Aussies are being warned of a Facebook scam that's targeting Kmart shoppers and it could cost bargain hunters a lot of hard-earned cash.
Various fake Facebook posts are circulating across social media pages in Australia, urging shoppers to buy a Philips 4.1L air fryer for just $3, with the customer's credit card details then being used for unauthorised payments, it's been reported.
The post in question shows what appears to be a photo of an air fryer on display in a Kmart store with a sign donning the bargain $3 price tag.
This particular Philips air fryer typically retails at about $199, although isn't sold at Kmart. But bargain hunters would no doubt jump at the opportunity to score such an incredible deal.
The post claims the low price is a result of the company's closure overseas and urges customers to "hurry up" before they miss out. But those tempted by the incredible price end up hundreds out of pocket.
"Details of this scheme are still emerging, but it looks like the fake Kmart Air Fryer deal may be a ploy to get people’s credit card numbers or other details that allow the theft of money," consumer online shopping expert Dr Suelette Dreyfus told Yahoo News Australia.
"It’s easy to get ripped off if you’re not going in with a critical eye."
Dr Dreyfus said "if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is" and warned shoppers to stay alert while browsing online.
"Some scams can look very real, replicating big brand logos and faking photos to give the scam legitimacy," she said.
"Don’t get fooled, and don’t accidentally help fool others."
Warning from concerned shopper
Unfortunately, some Aussies have already fallen victim to the air fryer ploy with one woman reportedly losing $500, Seven News reported.
She made the admission in a popular Kmart Facebook group when a concerned shopper warned others of the scam.
"Just saw this, please tell friends and family to be careful,” she reportedly wrote.
"I know many will look at this photo and see it’s a scam, but there are many people with disabilities or people who are elderly who aren’t as savvy."
Posting in the comments, another said her elderly mum also fell for it.
"She sent it to me last night. Am now on the phone to the bank trying to help her," she wrote.
While the ACCC's Scamwatch is aware of such phishing scams, it's believed they've not had any reports of this specific Kmart one.
"Common to many of these scams claiming to sell cheap or free items is a request to provide credit card information to facilitate a very small payment," an ACCC spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.
"Providing that credit card information results in the victim being signed up to high-cost recurring subscriptions or memberships."
Several online scams targeting Aussies
Unfortunately, it's just one of many that've been circulating in recent months.
In June, Kmart was the subject of yet another online scam that saw a Nintendo Switch game console being flogged for just $2.95.
"Beware... another scam page going around," a Facebook user shared at the time, warning that a similar scam page for Dyson was also circulating.
In 2021, Australians lost a record amount of more than $2 billion to scams, the ACCC reported
Meanwhile, a convincing WhatsApp scam where criminals pretend to be the recipient's son or daughter has already cost Aussies a whopping $2.3 million so far this year.
"Victims of these scams should immediately contact their bank or financial institution," the ACCC advised.
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