Tis the season to be ripped off

By Lawyers Weekly|03 March 2012

The good folk at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have reminded us that not everyone thinks of Christmas as a time to eat turkey and watch cricket - it is also prime…

The good folk at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have reminded us that not everyone thinks of Christmas as a time to eat turkey and watch cricket - it is also prime time for charlatans and scam artists.

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The corporate watchdog, obviously with some spare time on its hands in a rare moment when it isn't blocking an M&A deal, has produced a list of the "10 scams of Christmas".

Despite mangling somewhat the famous festive song that includes two extra days of Christmas, the ACCC showed it was cognisant of the fact that unscrupulous merchants and ne'er-do-wells would look to take advantage of addled brains adversely affected by too much eggnog, maxing the credit card or the prospect of sitting next to uncle Arthur at Christmas lunch.

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Top of the ACCC's list of rorts is the "holiday scam, which it says can take the form of extensive memberships to travel clubs and fake discount hotel vouchers.

Also in the ACCC's sights are flight booking scams, online shopping scams ("the perfect gift is purchased, but never arrives"), romance scams and charity scams, which round out the top five.

The old favourites of telephone scams, miracle weight loss cures, dodgy door-to-door salespeople, visa scams and false alerts of a lottery win, which requires the "winner" to send money in order to start the process to collect their loot, also receive dishonourable mentions.

Folklaw is unable to confirm if the ACCC has a whole pile of Franklins goodies sitting under the office Christmas tree, as it prepares to battle Metcash in the Federal Court over its bid to take control of the shopping giant.

Tis the season to be ripped off
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