Online Shopping
The Australian Government has issued a 10-step checklist you should always follow when thinking about buying something over the internet.

Checklist

The Federal Consumer Affairs Division suggests the following 10 things to check before shopping on the Internet:
  • Know the business - know who the company is and their full street address.
  • Know the products - check it has a valid guarantee, is legal, and will work in Australia. Goods and services you receive should match their description.
  • Check the contract - understand and print out any terms and conditions.  Check the due date and whether you need to be at home for the delivery.
  • Check the total cost - look for extras like currency conversion, taxes, customs duties, delivery fees, packaging and posting. Note who pays for postage if the goods have to be returned.

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  • Check for privacy - find out how your personal details will be used and decide whether you want them to passed on to anyone else.
  • Confirm the order - you should be given the chance to confirm or reject your order before you pay for it.
  • Keep records - print out your order before you send it and note any reference numbers. 
  • Pay securely - only use sites your browser recognises as secure. To do this, look for an unbroken key or padlock at the bottom of your screen. Don't enter financial information that isn't needed for the sale.
  • Resolve any problems - contact the trader about any problem as soon as possible. If the matter is unresolved, contact the relevant industry dispute scheme or your local consumer affairs or fair trading agency.
  • Look out for scams - remember, if something seems too good to be true it probably is.

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More tips
  • Make sure that the web address of the page starts https:// before you enter any personal information or payment details. The 's' stands for 'secure'. There should also be a small padlock that appears in the bottom of your browser.
  • Make a habit of checking your bank or credit card statements item by item if you purchase something on the Internet. If you see any anomalies or debits you don't  understand, contact the institution immediately.
  • You should never be asked to disclose your PIN (your Personal Identification Number) and you should never disclose it, even if the request claims to be from your bank or the police. And never, ever send your PIN number to anyone over the Internet.
  • Disclosing or not safeguarding your PIN may be considered by your bank to be a breach of the terms and conditions and this means you may be liable for any losses judged to arise from this disclosure.

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