Kmart Australia customers have been warned to be wary of a sophisticated new scam targeting air fryer fans and bargain hunters.
Several fake Facebook posts are currently circulating across social media pages in Australia, advising shoppers to pick up a Philips 4.1L air fryer for just $3.
Watch the video to see how the scam works.
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The posts include a fake photograph of an air fryer display at one Kmart store, with a price tag advertising the low price.
This particular model of Philips air fryer typically retails for as much as $199.
The posts claimed the low price stemmed from the closure of the company’s overseas warehouses – which was not true.
“Due to the closure of their warehouses with household goods in Russia. Philips company makes mega sale on the goods and Philips Air Fryer [is] one of them, promotional price till August 15 only $3,” the caption on the scam post reads.
“Hurry up, freebie will end soon!”
A concerned shopper shared the news of the scam on a popular Kmart Facebook group, urging Australians to be cautious.
“Just saw this, please tell friends and family to be careful,” she 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.”
Unfortunately, some revealed they’d failed for the scam.
‘I fell for it’
“I fell for it and lost $500 – I pray others don’t do the same,” said one.
Another said: “My elderly mum fell for it, she felt it to me last night. Am now on the phone on the phone to the bank trying to help her.”
It’s believed that once shoppers sign up to receive the $3 air fryer, the fraudsters then use their credit card details to take out more unauthorized payments.
In a disturbing twist, many social media users are posting on one of the scammers’ Facebook posts – encouraging others to take the group up on the deal.
“Thought that it was not the original, some kind of fake,” said one.
“But after I printed it out I was pleasantly surprised, it is the original. I advise everyone to take part, and I went to cook my husband dinner!”
In recent months, Australian consumers have been alerted about similar scams involving Kmart and ALDI products.
In July, fraudsters took aim at Kmart fans by offering Nintendo consoles for just $2.95. Weeks later, ALDI customers were also targeted in a sophisticated scam that offered LG flat screen televisions for free.
Thousands of Australians fell for both retail scams, prompting a warning from social media users.
“This is a scam. Granted it’s a sophisticated and very convincing scam – but it’s still a scam,” one said Facebook user.
The ACCC’s Scamwatch says phishing scams – like this fake Kmart Facebook 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 organization 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.