Rental scams targeting more Australians during pandemic

Australians have lost over $300,000 to rental and accommodation scams this year, an increase of 76 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Scamwatch has received 560 reports of rental scams so far this year, an increase of 56 per cent, with many using tactics related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These scams target people seeking new rental accommodation by offering fake rental properties to convince people into handing over money or personal information.

Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

On 30 July 2020 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) relating to the performance of their respective roles in regulating the Consumer Data Right system. The purpose of the MoU is to:

CDR Phase 2 test strategy November 2020

The ACCC has released the Consumer Data Right Phase 2 test strategy for November 2020. This strategy, which is designed for the banking sector, provides an overview of the ACCC’s testing approach to help existing accredited data recipients and data holders prepare for the November 2020 phase release. This includes the test stages, test scenarios and timing of industry testing. 

Sumo Power allegedly misled consumers about electricity pricing

The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Sumo Power Pty Ltd (Sumo) alleging it made false or misleading representations to Victorian consumers in relation to its electricity plans.

It is alleged that between June and November 2018, Sumo promoted 12-month electricity plans with low electricity rates and large ‘pay on time’ discounts of up to 43 per cent to residential consumers, while planning to substantially increase the prices charged to those consumers who signed up within a few months, or knowing it was likely to do so.

Etihad offers refunds for all cancelled flights purchased in Australia

The ACCC has welcomed Etihad’s recent decision to offer refunds to all consumers who purchased Etihad tickets in Australia which were then cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Etihad has confirmed it will contact consumers who booked directly with the airline, and Australia-based travel agents, to inform them that affected consumers can elect to receive a refund for a cancelled flight, even if they previously accepted a flight credit.