Online shopping scam: we lost $160 on a fake BBQ

Our story

We were scammed by a very clever website advertising cheap barbeques. Payment was via credit card with a 2.99% fee, or direct transfer with a 5% discount. Then we received an email saying that due to logistic emails our order was cancelled and being refunded. Not surprisingly, the money has not been refunded. Very clever approach. The first time I have ever been scammed.

Signs this was a scam

  • Very cheap prices from a very new website or seller were the first giveaways that this was a scam.
  • The website encouraged the buyer to pay via direct bank transfer by offering a discount for this payment method, and charged a higher fee for credit card payment.

Avoid this type of scam

  • Research the seller and check independent reviews from other consumers. If it’s a scam, often others would have also come across it and there may be reviews online
  • Use a secure payment method such as credit card or PayPal. The biggest tip-off that it’s a scam is the payment method — scammers sometimes steer you to pay using unusual methods such as money order, pre-loaded money card or wire transfer. If you make a payment this way to a scammer, you’re highly unlikely to see that money again.

 

*The story above is based on one or more real scam reports received by the ACCC. For privacy purposes the names and images of victims have not been used.

Have you been scammed?

If you think you've been scammed or know someone who has, report it to the ACCC using our report a scam page.

If you have lost money, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

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