Aussies are being urged to watch out for fake online shopping websites, with scammers often impersonating popular brands like Peter Alexander, Sportsgirl and Gorman.
According to the ACCC’s Scamwatch data, Aussies have lost more than $1 million dollars this year to online shopping scams.
“Fake online shopping websites can be very convincing!” Scamwatch said.
“They may contain a real ABN, fake positive and negative reviews, and even have scam warnings to convince you their own site is genuine.”
Scammers will often impersonate popular brands and will create fake websites using the brand’s logo and branding.
Fake online shopping websites can be very convincing! Similar to this scam website they may contain a real ABN, fake positive and negative reviews, and even have scam warnings to convince you their own site is genuine. pic.twitter.com/VYkxhsMLzE
— Scamwatch_gov_au (@Scamwatch_gov) March 17, 2023
Many of the websites sell items at a very low price, Scamwatch said, and this may be a red flag. Sometimes you may receive the item you paid for but it will be fake, other times you will get nothing.
When making online payments, Scamwatch said to only pay for items using a secure payment service and to look for a URL starting with ‘https’ and a closed padlock symbol, or a provider like PayPal.
Aussie retailers targeted by scammers
Peter Alexander, Sportsgirl and Gorman are some of the Aussie clothing brands caught up in the online shopping scams.
Peter Alexander told customers it was aware of fake websites using its name, logo and imagery that were not affiliated with it.
“Along with our retail stores, the only authorised websites that sell genuine Peter Alexander products are peteralexander.com.au and peteralexander.co.nz. We strongly advise not to purchase from any other website due to the risk of fraud,” Peter Alexander told customers.
Clothing brands Sportsgirl and Gorman have also warned customers about scam websites, urging them not to get fooled.
Sportsgirl said the only place you can shop for genuine, first-hand products is via its retail stores and online at Sportsgirl.com.au.
Gorman said its official website was gormanshop.com.au.