The fake fashion websites scamming bargain hunters


Published on

Fake online shopping sites catch out Aussies looking for Black Friday bargains

, Queensland first homebuyers score a $15,000 boost, and ANZ launches digital home loan. 

Here are five things you may have missed this week.

aussies are falling victim to fake fashion websites set up by scammers

Scammers target fashion and footwear

If your weekend plans include scoping out red hot bargains in the four-day Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, it pays to shop with care.

Scam Awareness Week officially kicks off on Monday, November 27, however Catriona Lowe, Deputy Chair of the ACCC, is getting in early by urging shoppers to be vigilant, especially if you're hunting for Black Friday discounts on clothing or shoes.

"We have seen an alarming increase in reports of fake online shopping website scams, which use the latest technology to look like genuine, well-known Australian fashion and footwear labels," says Lowe.

Even more worrying, the ACCC says scammers are paying for their fake websites to appear at the top of internet searches.

"This means you can't necessarily trust the first listing you see," warns Lowe.

To stay extra safe when shopping online, Lowe suggests, "Never pay by direct bank deposit, money transfers or digital currencies such as Bitcoin.

"You should pay by PayPal or credit card. You may want to keep a second credit card with a low credit limit just for online shopping."

ANZ launches digital home loan

This week saw ANZ launch a new digital home loan through its ANZ Plus brand.

What exactly is a 'digital' home loan?

It's a mortgage where everything is arranged online.

The ANZ Plus Home Loan Variable can be organised entirely through the ANZ Plus app including verifying your identity, having your home valued, and potentially receiving loan approval in a matter of minutes.

The ANZ Plus digital loan comes with a variable rate of 6.14%.

The catch?

The mortgage will initially only be available to refinancing home owners in metro New South Wales and Victoria.

Queensland doubles First Home Owner Grant

Queensland has just doubled its First Home Owner Grant (FHOG) from $15,000 to $30,000 for eligible buyers.

The increase means first-time buyers in Queensland now have triple the grants available as their counterparts in New South Wales and Victoria.

The doubling of the QLD FHOG is expected to encourage around 12,000 buyers to jump into their first home by 30 June 2025, when the boost is set to expire.

The additional $15,000 is being funded by coal royalties.

QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said, "I hope this puts the dream of owning a first home within reach of more Queenslanders.

"We can only do this because we're making sure coal companies pay their fair share."

The FHOG in QLD is available to those buying or building a new home (including granny flats and relocated homes) valued at less than $750,000.

The QLD FHOG boost comes as St George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA have signed up to the Home Guarantee Scheme, which lets home buyers get into the market with as little as 2% deposit and zero lender's mortgage insurance.

ASX announces CHESS replacement...again

The on again/off again task of replacing CHESS, the Australian Stock Exchange's ageing system that manages the settlement of share transactions and underpins a functioning sharemarket, has taken a new turn.

After scrapping a blockchain-based option in 2022, the ASX announced this week that it will partner with India-based TATA Consultancy Services (TCS) for a software-driven CHESS replacement.

Similar TCS software is already in use in Finland, South Africa and New Zealand, and is currently being introduced in Canada.

But don't expect to farewell CHESS any time soon.

The ASX is forecasting the project may not be fully implemented until 2029.

Pay $135 for a 50 cent coin? The buyers are lining up

Keen coin spotters may be keeping a watchful eye for the first $1 coins bearing King Charles's image, but serious collectors lined up outside the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra this week, eager to pay up to $135 for a 50 cent piece.

That's over 270 times the coin's face value.

Of course, it's no ordinary coin.

One side of the silver proof coin features six images of The Queen - the first dating back to the portrait that appeared on pre-decimal coins from 1953 to 1965.

For the less well-heeled, the same coin is available in cupronickel (the nickel/copper combination used for standard 50 cent coins) at the more affordable price of $15.

Neither of the newly minted coins will be in circulation.

A spokesperson for The Mint says it's common for numismatists (coin collectors) to queue at the Mint in Canberra when a new coin is released.

Ironically, as our use of cash has declined, interest in coin collecting has skyrocketed, with the global market valued at around $US8.7 billion ($13 billion).

Get stories like this in our newsletters.

Related Stories

A former Chartered Accountant, Nicola Field has been a regular contributor to Money for 20 years, and writes on personal finance issues for some of Australia's largest financial institutions. She is the author of Investing in Your Child's Future and Baby or Bust, and has collaborated with Paul Clitheroe on a variety of projects including radio scripts, newspaper columns, and several books.