Scram to avoid
Cash windfalls, free vouchers, enticing deals ... Online scams pose a threat at the click of a keystroke. Be wary to ensure you don’t get stung, writes
ONE of the best ways to avoid an online scam is, if in doubt,
In the first half of this year Australian consumers lost $650,000 to online scams – but these were only the ones reported to the Australian Competition and Consumer Authority. Many go unreported.
Shoppers are being encouraged to take extra care before getting sucked in by money-hungry fraudsters.
The ACCC’s deputy chair Delia Rickard says there are some key ways you can help reduce the chances of being scammed online.
Be wary of fake online shops that might look like the real deal but they ask you to pay in unusual ways.
“If they ask you to pay by money order, wire transfer or load-and-go cards, I would assume it’s a scam under those circumstances,” Rickard says.
“Only pay by secure payment methods such as credit cards whereby you have some mechanism for redress if something goes wrong.”
Another easy way to identify a dodgy site is by its address. If it doesn’t have “http” in the url and a padlock sign on the site, then it’s likely to be a scam.
It is common these days to be bombarded with dodgy emails pretending to offer you some enticing deal or a monetary win such as a gift card or store voucher.
Look for errors in these emails – often they’ll be littered with spelling mistakes and incorrect English, which should set alarm bells ringing.
For example, if a retailer is offering you a $1000 voucher, question why they would be doing this. And if you’re unsure, contact the retailer direct to work out whether it’s legitimate.
“If in doubt, don’t click on it as it can