25 September 2023

Consumers warned of hard bargains online

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The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) warned online shoppers to take care on Black Friday and Cyber Monday held last week and this.

In a statement, the OAIC said the two major shopping events presented some of the greatest opportunities for potential thieves and scammers.

“Before tapping in your credit card details to grab an online bargain, check these tips for protecting your personal information, and don’t fall for a deal that’s too good to be true,” the Office said.

“On any website where you are entering personal information, especially credit card details, check that it’s secure.

“A secure or encrypted webpage should feature a padlock next to the left hand side of the URL and start with https.”

It said that if these did not appear, it might be a sign that the site was not secure.

“Most Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales promotions appear via email marketing. This is an opportunity for scammers to pose as legitimate businesses and financial institutions so they can steal your credentials,” the OAIC said.

“Our latest Notifiable Data Breaches Quarterly Report revealed that 20 per cent of all data breaches in the last quarter were attributed to phishing,” it said.

“If you are suspicious of an email, avoid clicking any links and go directly to the brand’s website or online store to verify the deal.”

The OAIC said that during a busy shopping period it was important to regularly check credit card transactions for fraudulent activity.

“The quicker fraud was spotted, the quicker buyers could protect themselves and their personal information,” it said.

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