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How to act if you are scammed in an Internet purchase?

Ways to avoid a scam when buying online.

Criminal law
How to act if you are scammed in an Internet purchase?

Internet shopping has become fashionable in recent years and, with it, the dangers of the network have also increased. For this reason, we present a series of actions to minimize the risks when buying online.

What to do if I am robbed when buying online?

There are many types of scammers on the net, such as those who take advantage of vulnerable people, promising them loans at very beneficial conditions in exchange for several payments of certain amounts that never end. Another example would be the alleged seller of products that never arrive or the alleged buyers who scam sellers into believing that they are going to make the payment through “Bizum”, etc.

From Audacia Lawyers we advise you to collect screenshots of everything that happened, proof of charges, the advertisement you saw on the Internet portal offering that apartment for rent or the car you were thinking of buying, etc.

Also, it is advisable to keep all the conversations with the alleged scammer, whether by WhatsApp, in the RRSS, by email, recordings of phone calls, if any, etc. All these tests, as well as a bank certificate that justifies the payment made, will help you when it comes to proving the authorship of the crime of fraud.

With all this, you will have to go accompanied by a lawyer to the National Police station of the place where the event occurred, to the Civil Guard or to the Court of Instruction of the Guard, and file the corresponding complaint so that, in this way, start a police investigation of the alleged facts.

Once the culprit is located and arrested and all the investigative procedures have been carried out by the State Security Forces, a police report will be sent to the corresponding Investigating Judge, who will assess the reported facts and classify them as a minor crime of fraud. if the amount defrauded is less than four hundred euros or as a misdemeanor or serious crime of fraud, if that limit is exceeded.

Depending on the circumstances, preliminary proceedings will be opened in which the complainant will be summoned accompanied by a lawyer, to declare as a victim in the judicial investigation phase. And later, to the act of trial before the criminal judge or the Provincial Court, depending on whether or not the imposition of a sentence greater than five years in prison is being requested. Or, if the fraud does not exceed four hundred euros, a process for a minor crime will be opened, in which case the complainant will be summoned directly to trial before the investigating judge.

What do I have to pay attention to when buying online?

When making a purchase on the Internet, you have to pay attention to a series of visual details that allow a web page to be identified as safe to carry out the operation. As positive details we would have the following:

- The acronym HTTPS must appear in the address bar, with a final S, synonymous with "security".

- The drawing of a closed padlock means that the transaction data will be encrypted to prevent it from being interpreted by third parties other than the seller and the buyer.

 On the contrary, negative signs would be:

- That you cannot obtain complete information about the merchant (name, registered address, NIF, etc.).

- That the contact information is incomplete or that when trying to contact there is no response.

- That the payment of the money be requested in advance.

- That the prices are much lower than the prices of the product in the traditional market.

- That there are negative comments on the website in the RRSS.

It is always advisable to enter the web page through search engines such as Google, Bing, etc.; and not through a link that they have sent you to the E-mail or by WhatsApp.

Last but not least, choose the payment method carefully. The most reliable ways are: payment through an online platform such as PayPal; payment by bank card, whether debit or credit, payment by bank transfer and cash on delivery.

Punishments and fines for doing an Internet scam

The person who commits the fraud faces the penalties established in articles 248 and following of the Penal Code. In the case of a minor crime, he faces a fine of one to three months with a daily fee that ranges from two to four hundred euros.

For scams of more than four hundred euros, the penalties range from six months to three years.

However, the prizes can reach up to six years in prison and a fine of six to twelve months if the scam includes basic necessities such as housing, depending on the entity of the damage and the economic situation in which it leaves the victim or his family. , exceed the figure of fifty thousand euros, affects a large number of people, -to give a few examples-, as stated in article 250 of the Penal Code.

Also, anyone who sells a good to another person, proving that it has charges, is punished with prison sentences of one to four years, an example would be, who sells a car online as free of charges, when in fact it is repossessed.

Apart from the penalties established by the Criminal Code, the victim also has the right to claim damages in this criminal process, requesting the full return of all the money and any damages derived from the crime committed.

Tips to avoid headaches when shopping online

- Make sure you always buy through secure websites and known businesses.

- Never provide confidential information over the network.

- Your passwords must be private, do not expose that information to the eyes of third parties.

- Before clicking on all the ticks to carry out the operation, spend five minutes to read the conditions of sale (payment methods, delivery terms, return policy, privacy policy, etc.)

- Save and print a copy of the proof of payment in case it is necessary.

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Criminal law

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