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Consumer & Business Advice
Media releases
29 August 2012

Consumer and Business Services (CBS) is warning the public not to fall for scammers claiming to be from ‘The Office of Fair Trading’.

CBS has received a number of calls recently from concerned members of the public who have been contacted via phone by a scammer claiming to represent ‘The Office of Fair Trading' and offering to help people get thousands back from their bank.

In one of the cases reported to CBS, a Mt Gambier man said he was first called by someone claiming to be from his bank to advise that he had been overcharged more than $9000 for bank fees and the bank would like to offer a reimbursement.

The following day he received a call from someone claiming to be from ‘The Office of Fair Trading' and offering to help arrange the reimbursement, for a fee.

CBS advises that although it operates in a fair trading capacity it is not called ‘The Office of Fair Trading’, and would never phone consumers for such a purpose nor ask them to send money or provide personal banking details.

If anyone has given any personal information under such circumstances, they should contact their bank to see if they have been scammed or check if they need to cancel their credit card.

As well as posing as fair trading officers, scammers in recent years have posed as representatives from organisations such as the Australian Tax Office, the Consumer Action Law Centre, and as anti-computer virus experts from companies such as Microsoft.

The public is reminded to protect their personal information and to always treat any unsolicited contact involving financial issues with extreme caution.

For more information on scams, and to report any suspected scams, go to www.scamwatch.gov.au or call the ACCC's Infocentre on 1300 302 502.

Financial scams can also be reported to the Australian Investments and Securities Commission at www.moneysmart.gov.au/scams/report-a-scam