The ACCC is urging all retailers and consumers be on the lookout for online shopping scams heading into the festive shopping season.

To date, reported losses from online shopping scams are over $4 million, already exceeding the total losses of $3.28 million in 2018. 

The ACCC is encouraging Aussie shoppers to be aware of scams, especially during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, with ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard encouraging families to warn each other of scams. 

"Scammers often try to take advantage of people doing their Christmas shopping including in the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. 

"Reported losses have tripled over the last three years and it is concerning that losses from this year are already so high.

"Some of the most commonly reported products that scammers are attempting to sell this year are shoes, smartphones and tickets to events, with losses from these items so far exceeding half a million dollars. 

"Warning signs for online shopping scams include extremely low advertised prices and requests to pay through direct bank transfer or cryptocurrency.

"We encourage everyone to do their research before making an online purchase and if purchasing expensive goods, not to make payment until they have inspected the product.

"Many people enjoy the convenience of online shopping but it is important to remember that there can be risks involved.

"If you do think you have been scammed, contact your bank as soon as possible," she said. 

Common scams include fake websites and stores where scammers will set up fake online stores on websites or social media which appear to be genuine. Many of these stores offer luxury items at low prices but consumers will receive a fake items or nothing at all if purchasing from such websites. 

Fake sellers are also a common scam, with scammers posing as genuine sellers on classifieds websites. The scammer may claim they are travelling and an agent will deliver the goods once the shopper has paid, but they won’t receive the goods and will be unable to contact the seller.

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