WA ScamNet has been notified that GardenOutdoorSales.com.au has now been shut down. The website was just a front to steal money.
Two consumers reported losing $133 and $520 after paying by direct bank transfer for items which never arrived.
We helped one consumer get the $133 refunded by their bank.
Even though this site has been closed down another version of this scam is likely to go live soon.
We’re still trying to get the site shut down (this can be hard especially if it’s operating from overseas) but the fact is, even when we do get it shut down another version is likely to go live shortly after.
Tips to avoid fake websites
- Be wary of ‘great deals’ served to you via an internet search or pop-ups. Scammers hope to catch you out when you impulse buy, for example because of the promise of a bargain.
- Be suspicious of sites you haven’t heard of before or that haven’t been online for long (copyright 2017 at the bottom for example).
- Consider the risks if there is no physical address, phone contact details or ABN.
- Watch out for sites asking for insecure payment methods (direct bank transfer or wire transfer).
- Protect yourself by using known reputable sites and paying by a secure system (padlocked) with credit card or Paypal, which provides you with an opportunity to seek a chargeback if you don’t get what you paid for.
- Use the internet to search for reviews before buying from a website as this will often reveal consumer blog threads exposing scam sites, or indeed one of Consumer Protection’s warnings.
- Be aware scammers create copycat sites of real online businesses. Pixelated photos can be a sign of this.
- Remember it’s hard to enforce the Australian Consumer Law if an online business is overseas.
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