26 September 2023

Fair Trading warns of Christmas scam roasts

Start the conversation

The Office of Fair Trading is warning online shoppers not to get caught out by online scammers when shopping for Christmas gifts this year.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Shannon Fentiman said that since the COVID-19 pandemic more people were doing their shopping online and there were risks they needed to be aware of.

“We have heard stories of online shoppers who have fallen victim to dodgy traders, and with less than a month to go to finish the Christmas shopping, we don’t want to see anyone miss out this festive season,” Ms Fentiman said.

She urged people to check business reviews and make sure the website was secure before making any payment or providing any personal information.

She said secure websites featured a closed padlock in the address bar, or the address began with ‘https://’ not ‘http://’.

“Consumers should always check that they have legitimate contact details before making a payment or providing any personal information,” Ms Fentiman said.

“If the product is faulty, or it doesn’t match the description you were given, you are entitled to a refund, replacement or repair whether you have shopped online, in store or from an overseas website.”

She said that if anything went wrong with an online purchase, the retailer that sold it had to provide a remedy — “they cannot just direct you to the manufacturer, importer, or delivery company”.

The Minister said this year was expected to be even busier for postal services so delivery timeframes should be checked.

“It’s also worth remembering that if you paid via an online payment service or by credit or debit card, you may be able to reverse the transaction if there are issues with receiving the product,” Ms Fentiman said.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.