A refreshed consumer rights guide aims to give seniors the knowledge and confidence to protect themselves and their loved ones against scams.
Minister for Business Services and Consumers Gail Gago said South Australians lost almost
$5 million to scams last year, and the Savvy Seniors initiative aims to equip older South Australians with enough information and know-how to avoid being exploited.
“Older people are a vulnerable group who are often seen as easy targets for scams by those trying to steal their money or identity,” Ms Gago said.
“The guide includes advice on how deal with unwanted phone calls and door-to-door salespeople, how to identify dodgy tradespeople and what to look out for with the new trend of pre-paid funeral contracts,” Ms Gago said.
The newly revised Savvy Seniors guide provides information on consumer rights under Australian Consumer Law, specifically in relation to issues that impact older people such as refund rights, door-to-door sales, telemarketing and smart spending.
Savvy Seniors helps consumers understand acceptable conduct from salespeople and educates them to make informed choices when purchasing products and services.
“Knowing your rights as a consumer is important at any age, particularly as you get older, and being able to negotiate in the market place is integral to a person’s independence.
“We want South Australian seniors to feel confident as consumers and ensure they have the knowledge to protect themselves against common scams.
“Last year, so-called romance scams were identified as causing the most financial harm, as retirees who are feeling lonely can sometimes fall victim to these. The guide also addresses this type of scam.”
With an increase in older people now active online, Savvy Seniors also features tips on how to be ‘tech’ savvy including information on using mobile phones, the internet and online shopping.
CBS is working with local seniors organisations to help promote the Savvy Seniors messages.
The first edition of Savvy Seniors was launched in 2011 with more than 70,000 copies distributed across the state.
For more information or to request a free copy of the Savvy Seniors consumer guide in its large print format visit cbs.sa.gov.au or phone CBS on 131 882.