Christmas shopping: How heartless scammers are targeting Australian shoppers this holiday season

Holiday shoppers are urged to exercise extreme caution when purchasing gifts for family and friends this festive season.

Fake toy store websites, puppies way underpriced, and SMS alerts for deliveries you never ordered are just a few of the sneaky scams expected to be making the rounds this year.

Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones urges people to shop with a crucial mantra: “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

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“The ACCC told us there was about $2 billion worth of fraud last year … they expect that to double this year and there’s always a spike around the holiday season,” he told the ABC.

“The Government wants people to know that these things are likely to increase around the Christmas period and that they need to be extra careful.”

Christmas shoppers have been warned of scammers targeting Australians buying gifts for family and friends this holiday season. Recognition: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Buyers should be wary of people who claim to be selling unwanted gifts at reduced prices, while also encouraging them to buy puppies from registered breeders or adopt them from the RSPCA.

Another common trap — known as the “Hi Mum” scam — involves criminals posing as family members and claiming they’ve lost their phone in order to obtain personal information.

People are being told not to click on suspicious texts or emails about packages ready to be shipped and to always shop from trusted websites and pay securely through services like PayPal.

“The holiday shopping bonanza is a boon to scammers who set up fake stores or classifieds … they also use phones and other communication devices to impersonate family members during the holiday season,” Jones said.

“A few simple steps, like shopping at trusted retailers and talking to family on the phone instead of texting, can make a world of difference.”

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https://7news.com.au/news/crime/how-heartless-scammers-are-targeting-christmas-shoppers-this-festive-season-c-9062304 Christmas shopping: How heartless scammers are targeting Australian shoppers this holiday season

James Brien

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