‘Tis the Season for Scamming

This Christmas, warning bells should ring louder than jingle bells if you are asked to pay to receive a parcel.

We are now only days away from Christmas and sadly there are many scams out there with online shopping, romance fraud, parcel scams, charity scams, and more.  What we must all take note of, is to ensure that we know who we are talking to before divulging any personal information.  

Scamwatch – run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams – warn us of the 12 Scams of Christmas for 2022:

Scam 1:  Travel and accommodation scams

Whether we are holidaying locally or venturing overseas, scammers may try to obtain your money and personal details.  Scammers trick their victims into believing they’ve won a travel prize or scored a really good deal on a travel package, like a cruise.  Unfortunately these seemingly too-good-to-be-true holidays are nothing more than a scammer’s con.

Scam 2:  Flight booking scams

There are many fake websites that look genuine and make you believe you are purchasing an authentic flight ticket and only when you arrive at the airport do you find out that it is fake.  Protect yourself by always booking your flight through a legitimate travel agent, airline, flight booking, or travel website and be very cautious when deciding to purchase a cheap airfare – remember if it looks too good to be true then it may be a scam.

Scam 3:  Charity scams

At Christmas time there are a number of requests from various charities seeking our support.  Beware of scam charity emails and websites – they may use official looking logos and words but always check that a website is legitimate before donating.  If unsure, approach the charity organisation directly to make a donation or offer your support.

Scam 4:  Online shopping scams

Think you found that perfect gift online?  Beware, scammers post fake classified ads, auction listings and run fake websites.  If you fall prey to a scammer you will not only lose your money but will also never receive the item you thought you were purchasing.  

Scam 5:  Parcel delivery scams

The one time of the year when we are all very excited to check the letterbox or front door to receive a parcel or have sent a parcel to a loved one.  But remember if you are expecting a parcel from your family or friends, be aware of scams involving parcel collection.  Scammers may call or email pretending to be from a logistics or parcel delivery service such as Australia Post, claiming that a non-existent parcel could not be delivered to you.  They will offer to redeliver the parcel in exchange for a fee and may also ask you for personal details.  If you are in doubt call the company directly using their official customer service number to verify that it is genuine.  

Scam 6:  Gift vouchers and free product scams

Gift vouchers make handy presents for that hard to buy for person.  Never click on suspicious links on social networking sites, even if they are from your friends; be wary when filling in surveys and remember if you are in doubt about the authenticity of a free offer always contact the company directly. Always buy from an official source to avoid being scammed.

Scam 7: Door-to-door scams

Many traders still sell their products and services door to door over the Christmas season.  Protect yourself by asking to see their identification, do not agree to offers or deals straight away, and carry out a web search on the trader to see if there are other consumers who have left reviews on the quality of their product or service.

Scam 8:  Telephone scams

Be cautious of being contacted out of the blue by someone claiming to be from a government department, a business or a private organisation requesting personal information or payment for various services or fees.  Never use phone numbers or email addresses provided by the caller.  Never provide or confirm your personal, credit card, or online account details over the phone unless you made the call using details you found yourself and you trust the other party.  

Scam 9:  Christmas e-card scams

As the number of cards coming via surface mail reduces, many of us will receive emails containing links to Christmas e-cards.  These emails generally come from friends, families, or colleagues – they may have unknowingly forwarded on attachments containing hidden malware or links to scam websites.  Malware can be used to steal sensitive personal information sorted on your computer or to record your keystrokes when you enter passwords online.  Please be careful by never opening unsolicited emails.  As fun as they may look, exercise caution when opening e-cards even if they have come from someone you know, and never click on any links or open any attachments in these emails.

Scam 10:  Romance Scams 

If you are looking for that special someone online be cautious. Be wary of anyone who you have not personally met who asks you to send them money, gifts or your banking and credit card details.  Be careful as to how much personal information you share on social network and dating sites.

Scam 11:  Weight Loss scams 

Watch out for scammers offering ‘miracle’ weight loss pills and potions.  There are no magic pills for rapid weight loss, and be careful about offers for medicines, supplements, or other treatments. Instead seek the advice of your health care professional about healthy and safe weight loss options.

Scam 12:  Lottery Scams

If you receive a letter, email, or SMS out of the blue claiming you have won a lottery that you never entered – then it is a scam!


If you have been scammed, report the scam to Scamwatch.  If you require assistance, visit the Scamwatch get help page.

There’s so much to love and enjoy about the Christmas season that you don’t want to ruin the fun and joy of having to deal with Christmas scams.  Keep alert and have a scam-free and Merry Christmas.

By Kate Baines 


Courtesy of scamwatch.gov.au




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