Even while there are many trustworthy online retailers, sadly, con artists can take advantage of the internet’s anonymity to defraud unwary customers. Scammers create phoney retailer websites that mimic real online retail establishments using the most recent technology. They might make use of intricate layouts and graphics, possibly stolen logos, even a.com.au domain name, and even an Australian Business Number that has been stolen (ABN). Numerous of these websites provide luxury goods, including well-known clothes, jewellery, and technology brands, at incredibly low prices. You might get the stuff you paid for sometimes, but it might be a fake, or you might get nothing at all.
A product may be promoted with an absurdly low price, fantastic features, or benefits that seem too good to be true. The demand for rapid payment, electronic money transfer, or wire service is made by the opposite party. They can request that you purchase certificates up front before you can take advantage of a discount or a giveaway. The social media-based store is fairly young and offers incredibly cheap rates for its goods. The store might not have comprehensive knowledge about delivery and other policies.
The privacy policies, terms and conditions of use, dispute resolution procedures, and contact information are not sufficiently disclosed by an online retailer. The seller might not accept payments made with a credit card or through a secure payment solution like PayPal since they are headquartered overseas.
Verify the website’s or social media page’s refund and return procedures to ensure that they are reasonable. In case something goes wrong, the better online retail and auction sites include thorough complaint or dispute management procedures. Find out who you are dealing with specifically when visiting shopping websites. If the company is Australian, you will be in a far better position to solve any issues that arise.
Only use secure payment methods when making online purchases; search for a URL that begins with “https” and a closed padlock symbol, or a payment service like PayPal. Before utilising virtual currencies like bitcoin, give it some thought. Since they lack the same safeguards as regular transaction methods, you cannot get your money back once it has been sent.
If a stranger asks for upfront payment via money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card, or digital currency like Bitcoin, do not enter into the agreement. Recovery of money sent in this manner is uncommon. Never pay money to someone you don’t know or trust, or provide credit card or online account information to them.
Have you ever been duped?
If there is an issue with an online purchase that you made, you should first attempt contacting the vendor or auction service. The issue could have a good explanation. If you paid with a credit card and are unhappy with the response or think it might be a scam, you might be able to arrange a charge-back through your bank or credit union. To get help, you might want to get in touch with your neighbourhood consumer protection organisation. We urge you to use the report as a scam link to alert the ACCC of scams. This enables us to monitor trends, alert the public to scams that are currently active, and, when possible, stop them. Please provide information about the scam contact you encountered, such as a screenshot or an email.