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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about policing or the law? You may be able to find the answer here.

Through our frequently asked questions section we aim to help you find the answers you need without having to call us to ask for information. We've provided answers to questions on a range of topics which are regularly asked of police forces up and down the country.

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The first steps are that you must first try and contact the seller yourself and try to resolve the matter. If that does not solve the problem then contact the internet site to find out if they have a dispute resolution service. The auction sites are aware that fraud does occur and many have put in place systems to combat it. Please note that it is always worth using payment methods suggested by reputable auction sites as this will help to combat fraud.

If you have no joy in resolving the problem and it is a genuine deception, then you should report the incident to your local police. There has been a change in the law with regards to the recording of internet crimes, so it may not be your local force that investigates but the force where the alleged offender lives, your local police will advise you accordingly.

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Answers in this FAQ section are provided by the 'Ask the Police' website. Produced by the Police National Legal Database (PNLD) team, 'Ask the Police' is an official police site approved by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). All FAQ answers are © PNLD.