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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Black Friday shopping scam warning for seniors

Queensland seniors are being warned to be alert to scam websites or text messages when shopping online for bargains this Black Friday.

Police say scammers are mimicking popular Australian fashion and footwear labels and paying for their fake websites to be at the top of online search lists, the National Anti-Scam Centre has warned.

Scam websites may try and charge an application or priority fee or ask for multiple forms of personal identification including your bank details.

Many of these websites look legitimate, but once people enter their information it can then be used for fraudulent activity.

“Scammers are faking top-selling labels and paying for their fake websites to appear at the top of an internet search,” said Seniors Minister, Craig Crawford.

“Seniors can’t afford to fall victim to these scams when every single dollar is precious.

“We want grandparents who might be buying gifts for grandkids online to be extra vigilant to scam websites as the Black Friday and Christmas sales really kick off.

“Taking advantage of our elderly residents is awful and we are working in partnership with Cyber Security to ensure these sites are shut down as quickly as possible.

“I want all Queensland seniors to be aware that the Seniors Card is completely free and only available through the Queensland Government, we do not accept third-party applications.

“Any seniors that believe they have been scammed should report it immediately.”

A Scams and Fraud Awareness service is available through the Seniors Enquiry Line (1300 135 500).

If you believe you have encountered fraudulent activity of any kind, you can report it at www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam.

Seniors who have already made a payment to a scam website should contact their financial institution and report a fraudulent transaction.

The Seniors Card is free of charge and applicants are never asked to pay a fee or provide personal identification such as bank or credit card details.

If you need to apply for a Seniors Card it is available directly from the Queensland Government, and there are a number of ways to apply, including:

  • Through the official website at www.qld.gov.au/seniorscard
  • By calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68), or
  • In person at a Queensland Government Service Centre.

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