Beware the phoney scam merchant

FAIR Trading Minister Linda Burney used a visit to Coffs Harbour yesterday to warn local businesses about common rip-offs and scams.

Ms Burney said many scam merchants relied on the fact business people were too busy and would provide information over the phone without due caution.

“The most common scams occur over the telephone,” she said.

“This keeps the con artist anonymous and allows them to hang up if the potential victim starts to ask too many questions.”

The list of scams includes:

  • The Other Partner Plot: The business owner is told a deal was approved by their partner or a staff member.
  • Personal Friend Fraud: The fraudster poses as someone you may have met before and with whom you had entered a verbal agreement.
  • Listings Lurk: Your business is contacted and asked to 'confirm' a listing in a directory or advertisement in a magazine that you allegedly agreed to months ago.
  • Order Number Operation: A regular supplier may ring requesting an order placed by your company some time ago.
  • The Government Gang-Up: A supposed representative from a government department may ring demanding money you allegedly owe and makes you fear the consequences of saying no.

Ms Burney also advised keeping proper records and insist on written confirmation of transactions.

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