It's not just older Australians who fall victim to online scammers. Last year, young Australians lost more than $5 million to scams, usually while shopping online.
To shop online safely:
- Stick to websites which start with "http" and a closed padlock symbol.
- Search for reviews by people who've bought these products before. (Don't trust reviews on the seller's website!)
- Be suspicious if the prices are amazingly low.
- Do a search using the exact words in the advertisement, in case it's been flagged as a scam.
- Beware of sellers who want you to pay in unusual ways, such as gift cards, electronic funds transfer, money orders, or electronic currency like Bitcoin.
- Buy from sellers with a normal street address, phone number, and email address.
- Check the seller's terms and conditions. It's a bad sign if they don't list any.
- Use strong, unique logins for online stores - don't reuse the passwords for your email account or bank account.
If you have been scammed:
- Notify your bank immediately.
- Change your passwords if you think they've been compromised.
- Report it to Scamwatch or the Australian Cyber Security Centre.
- If the scam involved sexual images or videos, contact the eSafety Commissioner.