You better watch out, you better not… share your valuable financial details with strangers this silly season. Scammers are on the loose.
Scamwatch has revealed Aussie victims lost nearly $3 million to online shopping scams this year, another $135,000 to travel scams and yet another $31,000 to parcel scams.
Concerningly, scammer activity is unlikely to wane as Aussie holiday-makers purchase more holidays and gifts.
“Scammers will take advantage of special days or major events like Christmas to fleece people of their money or personal information,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.
What’s an online shopping scam?
This scam sees scammers set up fake online stores or accounts in buy-swap groups. They then trick the unwitting victims into buying items that don’t exist.
This sneaky scam has seen Aussies lose nearly $3 million this year so far.
“Don’t fall for it,” Rickard said. “Be sceptical about an online store you haven’t used before. Do some research to see if they’re legitimate and don’t be fooled by big discounts.”
What’s a travel scam?
Does that holiday look too good to be true? It probably is.
Travel scams trick people into believing they’ve scored a crazy deal or won a free holiday, like a cruise.
The prize or the deal is a fake, and Aussies have lost $135,000 to this scam this year.
“With travel deals, call the accommodation provider directly, for example the cruise line or hotel, to check if the deal is legitimate,” said Rickard.
“If you see a seemingly great deal on an accommodation rental website like Airbnb, make sure you only communicate and pay through the official site to avoid getting stung by a fake listing,” she added.
What’s a parcel delivery scam?
Scammers ask you to do a survey, claim a prize, print off a label or view the status of your delivery by clicking a link or downloading an attachment.
Some scammers will even send through a fake text or call about an unsuccessful delivery. However, once a victim has hit the link or downloaded the attachment, they’ve also opened themselves up to vicious malware.
We lost $31,000 to these scams this year.
Rickard suggested those who have concerns check the tracking number of delivery notices on the Australia Post website and to always exercise caution when it comes to clicking links and downloading attachments.
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