Detectives say criminals are ready to attack online extravagances and are urging the public to be weary.
“Do your research, do your due diligence, check out legitimate websites and make cost comparisons,” said Detective Inspector Vince Byrnes.
“We want you to be safe online and stop these scammers taking your hard-earned money.”
“This is where a person will buy a puppy online, without being seen, due to COVID restrictions they cannot visit the animal,” he said.
“We have seen puppy scams in Australia to the extent that the person has not only lost money, but then they have been asked to pay for the funeral of that nonexistent puppy and the person has paid that money.”
The public is urged to keep an eye out for popular products, such as drones, phones and shoes, which are offered at extremely low prices during sales.
“Whatever you would like to buy online, scammers have a footprint in that area,” he said.
“They are targeting those high-volume hot items to build their scams to extract your money.”
Police say consumers should not click on suspicious links and instead go directly to websites with “https” in the URL.
The “s” stands for secure and represents an additional layer of security.
Buyers are also urged to avoid public Wi-Fi when making a purchase and to use only reliable online payment systems.
“When paying online, we ask that you use a credit card or a well-known payment platform, which offer digital safeguards and consumer protection,” said Inspector Byrnes.
“When sending payments with bitcoins or cryptocurrencies or direct bank transfer, you do not have the security that these well-known sites give you.”