Spotting a Fake Online Shop

Author: Sandra (57)

I received an email the other day about fake online shops that has been so very useful.

I have been told the biggest tip-off is the method of payment – as scammers often ask you to pay using anything bar a credit or debit card. This might be a pre-loaded money card, online transfer or online gift card.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) shared the below tips on how to avoid being scammed by a fake store.

  • Do independent research before buying, by checking online for reviews of the story by other consumers
  • Avoid any deal that asks for up-front payment via a money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency such as Bitcoin
  • Look for signs that the site offers secure payment services, such as a URL that starts hhtps and a closed padlock symbol, or that offers PayPal or something similar
  • Never sent your credit card or online account details to anyone you don’t know and trust by email
  • Check the site’s refund and returns policy
  • Never click on pop-up advertisements – they can download malware, spyware or viruses to your computer

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