Protect yourself from Direct Debit scams

Direct Debit scams involve the scammer claiming that they can recover Direct Debit and debit card payments. These will have been legitimately made by the victim for products and services.

The scammer first requests the victim’s online banking details. Once they have them, they request refunds under the Direct Debit indemnity scheme – a system designed to let genuine customers challenge payments they think have been incorrectly taken. Initially, the victim will have a refund appear in their account, at which point the scammer will request their fee of 50%.

But the companies who gave the refunds will inevitably challenge them, and of course, will be able to prove that the payments were taken from you correctly. At this point the bank will repay them, using money from your account, but you will have lost that 50% you paid to the scammer.

How to spot Direct Debit fraud

  • You see an ad on social media, claiming a hassle-free way to claim money back on your Direct Debits. This is not legitimate; if you have paid for something through a Direct Debit that you have received, you are not eligible to claim any money back. If you think a Direct Debit has been taken in error, speak to your bank directly.
  • You are asked to provide your online banking details. There is never a legitimate reason for anyone to ask you for these.
  • You are asked to lie to your bank regarding payment requests. If this happens you are definitely being targeted by a scammer, who will encourage you to take this action and then disappear, leaving you to face the consequences alone.

How to Prevent Direct Debit Fraud

  • Make sure that everyone in your family – particularly younger members who use social media but who may not yet be financially savvy – are aware of Direct Debit scams.
  • Never – ever – give any information about your bank account to anyone, including login details, passwords, or one-time passcodes (OTP).

How to report Direct Debit fraud

  • Report the scam to Action Fraud, the reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland:
    • Call 0300 123 2040 Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm
    • Use the Action Fraud online reporting tool
  • Contact us via email at webfraud@alrayanbank.co.uk

Contact the Police on 101

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