Updates

Don’t be caught out by online scammers when shopping this festive season

Queensland Government media release

With Christmas just around the corner the Office of Fair Trading is warning online shoppers to not get caught out when shopping online for Christmas gifts.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman wants Queenslanders to be aware of online scammers and know their consumer rights when shopping online.

“Since COVID-19, more and more people are doing their shopping online – but there are risks that consumers need to be aware of,” Ms Fentiman said.

“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.”

Queenslanders are encouraged to check the business reviews and make sure their website is secure before making any payment or providing any personal information.

Secure websites feature a closed padlock in the address bar or the address starts with ‘https://’ not ‘http://’.

And consumers should always check that they have legitimate contact details before making a payment or providing any personal information.
The Attorney-General 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, your consumer rights still apply,” Ms Fentiman said.

“If anything goes wrong with your online purchase, the retailer that sold it to you must provide a remedy. They cannot just direct you to the manufacturer, importer, or delivery company.”

“This year is expected to be even busier for our postal services so make sure you check the delivery timeframes,” she said.

“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.”

The Office of Fair Trading’s top tips for online shopping:

  • Always check you are dealing with a reputable seller.
  • You have the same rights as you would if you bought from a walk-in store.
  • Check with traders what their cut-off dates are to guarantee pre-Christmas delivery.
  • If products are faulty or do not match their description, the trader must fix the issue. They cannot refer you to the manufacturer or importer.

For more information about online shopping, visit the Fair Trading website or phone 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

For more consumer advice this festive season, follow the Fair Trading Facebook and Twitter accounts.