Get-Rich-Quick and Refund Scams

Get-rich-quick and refund schemes involve criminals asking you to cancel Direct Debits you have. They may suggest you can get a refund or save money, however these schemes are fake and can leave you out of pocket.

How the scam works

You may seen an advert or be contacted directly by a scammer with offers to make quick, easy money. You'll be told you can claim back refunds on your Direct Debits.

Criminals will ask for personal or financial details which they will use to make a Direct Debit refund request with the bank. The refund will be made and the scammer will demand a cut of the refund as a payment for their services. However, you still owe that money to your service provider, as the refund request was fake.

The Direct Debit will be reinstated, restarting your payments plus what you owe from the refund. You will be left worse off as a result of the fee paid to the criminals.

It is very difficult to trace the scammers, however it is important that you contact your bank to secure your account if you have given away any personal details.

What to look out for

  • Criminals will advertise ways to make instant or 'free' cash. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Be cautious of people approaching you out of the blue, or via social media.
  • If someone asks you to lie to your bank, it is a scam.

How to protect yourself

  • Never give out your personal or financial details online or over the phone. A legitimate financial service provider will never ask for access to your bank account.
  • Only request a Direct Debit refund if you have a legitimate reason to do so.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority has a list of firms and individuals and the permissions they have to carry out financial activities. You can use this to check whether the person or company that has contacted you is genuine.
  • If you receive a call from a company you recognise, but you are unsure if it is genuine, hang up immediately and call the number on the company's website.
  • Read our guide on how to stay safe online.

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