Watch out for scams when shopping online. Some scams steal your money while other steal your personal information. The best thing you can do is shop on well-established, recognisable websites. Remember if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Check out Scamwatch for a list of online scams.
Here are some tips for safe online shopping:
- Check if the web address start with https:// (rather than just http://) The s means the website is secure.
- If your web browser has a picture of a padlock next to the web address that also means the site is secure.
- Check to see if the website has some form of ID like an address, phone number or email address.
- If you’re not sure about a business contact them and wait until they reply before purchasing anything.
- If the site asks for more personal information than they need, or the deal sounds too good to be true, think twice about purchasing anything.
- Check all the fees you will be charged (postage, handling, foreign currency conversion, import duty or taxes).
- If buying from an online auction site check if there is a clear and easy way to make a complaint if there is a problem with your purchase.
- Keep a record of your purchases in case there are any issues and you need to make a complaint.
How to Handle an Issue
Sometimes shopping online can go wrong, but there are things you can do if that happens. Australian consumers have rights, check out the ACCC’s website to find out how you’re protected.
If something goes wrong with your online purchase:
- Look at their website to see how you can make a complaint. If there is no information give them a call or send them an email.
- Banks usually have ways of protecting their customers from scams. Contact your bank or financial institution, explain the problem and see if there’s any way they can help you.
- Contact the ACCC to see if there’s anything they can do to help you resolve a dispute.
Have a look on the Money Smart and Youth Central websites for more tips on safe online shopping. Happy buying!