A guide on avoiding scams will be launched in Perth this morning.
Fair Trading Minister Doug Shave will launch The Little Black Book of Scams: A Consumer’s Guide to Scams, Swindles, Rorts and Rip-offs to mark National Consumer Day.
“The booklet is designed to help spot scams and gives tips on avoiding them before it’s too late and people lose money,” Mr Shave said.
Scams outlined include those involving household repairers, pyramid schemes such as The Plane Game and Concorde, chain letters, Internet scams and the notorious Nigerian letter scam which asks people to help move ‘lost’ millions of dollars out of the African nation.
“Fair Trading receives more than 150 calls a week from people asking for more information about some fraudulent offer they’ve received,” Mr Shave said.
“In addition the Ministry sends up to 15 warning letters a week to pyramid scheme participants to advise they are breaking the law.
“In the majority of cases, people don’t even know pyramid schemes are illegal, indicating the need for a guide like this.”
Scam, swindle and other fraud operators often target older people because they are at home more and are more inclined to trust someone who offers them what appears to be good deal, Mr Shave said.
The Little Black Book of Scams was launched around Australia today by the Ministerial Council on Consumer Affairs of Commonwealth and State Government Fair Trading and Consumer Affairs Ministers. It is part of the Council’s contribution to the International Year of Older Persons.
The Little Black Book is free and will be widely distributed around WA through local libraries and senior citizens’ centres.
Copies are also available from the Ministry of Fair Trading’s Perth and regional offices, including Italian, Greek, Chinese and Vietnamese versions. It is also planned that it will be available on a national consumer website in the near future.
Media Contact: John Clune 9213 6500