The 12 scams of Christmas: Grinch-like fraudsters target hard-working families in VERY inventive new ways – here’s everything you need to know to protect your bank account
- Warning issued over inventive scams targeting Australians over Christmas
- Fake ads for dogs encourage shoppers to send money through unsafe methods
- Other scams include fake websites, phishing and fake fundraising appeals
- Shoppers were urged to do independent research and avoid dodgy links
The Financial and Cyber Crime Group from Queensland Police has warned shoppers to remain especially alert against ‘puppy scams’ when purchasing pets.
‘Scammers know Christmas is a popular time to gift pets, and tug at people’s emotions posting fake ads of sought-after breeds,’ a statement said.
Australians have been urged to be wary of new and inventive scammers when shopping (woman pictured above online shopping) for gifts over the Christmas period
Queensland Police warned fraudsters would often post fake pictures of puppies (pictured above) ‘to tug at people’s emotions’ and trick them into transferring money
Queensland Police warned they had seen a rise in puppy scams this year and urged shoppers to do their own research.
‘Don’t fall for the cute pictures and cheap prices for what is a non-existent puppy – always do independent research,’ the statement said.
‘Cut off communication if the ‘seller’ requests upfront payments through unsecure methods such as wire or bank transfer.’
QLD Police also advised doing a reverse image search on the puppy photo and getting a veterinarian report on any animal before buying it.
Detective Inspector Vince Byrnes said families should always buy a pet they could see in person.
‘If a website does not participate with a secure payment service or a credit card transaction, or is offering greater discounts for direct deposit, it is most likely a scam.
Other common Christmas scams include fake websites, phishing scams, fake fundraising appeals (scam warning pictured above) and free gift card scams
Australians were warned to ‘think before you click’, always do independent research and never transfer money through an unofficial source (shopping website pictured above)
‘Usually the criminal is after your finances and your personal identification information,’ he explained.
Queensland Police also urged Australians to be wary of fake websites, phishing scams, fake fundraising appeals and free gift card scams.
Shoppers were warned if a product or price ‘seems too good to be true, it probably is’.
Telltale signs of an online scam include a website with minimal information and requests to pay via unsecure and unusual methods.
Scammers may also pose as a well-known brand or company to send fake messages to potential victims and drive them towards a fake website.
Scammers may then attempt to steal money or personal data or may infect your device with malware.
Detective Inspector Byrnes said shoppers should always ‘think before you click’ and always use secure payment methods.
‘We are reminding everyone to be alert to Christmas scammers and report any suspicious or unusual activity to Scamwatch,’ he explained.
THE 12 SCAMS OF CHRISTMAS
1. Bogus websites
2. Phishing scams
3. Parcel delivery scams
4. Fake sellers on online classifies/trading sites
5. Fake buyers on online classifies/trading sites
6. Puppy scams
7. Free gift card scams
8. Holiday scams
9. Impersonation scams
10. Fake charities or fundraising appeals
11. Romance scams
12. Remote access scams