Don’t get stung by scams or parcel delays this shopping season
- Scammers steal nearly $400,000 from WA online shoppers so far in 2023
- Check delivery timeframes for online items to avoid missing Christmas deadline
- 33 extra trading hours approved to make Christmas shopping more convenient
Online shoppers are urged to be on high alert for scams and to remember their consumer rights in the lead up to major retail events like the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day sales.
So far this year, scammers have stolen $396,293 from 153 WA victims in online purchase scams, according to new figures from WA ScamNet. In 2022, more than $9 million was lost to online shopping scams across Australia, according to the National Anti-Scam Centre.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Trish Blake encouraged online shoppers to do their research and read reviews of stores to be sure websites are reputable and safe to use.
“Major sales events are a chance for scammers to prey on excited shoppers looking for a deal, so it’s important to be careful,” Ms Blake said.
“Keep safe by avoiding suspicious websites, being wary of very cheap high-end products and offers on buy, swap, sell marketplaces.
“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.”
Consumers are also reminded to read the terms and conditions before clicking ‘pay’ to understand the returns policy and how complaints are handled. Some businesses will not provide a refund or credit for change-of-mind purchases.
“If you buy a product or a service in Australia and it is poor quality, not what was advertised or isn’t delivered in a reasonable time, you may be eligible for a repair, replacement, or refund. These rights still apply if an item is on sale,” the Commissioner said.
As the countdown to Christmas begins, it is important to check delivery timeframes for online items, which could take longer than expected to arrive.
“Allow extra time, check Christmas cut-off dates and find out if it is being shipped from overseas, as it may be difficult to get a refund or replacement from an international business.
“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.”
To make in-store Christmas shopping more convenient, 33 extra trading hours for general retail shops in the Perth metropolitan area have been approved and will begin on Saturday 9 December 2023 until Sunday 31 December 2023.
During this period, Sunday and public holiday trading has been extended an extra four hours a day, 8am to 6pm (normally 11am to 5pm), with an additional one hour on Saturdays, 8am to 6pm (normally 8am to 5pm).
From Monday 18 December 2023 until Friday 22 December 2023 inclusive, larger shops can choose to open one hour earlier from 7am until 9pm on weekdays (normally 8am to 9pm).
More information about Christmas trading hours for both Perth and regional WA is available on the Consumer Protection website.
Media Contact: Frankie Pennington, (08) 6552 9410 / 0429 078 791