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How to avoid getting scammed: retail industry expert weighs in

Online scams are becoming so sophisticated that even those experienced in the world of online shopping are falling victim to serious scams.

In 2023 alone, there were well over 301,000 scam reports, up 26 percent from 2022, suffering financial losses of over $477 million. Recently released ACCC figures show a sharp rise in older people being fleeced in social media scams.

With the level of sophistication we are now seeing with scammers these days, you really need to be hyper aware and careful otherwise you will get scammed. The scammers are so good, they can copy mainstream retail websites to the point where you can not tell the difference between the scam site and the real retailer’s site,” B dynamic founder and CEO, Mal Siriwardhane said.

As a leader in the industry of retail and logistics, Siriwardhane is a highly respected thought leader.

B dynamic is a leading logistics provider that delivers transparent, cost-effective and efficient logistics, warehousing and distribution services across Australia, including the major cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. It works many of the retail sector’s leading brands.

Siriwardhane has provided tips on how to help consumers avoid scam retail sites.

  1. How to protect yourself against scams with GWS

GWS might be an AFL team, but it also stands for Google, Website and Socials,” Siriwardhane said.

However if you remember GWS, it might just keep you from falling victim to a scam. If you are looking at an ad for a product online or you have come across a post on your socials that looks like a great offer – stop and GWS,” he said.

Firstly, Google the business and make sure you’ve arrived at the right website. Especially if you’ve clicked on an advertisement, don’t just assume that you’ve been taken directly to the right company website. Secondly, check the spelling of the website name. Scam retail sites normally have a different domain extension or a slight difference in the website spelling. Thirdly, check the retailer’s social media handles on different platforms to confirm that all the information and links are correct. If all three line up, then yes, you’re most likely on the authentic retail website,” Siriwardhane said.

  1. Take your time

Even if there’s a flash sale or limited time only offer on, take a few minutes to dig deeper and take the time to make sure that the retailer’s website is authentic,” Siriwardhane said.

As the proverb says, ‘a fool and his money are soon parted’. Even if the retailer is trying to get you to hurry by putting a time constraint on a sale, don’t rush into things without first doing your checks.

Putting that time pressure on you is a marketing technique but don’t fall for it. Another popular trick is putting fake data like ‘only 10 left in stock’ or ‘in 15 other carts’ to make you think that you need to act quickly if you want to get your item. Scammers can easily set up fake data, fake websites, fake profiles, fake ads and fake reviews. They even pose as businesses you think you can trust.

So, what are some warning signs? Check if the online seller has terms and conditions, an ABN or a privacy policy on their website. Sometimes you can get an invoice for a product or service you haven’t bought or used.”

  1. Look up reviews

Consumers are very good at raising the alarm bells online, so check online and scroll through reviews on reputable platforms like Google and Trustpilot to make sure you are dealing with a reputable company,” Siriwardhane said.

Platforms like Trustpilot work with the community to be as secure and trustworthy as possible, so they encourage all their reviewers to verify their identity and businesses.

Another tip that might indicate that a review is not reliable is if they use a lot of exclamation marks or use a lot of emoticons and emojis. This is a possible indication that the review is not genuine and has been auto generated.”

  1. If you are in doubt, don’t buy

If there is any reason for you to doubt the authenticity of a retail site, then don’t go ahead with the transaction. Better to be safe than sorry! It’s better to lose out on a sale than to get scammed. You might have lost out on some savings but at least you didn’t get scammed out of your money altogether,” Siriwardhane pointed out.

Also, why not get a second opinion? If you see something that’s caught your interest but you’re not sure, just ask a friend to have a look as well. Getting a second opinion can be useful too.”

What to do if you get scammed

These days, scammers use all sorts of ways to get us, through email, text messages, phone calls and social media. It’s no wonder that unbeknownst to us, we might get scammed. If you happen to get scammed, then I urge you to immediately stop all contact with the suspected scammers and make a report to Scamwatch,” Siriwardhane said.

You should also contact your bank or financial institution if you have provided any financial details or if you’ve recently made a transaction or money transfer. Unfortunately, it’s not likely that you’ll get your money back if you were scammed so it’s important to really protect yourself from harm.”

B dynamic Advantage

B dynamic Logistics has developed the industry’s leading middleware software called ‘B dynamic Advantage’. The solution connects to customer systems, warehouse management systems and transporter systems, providing customers with extensive integration options, custom data feeds, business intelligence, dashboards, reporting and so on.

About B dynamic Logistics

B dynamic Logistics is part of the B dynamic Group. B Dynamic Logistics is Australia’s leading one stop shop for ecommerce enablement and third-party logistics. B dynamic Logistics works with businesses to design and develop customised online stores, integrate flexible logistics solutions and provide pick, pack and delivery services to their customers.

The B dynamic Group was created in 2005 and currently distributes products for over 100 iconic retail brands and is one of Australia’s fastest growing logistics companies. The company has multiple sites in New South Wales and has now expanded its footprint into Queensland with a mega facility in Brisbane.


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