2 November 2011

Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts is asking residents in townships bordering NSW and Victoria to report travelling con men on 1300 133 408.

The Minister said van scammers were reported in Albury and Lavington this week selling stereo equipment, plasma televisions and sound systems.

“Van traders are mobile scammers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting consumers,” he warned.

“Buying electronic goods out of the back of a van is asking for trouble. As tempting as the sales pitch may be, as authentic as the product may appear, a scam in a van is a scam.

“Consumers are advised to deal with reputable businesses providing warranties, expert advice, legitimate products and other consumer protections. Those tempted by van scammers are reminded that many of the products are dangerous as well as dodgy.”

Mr Roberts said van scammers often tell consumers they need to move stock before returning to the warehouse and they can offer real bargains.

“Van scammers prey on people’s desire for a bargain and consumers are more susceptible in the lead up to Christmas,” he said.

“Van scammers sell goods that are packaged using fake brand names and false statements, including non-existent industry awards on equipment. Van scammers previously prosecuted by Fair Trading even sold speakers containing lumps of concrete, to convey false weight and give the impression of quality.”

Australian consumer protection regulators recently launched a new campaign targeting travelling con men including van scammers.

“Travelling con men like operating across borders, but with unprecedented cooperation between state and territory governments the information we receive from the public is helping us catch these crooks and hold them to account,” Mr Roberts said.

For more information go to www.stoptravellingconmen.org andhttp://www.facebook.com/StopTravellingConMen