Avoid scams while spoiling mum this Mother’s Day

  • Be aware of your consumer rights when choosing a gift for Mother’s Day
  • Consumers have the same rights regardless of shopping in-store or online

The Office of Fair Trading is encouraging shoppers to be diligent when looking for Mother’s Day gifts, particularly online.

With more Queenslanders doing their shopping online, the perfect Mother’s Day gift is probably at their fingertips, but consumers need to take steps to protect themselves from scams, including fake websites.

Fake sites can look very convincing and it’s important that you don’t trust a site just because you’ve seen it advertised or shared on social media.

Many of these websites offer luxury items such as popular brands of clothing, jewellery and electronics at very low prices. Sometimes you will receive the item you paid for, but they will be fake, other times you will receive nothing at all.

The best way to detect a fake trader or online shopping scam is to search for independent reviews before purchasing.

More tips for shopping safely online:

  • Avoid products advertised at unbelievably low prices or advertised to have amazing benefits or features that sound too good to be true.
  • Be wary if an online retailer does not provide adequate information about privacy, terms and conditions of use, dispute resolution or contact details.
  • Ensure the website is secure before making payment. Look for the closed padlock symbol and make sure the website address begins with https (with an ‘s’ for secure).
  • Take screenshots and save copies of documentation including receipts and confirmation emails.
  • Be wary of clicking links in emails or social media messages as they may direct you to a fake site or download malware to your device to steal your personal information.

If consumers have problems with goods or services purchased from a business, they are encouraged to approach the trader in the first instance to try and resolve the matter. If this is unsuccessful, they should lodge a complaint with the OFT online at http://www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Quotes attributable to Commissioner for Fair Trading Victoria Thomson:

“It’s great to be able to purchase thoughtful gifts online and at any time from the comfort of our homes but we should still take the time to evaluate what we are buying, like we would in a physical store,” Ms Thomson said.

“Do not trust a website just because you have seen it advertised or shared on social media.

“We don’t want anyone losing money to scammers or not receiving presents they paid for in the lead up to Mother’s Day.

“With online scammers becoming more sophisticated we just need to take extra care before making a quick purchase online.”