What are they?
Fraudsters set up fake websites that look like genuine online retail stores and use sophisticated designs and stolen logos to lure you in.
They usually sell luxury items like branded clothes, jewellery or electronics at extremely low prices. Sometimes an item will turn up, but it will be fake, other times you will receive nothing at all.
Often these fake websites advertise on social media platforms and after making a number of sales, the stores disappear. You should never trust a site just because you have seen it advertised or shared on social media.
Signs of an online shopping scam
- An item is advertised at an unbelievably low price.
- A website only allows you to pay using a money order, pre-loaded money card, or wire transfer and doesn’t allow payment through PayPal.
- A website doesn’t have information about privacy, terms and conditions or a refund policy.
How to protect yourself
- Always check if the website or social media page has a refund or returns policy.
- Find out exactly who you are dealing with by searching for customer reviews and further information.
- Never send payments to a stranger, especially via electronic funds transfer, international telegraphic transfer, pre-paid card or cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. It’s very rare that this money can ever be recovered.
If you think you have been the victim of an online shopping scam, you should:
- Contact us immediately on (08) 8202 7777
- Report it to ASIC and the police via cyber.gov.au
- Be wary of follow up scams.
- Change your passwords and PINs straight away if you suspect your security has been compromised.
- Contact IDCARE on 1800 595 160 or via idcare.org. IDCARE is a free, Government-funded service that provides support to victims of identity crime
- Visit the Scamwatch website for more information on scams.