ON A KINDER NOTE with Dolly's Dream | Helping teens to stay safe from scams

Help your teens avoid falling victim to online scammers. Picture: Shutterstock.
Help your teens avoid falling victim to online scammers. Picture: Shutterstock.

It's not just older Australians who fall victim to online scammers. Last year, young Australians lost more than $5 million to scams, usually while shopping online.

To shop online safely:

  • Stick to websites which start with "http" and a closed padlock symbol.
  • Search for reviews by people who've bought these products before. (Don't trust reviews on the seller's website!)
  • Be suspicious if the prices are amazingly low.
  • Do a search using the exact words in the advertisement, in case it's been flagged as a scam.
  • Beware of sellers who want you to pay in unusual ways, such as gift cards, electronic funds transfer, money orders, or electronic currency like Bitcoin.
  • Buy from sellers with a normal street address, phone number, and email address.
  • Check the seller's terms and conditions. It's a bad sign if they don't list any.
  • Use strong, unique logins for online stores - don't reuse the passwords for your email account or bank account.

If you have been scammed:

  • Notify your bank immediately.
  • Change your passwords if you think they've been compromised.
  • Report it to Scamwatch or the Australian Cyber Security Centre.
  • If the scam involved sexual images or videos, contact the eSafety Commissioner.

- Jessie Mitchell, Dolly's Dream