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News & Insights

For all the latest news and events

News & Insights

For all the latest news and events

Shopping safely online

With the festive season almost here, and big sales like Boxing Day tempting us, it’s likely you will soon find yourself shopping or selling online.
We want you to have a safe and enjoyable online shopping experience, so we have compiled our best tips below. We have also included helpful information on what to do if you suspect you’ve been scammed.

 

Safe Online Shopping Tips

  • When shopping online, make sure your phone, tablet or computer has the most up-to-date software installed (that means when your phone asks you to install the latest software, you hit “now” not “later”!)
  • Avoid using public wi-fi connections, especially when sending funds of any kind.
  • Use trusted sellers with returns policies and privacy statements and check if the business is based in Australia. If you’re buying from an Australian company, you’re protected by Australian Consumer Law.
  • Check for a closed padlock symbol in the address bar of the browser. You can hover over this to check the connection and security certificate. This is not a guarantee it is a legitimate website, but it is more likely to be trustworthy. And if there isn’t a padlock symbol in the address bar, don’t risk it!
  • If the website allows it, enable multi factor authentication (that means as well as entering your password, having a code sent to your phone or email) to increase your protection.
  • Even though it may seem convenient, avoid saving your card or payment details in your browser or with the vendor. If the system gets compromised, your data could be falling into the wrong hands. We recommend using a secure password manager such as LastPass or 1Password, or Bitwarden.

 

Tips for Buying from a Private Seller

We love a good Facebook Marketplace find, but platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, eBay and Gumtree are notorious lurking spots for scammers. Never fear! Watch out for these red flags and you can feel more confident you are talking to a legitimate seller.

  • Keep an eye out for fake ads or people selling items they don’t own – ask for more photos and check previous sales and reviews to confirm the seller is real.
  • Suspiciously low prices – if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Asking for payment in crypto currency or gift cards – these are very difficult to trace, so scammers love to get their payments via these avenues.

Tips for Selling Online Safely

A scammer posing as a legitimate buyer may:

  • Ask you to pay upfront for shipping costs and promise to return the funds later (but they never do).
  • Claim they have overpaid you and ask for a partial refund (they never overpaid).
  • Send you fake receipts or transfer confirmations. Watch out for these red flags: incorrect or very minimal information; not using the stores’ product IDs; incorrect company details; and missing watermark or company logo are giveaways something is not right.

 

Bonus Safety Tips

  • Keep an eye on your funds through bank statements or logging into your banking app to spot unexpected transactions.
  • Think before you click! Watch out for tricky links claiming to be for parcel deliveries, especially when they have a sense of urgency. These are quite common phishing scams. Instead, take note of the courier company the online shop uses, and don’t click on any suspicious or unexpected links.

 

But What If I Get Scammed?

It can happen to anyone; those scammers are tricky! Here is your best course of action if you suspect you’ve been scammed:

  • Contact your bank or financial institution immediately, they may be able to stop a transfer or assist in investigating a fraudulent transaction. They can also secure your account, so no further funds can be taken.
  • Report to the Australian Cyber Security Centre through ReportCyber
  • Report and check for scams through Scamwatch

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