Online shopping is attracting dodgy scammers

CYBER scammers are taking advantage of our love affair with online shopping and they are operating on fertile ground, with ABS data showing Australian businesses received 25% more internet orders in 2011-12 compared to the previous year.

The figure was $237 billion and came from household, business and government orders as well as overseas customers.

The Office of Fair Trading used the recent National Consumer Fraud Week to arm consumers with the know-how to beat the crooks.

Fair Trading executive director Brian Bauer said Australian consumers shopped online more often than consumers in the USA and Europe, and scammers were getting in on the act.

"Aussies spent $13.5 billion shopping online in the 12 months to the end of April," he said.

"Be aware that online shopping/auction scams are costing Australian consumers $4 million per year.

Spotting a scam:

  • If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Find out what other shoppers say. Ensure the person you are dealing with is the real deal.
  • Protect your identity.
  • Keep your computer secure. Install software that protects your computer from viruses and spyware.

Only pay via secure payment methods. Look for a web address starting with 'https' and a closed padlock symbol. Never send money or give your financial details to anyone you do not know and trust.


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