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Danger Zone

Scammers like to take advantage of what’s popular and urgent. It’s no wonder that in a time of fear and uncertainty, scams spread like a virus, offering fake solutions and knock-off items. We have to be careful because as much as they’re after our money, they’re also out for our personal details and access to our computer. How can you avoid being duped? We’ve rounded up some of the most common trends in fake goods, plus helpful tips to avoid counterfeit tricks.

Checking our card statements should be an easy and hassle-free process, but what if a transaction you see surprises you? The suspicious amount might be a low value ride-share transaction you do not recognise. Or it might be a seriously large purchase that you know you definitely did not buy. Either way, your heart will skip a beat when you realise you have been stung by credit card fraud.

Our confidence and skills with online shopping are improving every day, which means we’re becoming more adventurous with our purchases. Clothes, snacks, bath essentials, shoes, whatever it is we’re looking for, there's surely an online store selling it. But, what can we do if the product we bought was actually a knock-off?

We all have our dream travel destinations in post COVID times. Due to the abrupt halt to travel, many of us have money stored in foreign currency and on travel cards. We’re trusting our travel money is safe until we can travel again. However there are some recent changes affecting travel money.

Living in the digital age means we're able to plan our adventures from the comfort of our home. We spend our time researching and coordinating, hopeful of having a fun time, usually with our favourite people in tow. So, how can you tell if the event going to be a fizzer or a best-seller when you're reading the promotions?

Scammers are constantly finding ways to exploit the current trend. People are out in force buying online, and as those packages go out for delivery, people expect to receive messages from shopping websites like Amazon and delivery companies including Australia Post. This makes it the perfect time for scammers to prey on consumers who are not paying close attention.

2020 has taught us that being safety conscious allows us to enjoy the finer things in life, like cafes, family reunions, weddings and (hopefully) travel. Home improvement projects have been extremely popular as we’ve spent more time at home than ever before. When it comes to shopping, all types of shopping, safety matters too. Each year Australia has about 650 consumer product recalls. But only about half of the affected products are returned to sellers. This amounts to about 1.7 million recalled products remaining in people's homes!

Whether it’s church groups, cosmetic suppliers or energy providers, when your door starts reverberating with that unexpected knock, the games begin. You’re in the race before you know it, your intellect strategically churning over winning solutions: Pretend I’m not home? Answer the door but shoo them away quickly? Listen to their spiel politely but tell them I’m not interested? Invite them in for a cuppa to hear what they have to say, you never know, I might save a buck or two?