The 12 scams of Christmas: Fake online sellers

With the festive season nearly upon us, ‘tis the season for online scams.

The Financial and Cyber Crime Group are reminding Queenslanders to be aware of Grinch-like scammers and be sure to stay alert to scams, such as fake online sellers.

While online marketplaces and classified sites are a popular way to buy and sell items, be aware that scammers are active on these sites and can pose as either buyers or sellers.

In the case of fake sellers, the biggest warning sign should be an item listed at a much lower price than similar items on the site.

If you show interest in the item, you may find the scammer claims they are out of town and an agent will deliver the item upon receipt of payment.

Payment requested through a wire service, money order, gift cards or in cryptocurrency – all of which are difficult to recover money from once sent – is another telltale sign of a scam.

Do not be tricked into sending a copy of your driver licence to someone you don’t know, even if they send you a copy of one. Scammers can use this tactic to steal your ID to scam more people.

Be wary of unusual payment requests, and always inspect an item before agreeing to a sale, arranging to meet where possible in a public space, during the day with a friend or family member.

For information on fake websites, phishing scams and parcel delivery scams, click on the links below:

The 12 scams of Christmas: Fake websites

The 12 scams of Christmas: Phishing scams

The 12 scams of Christmas: Parcel delivery scams

To learn more about scams, visit or the Queensland Police Service’s R U in Control campaign at

If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, via 24hrs per day.

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