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Consumer & Business Advice
Media releases
30 October 2011

Consumer Affairs Commissioner, Paul White, warns Victor Harbour residents – beware of travelling conmen selling dodgy high-end goods from the back of vans.

The warning follows reports received by Consumer and Business Services (CBS) today of two New South Wales plated white Toyota Hi Ace vans selling audio visual projectors and screens in the Victor Harbour area.

“We have received police reports that these travelling conmen have been approaching passers- by in Victor Harbour, offering the sale of goods out the back of white vans,” the Commissioner said.

“Don’t be fooled by their to-good-to-be-true, cash-only prices for ‘high-end’ multimedia and electronic goods.

“These goods are likely to be poor imitations and may not work properly. Consumers should not to deal with these dodgy traders.”

Under the Australia Consumer Law, for unsolicited sales, consumers have a 10-day cooling off period during which the trader cannot provide any goods or services or accept any payment.

“The traders selling products from these white vans are breaching these regulations and consumers are entitled to have their money refunded and the contract nullified,” the Commissioner said

“However, these are travelling conmen who will disappear as soon as money changes hands, making it extremely difficult to receive your entitled compensation for the dodgy products.

“Breaches of these regulations are subject to penalties of up to $10,000 for individuals and
$50,000 for companies.”

Fortunately, CBS has not received any reports of victims in Victor Harbour actually being conned by these “fly by night” traders.

“Typically, these traders will tell consumers that they have surplus stock of high quality equipment that they can sell at greatly reduced prices by cash only,” the Commissioner said

“Any product guarantee that might be provided with the goods is worthless.

“Although spotted in the Victor Harbour region, these operators could turn up anywhere around Adelaide over the long weekend so I urge consumers to be vigilant and help us to curb their antics by reporting any sightings to CBS.”

If consumers are approached by someone selling goods from a white Toyota Hi Ace van, they are urged to contact CBS on 13 1882.