Scam Watch: Actions to take for victims of fraud

What to do if you have been defrauded

We take fraud management very seriously here at DoneDeal and have great processes and resources to help fight against potential crime via ads on our site. Depending on the circumstances you may have:

  • a crime for the Gardaí to investigate
  • a civil matter between you and the seller
  • a misunderstanding that can be resolved amicably

If in doubt, contact DoneDeal to find out what you should do.

When to contact the Gardaí

We strongly encourage you to contact your local Gardaí to report the incident or the advertiser if you:

  • feel you have been defrauded by a seller on DoneDeal
  • have reason to believe you have discovered stolen goods or
  • someone who is advertising something that may have legal implications

Before you go to the Gardaí

Rather than dealing with fraud or stolen goods, it might be the case that you're dealing with a seller who is slow at sending an item or keeping in contact. In these cases, we encourage you to try resolving the issue with the seller directly. You should always exhaust all options before going to the Gardaí. Read our safety section before buying or selling.

How do I make a garda report?

The simplest way of reporting a crime is to go to your local Garda station or to call your local station on a non-emergency number. In most cases your report can be taken by telephone and followed up later. You can find the telephone number of your local Garda Station on garda.ie/stations

What evidence do you need?

The Gardaí will need essential details from you, such as the date and time of the offence, who the victim is and more importantly the identity of the suspects.

If you tried to contact the seller you may have even exchanged names, telephone numbers or addresses. Keep a note of these details as they will be useful to the investigating Garda in trying to trace the other person and establishing whether or not they've committed an offence.

If you've exchanged emails with the other person via our safemail system we will we have a log of these but you should keep them and print copies to provide to the Gardaí.

What happens next?

If you report your advertiser to the gardai, they'll decide if it should be investigated as a crime or as a civil dispute.

  • If you buy a car where the mileage has been deliberately altered that is a crime.
  • If you buy a car and it breaks down then it becomes a civil matter between you and the seller.

Dealing with a crime

If you make a report to the Gardaí, please  ensure that you obtain a crime reference number. Make sure you have your crime reference number to hand whenever you contact the Gardaí about your allegation, as this will be the best way for them to check on the progress of your case.

If the Gardaí take the matter further, the investigating Garda will contact DoneDeal, we'll provide the information the Gardaí need to help with the investigation.

Dealing with a civil matter

If the Gardaí feel that your case doesn't involve a criminal intent by the other party, it’s possible that they may advise you to take civil action to recover your losses through a county (small claims) court. The investigating Garda may be able to advise you with this process and more information can be found on the Court Services website.

DoneDeal and the Gardaí

We strongly believe in working closely with the Gardai and other government agencies to keep our community safe.

We are delighted to assist the Gardai and other government agencies within Ireland. We can provide assistance, our support and services free of charge to them on behalf of victims of crime. If the Gardaí feel that an investigation is warranted they may come to us for evidence to support the investigation.

We are committed to keeping DoneDeal a safe place to buy and sell and will always assist in a criminal investigation and, in accordance with our privacy policies, will appropriately provide evidence to law enforcement and give evidence in court where necessary.

Will anyone be arrested?
If you're making an allegation of crime you should be prepared that no matter how good you think your case is the Gardaí may not continue with an investigation. The burden of proof is very high and may depend on the amount of evidence obtained. A final decision on whether it goes to court may be decided by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Learn more about your rights