Online shopping scams

Scammers advertise non-existent goods, hoping to use their so-called bargain to fleece you of your hard-earned money.

They advertise anything from puppies to boats, cars and car parts to concert/event tickets, sometimes masquerading as a local to lull you into a false sense of security.

Scammers may:

  • hijack other people’s advertisements and online seller or feedback profiles to fool you into believing they are a legitimate and reputable seller; and
  • ask you to transfer the money through a secure payment system. However, the site they refer you to is fake or a copycat site.

Buying something sight unseen from strangers is always risky – particularly over the Internet.

Selling to strangers online can also be risky. Scammers have been known to use fake cheques, money orders and stolen credit cards. See WA ScamNet's page on overpayment scams.

If you do discover a fake advertisement on an auction or commercial website, contact the site immediately so they can remove the advertisement.

To protect yourself view our tips on:

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