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Consumers warned of online shopping scams during Black Friday Sales

NSW Fair Trading 2 mins read

NSW Fair Trading is reminding consumers to be mindful of online shopping deals and scams during Black Friday shopping sales.

NSW consumers lost more than $2.5 million in online shopping scams last year. November is historically a time of heightened scam activity and was the most profitable month for fraudsters, fleecing $316,000 in 2022.

Shoppers should take time to do some research and read reviews of the store before they enter their card details, so they are certain the website is reputable.

It is also important to read the terms and conditions before you click ‘pay’ to understand the returns policy and how complaints are handled. Some businesses will not provide a refund or credit if you change your mind.

NSW Fair Trading has received more than 12,000 complaints against retail traders since January 2023. Clothing, footwear, and accessories recorded 2,080 complaints and electrical and white-goods were complained about 1,774 times.

If a product or service is purchased in Australia and is of poor quality, advertised inaccurately or isn’t delivered in a reasonable time frame, shoppers may be protected under the Australian Consumer Law, and may be eligible for a repair, replacement or refund.

If a product is purchased from an overseas based business, you may find it difficult to get a refund. Be careful of heavily discounted goods, especially luxury items, as they may be counterfeit or low quality.

As the silly season approaches, expect delivery time frames for online items to take longer than expected. Shoppers should allow extra time, check Christmas cut-off dates, and find out if it is being shipped from overseas.

For more information visit www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/buying-products-and-services

Quotes to be attributed to Fair Trading Commissioner Natasha Mann

“Shoppers should be mindful when looking at online deals, especially from overseas sellers. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is, and you may find it difficult to enforce Australian consumer laws.”

“Everyone should brush up on their rights if shopping during Black Friday Sales.

“Do a little research first, especially if you’re buying online, so you know the terms of a sale and when it may be delivered.”

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