Nick Blencowe, chief officer of Citizens Advice Rural Cambs, shares his top tips to avoid scams.


Unfortunately scammers are always finding more sophisticated ways to trick shoppers, including having very legitimate-looking websites.

If you’ve already parted with your money, the first step is to contact your bank immediately to let them know you think you’ve been scammed.

In terms of getting your money back, a lot depends on how you paid. We have full details on our website on the routes you can take.

For example, if you paid by debit card, your card provider can ask the seller’s bank to refund the money. This is known as the ‘chargeback scheme’.

If you paid by credit card and the item cost more than £100 but less than £30,000 you might be able to claim under the Consumer Credit Act.

This is known as a ‘Section 75 claim’. Under £100 on credit card you can’t use Section 75, but you can use chargeback.

It’s always a good idea to report a scam, even if you haven’t got your money back yet. You can do this by contacting Action Fraud.

It’s also worth knowing your rights as a consumer in case the seller does get back in contact and turns out not to be a scammer.

If something you ordered hasn’t arrived, it’s the seller’s responsibility to get the item to you.

So if they say they don’t know where the pram is, you can ask for a redelivery or, depending on how long you’ve waited for a delivery, you may be able to get a refund from the seller. We have advice on our website about how to do this.

It’s also worth knowing that if a trader, having taken your money, refuses to deliver an item, Trading Standards may be able to investigate them.

Citizens Advice runs scams awareness campaigns aiming to: give people skills to identify scams; encourage people to share their experiences with scams; help people gain the confidence to report scams.

The campaign is led by Citizens Advice in collaboration with the Consumer Protection Partnership (CPP).

For more advice on dealing with suspected scams or problems with traders, call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline 0808 223 1133 or If you need further help or support please contact the relevant support agency for your area:     

Residents of East Cambridgeshire

Contact East Cambs District Council (ECDC):    

ECDC provide the advice, information and support services for residents of East Cambridgeshire through their dedicated Community Advice team.    

· Telephone: 01353 665555    

· Drop-in: Monday to Friday 10.00 – 4.00pm at ‘The Grange, Nutholt Lane, Ely, CB7 4EE’    

Residents of Huntingdonshire

· Adviceline: 0808 278 7807 - Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3.30pm

· Information also available on the Citizens Advice website at