Monday, 5 September 2011

NSW businesses warned of travelling conmen


Residents and businesses in NSW are being urged to be on the lookout for travelling conmen and itinerant domestic gangs. A nationwide crackdown aims to have scammers who visit Australia seasonally removed from the country and barred from re-entering, as well as local gangs that travel around conning people. NSW Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts on Monday warned of conmen specialising in scams such as bitumen laying, roof painting and back-of-truck dealings on electronics. "We want to catch these crooks, hold them accountable for their crimes and keep the market fair and free of rip-offs," he said in a statement. "What we are dealing with is organised, criminal activity that creates market distortions as legitimate businesses face unfair competition." The conmen structure their operations so consumers are often unable to get remedies in courts, consumer tribunals or through dispute resolution. They are the focus of a new nationwide strategy finalised at the Ministerial Council on Consumer Affairs in Canberra earlier this year. "All Australian consumer protection jurisdictions are working together under the new Australian Consumer Law with concerted, nationally coordinated operations using new prosecution powers and remedies," Mr Roberts said.

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