Beware of NBN scams

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning consumers and businesses to watch out for scams relating to the National Broadband Network asking you for financial details or to buy equipment you don’t need.

“As the NBN rollout progresses, you may be receiving legitimate materials from NBN Co and telecommunications service providers outlining your options when it is available in your area,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Priorities 2015

In his first speech of the year, Chairman Rod Sims launches the 2015 edition of the ACCC’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy at CEDA in Sydney. Mr Sims announces cartel conduct in government procurement, truth in advertising, competition and consumer issues in the health sector and industry codes as new priorities. He also outlines the ACCC’s role in ensuring privatisation delivers for consumers, improving the functioning of the financial system given the competition focus of the Murray report, ensuring a smooth transition for consumers to NBN services and reviewing water rules to improve outcomes in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Australians lose $75,000 every day to romance scams

This Valentine’s Day, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning the online dating community to beware of any love interest who asks for money.

“Sadly, $28 million was reported lost to romance scams in Australia last year by 1,032 people. Of this, 81 people reported losing over $100,000, showing just how financially devastating these scams can be. We know these figures are only the tip of the iceberg as many victims are reluctant to admit to friends, family or authorities that they fell for a scam,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Donate safely this bushfire season

If you are considering donating to bushfire appeals, the ACCC is encouraging you to double check if the appeal or its organisers are legitimate so that your generosity reaches victims, not scammers.

“There are many worthy organisations that provide much-needed assistance to those affected by the summer bushfires,” ACCC Acting Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

“Unfortunately, there are also scammers who capitalise on tragic events as soon as they happen and divert funds away from those in need.”

ACCC updates on scam disruption project

In August 2014, the ACCC commenced its Scam Disruption Project which aims to stop potential scam victims from sending more money to scammers. The project involves utilising financial intelligence to identify Australians sending funds to West African nations and advising them they may have been targeted by a scam.

The project commenced because losses reported for relationship scams continues to be a significant concern with total losses for dating and romance scams this year just over $23 million.

Think twice: Scammers delivering Christmas cons

Watch out for scammers trying to cash-in on the Christmas mail rush by posing as postal services, warns the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“Australians send and receive millions of parcels at Christmas time. If you are expecting delivery of a gift for family or friends, or might receive a present, it’s important to beware of these scams arriving in your inbox,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

ACCC email scam hoax

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning the public that a recent spate of hoax emails have been sent out advising people they are entitled to $400.

The email claims that ACCC action against a scammer resulted in an order to pay $195,000. It goes on to state that individuals are entitled to $400 and need to ring a +009180133XXXXX number.

“This is clearly a fake email that relies upon the public trust in the organisation it pretends to represent,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Don't book a scammer's holiday

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is warning consumers to watch out for travel scams.

The ACCC has received 1,650 complaints about travel scams this year, with $100,000 reported lost. Most complainants were contacted by phone and many were offered holiday vouchers for $2,000 or $3,000. Others were sold fake trips to Florida or the Bahamas including tickets to theme parks or cruises at greatly discounted rates.

ACCC launches Scam Disruption Project

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission today launched its national Scam Disruption Project to help protect the Australian community from relationship scammers.

Earlier this year, the ACCC announced disruption of relationship scams as a compliance and enforcement priority area.

The project proactively reaches out to community members that may be targeted by scammers. The ACCC has identified these possible victims by analysing international transaction data to detect patterns consistent with fraudulent activity.