Following the arrest of two people for their alleged role in a series of “fake trader websites” which offered heavily discounted outdoor furniture, BBQs, fitness equipment and outdoor marine motors, police are concerned the public is at risk from a new set of similar websites, Queensland Police say.
Between January 2016 and May 2017, 220 Australians reported falling victim to “fake trader” websites. While the websites appeared legitimate and advertised cheap equipment, anyone who purchased from the site using a credit card or bank transfer never received their goods. Victims were defrauded of almost $252,000.
Police are concerned a new set of websites have recently appeared and fear the public are at risk. The websites are quite specific and offer similar equipment at heavily reduced prices (and further discount for cash payment) with customers encouraged to pay via bank deposit after being told the site’s credit card facility is not operating.
It is important for the public to be in control and vigilant when shopping online and use only trusted websites and those that offer buyer protection.
If you have been a victim of these sites, report it to the ACORN website at www.acorn.gov.au