Detectives from the Cybercrime Squad are urging online shoppers to be vigilant and wary of scams impersonating well known Australian retailers over the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale weekend.
The National Anti-Scam Centre has detected a significant increase in the number of reports of fraudulent websites impersonating the genuine online retail stores belonging to many popular high street brands.
Preying on loyal consumers, scammers will often impersonate popular brands using the latest technology to create convincing fake websites using the brand’s logo, designs and layouts.
Generally, they’ll include a “.com.au” domain name, and likely the stolen ABN number of the business they are purporting to be.
They might also pay for their fraudulent website to appear at the top of an internet search or offer the same products as the genuine brand at a significantly lower price.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, there have already been over 2,760 reports of fake online stores this year, resulting in a loss of over half a million dollars.
In total, online shopping scams cost Australians over $6.2 million between 1 January and 30 September this year.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam, contact your bank or card provider immediately to report the scam. They may be able to stop a transaction from going through.
If you have been the victim of cybercrime, speak to police if you have concerns about a matter, or use online forums such as ReportCyber which will assess the report and provide them to police.
Further advice on spotting fake websites can be found here: Product and service scams | Scamwatch
Anyone with knowledge of these incidents and those responsible is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppers.com.au
Victoria Police News – Thursday 23 November 2023