Business owners are being warned to be aware of fake bills that
are scamming more and more people.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has just
revealed that false billing scams rose a disturbing 45 per cent
last year. Fake bills are the most common scam targeting the small
business community with more than $725,000 reported lost, said ACCC
deputy chairman Dr Michael Schaper.
The typical scam involves attempting to trick businesses into
paying invoices for advertisements in magazines, journals or
directories that were never ordered. Another common scam is to bill
businesses for renewal of a non-existent domain name
The scammers often use the end of the financial year to target
businesses with fake invoices for renewals or registrations that
aren't real. The ACCC has some sage advice:
Make sure the business you are dealing with is dinky-di: if you
get an invoice or bill you are not sure of, contact the sender
directly to check they are who they say they are and the bill is
genuine. Hot tip - get their address or phone number from an
independent source, not the one on the invoice.
Make your business fraud-free by having a clear process for
verifying and paying accounts and invoices.
Don't be intimidated or pushed into paying until you are
certain it is legit. If you are unsure seek independent legal or
Update your IT security software regularly.
If you have been hit by a scammer there are legal avenues that
can be pursued and it is worth getting legal advice. Last year the
Federal Court fined a publishing company $750,000 for making false
and misleading representations about advertising services that were
Six months ago a company that sold ink cartridges for printers
was fined $50,000 after it was found the company deceived
businesses by rigging the cartridges so they ran out of ink too
Businesses aren't the only ones who need to be on the
lookout for scammers. Many people looking for love on the Internet
have also been ripped off by cruel and heartless scammers. The ACCC
said dating and romance related fraud rose eight per cent in 2013
and ripped $27 million from folk looking for love. The average loss
to scammers promising love was $20,000 - three times higher than in
other types of scams. Unfortunately little can be done to get the
money back as the love scammers are usually based overseas. Sadly,
even less can be done legally to help mend a broken heart.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The Sportscraft refunds and returns policy limitations went beyond consumer's rights under the Australian Consumer Law.
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