Police warn Queenslanders of online barbecue scam

BEWARE: Police are warning of an online barbecue scam.
BEWARE: Police are warning of an online barbecue scam.

POLICE have warned south-east residents to be wary when shopping online, with more than 20 people tricked into paying for barbecues that never arrived.

The State Crime Command's Financial and Cyber Crime Group has seen an increase in complaints about fake online businesses offering barbecues priced between $500 and $1500.

"Once the customer pays into the bank account provided by the business they receive no further contact and do not receive the barbecue," a spokesperson said.

"Police have commenced investigations regarding this scam."

Two websites - bbqdelight.com.au, and weberbbqstore.com.au - have been identified and are no longer active.

"Unfortunately a number of people were caught in the lead-up to Christmas with what appeared to be generous discounts being offered for Weber barbecues and accessories," a police spokesperson said.

"Police are aware of at least 20 people from Queensland who have been affected and expect there will be more.

"The Financial and Cyber Crime Group are reminding Queenslanders to maintain control when shopping online by ensuring the website is legitimate and researching the website online prior to making any purchases.

"If a website does not participate with a secure payment service such as Paypal or a credit card transaction or is offering greater discounts for direct deposit it is most likely a scam. Usually the criminal is after your finances and your personal identification information."

"Queenslanders are known for their generosity and it's great to see so many people donating to charities to assist those affected by bushfires," he said.

"Sadly, there are some heartless and unscrupulous swindlers out there abusing this goodwill and seeking to line their pockets from a national tragedy.

"Donating to a registered charity is the best way to ensure your money reaches the people or cause you want to help."