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Online shoppers flock to retail scam

  • June 01 2020
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Online shoppers flock to retail scam

By Cameron Micallef
June 01 2020

While traditional retail continues to struggle from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, online retail has surged, leading to the higher risk of scammers, an online provider has warned.

retail scam

Online shoppers flock to retail scam

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  • June 01 2020
  • Share

While traditional retail continues to struggle from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, online retail has surged, leading to the higher risk of scammers, an online provider has warned.

retail scam

Results released by PayPal has shown that shoppers are jumping online, with the merchant having its strongest yearly growth. This comes at the same time as many traditional retailers, including Target and David Jones, see store closures.

PayPal believes the leap in online shopping is set to have lasting impact on consumers and has accelerated Australia’s shift to become a cashless society by up to five years.

This surge of new users included a 65 per cent year-on-year increase in sign-ups among “silver tech” Australians who are 50 or older. 

PayPal Australia’s resident shopping expert, Danielle Grant, believes COVID-19 has been the catalyst for many shoppers as they have been forced to change buying behavior.

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“Although some may go back to their old shopping habits post-pandemic, an increased use of e-commerce will be the new normal in Australia,” Ms Grant said.

However, leaving traditional retail behind has not come without any dangers, with Mr Grant highlighting scammers’ increased online presence.

Common scams that have risen during the pandemic include charity scams, fake debt collection notices, bogus medical treatments and superannuation scams.

“Scammers are always looking for the quickest way to their goal; they will follow the path of least resistance,” Ms Grant explained.

Ms Grant has put together some tips on how Australians can best avoid falling victim to online scams:

  1. Recognise “impostors”: No government agency or bank will ever ask for your financial details via text or email, so make sure you’re speaking to the real organisation by using the details on their official web page.
  2. Avoid dangerous links: Many scams use embedded links that look valid but send you to a fake site. If you are ever in any doubt, don’t click through on the link. Again, contact the company the email claims to be from immediately through their official website.
  3. Don’t fall for a false sense of urgency: Most frauds say that an amazing deal is available… but only for a limited time, or they threaten that your account will be in jeopardy if you don’t take immediate action. Open your account through the official company website to see if the claim is true.
  4. Look for the lock: When shopping online, check to make sure the site is secure by checking that the web address begins with https:// and includes a padlock icon.
  5. Use a secure payment provider: These services provide an extra layer of safety. Instead of providing your credit card number to every website where you shop, you provide it only to the secure payment service.
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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