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Stay vigilant after you’ve made a purchase

Once you’ve made a purchase you still need to remain vigilant. Cybercriminals can target you even after you’ve made a purchase on a legitimate website.

If you think you’re a victim of a scam act now.

Follow our advice on what to do if you find yourself a victim of a scam.

Read the following tips to learn what to look out for after you’ve bought something online.

Check your receipts

Once you’ve made a purchase online, you should always receive confirmation of your order. This will most likely be in the form of an email. 

Legitimate websites will not ask you to click on links in emails to verify your order. 

If you are asked to do this, contact the buyer directly from details on their website. Do not reply to the email or click on any links. 

Make sure you check the email address of your order confirmation. 

Scammers try to impersonate brands or sellers by copying details of their email branding. What can give them away is their email address. Check the name of the email address to see if it matches up with the contact details on the online store’s website.

Look out for suspicious messaging.

Be cautious if the email order confirmation:

  • Doesn’t use your name
  • Doesn’t have many details about your order
  • Includes details about an order that is different to yours
  • Asks you to click on a link to verify or change your order
  • Uses a currency different to yours

Ignore and report suspicious messages

Be aware of any strange phone calls, messages or emails you get after buying something online. It might be spam, or it could be someone trying to get you to share your personal or financial details.

Do not follow instructions from someone who rings you saying there are problems with your online order. If you think the call isn’t legitimate, you can follow up. Hang up and call the organisation back using the phone number listed on their website. 

If someone has sent you an SMS, instant message or email that you think is strange ignore it

Visit If things go wrong to learn how to report suspicious messages.

Don’t save your payment details

Don't let your online shopping accounts or browser save your payment details. This includes your credit card or bank account details. 

If you let your browser or accounts save your payment details, you increase your risk of someone being able to access them. 

Monitor your online presence 

Make sure you know what information other people put online about you.

Don't put all your personal details online when using social media, blog sites or public forums. Check the privacy settings for your account to make sure you know who can see your information. Privacy settings sometimes change so you should check them frequently.

Fake delivery scams

Don’t let your guard down while you're waiting for your goods to arrive.

Cybercriminals can send fake parcel delivery notifications asking you to click on links to verify your delivery details. They might trick you into downloading malware or giving away your personal details.

You might get an email or text message pretending to be a parcel delivery service. It could say you have an ‘undelivered package’ waiting for pick up.

  • Be cautious if the message:
    • Doesn’t use your name
    • Doesn’t have many details about your order
    • Threatens to charge you more than you’ve already paid 
  • Think before you click. Australia Post will never ask you to click a link for parcel collection. Nor will they ask you to update or verify your information.
  • If you’re unsure, call the organisation. Remember to use contact details from a verified website or other trusted source.
A drawing of shopping cart with an a warning sign above it

Tony’s story

35-year-old Tony, from Albury, got caught out after spotting what he thought was a genuine ad on Gumtree for a second-hand Canon digital camera. Looking at the pics of the camera, it was a great price at $310, and would’ve been the perfect gift for his father-in-law, an avid photographer. He confirmed by text message with the Melbourne-based trader that the item was still available and then transferred via a bank deposit the funds plus $20 postage.

By the end of the week, Tony hadn’t received the item and followed up with the phone number listed on the ad, leaving numerous voicemails and sending text messages. After a further week of no responses and the ad disappearing on Gumtree, Tony came to the sad realisation he had been scammed. As he had paid by bank transfer as well, his bank was unable to help him recover his funds.

A drawing of a credit card with a padlock attached to it

Jamie’s story

59 year old Jamie wanted to buy her husband a set of golf clubs for his birthday that she knew he wanted. She searched online and found the clubs at generally the same price on online golf sites, EBay, Gumtree, and Facebook Marketplace.  Jamie then found the same set of clubs on a website she had never seen before, offering them for $300 less. Jamie emailed the website to double check it was legitimate.

Someone from the website emailed back, explaining the very last set of clubs was available but credit card information would need to be emailed because of technical issues with the website’s shopping system. An alternate payment method was offered to Jamie to send funds via PayPal with the “friends and family” option as the website needed to ensure payment came quickly. They also asked Jamie to check out their other clubs on offer and to open the attachments and links within the email.

Jamie was suspicious, did not respond with her email address and did not open the attachment or links. She went back to the website and noticed the images of the golf clubs were the same images from a reputable golf website, and that every set of golf clubs were “the last set available”. Jamie also checked reviews of the website and found many complaints that it was a scam. Jamie deleted the email and bought the clubs from a known and reputable golf site. The next week Jamie tried to show a friend the website but it had been taken down and was no longer available.

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