Victoria Police urging Black Friday shoppers to beware of scam websites

Detectives from the Cybercrime Squad are urging online shoppers to be vigilant and wary of scams impersonating well known Australian retailers over the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale weekend.

The National Anti-Scam Centre has detected a significant increase in the number of reports of fraudulent websites impersonating the genuine online retail stores belonging to many popular high street brands.

Preying on loyal consumers, scammers will often impersonate popular brands using the latest technology to create convincing fake websites using the brand’s logo, designs and layouts.

Generally, they’ll include a “” domain name, and likely the stolen ABN number of the business they are purporting to be.

They might also pay for their fraudulent website to appear at the top of an internet search or offer the same products as the genuine brand at a significantly lower price.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, there have already been over 2,760 reports of fake online stores this year, resulting in a loss of over half a million dollars.

In total, online shopping scams cost Australians over $6.2 million between 1 January and 30 September this year.

You can report all scams to Scamwatch or by filling in an official online report to the police.

If you think you have been the victim of a scam, contact your bank or card provider immediately to report the scam. They may be able to stop a transaction from going through.

If you have been the victim of cybercrime, speak to police if you have concerns about a matter, or use online forums such as ReportCyber which will assess the report and provide them to police.

Further advice on spotting fake websites can be found here: Product and service scams | Scamwatch

Anyone with knowledge of these incidents and those responsible is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at

Quotes attributable to Detective Sergeant John Cheyne, Cybercrime Squad:

“An opportunistic scam like this one can end up hitting everyday Victorians where it really hurts, particularly those looking to get organised with their Christmas shopping during a cost-of-living crisis.

“Scammers are creating websites which look almost identical to the genuine brand’s website, and they’re also paying for their sites to appear at the top of an internet search.

“Always check that the website is secure – all official websites will use ‘https’ to ensure an encrypted connection between the retailer and the customer. If you’re unsure, type the full company URL into the address bar yourself.

“Be very cautious of phishing messages with embedded links to sales which can come via text message, social media or email. Look for typos or inconsistencies in the link itself. If you’re unsure, always type the company’s web address in yourself.

“If a website uses a non-secure payment method it’s a clear sign of a scam. Never complete bank or international transfers, money orders or pay via pre-loaded gift cards or cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Always look for secure payment method options such as a credit or debit card option or PayPal.

“And if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Some scam websites will advertise the same product as the genuine brand but at a much lower price point. Slow down and consider the legitimacy of something that looks too remarkable.

“You should also be wary of sponsored ads either within a browser or on social media – if you find anything that doesn’t look right, don’t click on it, and always report it to the platform.

“If you think you’ve fallen victim to a scam, contact your bank immediately who may be able to stop a transaction or cancel your card. You can also utilise services such as IDCARE to minimise the damage if you have fallen victim to a scam.

“We encourage anyone who has been subject to a scam such as this to speak to police.”

/Public Release. View in full here.