As explained by Stay Smart Online:
Avoiding the crowds at busy shopping malls is just one of the reasons many of us prefer to shop online at Christmas time.
But be warned: Christmas is also a time when online cybercriminals go to work!
Scammers can create fake retailer websites that look like legitimate online retail stores. They can use sophisticated designs like stolen logos, '.com.au' domain names and even stolen Australian Business Numbers.
The big give away is that cybercriminals will typically ask you to pay by money order, pre-loaded payment card or wire transfer. Be warned: if you pay this way, it’s highly likely you’ll never see your money again or the item you just ‘bought’.
Be wary when buying products from online auction websites. Don’t deal with people who ask to negotiate or complete a transaction outside the website—no matter what the reason. Check seller reviews, typically shown by scores and comments, before closing any deal.
This advice extends to online classified websites. These offer goods and services but allow sellers and potential buyers to negotiate on a price outside the website. Scammers may pretend to be genuine sellers and post fake ads that advertise products far more cheaply than similar items advertised on the same site.
Remember: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
What to do if you get scammed
Contact your bank straight away and discuss the best option, which is often replacing cards or resetting online access.
Most big banks offer guarantees that they’ll cover any loss due to unauthorised transactions on your account, as long as you didn’t contribute to the loss, you protected your devices and passwords, and you let them know as soon as it happened.
You can report a cybercrime to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) and a scam to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s SCAMwatch.