I’m petrified about getting scammed out of my hard-earned money. I know it can happen so easily and those scammers are very convincing. And it seems to get worse during the festive season, where we tend to spend more and are always on the lookout for a bargain. But beware, do not get caught out by these scary online shopping scams.

Losses to online shopping scams have increased 42 per cent this year, and Scamwatch is warning Australians to be careful when buying gifts this holiday season.

Millions Lost Due To Online Shopping Scams

Scamwatch has received over 12,000 reports of online shopping scams so far this year, with almost $7 million in reported losses.

“More people have been shopping online this year due to COVID-19 restrictions and scammers are now targeting people doing their Christmas shopping, including in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

It’s Fake!

“Scammers create fake websites that look like genuine online stores, offering products at very low prices and victims will either receive a fake item or nothing at all.”

“They also post fake ads on classified websites, often claiming they are travelling and someone else will deliver the goods, but the item never arrives and the victim can no longer contact the seller.”

Losses on classified websites, such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree, have increased by 60 per cent this year, to $4.5 million.

Pets Top The List Of Scariest Online Shopping Scams

Reports of online shopping scams involving consumer goods, such as shoes, phones, computers and toys, continue to be high. But the most common thing people were trying to buy when they were scammed was puppies and other pets.

People aged 24 and under reported the highest number of scams involving phones and computers.

Too Good To Be True!

“Watch out for popular products being sold at prices much lower than on other websites and sellers requesting payment through direct bank transfer or cryptocurrency,” Ms Rickard said.

“Take the time to consider who you are dealing with and don’t be pressured by special offers.”

“Do your research by checking independent reviews of online stores or the seller’s history on classified websites.”

Fake Delivery Notifications

Another scam to be aware of if you have made recent purchases online is fake parcel delivery notifications via text message or email.

“Australia Post will never ask you to click a link to enter your personal details, nor will they ask for credit card details or a fee to deliver your packages,” Ms Rickard said.

“If you have been the victim of a scam, contact your bank as soon as possible and contact the platform on which you were scammed to inform them of the circumstances.”

Most financial institutions offer a charge-back service for credit cards and will dispute a credit transaction with the merchant if they still exist.

Top ten products for online shopping and classified scams



More information on scams is available on the Scamwatch website, including how to make a report and where to get help.

Have you ever been a victim of online shopping scams? Tell us in the comments below.

  • My motto is that if it sounds too good to be true then it’s not true. I’m alwYs suspicious of emails that have links to click on for amazing deals.


  • Scammers make me so mad!!! I always try to shop online with know companies.


  • I always use reliable and trustworthy websites. If in doubt don’t use it.


  • If anything looks dodgy or sounds dodgy then ignore and delete and move on.


  • I hate scammers. They are selfish and dont care about anyone else. Be careful


  • It so important to be vigilant and do research on companies, products and sites.


  • Need to be so aware online these days


  • Not still.I always buy things from trusted sites.


  • Years ago I ordered something from a site that I only wanted the one time. They were charging every month but I didn’t receive anything. Rang the company and was asked what I was ringing for. I asked him who he was and he demanded to know who I was. When I said I was ringing to complain about being charged for something I wasn’t receiving he informed me he was from the fraud squad. Gave me a number to ring and a case number to give to the bank. Couldn’t believe when I got my money returned and bank said it was definitely the fraud squad. You do need to be careful these days. I’m still waiting on something I ordered 2 months ago but used PayPal so if I don’t get it then it’s only $30 I’m out of pocket. Why can’t people just get a proper job and earn their money the legal way instead of virtually robbing people.


  • AS soon as they know you are onto them they just get bigger and better. Horrible people scammers


  • My poor old mum, whos nearly 90, rang me the other day. She had received 2 scam text messages and wasn’t sure what to do. She didn’t realise thry were scams and she was a bit confused preying on ppl to financially benefit yourself is disgusting


  • Always good to be on the alert !


  • There are always people ruining it for everyone… this is why I stick to well established sites/stores.


  • Bugger! Can these scammers please just stop and go away.


  • Haven’t encountered this problem, but am well aware of how easy it can be to get caught by these scammers. So far all I’ve had is very professional looking letters from banks I am not a member of so easy to see it was a scam. Thanks for the warning though.


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