Queensland consumers need to be scam aware

Published Wednesday, 15 March, 2023 at 11:55 AM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

  • World Consumer Rights Day is 15 March each year to raise awareness about consumer rights and needs.
  • Australians are losing an increasing amount to ‘buying and selling’ scams

World Consumer Rights Day is a timely reminder for Queensland shoppers to be on the look-out for scammers – and importantly, know what to do if you think you’ve been scammed.

In January this year alone, Australian’s reported losses of more than $4 million to ‘buying and selling’ scams to Scamwatch, up from $3.55 million in January 2022.

And Queenslanders have reported losses of more than $481,000 to ‘buying and selling’ scams in January 2023 – this is an increase of almost 20 per cent compared to last year.

The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman is wanting Queenslanders to know how avoid falling for scams and understand their consumer rights when shopping online or in-store.

Buying and selling scams can include:

  • Online shopping and classified scams where scammers pretend to be a legitimate online business with a fake website or fake advertisement on a classifieds website.
  • Payment scams where the victim is selling an item and is tricked into handing over money to scammer because they believe the scammer has either paid too much or they are led to believe they have to send money to use PayID to receive payment.
  • Health and medical scams where scammers offer health products at low prices that the consumer never receives, or they make false promises about their ‘cure-all’ products.

If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. You can also report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. 

Queenslanders are encouraged to check the Scamwatch website regularly to stay updated on the latest scams and how to avoid them.

Know your consumer rights:

  • If an item is faulty or doesn’t match the description, businesses must offer a refund, repair or replacement for any faulty goods - that includes online purchases too.
  • Businesses don't have to offer you a refund if you change your mind.

For more information on your consumer rights, visit the Office of Fair Trading website.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman:

“We know scams are becoming more sophisticated, and the statistics show Queenslanders are losing more money to consumer scams.” 

“Whether you’re buying goods or services, it’s important you do your research. Check reviews online and always be cautious if you’re asked to send upfront payment for a service."

“When making online payments, make sure you are using a secure payment service - look for a URL starting with ‘https’ and a closed padlock symbol, or use a payment provider such as PayPal."

“My advice is, if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

“It’s also important that Queenslanders know their consumer rights apply, regardless of shopping online or in-store."

“If you don’t get what you paid for in a product or service, you have rights as a consumer. These rights apply regardless of whether an item was on sale or full price.”


Media contact:          Natarjsha Kramer 0456 436 934