Always ask your bank a question when they call to prove their identity and avoid being sca

It’s great to be safe online and to be comfortable with making online purchases but you can be subject to scams or fake goods very easily. 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 it can happen to us all.

My son recently wanted an expensive pair of trainers and I wanted him to understand that things do not come for free.

Therefore I offered to pay for a reasonably priced pair and if he wanted the more expensive pair then he would need to do some chores.

He did the chores, but like all good teenagers managed to minimise the amount of work by finding a cheaper pair of trainers from a discount store.

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.

The trainers arrived a few weeks later in a plastic parcel. Inside was a branded box and inside that were the trainers. The trainers were at first glance the real deal. There were some niggles though.

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The first thing I noticed was that the cardboard box 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 trainers were in a plastic bag inside the box.

As for the trainers, the inner soles were not stuck down solidly, the build quality on the soles was poor and the brand logos did not look like the quality you’d expect. The main difference was that the pair we received had four red air springs rather than five.

It would be easy not to notice these issues and accept the trainers. When I realised the issue, I raised the case with the website from where they were bought and got no response.

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

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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 so that you’re entitled to a full refund if something goes wrong

Look up the company on TrustPilot to see if they look legitimate and you can visit ScamAdvisors 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

Is it possible to block calls?

Scambusters say: “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, worth looking out for.”

Are scams increasing?

Scambusters say: “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 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

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