Sunday, April 14, 2024

Beware of holiday shopping scams

Scamwatch is warning Aussies to be careful when buying gifts this holiday season.

Black Friday sales are fast approaching, therefore many consumers will be susceptible to shopping scams.

Losses to online shopping scams have increased 42% this year, with Scamwatch receiving over 12,000 reports of online shopping scams, with almost $7 million in losses.

“Scammers create fake websites that look like genuine online stores, offering products at very low prices and victims will either receive a fake item or nothing at all,” says ACCC Deputy Chair, Delia Rickard.

“They also post fake ads on classified websites, often claiming they are travelling and someone else will deliver the goods, but the item never arrives, and the victim can no longer contact the seller.”

In addition to fake retailer websites, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree losses have increased by 60% this year, to $4.5 million.

Ms Rickard continues, “Watch out for popular products being sold at prices much lower than on the other websites and sellers requesting payment through direct bank transfer or cryptocurrency.

“Take the time to consider who you are dealing with and don’t be pressured by special offers.”

The top ten products for online shopping and classified scams:

  1. Pets – 2111 reports – $2,050158
  2. Shoes – 569 reports – $81,502
  3. Vehicles – 568 reports – $808,571
  4. Phones – 428 reports – $258,199
  5. Laptop/computer/drones/iPads – 356 reports – $205,496
  6. Clothing – 250 reports – $35,693
  7. Toys – 204 reports – $39,498
  8. Games/Nintendo/X-box/Jigsaw – 182 reports – $381,110
  9. Barbeques – 173 reports – $55,552
  10. Handbags and bags – 110 reports – $55,788

For more information on scams, visit the Scamwatch website.

You can also follow @scamwatch_gov on Twitter and subscribe to Scamwatch radar alerts.

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