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How to Keep Fraudulent Sellers Accountable

When dealing with fraudulent sellers, it’s crucial to know your rights and the legal avenues available to ensure accountability. This guide will outline the situations that can be legally enforceable, the steps you can take to keep frauds accountable, and what to expect after taking those actions.

Legally Enforceable Situations

Fraudulent selling can occur in various forms, such as:

  1. Misrepresentation: If a seller provides false information about a product or service, leading you to make a purchase based on this misinformation, it constitutes fraudulent misrepresentation. This is legally actionable under UK law.

  2. Non-Delivery of Goods: If you pay for goods or services that are never delivered, this can be pursued as a breach of contract.

  3. Counterfeit Goods: Selling counterfeit items as genuine products is a form of fraud. UK laws, including the Trade Marks Act 1994, protect consumers against such deceit.

  4. Phishing and Identity Theft: Fraudsters may use stolen identities or phishing schemes to sell fake products or steal money.

Steps to Keep Fraudulent Sellers Accountable

  1. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of all communications, receipts, advertisements, and any other relevant documentation. This evidence will be crucial for any legal or dispute resolution processes.

  2. Report to the Platform: If the transaction occurred on an online marketplace (e.g., eBay, Amazon), report the fraudulent activity through the platform’s resolution center. These platforms often have buyer protection policies that can help you recover your money.

  3. Contact the Seller: Attempt to resolve the issue directly with the seller by requesting a refund or replacement. Use formal, clear, and polite communication.

  4. Report to Action Fraud: In the UK, Action Fraud is the national reporting center for fraud and cybercrime. You can file a report online, which will be used by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau to investigate the matter.

  5. Notify Your Bank: If you paid by credit card or debit card, contact your bank to dispute the transaction. Many banks offer chargeback services for fraudulent transactions.

  6. Seek Legal Advice: If initial attempts to resolve the issue fail, consider seeking legal advice. You may need to take the seller to a small claims court, where you can claim for the money lost due to the fraud.

  7. Alert Trading Standards: Local Trading Standards offices can investigate and take action against fraudulent businesses. They can enforce consumer protection laws and offer guidance on next steps.

  8. Use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR): ADR schemes, such as mediation or arbitration, can be a faster and less costly alternative to court proceedings. Some industries have specific ADR services for consumer disputes.

What to Expect After Taking These Actions

  1. Resolution through Platforms: Online marketplaces like eBay or Amazon typically resolve disputes within a few weeks, either through refunds or other means of compensation if you are covered under their buyer protection programs.

  2. Bank Refunds: If you successfully dispute the charge with your bank, you can expect to see a provisional credit on your account while the bank investigates, which can take several weeks.

  3. Action Fraud and Legal Proceedings: Reporting to Action Fraud or pursuing a case through small claims court can be lengthy processes, often taking several months to reach a resolution. However, these actions can lead to criminal investigations and legal penalties for the fraudster.

  4. Trading Standards and ADR: Involving Trading Standards can lead to formal investigations and potential enforcement actions against the seller. ADR can provide a quicker resolution, often within a few months, depending on the complexity of the case.

By taking these steps, you can significantly improve your chances of holding fraudulent sellers accountable and recovering any lost funds. Remember to remain persistent and keep thorough records throughout the process.


At Caseguru, we specialise in connecting you with the best no win, no fee solicitors who are dedicated to ensuring that fraudulent sellers are held accountable whenever possible. Our purpose trained AI will assess your situation and match you with the right legal professionals to help you reclaim what you’re owed and seek justice. Trust Caseguru to guide you through the process of finding reliable, results-driven legal support tailored to your needs.

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