Savvy online shoppers looking to snag a bargain for big ticket items are being duped by scam websites using genuine business credentials.
NT Consumer Affairs is finding an increasing number of scam websites from proactive investigations and reports from experienced online shoppers who are being scammed by fraudulent websites.
Personal monetary losses totaling almost $907 000 have already been reported to NT Consumer Affairs since November 2019.
Acting Commissioner Ms Sandy Otto said, “methods of deception are becoming much more sophisticated and scammers are stealing genuine ABNs to register domain names and set up websites.”
Since November 2019:
- NT Consumer Affairs has detected 77 scam websites.
- Despite the website domain being hosted off-shore and outside of Australian jurisdiction, 73 have been shut down.
- The remaining four sites are subject to shut down requests awaiting action.
- Consumers who have contacted NT Consumer Affairs have reported actual monetary loss totalling almost $907 000.
- This figure rises to $1.88m when it includes consumers that did not complete their transaction after seeing the NT Consumer Affairs Facebook warnings, and reported the site to NT Consumer Affairs.
- Losses are likely to be higher as many victims do not report their loss due to anxiety or shame.