce scams as well as new services.

Scams are always focused around key themes and you will find the same problems with new headlines. For example, at the moment energy-saving and cost of living scams are on the increase.

Tip of the week

If you get a call from your bank ask what department they are calling from and put the phone down. Then look up the customer service phone number from the bank’s website and then call them and ask to speak to the right department, this way you can ensure it is not a scam.

Remember: If you have received a text you think is a scam then you can forward to 7726 or take a screenshot and send it to [email protected]. If you are receiving lots of unwanted phone calls or text messages you can also consider removing your details from data brokers, ensuring that you use a right to object to processing of your data. You can learn more about this on Rightly to stop the sharing of your data exposing you to scams. And you can take a free training course on how to fight against scams on

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