Scams will feel the Ping

Australia has set a world first with the introduction of a free software package that alerts online shoppers to potential scams.

The package, called Consumer PING, is activated when shoppers indicate they want to make an online purchase and can be downloaded at www.consumerping.gov.auConsumer PING will offer online shoppers information about scams and safety and legal matters relating to their intended purchase as well as a list of product recalls.

Launching the product in Perth today parliamentary secretary to the Treasurer Ian Campbell said it is being made available in beta form to allow users initially to provide feedback.

"It is the online equivalent of someone at a checkout offering you advice as you are about to buy something," Senator Campbell said.

PING was conceived by an officer in Treasury's consumer policy unit and developed by TSA Consulting.

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