Consumers

Trivago to pay $44.7 million in penalties for misleading consumers over hotel room rates

The Federal Court has ordered Trivago to pay penalties of $44.7 million for making misleading representations about hotel room rates on its website and in television advertising, in proceedings brought by the ACCC.

In January 2020, the Federal Court found that Trivago had breached the Australian Consumer Law by misleading consumers when representing that its website would quickly and easily help users identify the best deal or cheapest rates available for a given hotel.

Honda in court for allegedly misleading consumers about dealership closures

The ACCC has instituted Federal Court proceedings against Honda Australia Pty Ltd for making false or misleading representations to consumers about two former authorised Honda dealerships, Brighton Automotive Holdings Pty Ltd (Astoria) in Victoria and Tynan Motors Pty Ltd (Tynan) in NSW.

The ACCC alleges that between January 2021 and June 2021, Honda Australia represented to customers of Astoria and Tynan that the dealerships would close or had closed and would no longer service Honda vehicles.

Scammers targeting victims again through money recovery scams

Scamwatch is warning people to be aware of uninvited offers of help to recover money for an up-front payment, following a spike in reports of money recovery scams.

These scams target people who have already lost money to a previous scam by promising to help victims recover their losses after paying a fee in advance. Australians have lost over $270,000 to these scams so far this year, an increase of 301 per cent.

Ministerial direction

On 31 March 2022, the Australian Government announced that it had directed the ACCC to conduct an inquiry into towers used in the supply of mobile telecommunications and other radiocommunications services in regional areas, and into the feasibility of providing mobile roaming during natural disasters or other emergencies.

Learn how to spot a romance scammer this Valentine's Day

Scamwatch is urging people to watch out for dating and romance scams after Australians reported losing a record $56 million last year, an increase of 44 per cent.

Over 3,400 reports were received about dating and romance scams in 2021, including many people concerned about a family member who got caught up in a scam. Over half of all reports were about romance scams on social networking websites or dating apps.

Losses to scams are likely to be much higher than reported to Scamwatch, as our research shows that of all scam victims, only around 13% report to Scamwatch.