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#8 Only shop on trusted websites

A fake website can be set up in seconds offering incredible deals. Often the site is simply scraped from the legitimate web site and only the online form is changed. In Australia Scamwatch has seen sites with and even Australian ABN numbers – it is all fake.

Fake Websites
This is fake – only the shopping cart has been altered

Signs to look for

  • A well-known product is advertised at an unbelievably low price or advertised to have amazing benefits or features that sound too good to be true.
  • It offers even big discounts for payment by electronic funds transfer or a wire service.
  • It may insist that you use gift cards (iTunes etc) or buy vouchers before you can access a cheap deal or a giveaway.
  • You came to site via a social media recommendation instead of a Google search or from the legitimate supplier’s site
  • Be very wary of Black Friday deals – cybercriminals piggyback onto the click frenzy.
  • Be wary of any site that does not have HTTPS at the beginning of a URL address

All they want is your delivery address, email address, mobile phone number and credit card details.


  • Be very wary of shopping online unless you can verify it is a legitimate store
  • Use a secure payment service like PayPal so as not to reveal your credit card details.
  • At worst use a credit card with a low spending limit.

Top tip: Check out as a guest and don’t store your credit card details. This will reduce your risk of ID theft should the site suffer a data breach.

#9 Double-check online promotions

Retailers regularly run sales, and cyberthieves use tactics to trick and hook consumers. If you spot a promo offer on an email or banner ad that seems too good to be true, go straight to the source.

Fake promos

ACTION: Scan the legitimate store’s site, social media feeds, or catalogue, or contact the customer service team to ask if the offer is legit.

Top tip: Scammers are known to post fake job ads, too, so check to see if the job is posted on the company’s website or LinkedIn.   

#10 Steer clear of public Wi-Fi

Hackers can steal your data and install malware onto your device. Stick to safe Wi-Fi connections and personal hotspots. If you need to use a public computer, log out of every account and clear the browser history before you leave.



Get a paid VPN on all your devices and use it whenever you are on public Wi-Fi or making financial transactions.

Top tip: Do not use a free VPN – Read GadgetGuy’s wild, wild west article here and about the best paid ones here.