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Australians have lost over $21 million to buying and selling scams in 2020*, and this number continues to rise. So, it’s more important than ever that you’re armed with the right info to shop safely online. 

5 tips to avoid online shopping scams

Too good to be true?

If it looks or sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So, if you can’t find a deal that good elsewhere, it’s likely a scam.

Check site authenticity

If shopping at an unknown or unfamiliar retailer, search for reviews beyond the retailer’s site and/or use a website reputation checker.

Use secure payments

Where possible, pay using a credit card or PayPal. Avoid payments such as gift cards, cash, wire transfer or cryptocurrency.

Check link legitimacy

Check that a link is sending you to a website you recognise by hovering over it before clicking. Also, confirm the spelling of the URL is the website you’re expecting.

Verify buyers & sellers

Scammers can easily pose as both buyers and sellers on platforms like Gumtree, eBay and Facebook Marketplace, so be cautious and read the ratings and reviews of sellers.


Take our Security Wellbeing Check

Being scam savvy is just the start - safeguarding your information is important too. That’s why within the St.George App you’ll find the Security Wellbeing Check – a comprehensive list of features that should be updated to ensure you’re provided with additional protection. 

What are buying and selling scams?

Scammers can pose as both buyers and sellers, to try and scam you out of money or items you might be looking to sell. 

As a buyer, you may be tricked into paying for a product that may not exist or is never delivered. These are also known as online shopping scams (which includes phishing, websites, fake versions of real retail websites), classified scams, health and medical product scams, mobile premium services scams, or psychic & clairvoyant scams. 

As a seller, you maybe tricked into believing the buyer has paid in full or even paid over your advertised amount, including sending falsified payment receipts to support their claim. The buyer may request a refund for over payment or reimbursement for out of pocket expenses, or you later find the amount was not paid into your account.

What to do now?

If you suspect you have been the target of fraud or scams, or your identity has been stolen or compromised in any way, please contact St.George immediately on 13 33 30 and report the incident (or +61 2 9155 7800 if calling from overseas).

Forward suspicious emails to hoax@stgeorge.com.au or sms/text messages to 0457 114 629, then delete the email or message.

We can investigate and assist with suspected fraudulent activity on the accounts and services held with us.


Important information

* Scamwatch Scam Statistics – Buying or selling 2020 – statistics current as at 23.11.20

Read the St.George Internet Banking Terms and Conditions (PDF 226KB) at stgeorge.com.au before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.