Kmart Australia customers have been warned to be wary of a new scam targeting bargain hunters.
A fake Facebook post is currently circulating, telling social media users that they can pick up a Nintendo Switch for just $2.95.
The post includes a photograph showing a doctored Kmart price tag showing that the gaming device had been reduced from $379.86 to $2.95.
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It further claims that the low price is due to contract dispute between Kmart and Nintendo – which is not true.
“Kmart broke its contract with Nintendo and is giving away a Nintendo Switch game console to every Australian for $2.95,” the caption on the scam post reads.
A concerned shopper shared news on the scam on a popular Facebook group, saying that her friend had lost $700 after falling for the fake deal.
“BEWARE. Another scam page going around, also there is a Dyson one,” she wrote on the Markdown Addicts Australia group.
“Do not fall for it. Friend did and has lost around $700. They just keep taking from your bank.
“Can’t stop it unless u email them and threaten with lawyers.”
Others also spoke up to reveal that they too had been fooled by the scam.
“Unfortunately I was one of those people who thought it was real,” one said.
“I just wanted to buy my boys one. The problem I now have with people trying to get money from my account.”
Another wrote: “I almost did it until I got to the fine print There it said about taking $54.00 monthly for….. well, I dunno what.
“I stopped there and cancelled. Now they keep sending me emails asking me not to forget them.
“I’m doing all I can to do just that, forget them!”
Many Facebook users were angry to see that people had fallen for the fake post.
“Anything too good to be true is a scam. Pity for those people who fall prey to these monsters,” said one.
Added another: “Oh Gees not good. Too many scams.”
Many thought that it seemed like an “obvious” scam and that consumers shouldn’t be “so gullible”.
But several Facebook users hit back at the criticism, noting that scammers prey on often prey on the vulnerable.
“This is just as infuriating as these comments,” one responded.
“These scammers target people with cognitive impairments, old age and and and. They prey on vulnerability. These victims aren’t gullible or naive, they get purposely targeted by predators.”
Added one more: “Just remember there are people out there who have disabilities, lower IQs, elderly, young people who would fall for this.
“Don’t always be so quick to judge people.”
The ACCC’s Scamwatch says phishing scams – like this fake Kmart post – work by fooling consumers into believing they’re dealing with a genuine retailer.
“Phishing messages are designed to look genuine, and often copy the format used by the organisation the scammer is pretending to represent, including their branding and logo,” it said.
“They will take you to a fake website that looks like the real deal, but has a slightly different address. For example, if the legitimate site is ‘www.realbank.com.au’, the scammer may use an address like ‘www.reallbank.com’.
“If you provide the scammer with your details online or over the phone, they will use them to carry out fraudulent activities, such as using your credit cards and stealing your money.”
Scamwatch encourages consumers to report scams here.