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8.5 million Aussies at risk of losing $700,000 this Christmas

Anastasia Santoreneos
·2-min read
Shocked young woman holding credit card and looking at laptop. Negative surprise in e-banking
8.5 million Aussie households at risk of losing $700,000. Source: Getty

Millions of Australians are at risk of losing thousands to scammers this Christmas, with online fraud at its peak over the holiday season, data reveals.

Online shopping fraud has more than doubled in the past 12 months, with Aussies losing around $666,000 to scams online in October alone.

That’s $499 per Aussie.

Australia Post data revealed nearly 8.5 million households engaged in online shopping between March and October this year, meaning scammers have an abundance of choice.

If the upward trend continues, Aussies stand to lose a whopping $700,000 to scams over the Christmas break.

“Festive fraud is likely to be the highest on record in 2020 as criminals ruthlessly adjust their approach to pursue those consumers shopping online,” personal finance expert Kate Browne said.

“With Christmas fast approaching, cyber criminals will be stepping up their efforts by impersonating genuine sellers and businesses.”

This means Aussies need to step up their efforts, too, she said.

“As shoppers enter the peak season for ordering online, it’s more important than ever that consumers protect themselves online.

“Do some research on the authenticity and trustworthiness of a website before you hand over your hard earned cash. Don’t make it easy for the grinch to steal Christmas.”

How can I avoid scams online?

  1. Research the seller;

  2. Update your passwords;

  3. Check what protections your bank offers;

  4. Contact your bank immediately if you think you’ve been scammed.

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