Avoid disappointment, get on top of Christmas shopping early

WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

Christmas is an exciting and magical time of year but the lead up to the big day can often be chaotic and stressful. With online shopping scams and delivery delays, Western Australian shoppers are urged to get on top of their Christmas shopping early to avoid disappointment.

Online shopping is an easy and convenient choice to buy Christmas gifts, but Western Australian shoppers should be aware of scammers looking to trick unsuspecting victims into buying a product they may never receive.

Already in 2022, WA ScamNet reports 354 Western Australians have lost a total of $1,074,637 to online shopping scams through a range of fake websites and social media pages.

To be cyber safe when shopping online, look at the overall quality of the website or social media page. If there are grammatical errors, poorly edited images and no address for their location, it could be a scam.

Another red flag is the method of payment requested, only pay by credit card or a secure payment method like PayPal. That way, if something goes wrong, you can get your money back much easier. Don’t be fooled into paying via electronic funds transfer, money order, pre-loaded money card or crypto currency as it is unlikely you will get your money back through this method if you don’t receive your goods.

With record numbers of Australians shopping online, deliveries are already surging so it is recommended to do online shopping and post your Christmas gifts early. Check the guide on the Australia Post website for when to post parcels so they arrive in time for Christmas.

Online retailers should provide a timeframe for delivery and if your goods fails to arrive by the timeframe indicated (or within a reasonable amount of time if no timeframe was indicated), your Australian Consumer Law (ACL) rights mean you can ask for a refund or credit.

For goods that don’t arrive, you can seek a chargeback from your financial institution if you paid via credit card. If you paid by PayPal you can lodge a dispute for a refund.

The best advice to ensure your Christmas gifts make it under the tree this year, is to shop in local brick and mortar stores or give preference to Western Australia online retailers.

Western Australian shoppers can report a scam on the WA ScamNet website at www.scamnet.wa.gov.au

Gary Newcombe city 6
Gary Newcombe city 6, by CP Media

Gary Newcombe

Commissioner for Consumer Protection

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