The Queensland Police Service Fraud and Cyber Crime Group (FCCG) is warning members of the public to be vigilant following a large amount of complaints from members of the public who have been defrauded in online shopping purchases.
The complaints involve members of the public arranging to buy goods from online auction sites or online stores, and having made payment, have not received the goods or alternatively the goods supplied have been of a poor quality.
The FCCG warns online shoppers to ensure they do their homework on online sellers and be aware goods offered at a significant discount may not be delivered after payment is made or the quality of the goods are of a standard lower than that advertised.
"It is a common methodology of fraudsters to create online stores that offer goods at significantly cheaper prices than that is available elsewhere to attract new customers before accepting their payment for goods and disappearing," Detective Superintendent Hay of the Fraud and Cyber Crime Group said.
"Once payment has been made, there may be little prospect of tracing the identity of the seller should the goods not be delivered.
"When purchasing online it's important to research the credibility of the entity you are dealing with, extraordinarily cheap goods do carry a risk that needs to be considered before parting with your hard earned cash."
The Office of Fair Trading is currently promoting National Consumer Fraud Week 2014 and is advising consumers to only pay via secure payment methods when shopping online.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said: "You should look for a web address starting with 'https' and a closed padlock symbol. Never send money or give your financial details to anyone you do not know and trust."
The FCCG also warns that should there be a dispute as to the quality of the goods delivered, if the seller is overseas there may be no opportunity to dispute the transaction.
National Consumer Fraud Week 2014 is running from 16-22 June and is all about learning how to identify, avoid and disengage from scammers.
Contact the Fraud and Cyber Crime Group if you wish to discuss your circumstances on 3364 6622.
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