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Danger Zone

So you’re one of the lucky ones who’s secured tickets to a Taylor Swift concert. You’ve even been organised enough to book a reasonably priced Airbnb for the occasion. The excitement level is rising.

Then you get a message. The Airbnb host is cancelling your reservation. You will have to find somewhere else to stay closer to the event when almost everything is booked out or is really expensive. Worse still, you later discover the host has relisted your accommodation for a higher price for the same time.

When Louise* logged in to the Qantas app to check her return flight from a family holiday she was shocked to find the booking was no longer there.

But she was filled with horror when she found out the reason. Her former husband, who has a police-initiated domestic violence order (DVO) in place against him for harassment and stalking, had cancelled them.

We’re always on the hunt for a good deal, whether buying or selling, so it’s hardly surprising that online marketplaces such as Facebook and Gumtree have proved so popular.

But wherever there are bargain hunters, there are scammers. There have even been instances of criminals using marketplaces as a way into homes. Police in Brisbane warned of an alarming increase in offences targeting online sellers.

Are you one of the thousands of Australians affected by Qantas flight cancellations? Forced into a long layover at an international airport? Or hundreds of extra dollars out of pocket after your flight was rescheduled at the last minute?

You would be furious to learn that the national carrier had cancelled those flights well before you booked. Or that even if you had booked a real flight, rather than a ‘ghost’ one, Qantas delayed telling you that it had cancelled your flight for an average of 18 days.

Hyundai and Kia are facing two class action lawsuits in Australia over allegations that the car manufacturers sold cars with potentially faulty engines that breached Australian consumer law. The lawsuits come after a series of recalls and safety concerns in Australia over the past few years.

On 15 February 2023, law firm Johnson Winter Slattery filed lawsuits against Hyundai and Kia, claiming that vehicles sold since 2011 were fitted with defective engines that violate Australian consumer law.

Gap Studios, a photography studio based in Newstead, Queensland, has been accused of using unethical and manipulative business practices and unfair contract terms to deceive customers into spending thousands of dollars on photos.

The studio frequently promotes "free" photography sessions on social media, encouraging people to sign up with the promise of a chance to win the free photography experience. However, those who enter the competition are in for a nasty surprise.

Wanting a night out with friends? Keen to try something new? Do a quick Google search and up comes a bunch of restaurants nearby, one with far more positive reviews than the rest. But are they real? Fake reviews for everything from bakeries to dental services are abundant on the internet, and separating them from the real deal can take time and effort.

It’s hard to know exactly how many aren’t genuine, with estimates varying from about 10 percent to a third of all online reviews. Google is home to six times as many reviews as any other portal, even it has trouble keeping up. Last year the search engine said it removed 95 million reviews that did not meet its guidelines.