E-commerce

Online shoppers in Western Australia have already lost $396,293 to scams this year, prompting the state government to warn consumers to be vigilant about online scams ahead of the Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day sales.

“Major sales events are a chance for scammers to prey on excited shoppers looking for a deal, so it’s important to be careful,” said Trish Blake, commissioner for consumer protection at Western Australia’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation, and Safety.

“The best insurance against being scammed is to only pay by credit card or a secure payment method such as PayPal as there may be an opportunity to get your money back if something goes wrong or the item is not supplied.”

The government agency also reminded consumers to read the terms and conditions of the returns policy and how the sellers handle complaints before purchasing the items.

In addition, shoppers should also check Christmas cut-off dates and if the products would be shipped from overseas as it may be difficult to get a refund or product replacement from a business based abroad.

“To be totally safe from both parcel delays and fake websites, the best option for Christmas shoppers is to buy from a bricks and mortar store where they can take immediate possession of the gift.” said Blake.

The state government has approved 33 extra trading hours for general retail shops in the Perth metropolitan area. This will start on December 9 until December 31.

During this period, businesses will trade from 8 am to 6 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and on public holidays.


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