The internet is currently abuzz with Black Friday sales, and if you’re not actively searching for them, they are probably popping up all over your social media feeds.
While this is a great time to find a bargain to spoil your loved ones this Christmas, Queensland seniors are being urged to be aware of fake websites masquerading as popular Australian brands.
The National Anti-Scam Centre has warned that scammers are mimicking popular Australian fashion and footwear labels and paying for their fake websites to appear at the top of online search lists.
These websites appear legitimate but may attempt to charge an application or priority fee or request forms of personal identification including your bank details.
This personal information may then be used for fraudulent activity.
These schemes are normally delivered by way of texts, calls, advertisements and investment scams focussed on stealing money and obtaining customers’ records and identity information.
Queensland Seniors Minister Craig Crawford has warned seniors not to fall prey to these scams and to be extra vigilant while shopping for their families online.
“Scammers are faking top-selling labels and paying for their fake websites to appear at the top of an internet search,” he said.
“Seniors can’t afford to fall victim to these scams when every single dollar is precious.
“We want grandparents who might be buying gifts for grandkids online to be extra vigilant to scam websites as the Black Friday and Christmas sales really kick off.
“Taking advantage of our elderly residents is awful and we are working in partnership with Cyber Security to ensure these sites are shut down as quickly as possible.”
He also encouraged those who fall victim to a scam to report it immediately.
“Any seniors that believe they have been scammed should report it immediately,” Crawford said.
“Seniors are saving thousands every year through generous concessions from the Palaszczuk Government and through the Seniors Card, and we want to keep those savings in their pockets.”
What to do if you encounter fraudulent activity:
A list of current scam warnings is available here: Scams targeting Queenslanders | Your rights, crime and the law | Queensland Government (www.qld.gov.au).