Don’t fall for copycat websites; you could lose money
Copycat websites mimic official government sites but you’ll be charged for services you could get for free

Over the last few weeks there’s been a lot of publicity about copycat websites, especially in the run-up to the self-assessment tax deadline. Copycat websites charge you for services that you could get for free (or much cheaper) by going direct to the government agency. They typically charge for passport renewal, filing your tax return or getting a driving licence. Don’t get caught out by them!

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Fraud and bank refunds; what the rules say about when banks are supposed to refund your money.
If you've had money taken out of your account, or a payment taken you didn't agree to, you should get your money back.

If you've had money taken out of your account by a company - perhaps you have hired a car on holiday and have found extra charges have been taken from your credit card, or perhaps you agreed to a one-off payment for a product and have had much more money taken than you agreed. The good news is that your bank or credit card company must refund these so-called 'unauthorised transactions'. The bad news is that bank staff may not always be aware of these rules.

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Bank fraud refunds - will your bank always give you your money back?
Some banks say you have to use a different PIN for card accounts. Can they refuse to refund you if you don't?

Do you have a separate PIN for your credit and debit card accounts? No? You could be breaking your bank’s terms and conditions. Santander and HSBC are two banks that – from January 1st 2013 – will say that customers should have a separate PIN for each credit or debit card, or they won’t be guaranteed a refund in the event of fraud. But can they refuse refunds in this way? Not necessarily, according to the regulator or the Financial Ombudsman Service.

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The material provided on this website is general information that is intended for general guidance and is not suitable for professional advice.
You should always obtain independent financial advice.