Christmas is a busy time of the year. Our calendars are filled with social events and many of us are shopping online to find the perfect gift for that special someone.
With so much going on, it’s easy to fall victim to online scams. In the lead up to Christmas, we’ve included two scams to keep on your radar, along with some tips to follow to help safeguard yourself, your family and your finances.
Online pet scams
If you’re shopping for a new pet this Christmas or holiday season, be aware of fake online accounts claiming to have puppies, kittens (and even goats) for sale. These accounts commonly appear on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and other classifieds-style online listings, and post ads with images of the animals that are available to buy.
In these scams, the animals and the ‘supplier accounts’ are both fake, and once a person has transferred money to the accounts for their new pet, they’ll never hear from the seller again.
Scamwatch reported in November that around $12.9 million had been lost to fake online shops this year alone.
TIP: If you’re shopping online for a pet, look to shop with reputable stores such as those with a physical premises that you can visit to verify they exist and to see your pet before your purchase.
Phishing scams from fake Australia Post emails
You might have heard about fake Australia Post email scams, but that this version may be more sophisticated than what you’ve encountered in the past.
In this scam, recipients receive a fake email from Australia Post advising that their package is awaiting delivery and requests a fee for the delivery to be made. Recipients enter their bank details only to find that there was no package, and that money has been taken from their bank accounts.
TIP: Check the full email address of the sender to validate if the email is legitimate. If you’re not sure, follow up with a phone call to the company and ask for more details before you enter any banking details.
Today’s scams are very sophisticated, and anyone can be caught out by their clever techniques. According to Scamwatch, over $240 million has been lost to scams in Australia this year. If you think something could be a scam or if you are concerned about a family member, do some external research and talk to your bank before you click, download, or provide bank account or card details to anyone or enter them onto any online site.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us on 13 25 77 or at [email protected].
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