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Scams and Door to Door Sales


Scams are designed to trick you into giving away your money or your personal details. 
Scams come to you in many forms – by mail, email, telephone, over the internet and door-to-door.

There are several methods scammers use to steal your money or personal details.

Scams Target You – Protect Yourself.
Most scams need you to do something before they can work like providing your personal information or sending money – DON’T RESPOND

Great Promises
Scammers try to suck you in by promising things like great prizes, true love or easy money. Before scammers deliver anything they will ask you to send money or give them your bank account or credit card numbers or other personal details. They never deliver what you expect and always rip you off.

Requests for your personal details
Scammers pretend to be legitimate banks or businesses. They approach you out of the blue with leaflets, letters, emails, websites or phone calls with requests that seem like the real thing. They will give a reason as to why you need to provide them with your personal details like your credit card number, password, bank account etc. Genuine organisations don’t usually make such unsolicited requests. If you provide your personal details they could steal your money and your identity could be stolen.

Why do Scams Work?
A scam succeeds because it looks like the real thing. Scammers are manipulative – they push your buttons to produce the response they want. Don’t let scammers steal your money and personal details – protect yourself.

Scams Target Everyone – Protect Yourself:
There are no guaranteed get-rich-schemes – the only people who get rich quick are the scammers.

1.  Don’t respond to offers, deals or requests for your details. Stop. Take time to independently check the offer.

2.  Don’t rely on glowing testimonial: find solid evidence from independent sources (not those provided with the offer).

3.  Always type in the address of a website of a bank, business or authority in which you are interested – it’s safer.

4.  Always look up phone numbers in an independent directory when you wish to check if a request or offer is genuine.

5.  Never click on a link provided in an unsolicited email as it will probably lead to a fake website designed to trap you.

6.  Never use phone numbers provided with unsolicited requests or offers as they probably connect you to fakes who will try and trap you with lies.

7.  Never respond to out of the blue requests for your personal details.

8.  Never send money or give credit card, account or other personal details to anyone who makes unsolicited offers or requests for information.

Dangerous Myths about Scams
Busting the following common myths will help reduce your chances of being scammed.

Myth: The government vets all companies and business therefore any offers you receive are from legitimate organisations.

Fact: Scammers are criminals. They act illegally and can contact you from anywhere in the world.

Myth: All internet sites are real and legitimate.

Fact: Fake websites can easily be set up to look like the real thing, including bank and/or government logos.

Myth: There are short cuts to wealth that only a few people know.

Fact: They wouldn’t be telling their secrets to you.

Myth: Scams only involve large amounts of money.

Fact: Some scammers target large numbers of people for small amounts of money. It all adds up to a lot if they succeed.

Myth: Scams are always about money.

Fact: Some scams try to steal your personal information to sell or get more than just your money.

Fight the Scammers – Don’t respond.

Door to Door Sales
People in country and suburban Victoria are often ripped off by fly-by-night tradespeople offering cheap, ‘today only’ deals for work on their homes including painting and roof repairs.

Many of these traders are dodgy – they travel from place to place using undue pressure to force people to agree to having work done and to hand over cash up front. They often take the money and run, leaving unfinished or shoddy work.

Can You Pick a dodgy door – door tradesperson?
NO. You can’t just tell by looking at their faces, but there are a few simple signs to look for. These traders:

• Knock on your door
• Offer very cheap home repair services such as driveway resurfacing, roof repairs or painting.
• Ask for cash up front.
• Put pressure on you to do the work that day.
• Have no proof of identity or allow customers no time to check their credentials.
• May offer to drive you to the bank to get the money.
• Usually disappear leaving a shoddy, unfinished job.

Don’t be tempted by unexpected cheap offers. Only use established tradespeople who give written quotes.

Protect Yourself
If you are looking to get work done on your home, you should:

• Shop around and know what you want.
• Ensure that you obtain written quotes, even for minor jobs.
• Don’t sign any agreement until you are ready.
• Ask for addresses or contact details of other clients.

Remember, ALL door-to-door sales people must:
• Show identification that includes their full name, the name of the business they are representing (if any) and their business or home address.
• Provide written quotes, lists of work to be completed and a 10 day cooling off period.
• Not demand payment before the end of the cooling off period.

Take Action
When a dodgy door-to-door tradesperson calls on you:
• Say no!
• Take down as much information as you can such as name and vehicle registration
• Warn your friends, family and neighbours.
• Report them to Consumer Affairs Victoria on 1300 55 81 81

Do Not Call Register
Why has the Do Not Call Register been set up?

The Do Not Call Register has been set up in response to increasing community concern about the growth in unsolicited telemarketing calls.

Which numbers can I list of the Do Not Call Register?
You can list your Australian fixed line and mobile numbers provided the numbers are used primarily for private or domestic purposes.

How does the Register work?
Under the Do Not Call Register Act 2006, telemarketers can check their calling lists against the Do Not Call Register. If a telemarketer calls a number on the Do Not Call Register they may be in breach of the Act and may face penalties.

Will it stop all telemarketing calls?
Registering your telephone number on the Do Not Call Register will not stop all telemarketing calls to your number. Some organisations operating in the public interest are exempt from prohibition on making telemarketing calls. You can also still receive calls from market researches.

When will calls start to reduce?
From the time you register your number it may take up to 30 days for individual telemarketing agencies to recognize your registration and stop calling your number.

Three Ways to Register – it’s free, quick and easy.

Online:   www.donotcall.gov.au/

Phone:  1300 792 958

Post: download a postal application and send it to Do Not Call Register, PO Box 42, North Melbourne 3051.

For further information and assistance: www.scamwatch.gov.au or call SCAMwatch on 1300 795 995