Remember the days of writing out a whopping long Christmas list, circling a parking lot for hours on end, and tackling a stampede of feisty shoppers so you can desperately snatch up the goodies? Yep, us too.
Besides making our therapists rich, this mad method didn’t do much to put us in the Christmas spirit.
And while, to some extent, this is still the case (we all know someone who won’t start their gift buying until 4:45pm on Christmas Eve), online shopping has vastly changed the consumer landscape.
Statistics show that last Christmas almost 50% of all presents were bought online, with that figure expected to rise again this December.
What it does mean, however, is that this big sales period becomes a magnet for potential online scammers wanting to target consumers.
To avoid this, Steve Tinker, Telstra Area General Manager, sat down with us and laid out the best ways to stay safe when shopping online this silly season.
- Watch out for new stores advertising on social media sites claiming to sell brand name goods, such as clothing and jewellery.
- Check URL addresses, as scammers will often replicate the URL to look similar to a well-known site, with only minor spelling differences.
- Beware of fake discount vouchers that circulate via email, SMS, and instant messaging apps. If you’re interested in any of these offers, the best thing to do is verify them by searching online or directly going to the retailer’s website.
Finally, while having protection on your broadband service and mobile devices helps avoid scams and internet fraud, the key is to really be alert to any unexpected links or dodgy website pop-up stores. Only ever shop from trusted and reputable online stores.
Follow these tips and you’re unlikely to find Scamta Claus squeezing his way down your chimney with his sack of schemes, scams and cons this festive season. Not even Mummy wants to be found kissing him.
For more information, check out Scam Watch online, a site hosted by the Australian Government, or call into one of Bendigo’s local Telstra Stores and ask about Telstra Broadband Protect.