'Tis the season for online shopping scams
Australians have already lost more money to online shopping scams in 2019 than in the entire previous year, and Scamwatch is warning people to be cautious of online shopping scams in the lead up to the holiday season.
So far in 2019, reported losses from online shopping scams are over $4 million, well in excess of the 2018 total figure for $3.28 million.
'Scammers often try to take advantage of people doing their Christmas shopping' ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard stated. 'Reported losses have tripled over the last three years and it's concerning that losses from this year are already so high'
Watch our for these common online shopping scams:
- Fake websites/stores: scammers will set up fake online stores, on websites or social media, which can look like genuine online retailers. Many of these offer luxury items at very low prices however, you may find yourself receiving a fake item or even nothing at all.
- Fake sellers: scammers may pose as genuine sellers on classified websites. The scammer may claim they are travelling and agents will deliver the goods once you have paid, but you won't receive the goods and will be unable to contact the seller.
Warning signs for online shopping scams include extremely low advertised prices and requests to pay through direct bank transfer or cyrptocurrency. It is encouraged that everyone do their research before making an online purchase and if purchasing expensive goods, not to make payment until the product has been inspected.
Many people enjoy the convenience of online shopping but it is important to remember that there can be risks involved. Spreading scam warnings with family and friends over the holiday period can help protect possible vulnerable customers.
If you do think that you have been scammed, contact your bank immediately.
For more information about scams please visit www.scamwatch.gov.au
The Money Edge | Bundaberg