Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

ACCC warns against ‘get rich quick’ scams

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The promise of financial freedom - a sticker found at many Brisbane intersections: Nick Drewe.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has warned people against falling for ‘get rich quick’ scams disguised as legitimate businesses.

The watchdog said with the economic downturn more Australians were being tempted by dodgy schemes with the promise of fast cash.

Brisbane mother Megan Togard is out of pocket almost $800 after falling for a scheme that she thought was a legitimate business opportunity.

A well placed sign at a set of traffic lights caught her eye with the promise of earning a six-figure income online.

“I don’t think I was being greedy, we could all do with a bit of extra cash right now,” Ms Togard said.

“It all looks very professional at first, they’ve got testimonials and success stories… they make it seem like any one can do it.

“But once you’ve given them your money, you realise it’s just like a pyramid scheme.

“They call it ‘Network Marketing’ and pretend that it’s not ripping anyone off.”

The ACCC said there was nothing new about work from home ads posted in public places.

“The scams have been around forever, but it seems that financial stress has tempted more people,” an ACCC spokesperson said.

“A majority of these scams are based online which makes them very hard to crack down on.

“Usually the operator of the scam has long packed up and disappeared by the time authorities can track them down.

“The only people who get rich are the scammers.”

Ms Togard said the company was more than helpful when signing her up, but fell silent when she demanded her money back.

She urged others not to fall for similar schemes with the hopes of easy money.

“Don’t get greedy, if something is too good to be true, it probably is,” she said.

ACCC tips to avoid scams:

  • If it looks too good to be true—it probably is.
  • Use your common sense: the offer may be a scam.
  • ALWAYS get independent advice if an offer involves significant money, time or commitment.
  • Remember there are no get-rich-quick schemes: the only people who make money are the scammers.
  • Do not agree to offers or deals straight away: tell the person that you are not interested or that you want to get some independent advice before making a decision.
  • NEVER send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.
  • Beware of products or schemes that claim to guarantee income or winnings.
  • Beware of job offers that require you to pay an upfront fee.
  • NEVER send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.
  • You can contact your local office of fair trading, ASIC or the ACCC for assistance.