BUYER BEWARE HOME PAGE

Welcome to the new BuyerBeware web-site; which provides the consumer with the knowledge to avoid 'scams', and other problems. The various topics listed in the side-bar Menu will be updated over the next few weeks.

Important Links with Consumer Information.

SCAMwatch

The official Government ACCC website on SCAMS is highly recommended.
The most current highlighted SCAMs are "Automated scam calls claiming to be from Qantas with bogus holiday win" and "Scammers pretending to be from Telstra Technical Support continue cold-calling Australians"

Choice Logo

    Australian Consumers Association 

states - "We’re completely independent — we raise our own funds through subscriptions to our print magazines and membership of our website. We get no freebies from manufacturers, and we don’t take any advertising. Our thorough testing is funded by you, the consumer."
SCAMwatch

    AFP Internet fraud and scams  

This is the Australian Federal Police Site on Internet fraud and scams. It is part of the Cybercrime division.
Consumer Affairs Vic

    VIC Government Consumer Affairs site  

This is the Victorian State Site on focuses on Scams generally; Consumer scams, and 'Travelling con men'.
Consumer Affairs NSW

    NSW Fair Trading - Scams  

This is the NSW State Site which also raises the 'Travelling con men' scam, and provides a list of most recent scams.

Other Consumer Sites:

Beware of Comparison Sites with a vested Interest:

Any Google search will bring up a number of comparison sites, and many of these are sites are regular paid advertisers on Commercial Television Channels. An old adage is "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch".  Someone is paying to provide the comparison service; and most likely is receiving some sort of preferred position in the recommendations. This 'BuyerBeware' site may be one of the only totally independent web-sites; operated at minimal cost and without any specific financial partners. Australian Consumers Association (Choice) has an article "Compare the comparison sites" which discusses the emergence of many of these sites.

The ABC TV consumer program:

ABC The Checkout

"The Checkout is a satirical consumer affairs series presented by Julian Morrow and Craig Reucassel from The Chaser team, Kirsten Drysdale, Kate Browne, Scott Abbot, Zoe Norton Lodge and Ben Jenkins."

Privacy Sites:

Privacy of personal information is a key issue for 21st Century. The pervasive Telemarketing Industry is known to collect and resell as much information as they can. You should always avoid disclosing any 'extra' information to unsolicited callers. If, however, they appear to be genuine you should, ask for their name and offer to phone them back. Only use the telephone number of the company that you know is correct. Several foreign Scams give you a telephone number that is a genuine Australian number. The call is then redirected to the overseas scammer, without your knowledge.

do not call

The best protection against telemarketing is to register your Telephone Number with the "Do Not Call Register". Lists of the telephone numbers are distributed throughout the Industry, and it is illegal to call numbers that are listed.

Several callers are exempt, such as "Some public interest organisations (e.g. charities, political parties and educational institutions) can still call numbers listed on the register. This ensures these organisations can continue to provide valuable services to the community. If you have an existing relationship with a business, it can still contact you, but you can advise them you do not wish to receive telemarketing calls or marketing faxes from them in the future." [quote from 'donotcall.gov.au/faq.cfm']
On mobile phones which always display the calling number; consumers will quite often call back a number when a call is missed. This 'Missed call marketing' involves calls that only ring once or twice, and unlikely to be answered. Using this as a loophole to get around the "Do Not Call Register" because you have called them.

“Missed call” marketing:

ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) has an article ACMA moves to stop "missed call" marketing that says: "‘Missed call’ marketing is the term that has been given to the practice of calling a mobile telephone for such a short period of time that the owner cannot answer the call. When the marketer disconnects the call, most mobile phones present a ‘missed call’ notification with the marketer’s number. The marketer intends that the owner of the phone will think that they have missed a legitimate call and ring the number back, in which case they hear a recorded promotional message."
When it first started 'Missed Call' marketing was a scam to trick callers into calling back 19X numbers which incur high call charges. Now it is extensively used to escape the protection of the 'Do not Call Register'. If you phone back they can claim that 'you have called them' and are exempt.

The following links list a number of news articles about companies believed to be using "Missed Call Marketing":

This web-site intentionally uses a simple layout, so that it works well with Android phones, tablets, and other hand-held devices.
Last updated on 30-MAY-2014 12:22 AM.


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