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Cyber checklist protects Christmas shoppers.

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The Hon Joe Hockey MP

Minister for Financial Services and Regulation

Federal Member for North Sydney





The Minister for Financial Services and Regulation, Joe Hockey, today issued a checklist a imed at protecting consumers when they bought Christmas gifts over the Internet.


The Minister, who is responsible for consumer affairs, said a recent ABS survey showed that Australian were increasingly using the Internet to buy goods with 425,000 people making 1.3 million orders and purchases over the Internet in the 12 months to August.  More than half of these cyber shoppers spent up to $250.


In light of this Internet use, the Minister recommended shoppers should:


* Read privacy and security informatio n carefully before making a purchase. You might want to ensure your email address does not automatically go on to a mailing address.


* If buying items from overseas, make sure the company pays for any returns if something goes wrong.


* Make sure the company you are dealing with includes a postal address and telephone number.


* If you are not familiar with a particular brand, contact the company first and get more information.  Sometimes information has been posted on the Internet but not updated for some time.


* Check that the Internet site is secure - you should look for a closed key or closed padlock symbol in the bottom corner of the company’s computer screen.


* You should note any representations about whether or not the goods are actually in stock and any guarantees about delivery time.


* Also, check the refund and returns policy


Media contact:

Matthew Abbott, Minister’s office, 02 6277 7230, 0413 076213


17 December 1998