NCWQ Consumer Affairs Report February 2019

By Val Cocksedge

NCWQ Consumer Affairs Adviser

 

Scams: 

  • On Line Credit Card fraud. Monitor your credit card activity regularly.  Customers need to be cautious as fraud grows despite new technology.
  • On line shopping scams, fake investments are key targets of these fraudsters.
  • Registration plate cloning.
  • Romance fraudsters with money sent overseas with little means of prosecuting offenders.
  • Phone contracts.
  • “Robo callers” impersonating government departments. Amount lost in 2018 was more than 107 million. In the last week of January 530 Australians reported Australian Tax Office scams.
  • Using I Tunes gift cards to repay money owed or gift cards.

Hang up if you receive these calls and do not give personal information to anyone.

  • Calls supposedly from the Australian Tax Office – if not paid a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
  • Facebook quizzes. Facebook surveys provide scammers with information that helps access to passwords.
  • Callers pretending to be from Telstra/ Microsoft say there is a problem with your computer and you need to give access.
  • Identities stolen – victims to cyber crime or scam callers.

 

Product Safety Recalls:

  • Targus Laptop Wall Charger.
  • Hino 300 series trucks – airbag recalls.
  • Target recalled 21 Smar Trike models (sold May 2007 – July 2018).
  • Big W recalled infants “ That’s not my “ coverall.
  • Aldi recalled  multiple flavours of  Organic Kombucha
  • Bunnings recalled silver zinc aerosol cans (October- November 2018) as they may over pressurise.
  • Target Stick blender may overheat during use and cause the plastic enclosure to melt, and expose live
  • Target has recalled Young Ones My First Swing Set due to fears it may tip and cause serious injuries to a child. (September 2018-January 2019) Design defect.
  • IKEA has recalled its GLIVARP extendable dining table. The white frosted glass extended piece could fall.

 

Diethyl phthalate (banned by EU in 2018) used in perfumes, and methyl paraben used in body lotions and hand creams may cause girls to enter puberty earlier.

Agriculture Minister, (David Littleproud) said the Federal Government is preparing to keep rules that enable cane growers to enforce contracts with sugar mills and have an input into products including bio fuels and plastics.

Kingaroy Proteco Oils ships edible oils, premium macadamia walnut and avocado oil, to food stores and pharmacies across China.  Australia’s reputation as “clean and green” has seen Capilano honey exporting to Asian markets in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Philippines and is now entering China.

A camel farm, Summer Land at Harrisville in Queensland’s Scenic Rim, produces camel milk, Persian Feta, hand lotion and soap.  This farm is the largest commercial scale camel dairy operation outside the Middle East and the third largest of its kind in the world.

Plastic particles and man-made fibres from clothing, tyres, cigarette filters, ropes and fishing nets have been found in the guts of more than 100 sea turtles around the world.  Micro plastics and nano plastics join with polymers made by bacteria to form  large clumps which can be mistaken  for food by marine animals.

A commission of Inquiry into the Building Industry has been called for, in particular for the plight of “subbies”.  During the past four years more than 50 building companies in Queensland have collapsed leaving subcontractors with losses of millions of dollars.  Revealed in the Courier Mail’s Back our Subbies series, 7000sub contractors are owed at least 500 million.  The subbies and those whose homes /businesses have not been completed need redress and actions taken so that these events do not recur.  Not much has changed since the Scur Inquiry into the Building Industry and the recommendations sent to the Government were not implemented.  The Palaszczuk  Government’s new Building Industry Fairness Act includes Project Bank Accounts to insulate, in trust, money owed to subcontractors and suppliers.  It also announced stiffer minimum Financial Requirements for building licence holders aimed at addressing slack weaknesses in existing legislation.

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