Take a sec to check that an online shopping deal isn’t a scam says the New Zealand Banking Association as we head towards the Black Friday and Cyber Monday events starting tomorrow.
“In a cost-of-living crisis getting a bargain is more tempting than ever, especially as we head into the Christmas season with its Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales promotions. Scammers use this time of year and these shopping events to target unsuspecting customers. That’s especially true for online shopping deals,” says New Zealand Banking Association chief executive Roger Beaumont.
“It pays to take special care when shopping online, especially if you see a deal that seems too good to be true. It’s easy to check if you’re dealing with a legitimate merchant, for example by checking the website address and payment options, and reading online reviews for the company.
“It’s worth taking a moment to check who you’re dealing with online before parting with your money and your personal information.”
How to stay safe while shopping online
Shop with trusted retailers – legitimate merchants will be easily accessible online and won’t ask for your personal details through links in texts and emails.
- Check the website address is secure – make sure website addresses begin with https and end with a reputable domain name like .org, .com or .nz. If you followed a link to get to the site, do an extra search to confirm the site is genuine.
- Read independent reviews – read reviews of the website you’re using before you buy. Scammers may copy reputable brands to trick shoppers.
- Check the payment method – be suspicious of requests for payment with a gift card. Cryptocurrency and gift cards are often preferred by cyber-criminals because they’re difficult to trace.
- If it seems too good to be true, it probably is – while your favourite brand offering popular items at a heavily discounted rate may be tempting, check whether the offer is real before making a payment. If the same discount is not being offered by the brand in-store, it is unlikely to be a genuine deal.
Report it to your bank – if you think you’ve been scammed, contact your bank as soon as possible to see if they can help get your money back.
NZBA recently announced a suite of initiatives to help fight scams, including driving further public awareness of scams and how to avoid them. For more information, see: https://www.nzba.org.nz/2023/09/15/banking-industry-to-lead-the-way-on-national-cross-sector-approach-to-scams/.