As Kiwis gear up for the annual Black Friday sales, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Intelligence unit (MI) has issued a warning about scammers taking advantage of the heightened consumer frenzy. MI reports that scammers use major promotional events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday to entice consumers with fake online shops and advertisements.
One key tactic scammers employ is targeting brands that have no direct presence in New Zealand. MI advises customers to be wary of websites that end in nz.com or newzealand.com, as they may be fraudulent.
Shopping scams already rank as the second most common form of scam in New Zealand, according to a recent survey by Netsafe. To avoid falling victim to these scams, Ian Caplin from MBIE’s Consumer Protection team recommends considering three crucial factors when shopping during Black Friday weekend.
First, ensure that the online trader is legitimate and can be contacted if any issues arise with the order. Secondly, check that the trader will deliver the purchased products promptly. Lastly, be on the lookout for warning signs such as a lack of local contact details, a mismatch between the web address and the products being sold, and unusually low prices.
Caplin emphasizes the importance of online security and recommends looking for a padlock symbol next to the website address in the browser. Additionally, using trusted payment systems like PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Wallet can provide added protection.
For those seeking more guidance on avoiding online shopping scams, CERT NZ’s newly launched consumer-focused website, “Own Your Online,” offers up-to-date information. Furthermore, consumerprotection.govt.nz provides general information about shopping rights.
Q: How can I protect myself from online shopping scams during Black Friday?
A: To protect yourself, ensure that the online trader is legitimate, has a padlock symbol next to the website address, and offers secure payment options like PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Wallet. Stay vigilant for warning signs like mismatched web addresses and unusually low prices.
Q: Which websites should I be cautious of during Black Friday sales?
A: Be cautious of websites ending in nz.com or newzealand.com that may be fraudulent. Look for websites with a .co.nz extension for greater assurance.
Q: Where can I find more guidance on avoiding online shopping scams?
A: Visit CERT NZ’s consumer-focused website “Own Your Online” for the latest information on online shopping scams. Additionally, consumerprotection.govt.nz offers general information concerning shopping rights.