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Online shopping is great for those seeking a bargain, a hard-to-find item or the convenience of avoiding a trip to the shops.

Unfortunately, cyber fraud is an increasing problem and many shoppers have paid for goods and services that they have not received – or received fake versions in place of branded items.

5 QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

Who am I buying from?

TOP TIP

Never give personal details to any company you’re not sure of.

Know who you're buying from

What are the charges?

TOP TIP

If it’s unclear, look for a FAQ page.

Understand charges

Is my data secure?

TOP TIP

Look for a padlock or unbroken key symbol in your browser, beside the web address.

Keep your information secure

Have I checked my paperwork?

TOP TIP

Always check your monthly statements.

Check your transactions

What happens if something goes wrong?

TOP TIP

If you can’t resolve it yourself, we may be able to help.

If something goes wrong

Shop with companies you know, or ones that have a good reputation

Don’t give your personal details, bank account numbers or credit card details to a company you don’t know or haven’t checked out. We are seeing an increasing number of customers paying for goods and services that they have not received.

Be especially careful of:

  • Websites selling fake luxury goods
  • Websites selling one item but then enrolling you in another offer and setting up a recurring transaction on your behalf

Always read everything on the page to make sure you understand what you’re buying. In particular, remember to scroll down the whole page to see the detail of any other offer.

Check where the company is based

When buying from a company based in Europe you may still be protected by some of your consumer rights under UK law, regardless of which country's laws are said to be applicable in the contract. If something goes wrong when buying from a company based outside Europe, it’s likely to be more difficult or expensive to put things right.

Be careful when buying from private sellers or by auction

Just as with offline trading, be especially careful when you buy from a private seller as opposed to a business. If something goes wrong, your legal rights may not be the same as when you are dealing with a business. Always make sure you know who you’re buying from so you can make an informed choice.

If you use online auction sites, be suspicious of anyone who asks to be paid in a way that’s not normal for the site you’re using – for example, in cash.

Check the delivery and returns policy

The delivery and returns policy should tell you about the cost and method of delivery along with the return and refund details. Remember that returning goods to overseas suppliers may be expensive. Many websites will also have a frequently asked questions (FAQ's) page that you can read if you have any problems or queries.

Watch out for additional charges

Sometimes charges such as VAT, customs duties, delivery and packaging may be hidden or not included in the main price you’re shown. If you’re not sure you understand all the charges, don’t buy.

Check that your item is in stock

Be especially careful if you’re thinking of buying an item that’s currently unavailable but “due in stock soon”. Estimates of when things will be restocked can be very unreliable. Some sites offer a “Stock alert” service which will email you when an item is back in stock, rather than taking your money in advance, so you’re not out of pocket if you do have to wait a long time.

  • Always use a secure website for any payment transactions
    You’ll know that a site is secure when an intact key or padlock symbol appears on your screen. Also, a secure website address will normally begin https:// instead of http:// – the “s” standing for secure. A secure connection ensures that your personal details are encrypted before being sent from your computer over the internet. This protects your credit card details from being seen by anybody else on the internet.

    An intact key or padlock = secure
    A broken key or padlock = not secure
  • Never send your credit card or bank details in an email
    Email cannot be encrypted and secured, so your credit card details are not safe in an email. Although unlikely, it is possible for someone to view emails sent over the internet.
  • Keep any internet passwords secret
    If you register with a site or store you’ll be asked to choose a password. Just as you keep your PIN (Personal Identification Number) secret, you should never reveal your password to anyone else. Of course, you should never give your credit card details to any other person for use on the internet.

Keep a record of all your online transactions

When you enter your details on screen, print off the page and keep it safe or save it to your hard drive. You should also keep details of the offer and the terms and conditions because information on the website may change after you make a purchase. Then if you have any queries about your order, or you need to return or exchange an item you’ll have confirmation of your order and the offer. Many companies will also email you to confirm your order, so save or print and keep this too.

Check your monthly credit card statements for transactions you don’t recognise

Remember to check your monthly credit card statements for transactions made over the internet. You need to be aware that some company names which appear on your statement may differ from their website names.

Tell us immediately if there are any transactions you don’t recognise

If there are transactions on your statement that you don’t recognise, or you have any other statement queries, please call us straight away and we’ll be able to look into the transaction on your behalf.

For Platinum, Classic, Gold, Advance, Trustcard and Classic Reserve cards: call 0345 606 2172

For Lloyds Bank Duo Avios Credit Cards: call 0345 606 2175

If you don’t recognise a transaction on your credit card, believe that you have received fake goods or don’t receive the goods or service you have paid for, you should first try to resolve your dispute directly with the seller.

If this doesn’t work we can try to help. Please write to us at the address below and give us:

  • Full details of the purchase including details of the item or service that you haven’t received
  • Copies of all documentation relating to the charges, including invoices
  • Your card number, sort code and account number
  • A clear statement or evidence that you have attempted to contact the firm to resolve the dispute or cancel the subscription or payment
  • The result of any contact you have with the firm – even if it’s just “the line went dead”
  • If you have been provided with fake goods, include a professional report to confirm that the goods are counterfeit

Send the information to:

Lloyds Bank PLC
Card Services - Disputes & Chargebacks
Charlton Place
Charlton Road
Andover
SP10 1RE

Or call us on one of the numbers below:

Platinum, Classic, Gold, Advance, Trustcard and Classic Reserve
0345 606 2172

Lloyds Bank Duo Avios Credit Cards
0345 606 2175

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