Media Release, 20 January 2012

Telstra today reminded its customers of the dos and don’ts of online shopping following reports of fake online shopping offers claiming to be from BigPond.

High value items, purporting to be BigPond Shopping items, are being advertised on other online shopping sites, such as eBay and Gumtree, with customers being asked to deposit money straight into a bank account.

Telstra’s Officer of Internet Trust and Safety, Darren Kane said this is something BigPond Shopping would never ask customers to do.

“This latest scam is among thousands of online shopping scams that are circulated every year and put customers at risk of fraud,” Mr Kane said

“Telstra urges people to be very wary of offers that claim to be from BigPond Shopping but are not hosted on a BigPond site”, he said.

If a customer suspects or have seen a scam like this, please report it to BigPond including all correspondence with the seller and a link to the original ad.

Telstra’s top ten tips on how to shop safely online:

  1. Do some research. Check out other items in a similar condition – is the asking price reasonable?
  2. Find out as much as you can about the item. Read the description carefully and check the photos closely. If you’re unclear about any details, ask the seller for a bit more information. For big ticket items such as cars and boats, it is always best to inspect them first.
  3. Check the payment and delivery options. Make sure you understand the payment and delivery options and any other terms or conditions the seller is stipulating before you commit to buying the item.
  4. Know who you’re buying from. Check the seller’s feedback and ratings from previous transactions. Reading feedback from other buyers is a great way to judge if a seller is an honest and reliable trader.
  5. Choose a payment method you feel comfortable using. Safer payment methods provide you with proof of payment. Never send cash in the mail or use money transfer services (e.g. Western Union) to send payments to people you don’t know.
  6. Be aware of the latest online scams. Pay particular attention to sales where the item seems underpriced.
  7. Trust your instinct. Always independently check an offer, scheme or sale before proceeding with it.
  8. If you have concerns regarding the legitimacy of a particular seller or advertisement(s), contact the website that is hosting the advertisement(s) for their advice.
  9. Be very wary of anyone requesting you to send funds overseas, it could be a scam.
  10. Be aware that counterfeit goods are sold online as well. If you are unsure of an item’s legitimacy, ask the seller if a certificate of authenticity comes with the item.

® Registered trade mark of Telstra Corporation Limited (ABN 33 051 775 556).