Ahead of the busy shopping season, the consumer watchdog is warning Aussies to be on the lookout for online shopping scams. 

According to the ACCC, Australians have already lost $12.9 million to online shopping including classifieds scams so far this year. 

As more people have shopped online during the pandemic, Scamwatch has this year received over 26,000 reports of online shopping scams, more than the total reported through all of 2020. 

“This is a very busy time of year, and scammers often try to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers rushing to organise gifts,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said.

“People are often searching for the best deals online, especially in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, so it’s easy to be caught off guard and fall for a scam,” she said. 

The ACCC said that scammers create realistic-looking fake online stores selling items at heavily discounted prices, however the items are fake, or never delivered to buyers.

Scammers can also create fake stores on social media platforms or post fake ads on legitimate classifieds websites.

Additionally, they may also request payment or offer discounts for payments made through direct bank transfers or cryptocurrency. 

Rickard said that when it comes to scammers, if the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. 

“Before you buy, it’s important to be aware of the possibility of scams.

“While some scammers try to make online stores look legitimate by requesting payment via PayPal or…

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