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Stick to well-known trusted brands and cross-check information on their website to make sure you’re dealing with the official seller and not a scammer trying to impersonate the brand.

Know who you’re buying from!

Where possible, stick to well-known trusted brands and cross-check information on their website to make sure you’re dealing with the official seller and not a scammer trying to impersonate the brand.

  • Search reviews from other customers.
  • Read the fine print including warranty, refund, complaints handling, as well as privacy policies, to find out how your information will be used.

Beware of fake sellers

Scammers can create fake websites and social media profiles to try and steal your money or personal details. They copy the designs and logos from legitimate businesses to appear more genuine.

  • To verify a site you’re looking at, do a browser search for other web pages or profiles by that seller. Compare logos, business names, URL addresses and contact details. If they don’t match up, steer clear!
  • Type the web address directly into your browser, rather than clicking on a link provided in an email or in an advertisement. This will help ensure you don’t get directed to a fake website.
  • Be cautious of sellers offering unbelievably low prices. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
  • Know what you’re buying. Read the description of the product carefully and check the size, colour, value and safety of the product.
  • Install and maintain the latest anti-virus software to flag untrustworthy sites.
  • Social media pages that have recently been created or only have a few followers may be indications they’re fake. And look out for pages where the conversation is one-way by the page owner only, with little or no engagement from the page’s community.
  • When shopping on a Facebook page, look for the blue tick next to page’s profile name. This indicates the page has been verified by Facebook.
  • When shopping on Instagram, check to make sure the page is public. A true seller is unlikely to make their page private if they’re looking to maximise sales!

Learn more about fake online shopping site scams.