Shopping scams on the rise

RACQ Bank has issued an urgent warning to shoppers to take extra care after online shopping scams more than doubled.

According to Scamwatch complaints of online shopping scams to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) increased by 111 percent in the second week of August.

RACQ Bank spokesperson Kirsty Clinton said it was shocking to learn the criminals had fleeced consumers out of more than $94,000 in just seven days.

“Many of these online websites offer luxury items or popular brands for cheap prices – at times you receive the item you paid for, but it will be fake, other times you get nothing at all,” Ms Clinton said.

“Falling victim to these scams and losing thousands of dollars can be a devastating blow not just to the finances, but to personal confidence as well.”

Ms Clinton urged shoppers to be aware of the type of websites they were buying from to ensure they were legitimate.

“The most obvious sign it’s a dodgy website is in the payment method. Scammers will often ask you to pay using a money order or wire transfer which means you’re unlikely to get the money back,” she said.

“Scammers are getting more sophisticated every day, so remember to double check the website, and use online shopping services you know or trust.”

Ms Clinton reminded shoppers that credit cards could also be targeted.

“If you believe your card has been used to purchase something you didn’t authorise, contact your bank immediately,” she said.

Concerned consumers could visit ACCC for more information.