Avoid social media scams – CBS News

spot social media scams

 

Can you spot a scam on social media?

Victims reported losing over $9.5 million to social media scams last year – almost three times more than in 2015*.

There are many tactics scammers use to trick their victims through social media. Social media profiles often display a lot of personal information which scammers use to shape their communications to match your interests.  This is why social media is becoming a common first point of contact for dating and romance scammers.

Scammers also draw on the advertising potential in social media to target victims. Scammers set up temporary business profiles advertising very cheap products and linking through to their fake shopping website.

It can be hard to tell the difference between genuine profiles or ads on social media and the fake profiles or fake traders you may encounter. So here are some tips for staying safe and spotting social media scams:

  • Don’t accept invitations on social media from people you don’t know.
  • Don’t send money to someone you’ve never met in person.
  • Check reviews before buying online. Try to find how reputable a seller is by searching for reviews.
  • People may be able to see more about you than you realise on social media. Learn how to use your privacy and security settings to ensure you stay safe.

Visit the Scamwatch website www.scamwatch.gov.au/fraudweek2017 for more information about social media scams, how to protect yourself and what to do if you’ve been scammed.

* Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) 2016 Targeting scams report

Fraud Week

Fraud Week is an annual initiative of the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce (ACFT), a group of government regulatory agencies and departments in Australia and New Zealand that work alongside private sector, community and non-government partners to prevent fraud.

Consumer and Business Services (CBS) is a proud member/partner of the ACFT and Fraud Week.


Unlicensed builder cops $11,000 fine – media release

An unlicensed builder who accepted substantial deposits from consumers for work he either didn’t start or made little progress on has been fined $11,000 and ordered to repay more than $11,000 to customers he left in the lurch.

27 year old Andrew James Laundy appeared in the Adelaide Magistrates Court this week, after pleading guilty to carrying on business as a building work contractor without a licence and four counts of breaches of the Australian Consumer Law.

Media release – Unlicensed builder cops $11,000 fine (PDF 89KB)


TICA Default – assurance

Assurance to the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs given for the purposes of s79 of the

Fair Trading Act 1987 by:

TICA Default Tenancy Control Pty Ltd (ACN 087 400 379)

1. PERSONS GIVING THIS ASSURANCE

1.1 This Assurance is given to the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs by TICA Default Tenancy Control Pty Ltd ACN 087 400 379 of PO Box 120, CONCORD in the State of New South Wales , for the purposes of section 79 of the Fair Trading Act 1987 (SA).

2. BACKGROUND

2.1 TICA Default Tenancy Control Pty Ltd (TICA) owns and operates the residential tenancy database known as the TICA This database is an electronic system that contains personal information about people relating to, or arising from, the occupation of residential premises under a residential tenancy agreement. This database is to be used by landlords or agents of landlords for checking a person’s tenancy history for deciding whether a residential tenancy agreement should be entered into with the person.

2.2 In June 2009, a tenant, Ms White, jointly entered into a tenancy agreement in respect of a property situated in Seaford, South The tenants vacated the tenancy on 25 February 2015 . The landlords made claims against the tenants for payment of the bond and compensation. The bond was paid out to the landlords, but a further amount of $275.39 was owed and never paid.

2.3 On 5 March 2010 , a listing was made in the TICA database about Ms White . This entry contained Ms White’s At this time, there was no legislation in South Australia regulating the residential tenancy databases.

2.4 On 1 March 2014, s 99K of the Residential Tenancies Act 1995 (the Act) came into

This section prohibits the keeping of personal information about a person in a residential tenancy database for longer than three years . At this time, Ms White’s entry in the TICA database remained unchanged. TICA believed that the commencement of s 99K of the Act did not affect entries made in the TICA database before the commencement of s 99K on 1 March 2014.

2.5 Ms White wrote a letter to TICA dated 16 May 2016, requesting the removal of her listing.

2.6 On 7 June 2016 , Ms White applied to the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for an order that, amongst other things , the listing be removed .

2.7 On 21 June 2016 , TICA removed Ms White’s listing in the TICA database .

3. CONDUCT OF CONCERN

3.1 Between March 2010 and June 2016, TICA kept personal information about a person in its residential tenancy As a result, the Commissioner considers that:

3.1.1 TICA kept Ms White’s personal information in the TICA database for over six years ; and

3.1.2 By failing to remove Ms White’s personal information on 1 March 2014 (when section 99K came into operation) TICA breached section 99K of the ; and

3.2 TICA acknowledges that its conduct is likely to have breached section 99K of the

4. COMMENCEMENT OF ASSURANCE

4.1 This Assurance comes into effect when :

4.1.1 the Assurance is executed by TICA ; and

4.1.2 the Commissioner accepts the Assurance so

5. ASSURANCE BY TICA FOR THE PURPOSES OF SECTION 79 OF THE FAIR TRADING ACT 1987

5.1 In response to the concerns raised by the Commissioner, TICA hereby provides an Assurance to the Commissioner that:

5.1.1 Ms White’s personal information has been removed from the TICA database;

5.1.2 TICA has removed from the TICA database all entries which had been on the database for more than three years (from the time the entry was first made); and

5.1.3 TICA will remove entries in the TICA database as soon as the three-year period from the date of initial entry expired , even if that entry was created prior to 1 March 2014 .

6. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

6.1 TICA acknowledges that:

6.1.1 CBS will make this Assurance publicly available including by publishing it on CBS’ public register of Assurances on its website;

6.1.2 this Assurance in no way derogates from any rights and remedies available to any other person arising from the alleged conduct; and

6.1.3 this Assurance may be produced to any Court in respect of any proceedings alleging any future contraventions  of the Fair  Trading Act  1987 or a related Act.

Signed assurance (PDF 124KB)

Accepted by the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs (SA) under s79 of the Fair Trading Act 1987


Renting rights

Whether you are renting or managing a rental property, tenancy laws are in place to protect you. Here are some important things you should know:

CBS provides free advice and information about tenancy rights and obligations. For advice or information to help resolve a dispute call 131 882. All contact with CBS is kept confidential.

Tenancy information in languages other than English.

Renting in South Australia – Know your rights before you move in (poster 132KB PDF)

For more information about renting rights and obligations visit renting.


CBS commences legal proceedings against real estate sales representative – CBS news

CBS commences legal proceedings against real estate sales representative

A former Elders real estate sales representative from Clare faces disciplinary action and is due to appear in the District Court of South Australia.

The Commissioner for Consumer Affairs has filed a complaint in the District Court of South Australia against Robert Dudley Stephens, a registered land agent, alleging that he acted improperly as a sales representative in one instance where the purchaser was a company whose sole director was an employee of Elders, and in another instance where the purchaser was another employee of Elders.

The complaint against Mr Stephens was filed following both an internal investigation by Elders and an investigation by Consumer and Business Services.

The Commissioner has alleged that, by engaging in the above conduct, there is proper cause for disciplinary action against Mr Stephens.

The matter is due before the District Court of South Australia later this year.

 


Lost or stolen certificates

You can report a lost, stolen or destroyed certificate online. By doing this, you are minimising the likelihood of your certificate being used for fraudulent purposes.

Once you have registered your certificate as being lost, stolen or destroyed your certificate will be cancelled. This will mean that third parties such as the Passport Office will not be able to validate the certificate if someone attempts to use it.


World consumer rights day

On World Consumer Rights Day we are reminding all Australians about the power of your consumer rights.

You are protected by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) to ensure that you get the goods or services you have paid for.

You have the same legal protections whether shopping in-store or online, booking a holiday or signing a consumer contract such as a phone plan or gym membership.

Find out more about your consumer rights on sa.gov.au.

Media release – Help for consumers and small business to mark World Consumer Rights Day


Monitoring and enforcement

Educational monitoring undertaken by Compliance Officers provides retailers with the opportunity to rectify any concerning signage and practices prior to any enforcement action. 2015 Christmas monitoring campaign saw resources such as correct refund signs and relevant publications provided to retailers to assist with compliance. Publications can be ordered via CBS website.

CBS has a range of enforcement options. For example, CBS may issue expiation penalties, or accept assurances or undertakings from businesses that acknowledge the conduct, agree to put in place measures to remedy the conduct, and agree to steps that put in place appropriate compliance measures. Further, CBS can, in certain circumstances, take court action seeking both civil and criminal penalties of up to $ 1.1 million for corporations, and $220,000 for individuals, per offence. CBS may also seek court orders to obtain redress for affected consumers, as well as order disqualifying managers and directors from managing a business.

The following media releases provide examples of recent CBS enforcement outcomes:

Supreme Court grants interim injunction against travel agent

Inter-agency cooperation leads to traveling conmen detention

Adelaide venue fined more than $600 for liquor licence breach

Action taken over unlicensed builder’s advertising tactics

Over $10,000 in fines for breaching real estate laws

Consumer watchdog prosecutes unlicensed car dealer

Unlicensed car dealers put on notice

Action taken against real estate agency

Consumer Watchdog tackles unlicensed landscaper

Regional building contractor breaches licence conditions


Red tape reduction

CBS is now receiving apprenticeship information from Trainee and Apprenticeship Services . This means apprentices who commence an apprenticeship, and require a licence, no longer need to contact CBS and lodge an application, as they will automatically receive an apprentice licence card from CBS.

In addition, on completion of an apprenticeship, CBS will electronically send a personalised pre-filled application form, which will ensure a faster and more efficient way for an apprentice to apply and receive their trade licence.

To enable consumers and employers to easily identify apprentices, the issuing of a new look apprentice card has commenced. The new look cards have a yellow background, the word apprentice clearly marked and specify the type of work that can be performed by the apprentice.


Summary of inspectorate findings

CBS actively regulates and educates the liquor and gaming industry by ensuring proper conduct and compliance with relevant legislation. Maintaining public confidence in SA’s liquor and gaming industry is achieved by setting a minimum standard for each licensed premises, and enforcing relevant provisions where appropriate. Inspections are carried out regularly with numerous licensed venues across the state, targeting particular areas of interest at each inspection.

One operation recently saw inspectors target 20 venues in the eastern suburbs. 10 issues of non-compliance were raised including failing to have correct signage or badges or having a Responsible Person on duty. One venue had a licence condition imposed where a breach was detected. Follow up inspections are planned for the New Year. CBS demonstrates a strong commitment to compliance and subsequent enforcement.

Education plays a vital part in keeping patrons safe and licensees compliant. Educational inspections may be conducted when a new venue opens. Providing resources and materials to new licensees assists in understanding the responsibilities that come with a liquor licence, including ensuring public safety through the responsible service of alcohol. CBS invites new and existing venues to contact CBS to discuss compliance requirements.

CBS also regularly teams up with other agencies such as SAPOL, event organisers and local councils to manage broader issues of compliance. This shared knowledge in the liquor and gambling sector can be advantageous and efficient. CBS has a strong focus on working together with other agencies in all areas of compliance.

In late 2015 inspectors made covert observations by checking the responsible service of alcohol within venues and the roles of staff in relation to effective supervision and management of premises.  In a separate operation, compliance checks focusing on the requirements relating to the advertising of gambling products resulted in a number of expiations being issued.

For the first time, 2015 saw a licensee elect to be prosecuted rather than pay an expiation fee. My Yen proprietors, the Lau Brothers Pty Ltd, pleaded guilty in the Magistrates Court in December for failing to display a copy of a licence showing all conditions. A total fine of $615 was imposed and will act a deterrent to others who ignore warnings regarding non-compliance.