The year-end holiday season is a busy and exciting time for many Australians, but did you know it is also a time when scammers come out in full force?
Australians have already lost approximately $475 million to scams this year, and the ACCC is urging consumers to watch out for dodgy deals as pre-holiday sales approach.
Scammers know that consumers are rushing around looking for bargains and are prone to let their guards down a bit more than usual at this time of year.
The first step to avoiding scamming is knowing how to spot a scam when you see one. However, this isn’t always easy – fraudsters get smarter every year, and they’ve developed tactics to target consumers with season-specific content designed to look as authentic and appealing as possible.
Here are some common scam types to look out for over the holidays:
- Relationship scams – ‘Hi Mum/Dad’ scam
- Online shopping scams
- Parcel delivery scams
- Holiday accommodation scams
- Fake shopping sites and sellers
- Fake travel offers
- Flight booking scams
- Charity scams
- Fake gift cards and vouchers
More info on these scams can be found here
Ways to avoid festive fraud:
- Be suspicious
- Do your research
- Choose your payment methods carefully
- Keep up to date with current scams via ACCC’s Scamwatch
- Report and spread the word
- Don’t click the link in an email from your bank, insurance, retail outlet, delivery company ect.. Instead, open your internet browser and type in the web address of the company the email is from. This way you won’t get caught out clicking a spam link, pretending to be someone else.
If you fall victim to a scam, immediately calling your bank should be your first order of business. “The banks will always try to stop payments if they’re still in flight and, even if the funds have already left, they will try to recall funds and will help make records to make sure other people don’t fall for the same scam,” says BankSA head of fraud Ben Young
To start the festive season with confidence, find the most up-to-date holiday scam information and get some tips to keep yourself safe while shopping online. You can start by joining the Australian Government’s ‘Be Connected’ webinar.
You can also contact Grandaids for more advice and assistance on how to keep safe while shopping online.