Australian consumers are increasingly going online to buy goods and services, taking advantage of the speed, convenience and greater choice that the internet can offer. Unfortunately scammers like shopping online for their victims too.
Scammers are increasingly sophisticated in how they deliver scams, taking advantage of new technologies and communication methods to try and slip under your radar. Scammers exploit the anonymous nature of the web to target Australians buying and selling online.
National Consumer Fraud Week 2013 is all about helping Australians to ‘outsmart the scammers’ by staying one click ahead!
Online shopping scams target both buyers and sellers, with the two most common scams being:
Classified ad scams – a scammer posts a fake ad on a legitimate classifieds website for cheaply priced popular items. If a consumer shows interest in an item, the scammer will claim that the goods will be delivered following receipt of payment. If the consumer pays, they will not receive the goods or be able to contact the seller.
Overpayment scams – a scammer will respond to a seller’s ad with a generous offer and will then ‘accidentally’ overpay. The scammer will ask the seller to refund the excess amount by money transfer in hope that the seller will transfer the money before they discover that the scammer’s cheque has bounced or that the money order was phony. The seller will lose the money, as well as the item they were selling, if they have already sent it on to the scammer.
Stay one click ahead of the scammers – visit the SCAMwatch website to find out more about how scams work, how to protect yourself and what to do if you’ve been scammed.
Fill out the 2013 scam survey & help in the fight against scams!